NEW YORK ( TheStreet --The IPO market got off to a strong start in 2011 in terms of deal flow, but the European financial crisis kicked in over the summer and put a stop to the offerings. According to Renaissance Capital, more than 60% of the 125 deals that debuted went public in the first half of the year as the final six months saw many companies postpone or cancel their offerings.
From a performance standpoint, 2011 was a disappointment with the average IPO down 12% from its pricing level, and only one third of the year's newly public companies trading in positive territory through Thursday's close. Chinese IPOs especially suffered in 2011 with the whole sector taking a hit as fraud allegations and accounting irregularities at certain companies tainted Wall Street's view of the whole group. Deal activity from the region slowed this year with only 12 China-based companies debuting with U.S. listings vs. 40 offerings in 2010. Performance was poor as well with the average China-based IPO down 48% in 2011. In fact, three of the five worst-performing IPOs of 2011 were companies based in China -- China Century Dragon Media ( CCDM.PK), Tibet Pharmaceuticals ( TBET) and Imperial Holdings ( IFT). Rounding out the five worst performers are FriendFinder ( FFN), which billed itself as a dating site, but most saw as something a bit more smarmy, and Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), which reported flat year-over-year sales of just $59,000 in the third quarter and suffered a regulatory setback.