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Yup, the Malaysian IPO market is sizzling

Pop quiz. Who had the second largest IPO this year, after Facebook? If you guessed Felda Global Venture Holdings, the Malaysian government-owned palm-oil-plantation company you are dead on — I certainly wasn’t. Felda, who raised US$3.1-billion last week, is among a series of companies turning up the heat in Malaysia’s IPO market this year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest proposed billion dollar IPO is one by the Malaysian Cable-television operator Astro All Asia Networks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and UBS AG are reportedly among the banks involved in the proposed deal valued at US$1.5-billion.

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The Journal writes that Astro is likely to seek regulatory approval next month and will look to IPO in September.

Other high profile Malaysian IPOs includes the hospital operator IHH Healthcare Bhd, currently taking orders for an IPO of up to US$2-billion and reportedly set for later this year, Malakoff Corp. is set to raise US$1.5-billion in the fourth quarter.

Bankers seem to agree that the reason why Malaysian IPOs manage to buck the trend lies in the tendency of Malaysian listings to deliver high dividends and in state-owned companies’ ability to attract other government entities as key investors that commit to holding the shares after listing.

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