Southeast Asia’s IPO market is ‘still hot’ — and Thailand appears to be leading the way


Signage for the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is displayed outside the bourse in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.
Taylor Weidman | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Thailand could see a record number of IPOs this year, says Dealogic’s Ken Fong.

Data shows it’s been a standout in Southeast Asia’s public listing space.

“Thailand is doing really well. It continues the good trend from last year,” said Fong, head of equity capital market research for Asia-Pacific at Dealogic.

The deals so far this year have totaled $2.92 billion in value, according to Dealogic data.

With no reason for the current trend to stop, Thailand’s IPO space now appears “on track to have a record year,” the analyst added.

The Southeast Asian country usually sees about 30 public listings each year, and data showed most usually come in the latter half of the year, he told CNBC in a call. “Roughly 70-80% of the activity comes from Q4 and Q3 every year.”

So far this year, Thailand has seen 14 listings — about half the annual level, Dealogic data showed. The amount raised by this year’s IPOs has already surpassed the annual full year average of $2.8 billion, according to Fong.

Elsewhere in the region, the Philippines has also seen a relatively strong performance in its IPO market, following the debut of food and beverage firm Monde Nissin — described by Fong as the “largest” public listing on record in the country.

In Malaysia and Singapore, however, the listing scene has been “rather quiet,” he added.

‘Very high one-day pop’ for some IPOs

Covid-19 has ravaged through much of Southeast Asia as their respective governments struggle to obtain sufficient vaccines to inoculate their citizens.

But the impact of the resurgence of the pandemic is “not really visible” in the IPO space, Fong said.

“From our data I do not really see that Southeast Asia is too weak. We look at the aftermarket performance and actually most of the countries have a very high one-day pop,” he said referring to a strong debut on the first day.

Fong cited two IPOs in Thailand as examples.

PTT Oil and Retail Business went public in February and gained about 62.5% on the first day of trading. Thai insurance broker Ngern Tid Lor also jumped about 25% from the IPO price on its debut day.

Both companies were among three that listed in Southeast Asia this year that have been valued at more than $1 billion each, he added.

At a time when the market is “still hot,” Fong said, “these mega IPOs just help encourage other … companies to list.”

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