Privatization Pushes Vietnam To Top Of IPO Ranking

Vietnam's economic reforms are leading to an IPO boom.

Vietnam leapfrogged Singapore to become Southeast Asia’s top market for initial public offerings in 2018, according to EY. Vietnam took the crown by raising $2.6 billion from a mere five IPOs, as the government advanced its privatization of state-owned enterprises, including PetroVietnam Power, Viet Nam Rubber Group and Viet Nam Southern Food Corp. Thailand was a close second, at $2.5 billion from 20 listings.

With GDP growth a robust 7% in 2018, Vietnam attracted strong interest from both foreign investors and local funds. Regional peers such as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines featured mostly small-cap listings.

Looking ahead, Vietnam is expected to remain at the top of the region’s IPO league, with more state-owned companies already set to become private. Among those slated for 2019 are Mobifone, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), Saigon Tourist and Agribank.

Singapore finished the year with 13 deals worth just $500 million, down 35% and 85%, respectively, from the prior year.