In 2020, the country’s economy slumped by a record 9.5%, the worst contraction in Southeast Asia, however, the government’s record $93.7 billion national budget is expected to pump-prime the economy, targeting a growth between 6.5% to 7.5% this year, according to government officials.
Driven by a recovering economy and relative valuation attractiveness, an array of Philippines companies could make the country Southeast Asia’s biggest IPO market this year. According to Refinitiv data, investors and bankers said consumer retailers and real estate investment trusts (REITS) are lining up record fundraisings that could top USD4 billion in 2021, more than the combined tally of the last seven years.
The strength in global capital markets has made it very attractive for quality Philippine issuers who have been timing their eventual IPOs, according to Martin Siah, SEA head of corporate and investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Cited from some sources, a $1.5 billion float by Singapore sovereign fund GIC-backed Monde Nissin, the company behind the undisputed Philippines’ no.1 instant noodle brand Lucky Me!, and meat alternative Quorn, is set to be the biggest local IPO. Meanwhile, others include two $500 million REITs, from conglomerate-owned SM Prime and Robinsons Land.
In a statement cited from Reuters, Alex Pomento, VP for investor relations of SM Prime, said “It is really a question of when, not if. On the size, it depends on what the market can absorb.”
Issuers are eager to take advantage of the ample market liquidity and tap investors’ sentiment before next year’s presidential elections which could affect market volatility.
After new laws announced in 2020 allowing lower public floats and tax breaks for REITs, about four property units are set to launch REITs, given the attractiveness of REITs as an investment and also the robust real estate market fundamentals.
Meanwhile, across the rest of the region, only a $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.