CK Power pulls plug on IPO over volatility

Unfavourable market brings postponement

CK Power (CKP), a power development arm of the construction firm Ch. Karnchang Plc, has emerged as the first company this year to put off plans for an initial public offering after a wild swing in the Thai stock market.

CKP has decided to postpone indefinitely its planned IPO, previously set for this month.

Had it proceeded with the plan, CKP would have been the first Thai holding company whose main business is abroad to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

"The Thai stock market has been highly volatile during the past several weeks and is yet to regain its normal conditions," Kongkiat Opaswongkarn, chief executive of Asia Plus Securities, said in a release.

"Despite the unchanged fundamentals of CKP, unfavourable market conditions have occurred thanks to uncontrollable external factors. As a result, lead underwriters of CKP have advised that the previous IPO schedule is not optimally timed and decided to postpone the schedule until a better time can be determined for the offering to achieve the best possible result and maximum benefit to all investors."

Asia Plus Securities serves as one of CKP's underwriters. Others are Bualuang Securities, KT Zmico Securities and SCB Securities.

The Thai stock market has plunged by 12% from the year's peak of 1,643.43 at the market close on May 21 on signs that the US Federal Reserve is prepared to scale down its stimulus scheme.

Nok Air is the most recent company to raise funds through the Thai stock market. The stock, debuting on the SET on June 20, closed at 26.50, above its IPO price of 26 baht each.

The firm had set the IPO price near the bottom end of its indicative price of 25-28 to ensure a successful performance on the first day of trading.

CKP is a holding company with a 56% stake in South East Asia Energy, which owns a 75% stake in the Nam Ngum 2 hydropower plant in Laos.

The company also owns substantial stakes in three solar power plants and a cogeneration power plant in Thailand.

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