Listing process for Main Market and ACE Market of Bursa

Equity capital markets (ECM)

The fastest IPO I have worked on took about a year from start to finish.

The longest took much longer than that.

Some never saw the daylight for various reasons- market conditions not right for IPO, the companies were not suitable for listing or the promoters decided to raise funds through alternative means.

I get a bit amused when lawyers who have not worked on IPO seem enthusiastic at the beginning of an IPO exercise.

It’s nice to be enthusiastic! However, the enthusiasm sometimes wanes before the IPO comes to fruition.

It is not uncommon to see resignations and new hires of representatives within organisations (investment bank, audit firm, law firm, financial consultancy firm, etc) engaged by an IPO applicant company throughout the duration of the IPO exercise.

There are three milestones when I feel ‘excited’ during an IPO exercise (out of the many stages of IPO shown in the diagram).

The first milestone is when applications are submitted to the regulators. The days leading up to submissions are typically hectic with communication going back and forth between members of the due diligence working group (DDWG). Draft submission documents are circulated to the DDWG for comments, the DDWG give their comments and revised drafts are then circulated to the DDWG for further comments. The process is repeated a few rounds until the drafts are finalised for submission to the regulators.

When the regulators allow the draft prospectus to be made available for public exposure, it feels like half the battle is won. But you don’t get to sit down and enjoy the quietness for long. The next stage is the query stage where the DDWG addresses various rounds of queries from the regulators.

The second milestone is when the regulators grant approval for the IPO. Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel! But it doesn’t mean things slow down at this point. It’s the opposite. This is the final lap towards the finishing line- conducting due diligence update and updating draft prospectus for registration with the regulators and printing.

The third milestone is when the prospectus is launched. After months (or even years in some cases) of working on an IPO, it’s gratifying to hold a physical copy of the prospectus at prospectus launch event.

Of course, it’s always exciting (or a relief) to see the company get listed on the day it commences trading.


This post was first posted on Linkedin on 19 July 2022.
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