The internet search engine company has never confirmed that it will float on New York’s Nasdaq market. However, speculation has been rife for months that the group will launch an initial public offering (IPO) in the spring, valuing the internet giant at up to $20 billion (£11 billion).

The Times has learnt that Google’s management, headed by Eric Schmidt, the chairman and chief executive, has grown wary about the timing of a float because market conditions are not right. He told business leaders gathered at the private meetings that Google had no urgent need to tap the stock market for capital because the company’s cash position was extremely strong. However, in a surprise move, the Google chief added: “An IPO is not on my agenda right now.”