IPO fundraising set for 4-year high

IPO fundraising set for 4-year high

Thai companies are likely to raise the most money from initial public offerings in four years in 2019 as the formation of the nation’s first democratic government since the 2014 military coup has encouraged domestic firms to tap equity markets.

Companies have raised 80 billion baht this year on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the Market for Alternative Investment, its second-tier board, according data on the bourse’s website.

The full-year IPO amount will probably reach more than 110 billion baht, the most since 2015, as state-owned Bangkok Commercial Asset Management Plc is seeking at least 32 billion baht in an initial offering this month, stock-exchange data showed.

Billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the nation’s richest person, and the Bhirombhakdi family, which owns Thailand’s most-popular beer, have listed hotel and property development units this quarter to finance their expansion.

The drop in those units’ share prices since their listings may affect investors’ sentiment on new offerings. This year’s Thai IPOs have fallen 13% on average, compared with a mean 4% increase last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

"The momentum of IPOs may carry forward into 2020 as there have been a number of major companies expressing their desire to list," Manpong Senanarong, the head of the stock exchange’s Issuer Marketing Division, said by phone. "Still, there is some uncertainty on the fragility of the global economy and the volatility of the financial markets."

Charoen’s Asset World Corp and the the Bhirombhakdi family’s S Hotels & Resorts Plc have dropped 5.8% and 23%, respectively, from their offer prices. The benchmark SET index has slid 2% this quarter as international investors pulled $266 million from the local bourse, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Listings that are expected to take place next year include Siam Cement’s float of its SCG Packaging unit and the IPO of Central Group’s retail arm that could raise around $2 billion.

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