A string of possible public listings in the Philippines could make the country the region's largest IPO market this year.
Analysts said that more local companies are now being tempted to go public given the strong valuations and the country's rapid economic recovery.
Estimates published by Refinitiv placed the possible fundraisings in the Philippines to be around $4 billion this year; more than double the combined tally of the last seven years. The potential listings include a clutch of Philippines companies and the newly launched real estate investment trusts.
"We see a confluence of abundant liquidity, recovering macro fundamentals and relative valuation attractiveness contributing to the positive investor sentiment towards Southeast Asia IPOs." analysts at the Bank of America said.
Among those that are expected to go public this year is the long-pending $1.5 billion IPO from the National Grid Corp of the Philippines. The state-owned company is reportedly still working to comply with regulatory requirements and some sources said that the transaction may be pushed to next year. NGCP has declined to comment on the matter.
Two $500 million REITs are expected to float their shares this year, namely one owned by SM Prime and another owned by Robinsons Land. The vice-president for SM Prime's investor relations, Alex Pomento, said that it will not be a question of if, but when.
"It is really a question of when, not if. On the size, it depends on what the market can absorb," Pomento said in a statement.
Last year the Philippine economy slumped by a record 9.5%, the worst contraction in the region. The drop was attributed to the enforcement of one of the world's longest and strictest lockdowns due to the pandemic.
Government officials said that the recently approved $93.7 billion national budget should serve to revitalize the economy. Officials are expecting a strong rebound and the economy is expected to grow by at least 7.5% this year.
Throughout the rest of Southeast Asia, several companies have expressed their interest in floating their shares. The planned $2 billion IPO by a subsidiary of Thai Beverage in Singapore is expected to be one of the largest lined up for 2021.
Sources familiar with the matter said that Monde Nissin, the company behind the iconic Lucky Me! instant noodle brand, is reportedly also set to go public in Singapore this year.