CARI Captures Issue 615: IPO performance in Southeast Asia, 2019 H1 – 2023 H1

Amount raised through initial public offerings (IPOs) rise by 43% from January-June 2023
(19 July 2023) The amount raised through initial public offerings (IPOs) rose by 43% year-on-year in January-June 2023, even though the amount raised worldwide dropped by 30%. IPOs throughout this period raised US$4.1 billion, while the number of IPOs increased by 14% year-on-year to 79. Both the number of IPOs and the amount that they raised have been increasing since 2019. Indonesian gold and copper miner Amman Mineral International raised the most funds at the time of its IPO at over US$700 million. A portion of those funds will be used by the company to invest in the refining of copper and precious metals. Indonesia alone accounted for 41 IPOs, more than half of the total in Southeast Asia. The top four fundraisers were also Indonesian. With the current decline in the number of unicorn-level startup listings, stock exchanges in Southeast Asia are now seeing listings by medium-size companies and by companies affiliated with large corporate groups.

The Philippines unveils new light rail cars for Metro Manila made using Japanese technology
(20 July 2023) The Philippines unveiled new light rail cars made using Japanese technology that will serve Metro Manila, connecting the northern and southern halves of the capital city. The new light rail cars were sought to improve transport capacity while also reducing congestion and pollution. The trains feature higher energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs than their predecessors. Japanese trader Mitsubishi Corp. is delivering 120 cars as part of a US$214 million order funded by an international yen loan, with the cars to be built by Spanish manufacturer CAF. The current administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has initiated rail development projects as part of its ‘Build Better More’ infrastructure agenda. With Japanese aid, construction has also begun on the first subway line in the Philippines.

Israeli foodtech companies seeking to expand to Muslim-majority markets of Malaysia and Indonesia
(19 July 2023) Israeli foodtech companies are seeking to expand into the Muslim-majority markets of Malaysia and Indonesia, despite the lack of political recognition by both countries of Israel. Israeli foodtech companies are planning halal-certified alternative protein products for practicing Muslims within ASEAN. In the global alternative proteins market, Israel is the biggest recipient of investment after the U.S. and tops other markets such as China and Singapore. From 2020 to 2022, Israel drew in US$1.19 billion in alternative protein-related investments. Market research specialist GWI estimates there are 29.8 million potential consumers of cultured and artificial meat within Southeast Asia. Many Israeli foodtech companies have come to view Singapore as a springboard to the wider ASEAN market.

Overall trade value contracts by 16.3% year-on-year in June 2023
(20 July 2023) Malaysia’s overall trade value contracted by 16.3% year-on-year in June 2023 to US$48.90 billion, as the value of shipments exchanged with its major trading partners continued to drop. The decline in trade value was attributed to a 14.1% drop in exports to US$27.29 billion and an 18.9% contraction in imports to US$21.60 billion. Malaysia’s trade surplus in June 2023 rose by 11.3% year-on-year to US$5.68 billion. Export value was bolstered by strong demand for electrical and electronic (E&E) products, iron and steel products, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, transport equipment, and processed food. For the second quarter of 2023, trade value dropped by 11.3% year-on-year to US$141.58 billion.

Temasek looking for strategic partners as it seeks to deploy up to US$5 billion a year in India
(19 July 2023) Singaporean state investor Temasek Holdings Pte is seeking strategic partners as it looks to deploy between US$3 billion and US$5 billion a year in India. Temasek is planning on hiring another four or five investment professionals to bring its India team to more than 20 people. The company could deploy as much as US$10 billion to the country in three years, and the deployment could be through a mix of partnerships and more capital in public equities. Over the last five or six years, Temasek has been ramping up investments in India. The company is targeting banks, financial operations, healthcare, technology, and consumer sectors. About 60% of Temasek’s investments in India are direct stakes.

Indonesia and India seeking to settle bilateral transactions in local currencies and to link-up payments systems
(16 July 2023) Indonesia and India are seeking to settle bilateral transactions in local currencies and to link up their fast payment systems to facilitate cross-border funds transfers. India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Indonesian counterpart Sri Mulyani Indrawati discussed the proposals ahead of recent meetings among the Group of Twenty (G20) countries in India, with formalities yet to be complete. Idrawati stated that the meeting sought to strengthen bilateral trade and investment. India has so far linked its fast payments system with Singapore, and is currently negotiating with several others, including Japan and France, to likewise facilitate fast cross-border transactions.

India emerging as key growth market for Southeast Asia’s travel and tourism sector
(17 July 2023) India is emerging as a key growth market for Southeast Asia’s travel and tourism sector. From airlines to hospitality chains, companies are seeking to tap into India’s burgeoning middle class. The travel and tourism industry contributed about 12% of the region’s GDP before the COVID-19 pandemic, and currently employs more than 40 million people. The influx of Indian tourists has helped make up for the weak recovery of Chinese tourism to Southeast Asia, with the number of Chinese visitors in May 2023 at least 60% lower than the same month in 2019. As of June 2023, seat capacity on scheduled flights between China and Southeast Asia was 57% below pre-COVID-19 levels, while flights from India to the region had recovered to about 90%. In general, Indians can get visas much more easily from Southeast Asian countries than they can from European countries or the United States.

RCEP Monitor

Chinese high-yield dollar bonds suffer sharpest three-day selloff of 2023
(18 July 2023) On 19 July, 2023, Chinese high-yield dollar bonds suffered their sharpest three-day selloff of 2023. This came amidst a fresh default from state-backed developer Greenland Holding Group Co. on a 6.75% dollar bond it guaranteed. A gauge tracking the junk bonds has lost 10% since the start of 2023. The Chinese economy is currently suffering from a liquidity crisis, due in part to a contraction in the country’s real estate sector. The renewed turmoil at Greenland cut short a market rebound seen last week, when the gauge advanced as authorities took further steps to support the ailing sector, including an extension of outstanding loans. The weakening real estate sector is putting more pressure on the finances of developers.

Economy loses momentum in second quarter of 2023 with 0.8% quarter-on-quarter growth
(17 July 2023) China’s economy lost momentum in the second quarter of 2023 with 0.8% quarter-on-quarter growth, weaker than the 2.2% quarter-on-quarter expansion in the January-March period. Year on year, the economy grew 6.3% in the second quarter because of a low-base effect in 2022, when large parts of the Chinese economy were placed under lockdown. Chinese exports in June 2023 fell 8.3% year-on-year. Retail sales were up 3.1% year-on-year in June, down from 12.7% growth recorded in May. Youth unemployment (for those aged between 16-24) hit a new high of 21.3% in the second quarter, while overall urban unemployment was stable at 5.2% in June. China’s weak economic data was attributed to falling exports, weak retail sales, and a struggling property sector.

Australia’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.5%, signaling continued tight labour market
(20 July 2023) Australia’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5% in June 2023, signaling that labor markets remained tight despite recent rises in interest rates. The economy added 32,600 more jobs that month. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged for June from May’s 3.6% tally, with a net 15,000 positions added. The Australian Bureau of Statistics revised May’s rate down to 3.5%, a small increase from October 2022’s 3.4%, the lowest since the mid-1970s. These numbers, alongside June quarter inflation numbers due out next week, will be close examined by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) when its board meets on 01 August, 2023 to consider extending its July 2023 pause in lifting interest rates. The RBA has increased rates by 400 basis points since May 2022, marking the sharpest tightening of monetary policy in three decades.

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