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Jakarta Post

Firms defer IPOs amid uncertainties

  • Grace D. Amianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 9, 2016   /  09:18 am
Firms defer IPOs amid uncertainties The trading floor of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) in Jakarta. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

Going public is not a priority for local companies that have been grappling with weak demand this year, as stock market operator Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) slashes its initial public offering (IPO) forecast.

Twenty-five companies, as opposed to 35 as previously targeted, are expected to go public this year, according to the bourse’s latest estimate. So far this year, only 10 companies have launched an IPO.

A combination of a sluggish economic recovery as well as domestic and global market uncertainties have seen companies adopt a wait-and-see approach in terms of going public, observers say.

“Companies probably see no need for major funding,” said Koneksi Kapital head of research Alfred Nainggolan. “Underwriters will follow that tendency because they are the ones that are required to buy unsold shares in IPOs.”

Indonesia’s economic growth has improved from the 4.79 percent recorded last year, the lowest level in six years, and is expected to increase to between 5 and 5.1 percent this year.

Meanwhile, the cornerstone of fiscal policy, the tax amnesty, is beginning to yield undesired results, putting a halt to previous market euphoria when the program was launched, stoking consecutive weeks of growth in local stocks.

Furthermore, in the global picture, investors are watching the US Federal Reserve and the possibility of rising interest rates that could see major funds flocking back into the world’s biggest economy.

Isaka Yoga, executive director of the Indonesian Listed Companies Association (AEI), said market conditions were the most defining indicator for a company in deciding to delay or go for an IPO. “Usually, their decisions are taken after underwriters give them the latest results from pre-marketing and analyses from their research teams,” he added.

The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) has gained 17 percent so far this year, among the highest growth enjoyed by major markets globally, as foreign investors poured in a net Rp 37.7 trillion (US$2.9 billion). However, the buoyant market has not resulted in the realization of IPOs, with only 10 firms going public so far this year, including private lender Bank Artos Indonesia, independent power producer Cikarang Listrindo, oil and gas shipping company Sillo Maritime Perdana and service and investment company Capital Financial Indonesia.

A lack of sentiment for IPOs has been apparent in the local market since 2014, when only 20 out of the targeted 30 firms went public, while in 2015, 15 of the target of 32 did so.

Acknowledging the trend, IDX corporate assessment director Samsul Hidayat recently said the bourse believed it would be difficult to reach its initial IPO target of 35 companies this year, as opposed to three months ago when it was still quite optimistic.

With just three months left of the year, he said there were still six companies waiting for the go-ahead from the Financial Services Authority (OJK) for IPOs, with two of them still lagging behind the financial regulator’s pre-approval.

The four companies still waiting for OJK approval are Anugerah Berkah Madani, Waskita Beton Precast, Paramita Bangun Sarana and Aneka Gas Industri, while the two awaiting for pre-approval are Prodia Widyahusada and Indo Komoditi Korpora.

Meanwhile, state-owned Waskita Beton Precast, the subsidiary of construction giant Waskita Karya, will launch Indonesia’s biggest IPO this year, aiming to collect up to Rp 5.27 trillion from the issue of new shares to the public between Sept. 9 and 14.

The company is expected to be listed on the bourse on Sept. 20.

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