Malaysia's IOI plans $5.2 billion IPO for its property arm

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysian palm-oil producer IOI Corp. has said it plans an IPO for its property arm worth more than 12.6 billion ringgit (S$5.2 billion), in what would be among the world's largest listings this year.

Malaysia's fourth-largest listed palm oil producer by acreage said late on Tuesday the initial public offering would see it spin off its property assets in a new entity called IOI Properties Group.

The announcement is the latest to indicate another potentially active year for IPOs on Malaysia's stock exchange.

AirAsia X - the long-haul arm of successful budget carrier AirAsia - plans to raise up to US$300 million in a listing possibly as early as July, a source close to the matter told AFP.

Sources with container port operator Westports and developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings also have told AFP they are mulling IPOs for later this year, but declined to give further details.

Power-generator Ranhill Energy and Resources lodged a draft IPO prospectus with securities regulators earlier this year but no further announcements have been made.

Malaysia had several large listings in 2012, eclipsing busier regional markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong to become the biggest IPO market in South-east Asia for the year.

But activity subsequently went into a lull due to uncertainty over national elections that took place on May 5.

But the Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled Malaysia for 56 years was once again returned to power, causing the stock market to soar on expectations of policy continuity.

Last year, palm oil giant Felda Global Ventures raised US$3.25 billion in its public listing, while Asia's largest hospital operator, IHH Healthcare, raised US$2 billion in a dual listing in Malaysia and Singapore.

IOI said it will use the proceeds from the IPO, targeted for December, for debt settlement and future expansion.

IOI Properties owns large tracks of land in mostly Malaysia, including in the Iskandar economic zone now under development in the country's south, near the border with Singapore.

Brazilian insurance firm BB Seguridade raised US$5.7 billion in late April in the biggest IPO so far this year.

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