Philippines equity: unblocking the tap

The IPO of one of the Philippines most successful privatization initiatives foreshadows flood of equity deals.

An IPO for Manila Water is set to provide an important test of investor sentiment towards the country's equity markets at a time when more than $1 billion in paper is expected. Of this amount, over $500 million could come from one deal alone - SM Investment Corp SMIC.

Manila Water began roadshows in the Philippines on Tuesday, ending a drought of IPO issuance since the Asian financial crisis of 1997. In the intervening years, there have only been about six equity deals of any kind topping the $50 million mark and just three, which were able to scrape past $100 million.

Issuers' willingness and ability...

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