South Korean stock markets have become a popular financing destination for Southeast Asian countries.
According to securities industry sources on Thursday, Laos’s largest natural rubber supplier Asia Rubber Technology Holdings early this month appointed KTB Investment & Securities Co. as its underwriter to lead its initial public offering (IPO) process in Seoul with an aim to join the country’s stock exchange next year.
Asia Rubber Technology Holdings that first considered joining the Hong Kong bourse changed its direction to Korea because its market has more appeal in the choices of issues ranging from heavy industries to consumer products. The Laotian company posts around 10 billion won ($8.8 million) in operating profit on sales of 50 billion won every year.
Other offerings in the pipeline from Southeast Asia are Indonesia-based cacao supplier Goldcode Ltd. and Vietnam-based bedding fabric maker Everpia JVC. They recently selected KB Securities and NH Investment & Securities Co., respectively, to underwrite their share offering in Korea within this year. Goldcode is seeking its IPO on the country’s secondary Kosdaq market. Everpia, which commands the largest share in Vietnamese bedding market, already joined the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in Vietnam in November 2010 and its shares have rallied since then.
In addition, Mirae JSC Co, another Vietnam-based fabric maker is in recruit for an underwriter for its IPO in Korea.
Currently, three South Asian firms - Kolao Holdings, LS Cable & System Asia Ltd., Hwaseung Enterprise Co. - are listed in the Korean stock markets.
Korean stock exchange authorities have been upping marketing activities in Southeast Asian markets after Chinese members left as the result of the diplomatic conflict of the deployment of a U.S. missile shield dubbed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in Korea.
By Hong Jang-won and Chung Woo-sung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]