ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

ASEAN IPO activity down in 2020

But proceeds rose significantly due to rise in deal sizes.

ASEAN initial public offering (IPO) activities in 2020 slipped by 13% and funds raised were down by 5% compared with 2019, but proceeds rose significantly due to rise in average deal size, according to Ernst & Young.

In Q4 2020, IPO activity was lower by 15% in deal numbers and 20% in proceeds compared with 2019.

Despite decline, ASEAN saw two notable IPOs of $1.32 (US$1b) or more in the year: Central Retail Corp. plc at $3.04b (US$2.3b) and SCG Packaging plc at $1.72b (US$1.3b) in Thailand.

In the data, ASEAN had recorded a steady number of IPOs in 2H 2020 with 33 in Q3 and 34 in Q4, but proceeds remained significantly higher due to rise in average deal size that Ernst & Young said may signal the return of more medium-sized IPOs in 2021.

Despite ASEAN a decline in activity in ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific IPO activity remained undaunted and had even increased by 20% in deal numbers and 45% in proceeds in 2020 compared to last year. The last quarter of 2020 remained steady, with deal numbers rising 5% and proceeds increasing 4% compared with Q4 2019.

The technology sector contributed the most to Q4 2020, with proceeds and deal numbers accounting for 21% of Asia-Pacific.

According to Ernst & Young, 2020 saw the highest proceeds since 2010.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been the overwhelmingly dominant event of 2020. Few thought people or economies would suffer this long. Yet, somehow, despite this crisis, the Asia-Pacific IPO market proved resilient. Looking ahead, IPO candidates will need to continue to take the necessary precautions to maintain their liquidity. That said, IPO companies, and new economy companies especially, have proven their importance to the economy and their ability to pivot, adapt and prosper in response to the pandemic,” said RIngo Choi, Asia-Pacific IPO leader at Ernst & Young.

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