Thai and Philippine firms lead revival in S-E Asia IPOs

SINGAPORE/BANGKOK • Thailand and Philippine companies are leading a regional pick-up in initial public offerings (IPOs), spurred by growing investor interest in firms focused on Southeast Asian consumers.

Asset World Corporation, the hospitality and property firm listed by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, and Philippine home furnishing retailer AllHome Corp, start trading today after raising US$1.6 billion (S$2.2 billion) and US$285 million, respectively.

Asset World Corporation was the largest IPO by a Thai firm, while AllHome was the Philippines' biggest in three years.

Singapore still leads on overall first-time share sales in Southeast Asia this year, but it has achieved this mainly through offerings of real estate and business trusts.

In Thailand, 11 companies raised a total of US$1.9 billion from January to last Friday, compared with five firms raising less than US$100 million in the same period a year ago, Refinitiv data showed. In the Philippines, Allhome is the third firm to tap the local market this year, compared to just one IPO last year.

"We expect Thailand to be one of the stronger IPO markets in 2020," said Mr Ho Cheun Hon, head of South-east Asia equity capital markets at Credit Suisse.

Half of Asset World Corporation's shares were subscribed by 13 cornerstone investors, including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, which put in about US$300 million.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2019, with the headline 'Thai and Philippine firms lead revival in S-E Asia IPOs'. Print Edition | Subscribe