Business bullish as Thai IPOs set for four-year high

Thai companies are poised to set a four-year high in funds raised from initial public offerings (IPOs) with the total expected to approach $4 billion as local firms are bullish on business in the country despite a weak global economy.

To date this year, companies have attracted $2.64 billion to their coffers through IPOs on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Market for Alternative Investments (MAI), according to statistics released by the SET.

The projection that the total would be the highest in five years is an indicator that large Thai corporations are confident in their prospects and the direction of the economy even though growth has slowed in recent months. Some expect this bullish outlook will sustain into the next year.

“The momentum of IPOs may carry forward into 2020 as there have been a number of major companies expressing their desire to list,” Manpong Senanarong, the head of the stock exchange’s Issuer Marketing Division, told the Bangkok Post.

Manpong cautioned, however, that “still, there is some uncertainty on the fragility of the global economy and the volatility of the financial markets.”

Among the large listings that have already taken place this year were hotel and real estate units of corporations belonging to billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the nation’s richest person, and the Bhirombhakdi family, which owns Thailand’s most popular beer.

Listings still to come that are expected to raise the total to a four-year high include Siam Cement’s float of its SCG Packaging unit and an offering for Central Group’s retail arm. Together, they could raise about $2 billion.

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