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Blockbuster IPOs dominate in 2021 to prosper Southeast Asia exchanges

Capital markets across Southeast Asia recorded robust initial public offering (IPO) activity for the first 10.5 months in 2021.

Data by Deloitte as of 15 November 2021 showed that companies in Southeast Asia raised a record of US$9.8 billion from 121 IPOs this year, out-performing the full calendar year 2020. The momentum in IPO activity continues to grow even as the region is still battling the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of IPOs up by 6%, total funds raised rose by 39% and the total IPO market capitalisation grew by 24% compared to the 12 months of last year. This translates to a US$ 2.8 billion increase in total IPO proceeds and increase in market capitalization to US$ 36.1 billion in 2021.

Thailand remains the leader for raising the highest funds from IPOs in Southeast Asia for the third consecutive year, ahead of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. A stable economy, strong currency, low interest rates and consistently strong domestic liquidity contributed to the Thai bourse raising US$4.2 billion in IPO proceeds, representing 43% of total funds raised in 2021. PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company took the top spot on the region’s leader board this year with US$1.8 billion funds raised. The Thai exchange has raised more than US$4 billion for a second consecutive year.

“IPOs continue to be a major growth driver for the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). This year’s IPOs are diverse, from oil groups to telecommunications, retailers and commercial banks, thus appealing to a wide range of investors. We expect at least 10 more IPOs in Thailand to top off an already stellar IPO year, and based on the performance of the newly listed tech companies on the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), we should see more digital and tech companies going public in Thailand, a departure from the usual traditional companies,” said Ms Wilasinee Krishnamra, Disruptive Events Advisory Leader, Deloitte Thailand.

In the Philippines, following the first-ever REIT listing of AREIT, Inc. in 2020, the bourse saw four mega REIT listings this year which raised a total of US$1.8 billion. Together with the largest-ever listing by Monde Nissin Corporation which raised US$1 billion, Philippines raised more funds in 2021 than in the last four years combined.

Indonesia scored the biggest boost from the listing of PT Bukalapak.com Tbk which raised US$1.5 billion, the second largest listing in Southeast Asia this year. Indonesia topped the charts for the region with 40 listings in the first 10.5 months of 2021 compared to 51 listings as at end 2020. Overall, the Indonesia Stock Exchange achieved a total fund raising of US$2.3 billion for the first 10.5 months of 2021, registering a six-fold growth from US$377 million raised in 2020. Ms Imelda Orbito, Disruptive Events Advisory Leader, Deloitte Indonesia commented, “With the news of the government’s privatisation plan to list 14 state-owned companies, the commitment to promote fundraising alternatives for growing small and medium enterprises through the Acceleration Board and the widely-anticipated mega tech listings from the emerging tech scene in Southeast Asia, we foresee that this is just the cusp of a new era of listings.”

Malaysia saw the number of IPOs going back to pre-COVID levels, driven by cornerstone investors, coupled with an abundance of uninvested capital. With rising vaccination rates in the country, there is a growing number of technology-based startups and companies looking to increase their presence and capacity to tap the capital markets. “Malaysia’s IPO market has remained vibrant with 24 IPO listings to date. With the introduction of the Third Capital Market Masterplan by SC Malaysia, digitalisation of operations, and overall recovery of the economy from Covid-19, we are optimistic more companies will be listed in 2022. As we keep an eye on the macroeconomic impact of fiscal and regulatory policies, including sustainability reporting, on global markets, we expect 2022 to be a busy year,” said Mr Wong Kar Choon, Disruptive Events Advisory Leader, Deloitte Malaysia.

IPOs were scarce in Singapore in the first 10.5 months of this year due to the absence of REITs that typically support the IPO capital market. As at 15 November 2021, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) raised a total of US$270 million in IPO proceeds from 5 IPO deals. This comprises one IPO on the SGX Mainboard with US$233 million funds raised and four deals on the Catalist board that raised US$37 million. In comparison, the exchange raised US$968 million in proceeds from 11 IPO deals in 2020. There are still bright spots for Singapore. With the registration and lodgement of REIT IPOs by Daiwa House Logistics Trust and Digital Core REIT on 19 and 22 November 2021, respectively, the next 1.5 months will be the highlight for Singapore’s capital markets. It is hoped that the new framework on Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPAC”) listings introduced in September 2021, will help Singapore’s capital market bounce back from this dry IPO spell to outperform last year.

Ms Tay Hwee Ling, Disruptive Events Advisory Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia and Singapore on the capital markets: “By enhancing secondary listing rules and introducing the SPAC framework, listing aspirants in Southeast Asia with familiar local names have more options and can list closer to home. The emergence of more IPOs from Southeast Asia will trigger a positive effect and help increase the dynamics of Singapore as an international capital market that provides listing aspirants with a growth platform.”

“High-growth enterprises can also tap on the Anchor Fund, a new co-investment fund by the Singapore Government and Temasek, for capital in their public fundraising in Singapore’s equity market. With a holistic ecosystem in place that supports companies to IPO, enabling them to tap on the capital market in a shorter timeframe, thus expediting SGX listings, I look forward to seeing more listing activities in Singapore.”

On the outlook for the remaining year and 2022, Ms Tay believes there is still a supply of listings to the end of the year and looks forward to Southeast Asia crossing the US$10 billion mark, and surpassing the total funds raised in each of the last five years, as the region emerges from the COVID crisis.

“All eyes are on the region now, with abundant liquidity evident in the numerous blockbuster listings in Southeast Asia, the buzz around SPACs and the potential of New Economy companies yet to reach its peak. Amidst the volatility in the capital markets, companies have learnt to be resilient with pandemic-related challenges. With the growth potential and untapped opportunities in Southeast Asia, I am bullish about what the region’s capital markets can achieve in 2022 with the diverse sources of investment capital and growing interest by sovereign wealth funds in Asian businesses,” said Ms Tay.

Note to editors and reporters: All data is accurate as of 15 November 2021 and does not include upcoming IPOs from 16 November to 31 December 2021.

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