Nepse to see rain of IPOs

Global Bank, Citizens Bank plan IPOs worth Rs 300m each

Kathmandu, November 2:

With Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index scaling a new high every day and looking towards the 900-point mark, multimillion offerings are set to rain on Nepse.

Some of the mega issues are: Rs 300 million worth initial public offering (IPO) of Global Bank, Rs 300 million worth IPO of Citizens’ Bank, Rs 500 million worth debenture of Salt Trading Corporation (STC) and Rs 250 million worth debenture of Himalayan Bank Ltd and Rs 128 million worth IPO of Nepal Development and Employment Bank Ltd, totalling to over one billion rupees. They are likely to be announced by February 2008.

Nepal Telecom (NT) is also planning to issue IPO amounting to Rs 1.5 billion — in two phases of Rs 750 million each. The first phase would be for its employees and the second, for the public. The NT’s IPO would be the biggest ever offering in the Nepse’s history.

However, NT should have issued its IPO long ago. Bureaucratic hassles delayed the floatation.

Similarly, Chilime Hydropower has also been long planning to raise Rs 240 million through an equity offering by the end of last year but it has not yet floated its IPOs for public till date. Chilime has floated the IPO for its employee and its shares are traded at the Nepse floor for Rs 1380 (on Thursday) per unit share.

Though Chilime is one of the successful hydro power companies that has been constructed with the indeginuous technology, its delay in issuing IPO for public is surprising. Chilime model is no doubt an example how Nepalis themselves can construct hydro power plant by raising money from the domestic market.

Apart from IPOs, some development banks and finance companies are issuing rights shares to increase their paid up capital according to the new directives of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the regulatory body.

According to the data of Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON), two development banks — Paschimanchal Bikas Bank Ltd and Bhrikuti Bikash bank Ltd, seven finance companies and Sagarmatha Insurance Company Ltd, an insurance company are in the pipeline to issue rights shares issue.

However, Invest Finance Company is planning to issue IPOs worth Rs 16 million and Arun Valley Hydro is also planning IPO with Rs 300 premium, according to the SEBON.

“With all these issues market is expected to cool down,” according to a broker. “The high demand and short-supply condition will be balanced with the new IPOs,” he added.