Singapore firms raise $1.1b on capital markets

PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

IPOs are the main drivers behind Q1 boost, with real estate sector taking up 92.3% market share

Local companies have raised US$816.9 million (S$1.1 billion) on capital markets so far this year - the strongest start since 2013.

The increase is being driven largely by initial public offerings (IPOs) on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and foreign stock markets.

The four IPOs this year have raised US$344.4 million, almost six times that raised by the three listings last year.

Sasseur Reit, the latest candidate looking to list here, is a real estate investment trust that offers exposure to Chinese outlet malls.

It launched a US$300.7 million IPO this month - the biggest Singapore equity offering so far this year, said Thomson Reuters yesterday.

Across all sectors, capital raisings in the real estate industry accounted for most of the activity in terms of proceeds, with a 92.3 per cent market share.

The sector has raised US$753.7 million this year, up 48.5 per cent from the first quarter of 2017.

Thomson Reuters said growth was driven by Reits and business trust issuance such as Sasseur's IPO, and follow-on offerings from Frasers Commercial Trust (US$76.5 million) and Ascendas India Trust (US$75.7 million).

The consumer products and services sector,the second-largest contributor, accounted for just 4 per cent, raising about US$32.8 million this year, a significant increase from last year.

Fees for the underwriting of equity deals issued by Singapore-owned companies have hit US$12.1 million so far this year, up 5.8 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Singapore-listed equity offerings, which consist of IPOs and follow-on offerings, have totalled US$1.5 billion so far this year, more than double the proceeds in the first quarter of 2017.

Follow-on offerings have collected US$1.2 billion , making it the the strongest start to a year for Singapore-listed equity offerings since 2013.

Among these offerings, South Korean messaging app operator Kakao was the biggest, raising US$1 billion from the sale of global depository receipts, while IPOs raised US$315.6 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore firms raise $1.1b on capital markets'. Print Edition | Subscribe