In Focus
MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore is the second most attractive country for IPOs

IPO activity could rise by as much as 30% in a year.

Singapore ranked after Hong Kong in a global ranking of attractiveness for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and initial public offerings (IPO), legal firm Baker McKenzie revealed.

According to a report with Oxford Economics, Singapore scored 8.8 in terms of transaction attractiveness. The country didn't move from its place in 2016.

The firm said that in Singapore, total IPO activity involving Singapore is forecast to rise by as much as 30% YoY from $6.22b (US$4.57b) in 2017 to $8.14b (US$5.98b) in 2018.

Specifically, cross-border IPO transactions could rise by 58% YoY from $2.32b (US$1.7b) in 2017 to reach $3.68b (US$2.7b) in 2018.

Ashok Lalwani, head of the international capital markets practice in Asia Pacific, Baker McKenzie, commented, "We predict a strong pickup in IPO activity as there should be some 'catch-up' from a very weak couple of years. With good economic conditions, relatively cheap finance, and strong equity markets, we should see a rebound in IPO volumes from the weak period between 2016-2017."

Three separate deals with valuations of $2.72b (US$2b) also pushed M&A activity sharply higher in 2017.

The report predicts total M&A values in Singapore to be $31.44b (US$23.1b) in 2018 and then peak at $37.3b (US$27.4b) in 2019.

The total value of domestic M&As is seen to rise by more than 100% YoY from $7.76b (US$5.7b) in 2017 to $17.29b (US$12.7b) in 2018.

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