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Deloitte expects IPOs to double

Source: Taipei Times by Crystal Hsu

The number of initial public offerings (IPOs) this year might more than double to 60, from 28 last year, as the local capital market is gaining traction, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, consulting firm Deloitte Taiwan said yesterday.

Deloitte Taiwan gave the optimistic projection after 75 firms joined the Emerging Stock Board, a preliminary market before IPO, audit and assurance business leader Titan Lee (李東峰) said, adding that virus outbreaks might delay the timetable, but would not deter participation.

High-tech, electronics and biotechnology firms are expected to dominate IPO activity, as Taiwan is home to the world’s major electronics suppliers and the government is supporting biotechnology firms, Lee said.

“The biotechnology sector has evolved into a new cluster of its own and gathered steam amid the virus outbreaks,” he said.

Biotechnology firms would remain popular even though the industry is going through a structural change, he said.

Besides earnings ability, investors are increasingly including non-financial factors, such as environmental protection, social responsibility and sustainable governance, in their analyses to identify risks and growth opportunities, Deloitte Taiwan said, urging companies to respond and adjust.

Cybersecurity also demands attention, as Taiwanese authorities require companies with capitalization of more than NT$10 billion (US$362 million) to set up an information security division staffed by professionals in the field by the end of this year, it said.

The number of IPOs last year held steady from a year earlier, but they raised NT$32.1 billion, the highest in six years, led by contract chipmaker Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (力積電), which raked in NT$7.69 billion, or 24 percent of the total, while Advanced Energy Solution Holding Co was second with NT$4.78 billion, Deloitte Taiwan said.

Deloitte Taiwan last year accounted for 50 percent of the local IPO market by helping 14 companies list their shares, it added.

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