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
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
Jim Boulden on the future of online shopping.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0842 GMT (1642 HKT)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey's new president . So can he revitalize its economic fortunes?
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The European Union is stepping in to save its dairy from going sour.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1236 GMT (2036 HKT)
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
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.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
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?
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Evidence points to pro-Russian separatists as perpetrators of the attack and Vladimir Putin is facing uncomfortable questions, David Clark writes.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
The biggest Ebola outbreak in history is taking its toll in Western Africa, hitting some of West Africa's most vulnerable economies.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 0902 GMT (1702 HKT)
Macau has overtaken Switzerland in the wealth stakes, being named the world's fourth richest territory by the World Bank.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1447 GMT (2247 HKT)
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.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
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.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1602 GMT (0002 HKT)
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.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 2109 GMT (0509 HKT)
American burger joints have sprung up all over London, but how to know which ones are best? CNN's Jim Boulden investigates.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
At the last football World Cup, it was all about 3D. This time around, it's nothing less than 4K.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1712 GMT (0112 HKT)
Exotic animals are becoming a profitable business opportunity for Nicaraguan entrepreneurs. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
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.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
June 16, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
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.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
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