Malaysia's IOI property shares up 28 per cent in debut

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Shares of Malaysian conglomerate IOI Corp.'s property business rose 27.9 per cent on their stock market debut on Wednesday after the palm-oil producer raised 1.87 billion ringgit (S$723 million) by spinning of the unit.

IOI Properties Group Bhd shares opened 3.21 ringgit, up from their 2.51 ringgit offer price, with IOI Properties Group one of the top property stocks on the Malaysian bourse.

IOI has said it will use the proceeds from its listing for debt settlement and future expansion.

IOI owns large tracts of land in Malaysia, including in the huge Iskandar economic zone in the country's south near the border with Singapore.

It also has new residential and commercial projects under way in Singapore and China.

Malaysia, South-east Asia's third-largest economy, has seen a flurry of big listings in the last two years.

In 2012, palm oil giant Felda Global Ventures raised US$3.25 billion and helped Malaysia's stock market become the world's fifth-largest for IPOs that year.

The bullishness tapered last year as uncertainty surrounded elections in May, where the country's long-ruling coalition suffered its worst ever result but still managed to fend off a resurgent opposition.

In November, UMW Oil and Gas Corp raised US$740 million in Malaysia's largest IPO in 2013.

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