IPOs active despite outbreak

IPOs active despite outbreak

Thailand's initial public offerings (IPO) remain active despite the pandemic and the country's poor economy.

Year-to-date, the IPO market capitalisation amounted to 477 billion baht, a record. However, the offering size of 149 billion baht is still below the top mark set in 2013 when the value topped 197 billion.

Over the last nine months, there have been 17 IPOs, including seven IPOs on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and eight on the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), with one infrastructure fund and one property/REIT fund.

Central Retail's IPO was the only one offered before the outbreak. Fourteen deals had been clumped together in nearly five months starting from June.

There are 24 deals pending the SET's consideration for potential IPOs in the future, including 15 for the SET and nine for MAI. Three for real estate investment trusts (REIT) have also applied.

Manpong Senanarong, head of the issuer and listing division of the SET, said business opportunities can appear no matter how economies are.

Moreover, the fourth quarter is normally the high season for IPOs, he said.

"Needs for fundraising to expand businesses still exist. Many companies are still busy studying IPO plans even during the period of social distancing and quarantine," Mr Manpong said.

"The valuation and offering prices may differ depending on the market situation at the placement period. Sometimes, an opportunity cannot wait."

He said the three key factors that determine successful IPOs are sufficient data, reasonable objective of funding and market conditions.

"The SET falling because of the impact of the pandemic does not affect IPOs. Our secondary market remains active, and investors are still looking for a good investment and return," said Mr Manpong.

Most IPOs this year are related to new lifestyles such as gaming, medical gloves, automation technology, food tech, and packaging, he said.

Kongkiat Opaswongkarn, chief executive of Asset Plus Securities (ASP), said IPOs this year are mostly medium-sized.

"Companies that dare raise funds in this environment must have strengths that appeal to investors," he said.

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