Bursa: Malaysia on track to see more IPOs this year

By IZZAT RATNA

Bursa Malaysia Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan is optimistic Malaysia will record a higher number of initial public offerings (IPOs) this year, on the back of improved market sentiment and microeconomic conditions.

Tajuddin said as at the first-quarter of 2017 (1Q17), the country saw improved market sentiment due to stronger economic fundamentals.

“Our gross domestic product (GDP) recorded a solid performance of 5.6% in 1Q17 and is projected to stabilise at 5% by year-end,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd’s (Kenanga IB) KenTrade Trading Challenge launching ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“Company earnings are much better this year compared to 2016 and confidence has returned to the market, coupled with the ringgit being the strongest performing currency in the region,” he said.

“If you stack all these factors up, the companies who delayed their listing exercises last year are also coming back in 2017, along with several new ones,” he added.

Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd this week raised some RM4 billion from its IPO after pricing its shares at RM6.50 apiece.

The listing of the largest integrated producer of olefins and polyolefins in Malaysia will nevertheless be the largest IPO in Malaysia since 2012.

Subsequently, Advancecon Holdings Bhd’s IPO has been well received by investors — with the public portion of the offering oversubscribed by 10.28 times for the 30 million shares offered.

The Main Market-bound earthworks and civil engineering service specialist has priced its shares at 63 sen per share.

Tajuddin said Bursa Malaysia also expects more secondary listings this year.

In 2016, the market saw about 11 IPOs raising a paltry RM919.34 million, compared to 2015 which saw eight IPOs raising RM3.2 billion.

Tajuddin also noted the increasing number of foreign investors in the first-half of 2017.

“The foreign funds are not just from China, but from a lot of other key sectors that have not exited our market.

“However, I am unable to divulge further information and figures regarding this matter. We expect to release a report at the end of this month to reveal further details and figures on the foreign capital,” he added.

Foreign funds have remained net buyers of Malaysian stocks in the tune of RM215.8 million in the open market last week, compared to RM223.7 million accumulated the week before.

Total net foreign purchases year-to-date amount to RM10.14 billion.

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