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Philippine IPOs shelved amid stock market and currency rout

Taiwan's New Kinpo Group is the latest to postpone share sale

Taiwan’s New Kinpo Group, which manufactures calculators and storage devices in the Philippines, is postponing the IPO of its local unit due to falling share prices. (Photo by Cliff Venzon)

MANILA -- A unit of Taiwanese contract manufacturer New Kinpo Group on Wednesday postponed an initial public offering in the Philippines, becoming the latest company to delay fundraising plans amid local market uncertainty.

Cal-Comp Technology Philippines had planned to sell shares worth 6.8 billion pesos ($126 million) from Sept. 18-25 and list them on the Philippine Stock Exchange on Oct. 2, according to its IPO prospectus. But the company said that due to "current market conditions and investor sentiment" it had been forced to temporarily defer its public debut.

The company said it would return to the market "at an appropriate time." Cal-Comp, which makes calculators and storage devices, plans to expand its expand manufacturing operations in the Philippines. The company is banking on a trend of companies shifting production to the Philippines and Southeast Asia from China, which is engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war with the U.S.

New Kinpo joins other companies that have stayed away from the local stock market amid falling share prices. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index fell 0.9% on Wednesday to 7,112.23. In the year to date, the PSEi is down by around 15.6% amid rising interest rates in the U.S., trade tensions and the Philippine peso trading at its weakest level in over 12 years on the country's expanding trade deficit.

Last week, casino company Melco Resorts and Entertainment Philippines launched a process that will allow it to eventually delist from the Philippine Stock Exchange, saying that being a listed company did not help it raise the fresh capital required for expansion. On Sept. 7, low-cost carrier Air Asia's Philippine unit said it was likely to delay its IPO to next year amid rising fuel prices and the weakening peso.

In June, fruit canner Del Monte Philippines also postponed its 17.5 billion pesos share sale due to the weak market.

Philippine conglomerate San Miguel is planning to raise a record $2.65 billion by selling shares in its food and beverage unit later this year, but the company has not set a definitive timetable for the offering. Ramon Ang, San Miguel's president and chief operating officer, said he was confident that his company could weather the stock market rout. 

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