KUALA LUMPUR: BURSA MALAYSIA BHD’s outgoing CEO, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, is expecting the initial public offering (IPO) market to improve this year compared to 2018.
“The IPO pipeline for this year, both in terms of numbers and size, would be much better than last year, and this includes Main Market listings.
“The power of the market is mostly due to the power of perception, not facts,” Tajuddin said when unveiling the stock market operator’s financial year 2018 (FY18) results.
“It’s not that we (Bursa Malaysia) aren’t doing anything. Credit should be given to effort and what is inherent at the point in time. Other markets are also not hosting as many IPOs per se. In our case, I agree that last year, despite the number of IPOs, the bulk of it were ACE and Leap Market types,” Tajuddin added.
He also noted that there were actually more approvals for IPOs last year but it was the companies themselves that made the decision to hold back on their listing plans.
Businesses would hold back expansion plans when market perception was not so good, he said.
“Moving forward, this year, we have already seen four listings: two in the ACE Market and another two in Leap. Some of those which had already got their approval last year would actually come back this year,” Tajuddin said.
The stock exchange operator’s fourth-quarter net profit to end-December fell 6.17% to RM51.86mil from the previous year’s corresponding quarter. Revenue fell 8.7% to RM128.92mil.
Tajuddin said the quarter was a tough one and that it needed to ensure cost remained optimal.
“It was a challenging quarter for us. Cost is something I have always deemed important; not about cutting cost but about how we spend (the incoming revenue). So, the cost-to-income ratio is something I look closely at and we do manage our variable costs quite seriously,” he said.
Bursa Malaysia’s board has approved a second interim dividend of 11.6 sen per share for FY18, amounting to approximately RM93.7mil payable on Feb 28.
Total dividends for the year, including the special dividend, amounted to 33.6 sen per share, it said.