BAM gears up for major IPO

BAM gears up for major IPO

Country's biggest distressed asset manager seeks to raise up to B22bn, BoT stake to be halved

People visit the Bangkok Commercial Asset Management (BAM) booth at Money Expo 2019 in Bangkok in May. (Post file photo)
People visit the Bangkok Commercial Asset Management (BAM) booth at Money Expo 2019 in Bangkok in May. (Post file photo)

The Bank of Thailand will own less than half of Bangkok Commercial Asset Management (BAM) if the country’s biggest distressed asset manager sells all 1.77 billion shares in its long-anticipated initial public offering.

BAM aims to dispose of as much as 54.4% of its enlarged capital, it said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The timing of the share sale and listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand was not specified.

The BoT, which owns almost the entire company, will offer as many as 1.48 billion existing shares, while the remainder will be new stock. The central bank’s holding would fall to as low as 45.6%, BAM said.

BAM earned a net profit of 3.25 billion baht in the first quarter of this year, compared with 699 million in the same period a year earlier, according to the statement.

The company has been planning an IPO that could raise at least 22 billion baht, Bloomberg reported last November, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

BAM was incorporated in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis to manage the distressed assets of the now-defunct Bangkok Bank of Commerce, which collapsed as a result of reckless lending and corruption involving its executives as well as politicians.

BAM later expanded its role to purchasing bad loans from other financial institutions to manage. It is wholly owned by the Financial Institutions Development Fund, the bailout entity set up by the central bank in 1998.

BAM first began talking about listing on the SET in 2010 but had to delay the plan in order to address problems with accounting compliance.

Changes in accounting criteria required it to rearrange financial statements dating back several years, which proved to be quite time-consuming.

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