Taiwan’s initial public offering (IPO) activity might slow this year compared with last year, as the number of IPOs as of the end of last month was 31, down 36 percent from the 49 registered in the same period last year, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported yesterday, quoting unnamed Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) officials.
Compared with the whole of last year, this year’s IPOs might also reach a new 11-year low, the commission said, attributing the disappointing performance to fluctuations caused by international political and economic situations that have also negatively influenced new listings through IPOs in other countries, the Liberty Times reported.
Citing World Federation of Exchanges statistics, the commission said that the number of global IPOs declined 35.2 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, with declines reported across all regions.
Asia-Pacific was down 32.7 percent; North America was down 22.3 percent; and Europe, the Middle East and Africa were down 55.4 percent, it said.
In Taiwan, including the nine firms that have applied to be listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange or the Taipei Exchange, there might be just 40 IPOs this year, the commission said, adding that the number would be the lowest since 2009 and lower than last year’s 62.
“There is still some time before the end of the year and we will continue to work hard, but we will not solely focus on raising the IPO number without paying attention to the quality of the listing firms,” commission officials were quoted by the Liberty Times as saying.
Looking ahead, the commission said that it would continue to create a friendly capital market environment, with the aim of attracting “large companies” or “quality enterprises” to list in Taiwan, while enhancing the international competitiveness of the nation’s capital market, the Liberty Times said.
FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) and other commission officials are to brief a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee today on this year’s IPO activity, and report on the progress of two new equity trading mechanisms that are to be implemented next year.
The commission said earlier that the Taiwan Stock Exchange is slated to launch a new continuous trading mechanism on March 23, allowing buy and sell orders to be executed by traders without a lag.
Local brokerages would also be allowed to handle odd-lot intraday trading for clients from the second half of next year, making big-ticket stocks affordable to individual investors, the commission said.
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