* More deals coming up after elections
* Regulatory OK in next two months - sources
* Premarketing to start in September - sources
By Yantoultra Ngui
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 (Reuters) - Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd, operator of the country’s busiest port, is expected to list on the local stock exchange in October this year in a deal that will raise up to $500 million, two sources close to the deal told Reuters.
The initial public offering (IPO) comes after the Southeast Asian country’s general elections concluded with a win for the long-ruling National Front on May 5, encouraging companies to move forward with their listing plans as political risk ebbs.
Long-haul carrier AirAsia X Bhd is looking to raise $300 million in an IPO, with pricing to take place next month. Energy and water firm Ranhill Energy and Resources Bhd is also likely to raise up to $337 million in June.
“That’s the timing they are looking at,” one of the sources said of the port operator, declining to be named as the matter was private.
Westports, which counts Hutchison Port Holdings and Malaysia’s state investor Khazanah Nasional Bhd as shareholders, is expected to obtain regulatory approval for the listing in two months time and pre-marketing for the IPO is expected to fall in September, the sources added.
Westports officials were not available to comment.
Westports manages Malaysia’s main export gateway of Port Klang, which is the world’s 13th busiest port. It is one of the main ports along the Malacca Straits, which links Asia with the Middle East and Europe and carries 40 percent of the world’s trade.
The port, some 40 kilometres away from the Malaysian capital, has been recording 20 percent growth in TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) over the last five years as the country ships out more palm oil as well as crude oil.
The funds raised from the IPO will help Westports expand Port Klang, which has reported double-digit growth in container handling over the last five years.
Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Malayan Banking Bhd are involved in the deal, according to an earlier Reuters report, citing sources.
Malaysia was the top IPO market Asia ex-Japan in 2012, boosted by government privatisations and a strong economy, but IPO pipeline slowed ahead of the polls held in May because of concerns over market volatility.
“It will be a challenge to emulate the achievement as there were exceptional large-scale IPOs last year such as Felda Global Venture Holdings Bhd and Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd ,” Zulkifli Hamzah, head of Kuala Lumpur-based MIDF Research said.
“Nevertheless, we expect the Malaysian IPO market to remain healthy with strong underlying demand.” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of liquidity in the system to support any offering.”