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Deals of the year 2004: Innovation feeds yield-hungry buyers

Innovation on the part of issuers and their bankers along with robust risk appetite from investors shaped the capital markets in 2004.


Best equity deal

Thai Oil Public Company
Type of deal: Privatization IPO

Deal size: $704 million ($788 million post-greenshoe)

Date: October 2004

Joint international bookrunners: JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley

Joint domestic bookrunners: Finansa, Phatra Securities, SCB Securities

As proof that biggest is not always the best, the award for Asia's best equity deal in 2004 goes to the relatively modest Thai Oil offering, which was flawlessly executed by the company and bookrunners alike.

Last year was hardly a vintage one for IPOs in the region. Even with some solid and very large deals, including India's $1 billion Tata Consultancy Services and $1.8 billion Ping An Insurance from China, the IPO bandwagon, despite an auspicious start, never really got going.

Against this backdrop, the privatization of Thai Oil, the largest ever Thai IPO and the biggest in southeast Asia for years, stands out as an example of how to get a deal done in tricky markets. In a weak domestic market that had clearly run out of steam after 2003's run, the company launched its IPO at the end of September when the Hutchison International and Starhub IPOs were both seeking cash.

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