Thailand leads IPO activity in SE Asia with companies raising $4.2b

Thailand continued to top Southeast Asia’s IPO markets in 2021, with companies raising a whopping $4.2 billion via capital markets, out of the region’s $9.8 billion in total.

The accomplishment was boosted by “a stable economy, strong currency, low interest rates and consistently strong domestic liquidity”, according to Deloitte’s 2021 SEA IPO Performance report.

This is the third consecutive year that Thailand has led the region’s capital markets. The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) witnessed quite a few blockbuster IPOs in 2021, which included PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company raising $1.8 billion in February – it was the biggest IPO across entire Southeast Asia. In another significant IPO development, microfinance firm Ngern Tid Lor raised $1.2 billion in May.

The third-largest IPO on SET was that of technology company The One Enterprise, which collected $129 million in proceeds on November 5.

The Thai bourse is expected to welcome at least 10 more IPOs before the year ends.

“Based on the performance of the newly listed tech companies on the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), we should see more digital and tech companies going public in Thailand, a departure from the usual traditional companies,” said Wilasinee Krishnamra, Deloitte Thailand’s disruptive events advisory leader.

DealStreetAsia has reported that the SET might see the first venture-backed tech listing next year, with e-commerce enabler aCommerce said to mull an IPO in H1/2022. Other Thai tech players like Pomelo, Builk and Bitkub have also trumpeted their IPO plans.

The $9.8 billion total IPO funds raised in ASEAN markets this year so far represented a 39% increase compared to the entire 2020, while the number of transactions grew 6% to 121 deals, suggesting a larger average deal size.

Deloitte predicted that the current pipeline in the region will make the IPO value cross the $10 billion mark in 2021.

IPO markets in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia also improved this year. The Philippines surpassed Singapore to become the second-largest market with $2.8 billion raised, which was even more than the total combined value of the last four years. This is facilitated by Monde Nissin Corporation’s $1 billion IPO in June, and four mega REIT listings totalling $1.8 billion.

In terms of the number of transactions, Indonesia topped the leaderboard with 40 IPOs. The biggest boost to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) was e-commerce firm Bukalapak’s $1.5 billion IPO, the second-largest listing in Southeast Asia this year.

In total, the IDX saw $2.3 billion of capital flow into market debuts in the first 10.5 months of 2021, registering a six-fold growth from $377 million raised in 2020.

After Bukalapak, GoTo – the entity after merging super Gojek and e-commerce platform Tokopedia – is expected to be another blockbuster IPO on the IDX next year.

Malaysia also saw IPO activities bounce back to pre-COVID levels, “driven by cornerstone investors, coupled with an abundance of uninvested capital”, according to the Deloitte report. 2022 will potentially be a busy year for Malaysia, thanks to economic recovery as well as new policy support.

Meanwhile, IPOs were scarce in Singapore, which was Southeast Asia’s second-biggest market in 2020. This was due to the absence of REITs that have typically been a major source for the island state’s IPO capital market. By November 15, five Singapore IPO deals raised a total of $270 million.

However, the new framework on special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) listings is expected to help Singapore’s capital market bounce back from this dry IPO spell.

“By enhancing secondary listing rules and introducing the SPAC framework, listing aspirants in Southeast Asia with familiar local names have more options and can list closer to home,” said Tay Hwee Ling, disruptive events advisory leader for Deloitte Southeast Asia and Singapore.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.