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The detailed numbers behind our report on ‘Decoding capital markets union’

May 2015 • Unlocking capital marketsby William Wright

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The available data around the capital markets in Europe is very patchy and inconsistent. In producing our report ‘Decoding capital markets union’ we had to make lots of assumptions, some more informed than others. Here’s a summary of where we got the data for our report and what estimates we made.

If you have any queries about our data or methodology, please contact us on william.wright@newfinancial.eu

A full data pack covering all 32 countries and all 23 sectors in this report is available to members of New Financial and on request. Please contact Laurence Bax on +44 203 743 8267 or laurence.bax@newfinancial.eu

Background information

What exactly is ‘Europe’? 

We defined Europe as the 28 members of the EU plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.


Data for historic GDP came from the IMF

Exchange rates

Year end and average exchange rates came from the ECB.

Bank lending

Data for gross new lending in the eurozone came from the ECB

Data for value of outstanding lending in the EU came from the ECB

Outstanding debt securities

Data for the value of debt securities in the EU came from the ECB and from the Bank for International Settlements

How deep are European capital markets?

Pools of capital

Insurance assets

We estimated the value of European insurance assets using data from InsuranceEurope. This gives an estimate of $11tn or 58% of GDP over the past five years.

For the US, we based our estimate of $7tn in assets (42% of GDP), on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the annual report on the insurance industry by the US Treasury.

Pensions assets

We estimated the value of European pensions assets using data from the OECD and Towers Watson. This gave us an estimate of $7.5tn in assets or c40% of combined GDP over the past five years.

For US pensions assets, we triangulated three sources: the Investment Company Institute, Towers Watson and the OECD, giving an estimate of 120% of GDP or $21tn.

Mutual funds

We based our estimate of the value of US mutual fund assets on data from the Investment Company Institute, giving a figure of $15tn. We based our estimate of $8.5tn in European mutual fund assets over the past five years on the ICI numbers and of data from EFAMA (The European Fund and Asset Management Association). We estimate that 70% of mutual fund assets are double counted as part of institutional or pensions portfolios. As such, our estimate of the retail element of mutual fund assets is around $2.8tn.

Market value


All data on market capitalisation came from the World Federation of Exchanges. Any gaps or inconsistencies were cross-checked with data from the Federation of European Securities Exchanges and with individual stock exchanges.

Corporate bond market

Data on the size of the US and European corporate bond market came from the Bank for International Settlements.

Bond markets vs bank lending 

We calculated the reliance of each country on bank lending by calculating the value of outstanding bank lending to non-financial corporations as a percentage of total corporate debt (bank lending plus the value of outstanding corporate bonds).

Securitisation market

Data on the value of outstanding securitisation assets in Europe came from Sifma

Assets under management

Asset management

We based our estimate of the value of assets under management on three sources: Boston Consulting Group, the European Fund and Asset Management Association, and PwC, giving a figure of $14tn for Europe and $33tn for the US.

Capital markets activity

Debt capital markets

All of our data for debt issuance volumes (investment grade corporate bonds, high-yield bonds, syndicated loans and leveraged loans) comes from Dealogic.


Data on the value of securitisation issuance came from Sifma.

Equity capital markets

All of our data for equity issuance volumes (initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, and convertible bonds) comes from Dealogic.

M&A activity

All of our data for M&A activity comes from Dealogic.

Private equity activity

Our data for private equity activity comes from Preqin.

Venture capital activity

Our data for venture capital investment activity comes from Preqin.


Equities trading

Data on trading volumes in Europe and the US comes from Fidessa.


Measuring up

We calculated the value and level of activity in 23 different sectors of the capital markets for each country on a rolling five year basis as a percentage of GDP. This irons out the annual volatility in capital markets and adjusts volumes in different countries for the size of their economy. We included data for the US market for reference.

We then rebased all of these numbers to 100 as the European average over the past five years to provide a consistent guide to the relative depth of markets across Europe and between different markets. Countries with a score above 100 have more developed capital markets than the European average, while countries with scores of less than 100 have less-developed capital markets.

We expressed all historical data on the same base (in which 100 equals the European average over the five years to 2014). This enabled us to show the relative and absolute changes in different markets over time.

We aggregated all 23 metrics to provide a score for the overall depth of capital markets for each country in Europe. In each market, for countries with a score of less than 100, we calculated what the impact would have been over the past five years if instead their market had been as deep as the European average of 100 (for example, a country with a score of 50 for IPOs would need the value of IPOs to double to reach the European average).

From this, we calculated the overall growth potential in different sectors and different countries across Europe. We expressed this growth in absolute terms but also as a percentage of GDP to account for the wide variation  in size between different economies.

For example, Italian companies could have raised an additional $30bn a year over the past five years if Italian capital markets had been as deep as the European average. That is the equivalent of about 1.5% of GDP per year. Companies in Romania could have raised an extra $7bn a year on the same basis – but this smaller sum adds up to more than 4% of GDP.





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