The 7 Biggest IPOs Ever

Curious what the biggest IPOs in history are? The moment when a company makes its public debut on the stock market is called an initial public offering, or IPO for short. For many organizations this step is the final result of months or years of hard work, which can significantly boost revenue in just a matter of hours.

We would like to present you with a list we have compiled of the 7 biggest IPOs in history, in a style similar to our coverage of the world’s most valuable brands. Let’s take a look at the countdown.

No. 7:  – November 17, 1996


When Deutsche Telekom AG, a German telecommunications empire, issued its IPO in the autumn of ’96, it was going to be a historical moment for the European stock market. The 713 million shares released by Deutsche Telekom would raise $12.48 billion by the end of the day.

See the rest of the world’s biggest IPOs on the following pages:

No. 6: General Motors – November 19, 2010

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)

Following the devastating effects of the most recent financial crisis, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) found itself filing for bankruptcy in June of 2009. Financial aid from the US Treasury helped the company get back on its feet, and by November of the following year, General Motors was ready to make its “new” debut on the stock market. In one day, the company raised $15.8 billion, helping it pay half of the loan it had received.

No. 5: Enel SpA – November 2, 1999


If you haven’t heard of Enel SpA by now, you should know that it provides electricity to over 60 million people stretching across four continents. When this Italian company made its debut on the market, approximately 31% of its shares were sold for a mind-blowing $16.58 billion.

No. 4: Visa – March 18, 2008

Visa Inc (NYSE:V)

It would take more than 3 decades for the American based credit card company to make its public debut. But when it finally did in 2008, the windfall was huge. Even though the financial crisis was still going strong when Visa Inc (NYSE:V) made its IPO, the company managed to raise $17.9 billion in capital by the end of the stock market day.

No. 3: NTT Mobile Communications Network – October 12, 1998

NTT Docomo Inc (ADR) (NYSE:DCM)

NTT Mobile Communications Network made its public debut on the Asian market, the Nikkei 225. In just one short day, the company amassed a staggering $18.4 billion, making it the biggest IPO at the time.

No. 2: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – October 20, 2006

Industrial and commercial bank of china

When the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) made its public debut on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets, it managed to generate an impressive $19. 1 billion. ICBC’s recipe for success? Instead of releasing few shares at a higher price, the Chinese bank created almost 50 billion shares, which were sold for only 39 cents each.

No. 1: The Agricultural Bank of China – July 6, 2010


Although it originated as a rather small bank designed for farmers, the Agricultural Bank of China hit it off when it decided to go public. It just one single day, the organization raised a whopping $19.2 billion, making the biggest IPO in history.