Philippines is set to top IPOs in the region this year

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is set to see at least seven initial public offerings (IPOs) this year. This occurrence despite lingering uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the seven IPOs, four will be REIT (real estate investment trust) listings.

The PSE did not identify the companies that would undertake an initial public offering. However, industry sources said Filipino snack food giant Monde Nissin was one of them.

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

Many have been waiting for Monde Nissin’s market debut. Years back, it targeted to raise an estimated $300 million to $500 million to boost operations as the company targets to become a significant food and beverage player in the Asia Pacific region.

It was in talks with banks as early as 2015. However, it, later on, decided to defer it due to market volatility. The company also had to review its financials after pursuing global acquisitions, industry sources said.

The company has been among the Top 1000 companies in the Philippines since 2000.

Other companies set to IPO this year include two US$500 million REITs from conglomerate-owned SM Prime and Robinsons Land, sources said.

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

Other IPOs in the region

Across the rest of the region, only a US$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.”


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