S'pore firms raise $6.9b in equity so far this year

PHOTOS: FRASERS LOGISTICS, MANULIFE US REIT, BOC AVIATION

This has been a boom year for equity capital markets with a huge increase in the amounts raised by Singapore-based companies.

Firms here have accrued US$4.8 billion (S$6.9 billion) so far this year, a 72.7 per cent increase from what was raised in all of last year.

Proceeds in 2015 amounted to US$2.8 billion.

But activity slowed in the fourth quarter, with just US$465 million raised from October to Dec 13, according to Thomson Reuters after US$2.5 billion was collected in the second quarter and US$1.5 billion in the third.

Initial public offerings (IPO) accounted for 56.6 per cent of activity in terms of proceeds. Total IPO issuance from local companies - in domestic and overseas stock exchanges - raised US$2.7 billion, making it the strongest year for IPO proceeds since 2013 and after a quieter 2015. About US$5 billion in IPO proceeds was raised in 2013.

The notable IPOs this year included Singapore-based BOC Aviation, which tapped the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to raise US$1.1 billion in June.

Later that month, Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust debuted on the Singapore Exchange and raised US$951.3 million, the biggest IPO listed here since 2013.

Manulife US Reit was the second-largest IPO on the Singapore bourse, accruing US$493.2 million. This was the Reit's second listing attempt, after last year's plans were put off due to volatile market conditions.

    • NOTABLE IPOS THIS YEAR

    • US$951.3m
      Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust (above) debuted on the Singapore Exchange in June, the biggest IPO listed in Singapore since 2013.

    • US$493.2m

      Manulife US Reit was the second-largest IPO on the Singapore bourse. This was the Reit's second listing attempt, after 2015's plans were put off due to volatile market conditions.

    • US$1.1b
      Singapore-based BOC Aviation tapped the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to raise US$1.1 billion in June.

The debt capital markets gave a more mixed picture.

Primary bond offerings from Singapore-domiciled firms in the local and offshore markets reached US$24.7 billion as at Dec 14, a 19.6 per cent increase from 2015, said Thomson Reuters.

But the Singdollar bond market has run out of steam.

Singapore-dollar denominated bonds generated $1.9 billion in proceeds in this quarter, a 40.3 per cent decline from the preceding three months and down 60.5 per cent from last year.

This brings Singdollar bond market proceeds to $17.5 billion so far this year, an 18.5 per cent decline in proceeds from last year, and the lowest since 2009 when $11.6 billion was raised.

The Housing Board (HDB) has been the most active bond issuer in the Singdollar bond market this year. It issued a seven-year bond to raise $1 billion in January - the largest issuance this year.

HDB repeatedly returned to the local market and generated a cumulative total of least $5.3 billion from seven bond offerings this year compared with only one in 2015.

The largest corporate bond offering came from United Overseas Bank, which issued a $750 million perpetual bond in May.

Overall, the financial sector has accounted for 40.6 per cent of the Singdollar bond market so far this year, raising $7.1 billion. Government and agency issuers have accounted for 31.6 per cent of all issuances, while real estate has taken a 11.8 per cent market share.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore firms raise $6.9b in equity so far this year'. Print Edition | Subscribe