Insurer raises 37.1b baht from Thailand’s largest IPO this year

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Thai Life Insurance raised 37.1 billion baht (S$1.44 billion) from an initial public offering, the largest share sale by a Thai firm in more than a year. 

The Bangkok-based life insurer and two of its major shareholders sold a combined 2.32 billion shares, including a green-shoe option, at 16 baht each to domestic and international investors, the company said in a statement.

Thai Life shares will start trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand from July 25, the insurer said. It was the largest IPO since Ngern Tid Lor raised about US$1.1 billion in May 2021.   

A global stock market rout, surging inflation, higher interest rates and the war in Ukraine have spooked potential issuers, South-east Asia's second-largest economy may see more initial public offerings during the remainder of the year, Pakorn Peetathawatchai, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said last week. 

SCG Chemicals, a unit of Siam Cement, Betagro, a meat producer, and tire maker Deestone are among companies seeking to sell shares in Thailand.

Thai Life said it will spend 13.6 billion baht from new share sales for digital transformation, online distribution channel and other investments to maintain its leading position in Thailand's insurance market.

Thai Life allotted 467 million shares to overseas cornerstone investors including GIC Private and Oaktree Capital Management, according to its regulatory filing. Advisers for Thai Life's international offering included Citigroup, Bank of America. Merrill Lynch and Nomura Holding. BLOOMBERG

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