KUALA LUMPUR - Shares of Gas Malaysia rose as much as 15 per cent in their debut yesterday after a US$230-million (S$298-million) initial public offering (IPO), overcoming negative sentiment surrounding a slump in global market flotations.
In the past few weeks, a string of Asian IPOs has been delayed or scrapped, amid investor worries about Europe's debt crisis and China's slowing economy, as well as Facebook's botched IPO last month.
Shares of the company, Malaysia's sole supplier of natural gas to the non-power sector, rose 10 per cent to RM2.42 a share by 9.56am, compared with their reference price of RM2.20, outperforming the benchmark index's 0.49 per cent rise.
The listing, which is expected to have raised over RM734.4 million (S$298 million), could be one of South-east Asia's largest listings this year, after those of Felda Global Ventures Holdings and IHH Healthcare Holdings.
"It is a high-dividend-yield stock, it (the share-price performance) is reasonable as it reflects its fair value well," said Affin Investment Bank analyst Chong Lee Len.
Gas Malaysia's upbeat debut comes in the face of a 54 per cent drop in first-quarter profit reported last week, dented by lower margins even as revenue rose 9.2 per cent.
Analysts said that the drop was a one-off event and that earnings would recover in the coming quarters.
The Malaysian government regulates the natural-gas industry. It raised the purchasing price of natural gas by more than 25 per cent in June last year, while the selling price increased by about 7 per cent.
Maybank Investment Bank is the adviser for the listing.
Malaysian builder MMC Corp is Gas Malaysia's largest shareholder, with an effective stake of 30.9 per cent.
Malaysia's seventh-richest person, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, controls MMC Corp. The building company plans to relist its 51 per cent- owned Malakoff Corp on the local bourse next year.
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