Malaysia's IHH seeks to raise $2.5 billion in IPO

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's IHH Healthcare said Tuesday it plans to raise more than US$2.0 billion (S$2.5 billion) from an IPO in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore this month, in the world's third-biggest stock market flotation this year.

The IPO from Asia's largest hospital operator, with a target date of July 25, means Malaysian companies will have had two of the biggest public offerings this year.

Oil palm plantation giant Felda Global's IPO last week raised US$3.25 billion and was the second biggest of 2012 after Facebook's disastrous debut, and came after several flotations were delayed in Asia amid deteriorating global conditions.

In its prospectus unveiled Tuesday, IHH Healthcare said it plans to raise 6.37 billion ringgit (S$2.56 billion) by offering 2.23 billion shares on the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore stock exchanges.

The high end of an initial price range for the shares was 2.85 ringgit or 1.18 Singapore dollars per share.

The firm, owned by Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, said it would determine the final stock price on July 12 ahead of its listing.

IHH has ventures in several countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey. Twenty-two companies, or so-called cornerstone investors, have already committed to buying more than 60 per cent of the stock.

On its debut on the Kuala Lumpur exchange, Felda shares jumped nearly 20 per cent to open at 5.39 ringgit (S$2.17), defying global economic uncertainly and proving a contrast to Facebook's debut.

The social networking giant raised US$16 billion from its IPO in May but its shares have plummeted since its debut.

Global accountancy firm Ernst and Young has said the Kuala Lumpur exchange, Bursa Malaysia, was the third-biggest in terms of funds raised in IPOs in the second quarter of 2012, following NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.

Analysts put the success down to factors including government efforts to encourage IPOs and boost the economy as elections approach, and a push to divest state-owned firms to woo foreign investors, as in the case of Felda.

The volatile economic environment has forced the delay of other major public offerings in Asia, including a planned US$2.5 billion Formula One listing in Singapore.

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