Business

S'pore to prop up muted IPO market in S-E Asia this year

Singapore is set to be this year's hottest spot for initial public offerings (IPOs) in South-east Asia with sales of stakes in business and real estate trusts, as currency volatility and weak investor sentiment curb deals elsewhere.

Singapore's stock exchange has promoted itself as a centre for business trusts and real estate investment trusts (Reits), which offer stable dividends. That has helped it partly make up for a drop in major share sales as large Chinese firms favour the higher valuations and liquidity of Hong Kong.

Fund-raising via IPOs in Singapore hit US$1.7 billion (S$2.43 billion) last year, up fivefold from 2015 when it slumped to its lowest since 1998, Thomson Reuters data showed.

"Reits and business trusts... give a steady income stream for investors, and typically the play in Singapore has been dividend-focused rather than pure capital gain-focused," said Ms Srividya Gopalakrishnan, managing director of corporate finance adviser Duff & Phelps Singapore.- REUTERS

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