Philippines set to take rare, top spot for IPOs in Southeast Asia (CNA)

This file photo shows Manila’s financial district.
Source: CNA/AFP/Jay Directo

A clutch of Philippine firms, including newly launched real estate investment trusts (REITs), could make the country Southeast Asia’s biggest IPO market this year, driven by attractive valuations and a recovering economy.

Investors and bankers say consumer retailers and REITs are lining up record fundraisings that could top US$4 billion in 2021, more than the combined tally of the last seven years, according to Refinitiv data.

Across the rest of the region, only a $2 billion Singapore IPO by a subsidiary of Thai Beverage, smaller floats in Indonesia and insurance IPOs in Thailand, are among those lining up for launches this year.

“We see a confluence of abundant liquidity, recovering macro fundamentals and relative valuation attractiveness contributing to the positive investor sentiment towards Southeast Asia IPOs,” said Martin Siah, Southeast Asia head of corporate and investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“The strength in global capital markets has made it very attractive for quality Philippine issuers who have been timing their eventual IPOs.”

A $1.5 billion float by Singapore sovereign fund GIC-backed Monde Nissin, the company behind the iconic local instant noodle brand Lucky Me! and meat alternative Quorn, is set to be the biggest local IPO, sources familiar with the matter said.

Others include two $500 million REITs, from conglomerate-owned SM Prime and Robinsons Land, sources said.

“It is really a question of when, not if. On the size, it depends on what the market can absorb,” Alex Pomento, vice president for investor relations of SM Prime, told Reuters.

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19 February 2021

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