Here are Asia’s biggest IPOs to watch in the second half

Here are Asia’s biggest IPOs to watch in the second half
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(July 5): It’s been a rather quiet first six months of the year for initial public offerings (IPOs) in Asia as the region got swept up in the market rout caused by raging inflation and hawkish monetary policies. But with green shoots starting to sprout in some markets, there are some large deals on the horizon.

Share sales globally plummeted some 70% from a year ago in the first half to levels not seen in almost two decades as investors and issuers shied away from volatile markets. IPOs in Asia fared better than in regions such as Europe and the US, with large deals in China and South Korea helping listings here account for almost 60% of global volumes, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Now, a world-beating rally in Chinese and Hong Kong stocks has brightened the outlook for the second half, while large listings are being readied from Japan to South Korea and Southeast Asia. 

Here are among the largest potential Asian listings in the second half of 2022:

1. Syngenta Group

The seed and fertiliser giant owned by China National Chemical Corp is considering launching its mega IPO in Shanghai before year end, paving the way for what would be one of the world’s biggest listings this year. Syngenta could seek to raise 65 billion yuan (US$9.7 billion or about RM42.88 billion) on the Nasdaq-style Star Board. At that size, it would rank as the second-largest globally behind South Korea’s LG Energy Solution’s US$10.7 billion IPO in January.

2. OfBusiness

Indian start-up OfBusiness, founded by a husband and wife, is in discussions about raising US$2 billion in an IPO that would be the nation’s biggest tech debut since fintech giant Paytm went public last year, Bloomberg News has reported. The company, which helps Indian enterprises buy bulk raw materials, could go public in six months to a year, one of the co-founders said in April. It doesn’t help that Paytm’s debut was a disaster, with the company shedding more than 60% of its market value since November and clouding the outlook for future start-up IPOs in India.

3. BeerCo

Thai Beverage Pcl’s brewery unit, which has twice tried to go public in Singapore, is going for third time lucky. BeerCo started gauging investor demand for its potential IPO last month, which could raise US$800 million to US$1 billion, Bloomberg News has reported. The maker of Chang beer has had to pause its listings plans twice over the past two years due to the pandemic, with lockdowns affecting its business. It had originally been seeking to raise US$2 billion, but has had to temper its fundraising ambitions.

4. K Bank

South Korean online-only bank K Bank has applied for preliminary approval for a domestic IPO that could raise about US$1 billion, IFR has reported, citing unidentified people with the matter. The company is planning to bring the deal as early as this year, which would make it the biggest offering since LG Energy Solution. South Korea hasn’t seen an IPO larger than US$100 million since then, while foreign investors have been exiting the market en masse, selling US$9.6 billion during the second quarter. The country’s stocks are now this year’s worst performers among Asia’s major markets. 

5. Rakuten Bank

The banking arm of Japanese online retailer Rakuten Group Inc applied this week to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. IFR reported that the IPO could raise about US$1 billion. Japan has not seen a US$1 billion-plus offering in more than three years, when SoftBank Group Corp’s telecommunications business raised US$21.1 billion in December 2018.

6. China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp

The world’s largest travel retailer could relaunch its planned Hong Kong listing as early as August or September after it refiled its application last week, Bloomberg News has reported. CTG Duty Free — already traded in Shanghai — could raise around US$2 billion to US$3 billion, which would make it the city’s biggest offering of the year.

7. Ant Group Co

What would potentially be the most high-profile IPO — if it comes to pass — is a comeback of Jack Ma’s Ant Group listing, almost two years after it was abruptly pulled. Chinese financial regulators had started early stage discussions on a potential revival of the listing, Bloomberg News reported last month, which would mark a major dialling back of a crackdown on the country’s tech industry. To be sure, Ant would require a lot of regulatory approvals to resurrect its IPO — which had been set to be the world’s largest ever — and China’s securities regulator said it isn’t conducting work on reviving the share sale.