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Property firm UOA seeks secondary listing on SGX

IPO proceeds of $19.1m to be used for Asian expansion

MALAYSIAN-based, Australian-listed property company United Overseas Australia (UOA) is seeking a secondary listing in Singapore to help it grow in the region.

UOA now focuses on mid to high-end residential and commercial projects in Kuala Lumpur. ‘But we are looking to go into other countries such as China, Vietnam and India,’ director Alan Winduss said yesterday. A Singapore listing will ‘spread the word about UOA faster’, he said. ‘We need a base in Asia for faster expansion in the region.’

UOA yesterday launched a $20.9 million initial public offering (IPO) for a Singapore Exchange mainboard listing.

The 55 million shares on offer at 38 cents apiece represent 6.7 per cent of the company’s enlarged share capital and value UOA at $311.9 million.

Of the shares offered, 53 million are for placement and the remaining two million for public subscription.

UOA estimates the net proceeds from the IPO at $19.1 million. More than half or $10.1 million will be set aside for general working capital. The remainder will be used to acquire new development sites.

The shares are being offered at a 17 per cent discount to the closing price of the company’s Australian-listed shares on Monday – the last day of trading before UOA registered its prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday.

UOA is open to converting its Singapore listing to the primary one, Mr Winduss said. It believes a listing in Singapore will allow it to raise funds more effectively to expand into Asia. Investors here are more likely to be familiar with the Vietnamese market than Australian investors.

Besides stakes in residential and commercial properties, UOA owns 45 per cent of Bursa Malaysia-listed UOA Reit, which holds stakes in four prime office buildings. UOA intends to sell more commercial properties to the trust.

The share offer opens today and closes on Dec 17. Trading is expected to begin on Dec 19. HL Bank is the manager for this secondary listing.


Source: Business Times 12 Dec 07

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