Biggest Bangladeshi IPO in a decade surges 50% on debut in Dhaka

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December 24, 2020 1:04 PM

The biggest Bangladeshi IPO in a decade led to a rush for the shares locally, with investors joining a frenzy for initial share sales across the world.

IPOThe biggest Bangladeshi IPO in a decade led to a rush for the shares locally, with investors joining a frenzy for initial share sales across the world. (Representational image)

Robi Axiata Ltd., the Bangladesh unit of Malaysia’s biggest telecommunication company by revenue, surged on debut after local investors sought 5.7 times more shares than on offer at the initial public offering. The shares rose 50% to 15 taka at 10:12 a.m. according to data on the Dhaka Stock Exchange’s website. Robi, a venture between Malaysia’s Axiata Group Bhd. and India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd., raised 5.24 billion taka ($62 million) in the initial share sale. The company sold about 524 million or 10% of the firm.

The biggest Bangladeshi IPO in a decade led to a rush for the shares locally, with investors joining a frenzy for initial share sales across the world. Over 70 foreign companies went public in the U.S. this year, raising more than $21 billion — the most since 2014, while in neighboring India, shares of companies such as Burger King India Ltd. have more than doubled on debut.

“Local investors are currently very active in the market and I would not be surprised to see them drive the share price higher short-term,” said Mattias Martinsson, chief investment officer of Tundra Fonder AB in Stockholm. “In the longer term, it is positive to increase the number of listings of well-recognized names for international investors.”

The funds will help Robi grow its network in a nation that the Asian Development Bank forecasts will expand 6.8%, the fastest in the region, for the current fiscal year. Robi’s IPO is the biggest since energy firm MJL Bangladesh Ltd. sold shares in 2011.

For network expansion, Robi, also borrowed $95 million from the International Finance Corporation.

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