Billionaire scraps plan for gaming asset IPO

Billionaire scraps plan for gaming asset IPO

Malaysian tycoon Vincent Tan's aggressive listing plans involving a slew of his private assets have hit a couple of snags lately.

This could deter the billionaire's bid to raise more funds from capital markets.

A week after reports that Malaysia's Securities Commission had rebuffed his bid to list convenience store operator 7-Eleven, on the grounds of an ambitious valuation, came another setback.

He has now scrapped his plan to list gaming asset Sports Toto Malaysia as a business trust, STM-Trust, on the Singapore Exchange and Bursa Malaysia.

Sources close to the deal say the deal breaker for the long-planned initial public offering was high yield expectations in the market of 9 per cent and above, compared with the promoters' guidance of about 8 per cent.

The IPO had met all the regulatory requirements.

That was not all. Banking sources said investors were also looking for yield sustainability - and they were evidently unconvinced this would come from STM-Trust.

"The market for yield stocks is brutal. We were just caught up in a bad market after obtaining all the regulatory approvals," said a company source.

Most trusts listed on the SGX over the past year are trading under water and this provides huge discouragement. Taiwan's cable TV operator Asian Pay Television Trust, listed in May, ended at 78.5 cents Tuesday, some 19 per cent below its IPO price of 97 cents.

The latest Reit IPO - Viva Industrial Trust, which owns business parks UE Bizhub East and Technopark@Chai Chee, and logistics facility Mauser Singapore - had a listless debut on Nov 4, closing unchanged, and is still trading at that level of 78 cents.

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