BTS taps M.Stanley, UBS, Phatra for record $1.1 bln Thai IPO-IFR

HONG KONG Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:34am GMT

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HONG KONG Nov 15 (Reuters) - Bangkok skytrain operator BTS Group Holdings Pcl has appointed Morgan Stanley, Phatra Securities and UBS as joint bookrunners for a planned 33.3 billion baht ($1.08 billion) IPO of an infrastructure fund it is setting up, IFR reported on Thursday, citing sources.

The initial public offering, slated for 2013, would be the biggest on record in Thailand, according to Thomson Reuters data going back to 1985, surpassing the previous high of $727.6 million by Thai Oil Pcl in 2004.

BTS Group unveiled plans for the fund last week, looking to tap equity markets to invest in the expansion of mass transit lines.

The listing would take place after a bumper year in 2012, the busiest year for IPOs in 18 years, as investors flock to Southeast Asia offerings.

The boom in new listings in Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines has helped investment banks weather a plunge in larger Asia-Pacific markets, including Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

For Thailand, 2012 has been a banner year, with the benchmark stock index up nearly 25 percent, marking the best performance of any major market in the region.

Companies including Tesco Plc's local unit have raised about $1.37 billion in IPOs in Thailand so far in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data. Real estate developer Ananda Development launched on Monday an up to $213 million offering that would push new issuance volume to the highest in the country since the $2.64 billion raised in 1994. ($1 = 30.7050 Thai baht) (Reporting by S. Anuradha of IFR; Additional reporting and writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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