Vietnam tops Southeast Asia in IPOs

By Hong Chau   January 2, 2019 | 06:54 pm PT
Vietnam tops Southeast Asia in IPOs
Techcombank raised $923 million from IPO in 2018. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Vietnam surpassed Singapore and Thailand to top Southeast Asia in initial public offerings (IPOs) last year, raising $2.6 billion.

This figure was 3.7 times that of 2017, according to consultancy Ernst & Young.

Two of three largest IPOs in Southeast Asia last year were launched by Vietnamese companies: $1.34 billion from Vinhomes, a real estate developer of Vietnam’s biggest private firm Vingroup; $923 million from Techcombank, the country’s largest private sector lender.

However, an opposite trend was seen in Southeast Asia as a whole, with the money raised from IPOs dropping 34 percent over 2017 to $7.1 billion.

The number of IPO deals in the region also decreased by 7 percent to 115, with 56 of them raising less than $10 million.

Ernst & Young economist Max Loh said that the reason for this drop was U.S-China trade tensions, which affected the capital market in the region, as Southeast Asian countries have close trade relationships with China.

Experts feel Vietnam has the potential to attract more foreign investments in the future. A report by law firm Baker McKenzie and consultancy Oxford Economics said that Vietnam will top the region in the amount of money raised via IPOs by 2021.

The rise of Vietnam and other developing countries in Southeast Asia could intensify competition for new listings among the region's exchanges, said Tham Tuck Seng, PwC Singapore's capital markets leader. 

This will increase the pressure on Singapore to differentiate itself even more in order to stand out, CNBC quoted Tham as saying.

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