Spotting opportunity in Southeast Asia’s capital markets
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Spotting opportunity in Southeast Asia’s capital markets

Illustration: Kevin February

Southeast Asia’s capital markets are buzzing, making them hot favourites with global investors. But be warned: some big obstacles are expected in the months ahead, testing the ability of issuers and investment banks to get deals over the line.

Southeast Asia’s capital markets are very busy. It had more initial public offerings priced in the first six months of 2023 than in the equivalent period in any of the previous five years, with headline deals from Indonesia’s Trimegah Bangun Persada and Merdeka Battery Materials.

The number of IPOs jumped 26% to 82 deals in 2023, from 65 during the same period in 2022, according to research from EY. The value of those IPOs was 31% higher year on year, at $3.3 billion.

Indonesia was a prime source of business, accounting for 45 of those IPOs, with proceeds of $2.2 billion. The star of southeast Asia even outshone Hong Kong in terms of the number of deals in the first half.

“It’s important to differentiate between countries, but southeast Asia has become more and more relevant as tensions between the US and China continue,” says Nicolo Magni, head of global banking for southeast Asia and south Asia at UBS.


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