Malaysia to Unleash Up to $2.6 Billion in IPOs

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The return to power of Malaysia's ruling political coalition is set to unleash up to $2.6 billion in initial public offerings over the next six months, as deals that had been put on ice amid months of pre-election uncertainty are revived, bankers said.

The election last week looks set to breathe new life into IPO activity on Bursa Malaysia, which in June last year hosted the $2.2 billion listing of Felda Global Ventures, a Malaysian palm oil company, then the second largest offering of the year after Facebook. In 2012 only the U.S., China and Japan, saw more capital raised in IPOs than Malaysia.

Bankers say at least six companies are preparing to file for a listing on Bursa. The first is likely to be Westports, which operates container facilities at Port Klang, in the Straits of Malacca. The company has said it expects container volume to grow 7-8 percent annually for the next five years.

Much of such traffic is likely to be driven by increasing trade flows within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), as companies in the most advanced countries of the 10-member bloc, which includes Malaysia and Indonesia, build supply chains to support regional business.

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The planned Westports IPO, being arranged by Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Maybank, could be valued at up to $500 million and is set for the third quarter, one banker said.

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Next is likely to be a $250 million issue by Air Asia X, the long-haul arm of AirAsia, the southeast Asian low cost carrier run by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandez. The IPO had been planned for March but was delayed by the election and could now happen in June or July, the same banker said. CIMB, the Malaysian bank, is handling the deal with Maybank and Credit Suisse.

Around the same time a roughly £300 million issue is expected by Ranhill Energy and Resources, the largest power generator in the Malaysian state of Sabah and the main provider of water services in Johor, an industrial state neighboring Singapore.

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Power will also be a focus in September when Malaysian building group MMC Corp is set to float its 51-percent owned power business, Malakoff, which is Malaysia's largest independent power producer. The issue, which is likely to be worth up to $1 billion, is being arranged by JP Morgan and others, a second banker said.

MMC is controlled by Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, one of Malaysia's richest businessmen.

With the election over, plans to further develop a vast industrial zone in the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia, known as Iskandar, are also likely to move into high gear. One of the companies involved in developing waterfront land at the site, in Johor, Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, is set for a $300 million IPO, possibly in the fourth quarter, the bankers said.