IPO market forecast to gather steam this year

South Korea's initial public offering (IPO) market is expected to gather ground this year as several large-sized candidates have intended to debut on the stock market, sources said Friday. The country's IPO market was not white-hot last year as some potential IPO bidders scrapped their listing plans amid a slump in the local stock market. This year's IPO amount is expected to rise 66.1 percent from last year to reach 6.4 trillion won (US$4.82 billion), with the number of newcomers for the year estimated at 85, up from last year's 82, according to the Korea Exchange. Among potential IPO bidders, Seoul Guarantee Insurance Co. (SGI) is seeking to resume its IPO after its unsuccessful bid last year due to sluggish demand. Last year, the company was valued at 3 trillion won at least after the market debut. SK Ecoplant Co., the construction arm of South Korea's chip-to-battery conglomerate SK Group, is reportedly seeking to sell shares for the first time this year, with its market capitalization projected to be over 1 trillion won. The list of potential newcomers for the year includes Hyundai Oilbank Corp. and internet-only bank K-Bank. "For the year, big players will actively attempt IPOs and the local IPO market will rebound as well," said Choi Jong-kyung, an analyst at Bookuk Securities Co. Source: Yonhap News Agency