Retail has been one of the hottest sectors among recent Southeast Asian initial public offerings, as investors look to cash in on consumers’ increasing spending power in the region.
“The domestic consumption growth story in Southeast Asia remains an attractive thematic for equity investors,” said Ho Cheun Hon, head of Southeast Asia equity capital markets at Credit Suisse.
Home supplies retailer AllHome Corp. raised $248 million in an IPO last week, just the third new listing in the Philippines this year. Home improvement company Dohome PCL raised $113.3 million in a Thai IPO in July.
Central Group, one of Thailand’s biggest conglomerates, is planning an IPO of its retail arm in the first quarter of next year that could raise as much as $2 billion, people familiar with the matter previously told Bloomberg. That would make it the second-largest offering on record in Thailand, after BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund’s $2.1 billion listing in 2013.
Among other pending deals, IFR Asia has reported on an IPO planned by Malaysia’s Mr DIY. The operator of electrical and household products department stores is looking to raise $500 million, the January report said.
The prevalence of home improvement-related retailers reflects the relative appeal of specialty store operators, according to Ho.
“Specialized retail is typically considered more attractive than general retail as it’s less susceptible to e-commerce disruption,” he said.