The IPO market has witnessed a decline this year in the number of small IPOs, as investors have been less willing to take on the risk associated with less-mature companies. The London-based markets, which raised $23.5 billion in the first half of 2007 from 42 IPOs, registered a decline in proceeds to $6.6 billion from 13 IPOs in the first half of 2008. The Middle East region has shown some resilience as a result of liquidity created on the back of higher oil prices, says Phil Gandier, head of transaction advisory services for Ernst & Young Middle East. Despite the slowdown in global IPO volume in the first half, the pipeline for future offerings remains strong, with several deals of $1 billion and larger planned, Renaissance Capital says. Achieving global IPO prominence for the first time, Brazil became the third-largest IPO market in the world in 2007, according to Ernst & Young.