Asian sponsors of blank-check firms are facing a tough market for initial public offerings wherever they turn, as a combination of increasing regulatory scrutiny and fading investor demand shutters the window for new listings from the US to Asia.
In the past three months, at least six Asia-related special purpose acquisition companies seeking a combined US$1.3 billion from US IPOs have been scrapped, according to data provider SPAC Research. Of 12 blank-check firms that have filed to go public in Hong Kong, only one has actually started trading. It’s a similar pattern in Singapore, where SPACs have stalled after three inaugural IPOs in January.
“The global IPO market has obviously been very quiet so far this year,” Paul Uren, JPMorgan Chase and Co.’s Asia Pacific head of investment banking, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “What we need to see for that to change is lower volatility and investors with more of a risk-on mentality.”