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Vietnam unseats Singapore as largest IPO fundraiser in Southeast Asia

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Motorcyclists and cyclists ride on a street inside a newly developed residential quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam on May 7, 2013.

Hoang Dinh Nam | AFP | Getty Images

Motorcyclists and cyclists ride on a street inside a newly developed residential quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam on May 7, 2013.

Singapore, a major international financial hub, lost its crown as Southeast Asia’s top grossing market for initial public offerings in 2018.

It was brought down by Vietnam, which is often not top of mind for stock investors. In fact, the communist country is still considered a frontier market by major index providers, meaning it’s thought to be less established and riskier than even emerging markets. Singapore, meanwhile, is classified as a developed market.

But Singapore’s fall this year had little to do with Vietnam’s rise, experts noted. Instead, they said, the wealthy city-state’s open economy means it’s more affected by global developments and there were plenty of reasons for companies to hold back their listing plans in 2018.

“In the second half of 2018, global trade wars, political tensions and volatile markets have inadvertently impacted economic sentiments, causing delays in the listing timeline of some IPO aspirants,” Tay Hwee Ling, Deloitte Southeast Asia and Singapore’s global International Financial Reporting Standards and offerings services leader, told Imagala.com in an email.

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