Is Singapore's IPO dearth finally coming to an end?

There are big deals in the pipeline this year.

Equity listings on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) fizzled out in 2015, but experts reckon that the local bourse may finally be headed for a rebound this year.

Data from Thomson Reuters show that initial public offering (IPO) proceeds rose to US$28.9 million ($41.5m) in the first quarter of 2016, with three new companies joining the Catalist. This figure marks a vast improvement from zero IPOs in the same period last year, but is a far cry from the US$354.5m raised by 4 companies in the first three months of 2014.

The three companies which were listed in the first quarter are Secura Group, which raised $28m (US$19.5m); Eindec Corporation, which raised $7.5m (US$5.2m); and GS Holdings, which generated $6m (US$4.2m) in proceeds.

"Volatile market conditions have led to a scarcity in initial public offerings in Singapore stock exchanges so far this year from both local and foreign issuers. The IPO market in Singapore currently remains lackluster with deal sizes shrinking and companies headed for the Catalist board," the report noted.

Total equity offerings—which refers to combined initial public offerings and follow-on offerings listed in local stock exchanges—hit US$173.6m in Q1, a 16.1% increase in proceeds over a year ago despite a slowdown in number of new issuance.

Even though big deals have been few and far between in the past quarters, Thomson Reuters noted that the local fundraising market may see greater signs of life this year.

"The pipeline for new listings in Singapore looks healthy for this year. Canadian insurer Manulife Financial is preparing to revive the US$500m Singapore listing of Manulife US REIT, its US commercial property trust. Chinese property developer Greenland Group plans to set up a REIT with Singapore-based Amare Investment Management Group (a subsidiary of Glory Fund Management Group) and list the REIT in Singapore in the near term," said the report.

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