Skip to main content

Japan tops Asian IPO chart

By Ben McLannahan, FT.com
Companies have raised more cash in Tokyo this year than in Asia's other developed markets put together
Companies have raised more cash in Tokyo this year than in Asia's other developed markets put together
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japan is now top of Asia's IPO charts
  • Newcomers to Japan's markets have raised Y181bn ($1.9bn) since the beginning of January
  • Investors have warmed to pro-growth policies of Shinzo Abe

(Financial Times) -- Companies have raised more cash in Tokyo this year than in Asia's other developed markets put together, taking Japan to the top of the region's initial public offering charts.

As investors have warmed to the pro-growth policies of Shinzo Abe, prime minister, since the beginning of January, newcomers to Japan's markets have raised Y181bn ($1.9bn) - more than issuers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia combined, according to data from Bloomberg.

Globally, Japan ranks number two by funds raised -- a position it has not occupied since the same point in 2006, according to Dealogic.

Mr Abe's vow to reflate the world's third-largest economy through a mixture of stimulus and structural reform has reawakened interest in stocks among Japan's retail investors, who are the main players in smaller IPOs. Account openings at the top seven online brokerages have more than doubled since November.

Meanwhile, hopes of more aggressive monetary easing from the Bank of Japan have lured funds from abroad to support bigger offerings, such as the Y104bn debut last month of Nippon ProLogis, a real estate investment trust part-owned by ProLogis, the world's biggest owner of industrial buildings.

Net buying of Japanese equities by overseas investors amounted to slightly more than Y1tn in the first week of March -- the highest weekly figure in Tokyo Stock Exchange records going back to 1982.

Sentiment is improving "dramatically", said Tamotsu Adachi, co-head of Carlyle Japan, which expects to float one of its portfolio companies -- Broadleaf, an IT services provider -- in a Y20bn deal next week.

Analysts said flows into stocks were likely to pick up further, if expectations of inflation began to rise. A survey of 1,000 individual investors carried out by Nomura this month found stocks were considered the most appealing investment choice, toppling the longstanding favourite -- cash and deposits -- for the second month in a row.

Almost three-quarters of investors said they would increase exposure to domestic equities if Mr Abe's target of 2 per cent inflation "starts to look achievable".

For now, though, investors are primed for more rapid gains. Shares in four of the nine companies and Reits to be offered in Tokyo this year at least tripled on their first day of trading. Altplus, a mobile game developer backed by Mizuho Capital, joined that club on Friday, rising 212 per cent from its opening price. First-day pops of this order were last seen in 1999 during Japan's internet bubble.

Hiroshi Yamamoto, managing director of Mizuho Capital, said he was "not 100 per cent bullish, like the majority of participants. But we hope these markets continue."

© The Financial Times Limited 2014

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:52 AM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Jim Boulden on the future of online shopping.
updated 4:42 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey's new president . So can he revitalize its economic fortunes?
updated 8:44 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
The European Union is stepping in to save its dairy from going sour.
updated 8:36 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
updated 12:34 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
With cyberattacks on the rise and here to stay, it's a modern-day challenge for people and businesses to get smarter about preventing them.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Airstrikes, rebels seizing control of oil fields, plus a severe refugee crisis are a recipe for market panic. So why are Iraq oil prices stable?
updated 11:24 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Evidence points to pro-Russian separatists as perpetrators of the attack and Vladimir Putin is facing uncomfortable questions, David Clark writes.
updated 10:40 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
The biggest Ebola outbreak in history is taking its toll in Western Africa, hitting some of West Africa's most vulnerable economies.
updated 5:02 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Macau has overtaken Switzerland in the wealth stakes, being named the world's fourth richest territory by the World Bank.
updated 10:47 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Saudi Arabian Bateel brand is best known for its delectable dates but it now has more than a dozen cafes and a new bakery in the works.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material. It is so dark the human eye can't discern its shape and form.
updated 12:02 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Jibo robot is designed to be an organizer, educator and assist family members. CNN's Maggie Lake met him and says she was impressed with his skills.
updated 5:09 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
American burger joints have sprung up all over London, but how to know which ones are best? CNN's Jim Boulden investigates.
updated 8:22 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
updated 11:02 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
At the last football World Cup, it was all about 3D. This time around, it's nothing less than 4K.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
updated 1:12 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Exotic animals are becoming a profitable business opportunity for Nicaraguan entrepreneurs. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Iraq produces 3.3 million barrels per day and has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves. But the current crisis is putting all this in danger.
updated 8:22 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
The gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine could have a knock-on effect on Europe. Explore this map to find out why is the EU nervous.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue June 17, 2014
The UK capital promotes its tech stars and shows it can compete with Silicon Valley. Here are five companies that pitch to make it big.
ADVERTISEMENT