Southeast Asia IPOs regain some lustre with strong Westports pricing
REUTERS - Westports Holdings, the operator of Malaysia's busiest port, priced its IPO at the top of its projected range to raise US$680 million (S$853.6 million), signalling a boost for Southeast Asia's capital markets on pent-up demand for emerging market stocks.
Sources said foreign and domestic funds jostled to bid for Westports, which is partially owned by Asia's richest man Li Ka-Shing, taking advantage of the US Federal Reserve's unexpected decision not to withdraw stimulus.
The result bodes well for an up to US$730 million IPO by UMW Oil & Gas Corp in October, which is set to be Malaysia's biggest listing of the year and could give other firms in Malaysia and Southeast Asia the confidence to push ahead with listing plans.
"Issuers in Southeast Asia are taking advantage of this new window as a result of the Fed's surprise decision to not taper - free liquidity reigns and this has been a shot of adrenaline in the arm for emerging market risk appetite," said James Fleming, co-head of Asia Pacific global capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong.