IPOs diversify water stock universe in Thailand

Published April 20th, 2017

Following the successful IPO of industrial water and energy concessionaire WHA UP on the Thai stock exchange last week, which valued the company at THB20 billion ($583 million), eyes are now turning to the long-delayed spin-off of East Water subsidiary Universal Utilities.

WHA UP, which inherited the water and wastewater concessions of industrial park developer Hemaraj, raised THB3.3 billion ($95 million) on 10 April by issuing new shares, while its owners sold THB2.7 billion ($80 million) worth of existing shares. Expansion is planned in eastern Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Government-backed concessionaire East Water, meanwhile, continues to delay the IPO of 45% of its tap water division as it waits for “the most appropriate time”. It received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission in May 2016 for the spin-off, which was originally planned for later that month. Analysts are forecasting proceeds of up to THB1.6 billion ($46 million).