Investors are on a treasure hunt for returns but there have been all too few big finds on stock markets lately and the jury is still out on whether a rally will present itself over summer.
So why are managers so seemingly unwilling to tap into all the new issues hitting the markets. And where does that leave companies wanting to list?
"Managers remain very discerning but the pricing is becoming more compelling as the market stagnates," said Peter Toogood, Investment Director at City Financial Investment Company.
Despite more value being left on the table for fresh investors, few managers are getting involved in a big way with some IPOs barely raising a flicker of interest.
"It's about one in 10 new issues that are taken up by managers," said Toogood.
Others disagree and believe we are witnessing a window of opportunity.
"IPO demand is very robust now," said Gareth McCartney, Head of EMEA Equity Syndicate at UBS. He argued "post-Easter, $6.5 billion has been raised in EMEA via 19 transactions - this implies that the window is open."
The Nasdaq noted a frustrating pattern earlier this year where companies were showing plenty of interest in listing but were not willing to pull the trigger, given the market uncertainty.
Adam Kostyál, Senior Vice President, Global Listing Services EMEA for Nasdaq described an improving picture.
"While IPO activity has been slower this year, we are seeing a continued interest building up for the second half and 2017," he said.
Kostyál added last week Nasdaq had five US listings and in Europe there will be six new listings this week.
"This is solid momentum for the listings environment given the current state of the market."
But is this another false dawn for IPOs thanks to the Brexit risk around the June 23rd referendum on EU membership, the potential for an interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve in June or July and Spanish Elections on the radar?
"We are in the midst of a post-Easter sweet spot for issuance ahead of the major event risk upcoming in the second half of June. Investor appetite for liquidity events is good and we have enjoyed a prolonged period of lower volatility with the VIX Index below 20," said McCartney.
Managers want decent returns but risk appetite remains low. Hotel Chocolat gave investors an impressive bounce, up a heady 40 percent since its IPO in early May. Transaction details though reveal some initial buyers may have taken the quick sugar hit and sold out, with a hefty churn on debut.
Other listings in late May, French furniture group Maisons du Monde and Philips Lighting have produced smaller returns of less than 10-percent. The gong will ring for Dong Energy this week in Copenhagen as the Danish government-controlled utility also turns to stock investors. Timing has been a challenge for Dong Energy, scrapping three other attempts to have its name up in lights in 2006 to 2008 due to market turmoil and other problems.
Nasdaq sees some key trends in sector IPO's.
"Our Nordic and U.S. listings pipeline will be driven by healthcare and technology companies. We have seen several biotechnology and enterprise storage or software companies file applications, for example. Financials and consumer brands will be strong as well," said Kostyál.
Few would say this is a dream market to list in but maybe it is as good as it gets in an environment dogged by malaise. Gareth McCartney said companies should not delay listings.
"The pipeline is active and the market is open," he said.
But what exactly are investors seeking when it comes to IPOs?
"Two factors resonate strongly in the current environment - demonstrable structural growth and dividend yield. In addition there is demand for stocks which give investors equity stories either not available in the secondary market," said McCartney.
Perhaps treasure hunt tactics are worthy of adoption, run quickly and search in unusual places for a decent prize.
Karen Tso is an anchor on Squawk Box Europe, CNBC and you can follow her on Twitter @cnbckaren.
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