January 24, 2019 / 2:05 PM / a month ago

US shutdown "extremely negative" for IPO market-Morgan Stanley CEO

Jan 24 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said on Thursday it would be extremely negative for the initial public offering market if the United States government shutdown goes on much longer.

“This is not the way the U.S. should be working,” Gorman said, speaking in a CNBC interview at Davos, adding, “I truly hope the leadership of both sides come to some way resolving what seems to be a relatively straightforward problem.”

Gorman became the latest Wall Street executive to call on Washington to end the shutdown by finding a middle ground on President Donald Trump’s demand for money to build a wall along the border shared with Mexico.

The shutdown has left 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay, affected market sentiment and impacted companies seeking to list themselves in the U.S.

Skeletal staffing at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has nearly extinguished the pipeline of IPOs expected in early January, since companies typically rely on the SEC to approve their IPO following a review of their prospectus to investors before going ahead with a public listing.

Some are considering workarounds, such as going ahead with their IPO registrations without waiting for SEC approval, or seeking direct listings, both of which carry associated risks, especially of alienating investors.

Gorman, whose investment bankers are expected to underwrite Uber’s IPO this year, said the shutdown not only impacts the IPO market, but also the momentum in the economy.

When asked what the solution to the “straightforward problem” was, Gorman said, “I’d recognise we have a wall - it’s 500 miles long and it has been sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans for a very long time. If there were some sensible additions to be made to that wall to improve border security, let’s make them.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO David Solomon told CNBC at Davos that a combination of things not going the right way, including the government shutdown, the 90-day trade deadline, and Brexit negotiations, will have an impact on financial markets, and slow down the U.S. economy.

Solomon, however, added that the chances of a recession in 2019 are still “relatively low”.

Earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon also urged the Republican and Democratic leaderships to end the shutdown, saying it could, along with geopolitical issues and Brexit tensions, cause a “slowdown or recession” in the U.S. economy. (Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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