Thailand is number 2 for IPOs in Asia

The pandemic may have cast a pall on companies during 2020, but Thai businesspeople showed confidence in the future last year by launching 26 initial public offerings (IPOs) worth nearly $5 billion, the second-highest total in Asia.

“IPOs were a major growth driver for the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) total market last year,” said SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai.

Despite the adverse global economic environment and the pain endured by businesses and people, Thailand’s strong IPO performance was a testament to the faith investors have in the country’s longer-term fundamentals and potential.

Thailand trailed only China in the number of new offerings, and its 26 IPOs were just short of the record number the Kingdom’s companies set in 2019. China secured the most capital investment in Asian IPOs with $65.6 billion, followed by Thailand at $4.96 billion, then India with $4.52 billion. Thailand’s figures excluded cross-listed shares from other bourses such as infrastructure funds (IFFs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Thailand’s totals were a bright spot for the Kingdom as the global coronavirus pandemic caused growth to shrivel, exports to stall, and many investors to hesitate and wait for better times.

Veena Lertnimitr, Executive Vice-President for Investment Banking at Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), said that some large IPOs expected to debut in Thailand last year had been postponed.

But Prasert Tantayawit, Managing Director of the Investment Banking Department at Maybank Kim Eng Securities Thailand, said that global economic weakness had caused prices to fall, making investments more attractive.

“The market price has declined since the outbreak to a level that attracted large investors to return to the market,” he said. “The higher participation of large investors attracts retail investors, leading them to participate more. Both factors led new shares issuers to dare to place their offerings.”

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