KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Bhd does not foresee any major delays in companies' listing plans in 2022 despite a risk-off environment sparked by a hawkish United States Federal Reserve (Fed) and external headwinds like the Ukraine-Russia war.
Instead, it anticipated the local bourse to see 37 initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2022 against 30 in 2021, primarily driven by a higher number of listings on the ACE Market following the reopening of the economy.
"Unless an IPO is large enough to warrant an international offering, we do not foresee any major delays in companies' listing plans, as there is ample liquidity in our market to support purely domestic offerings," Bursa Malaysia told Bernama recently.
The exchange operator said from Jan 1-July 13, 2022, the local bourse saw 20 new listings, raising about RM2.3 billion.
"The additional market capitalisation contributed by the 20 companies listed is approximately RM7.3 billion (up to July 13, 2022), and the IPO pipeline for the rest of the year remains strong," it said.
Based on the number of IPOs approved and awaiting their listing and the number of exposure draft prospectuses on both Bursa Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia's (SC) websites, at least five more listings are expected to take place by year-end.
Yesterday, UMediC Group Bhd (UMC) made a strong debut on the ACE Market at 50 sen per share – a 56.25 per cent premium from its IPO price of 32 sen.
The medical device manufacturer's counter closed at 44 sen, resulting in a market capitalisation of RM164.52 million.
Moving forward, Bursa Malaysia believes that the domestic investors' appetite for IPOs would remain strong for the rest of the year as demonstrated by the level of oversubscription for most IPOs.
It said businesses are expected to rebound on pent-up demand following the pandemic, and the reopening of borders will encourage spending.
"Hence, we believe the outlook for IPOs remains encouraging, as the equity capital market provides companies with access to funds for growth and recovery from the impact brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are optimistic that the vibrancy and momentum of new IPOs on Bursa Malaysia will remain throughout 2022, particularly in the key promoted areas of technology, consumer, healthcare, halal and/or environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG)-compliant businesses," it added.
Like most of its emerging-market peers, Malaysia has been suffering from a persistent sell-off in its equity market since the Fed made its third interest rate hike in June this year, raising it by 75 basis points (bps) – the most aggressive hike since 1994.
Year-to-date, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) has dropped 6.62 per cent to close at 1,463.69 on July 26, 2022.
However, the market bellwether has improved from its two-year low of 1,408.83 on July 14, 2022.
In its efforts to combat soaring inflation, the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points to 2.25 per cent -2.50 per cent at the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting which ends on Wednesday.