Possible 20 to 30 listings next year

Possible 20 to 30 listings next year
Several new share listings may come from Indonesia and China, says Dr Kan.

SINGAPORE - There could be between 20 and 30 new share listings next year, up from the 19 this year, according to professional services firm Deloitte.

The number could go even higher if real estate investment trusts (Reits) and business trusts are included, said Dr Ernest Kan, Deloitte Singapore's chief of operations for clients and markets.

"It will be growth. (But) in terms of numbers (of IPOs), given the uncertainty, it's still a challenge to get a high number in 2013 in my view," said Dr Kan.

"If you look at the last four to five years, it's not more than 30 each year."

The IPO market has slowed significantly since 2008, and even next year's expected growth will not change that trend much.

There were more than 60 in both 2005 and 2006 - excluding Reits and business trusts - and more than 50 in 2007, according to Deloitte.

But the global financial crisis hit the IPO market hard, sharply reducing the number of debutants from Singapore and overseas.

The market also started feeling the pinch when China made it harder for mainland firms to list overseas. This had an impact on the number of S-chips, or China firms, listing in Singapore. The rules were enacted in 2006 but started severely affecting the pipeline of new listings only from 2008.

There were fewer than 30 listings in 2008 and it has been that way each year since.

Several new listings next year are expected to come from Indonesia and China, a sign of their strong economies, said Dr Kan, who spoke to The Straits Times last week.

He added that the Singapore Exchange is also hopeful of listings from India and Vietnam but flagging economic growth will limit the candidates.

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