* Thai firms raise $1.9 bln so far in 2019
* Allhome is Philippines third IPO this year
* Thailand seen as strong IPO market in 2020
By Anshuman Daga and Chayut Setboonsarng
SINGAPORE/BANGKOK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Thailand and Philippine companies are leading a regional pick-up in initial public offerings (IPOs), spurred by growing investor interest in firms focussed on Southeast Asian consumers.
Asset World Corporation, the hospitality and property firm listed by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, and Philippine home furnishing retailer AllHome Corp, start trading on Thursday after raising $1.6 billion and $285 million, respectively.
Asset World Corporation was the largest IPO by a Thai firm, while AllHome was the Philippines’ biggest in three years.
Singapore still leads on overall first time share sales in Southeast Asia in 2019, but it has achieved this mainly through offerings of real estate and business trusts.
In Thailand, 11 companies raised a total of $1.9 billion from January to Oct. 4, compared with five firms raising less than $100 million in the same period a year ago, Refinitiv data showed. The data excludes real estate and business trusts.
In the Philippines, Allhome is the third company to tap the local market in 2019, compared to just one IPO in 2018.
“We expect Thailand to be one of the stronger IPO markets in 2020. Some more large IPOs have started preparations this year and are set to list next year,” said Ho Cheun Hon, head of Southeast Asia equity capital markets at Credit Suisse.
He said international fund managers continued to be attracted by the growth in consumption across Southeast Asia.
Half of Asset World Corporation’s shares were subscribed by 13 cornerstone investors, including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, which put in about $300 million.
Bankers said the 2020 deal pipeline for Thailand included fund raising by a unit of the country’s biggest retailer Central Group, a retail arm of oil company PTT Pcl and others.
PTT’s retail IPO will give investors exposure to 2,000 coffee shops, gas stations and auto repair shops.
Bangkok Commercial Asset Manager, which handles distressed debt, has also filed to list, offering a niche business as there are only two publicly traded debt collectors in Thailand.
“Thai institutions and retail investors are more focused at home ... and there is a lot of capital looking for good investments,” SCB Executive Vice President Veena Lertnimitr said. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Chayut Setboornsarng in Bangkok; Editing by Edmund Blair)