Sunday, 23 July 2017

An Evening with Mr. IPO - 17 Nov 2017

It is my pleasure to invite you to spend an evening with Mr. IPO.... πŸ˜‹... Ok the subject header is misleading but the storyline goes like this... 

Mr. IPO has been invited by SGX to help promote SGX πŸ‚ Bull Charge 2017 among its legions of fans  where SGX will sponsor 10 lucky readers to run beside Mr. IPO for the 5km Mass Run (yes, it's complimentary like the free Sambal Chillies he dishes out. 😎). 

Unfortunately, Mr IPO may have to put on a disguise πŸ‘Ή due to the number of corporate titans that he has offended, especially from CEOs that have gotten chopped chillies from him. They frankly can't wait to chop πŸ”ͺ him into pieces πŸ˜“

As a safety precaution, Mr. IPO will be training up so that he can get away πŸƒquickly from the chopping knives. He may also volunteer to become the "face" of SGX Bull Charge 2017. Hence, readers who are keen to spend an evening with Mr. IPO will get to run beside him, and hopefully get a picture with him afterwards. 

This will be the first of a series of promotional post which I will be writing on SGX Bull Charge. If you have any suggestions on how I can run an online campaign to allocate the 10 tickets, that will be much appreciated! I intend to give out the tickets in pairs πŸ‘«

Personally I have participated in the annual Bull Run around Marina Bay since 2010 for the free exercise T-shirts 🎽(missed last 2 years due to travel schedule). The view is awesome as you run 5km around from the floating platform towards One Fullerton and then turn left to Marina Bay Sands before heading to the Singapore Flyer and ending back at the Floating Platform. I am sure you will enjoy the run. 

More details on how you can get a complimentary pair of running tickets will be released in the coming days on the Singapore IPOs Facebook Page (hint hint: what are you waiting for?)

Happy Bull Charging!  More information on the event below and can be found on here.

Event Details

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Aspen (Group) Holdings Limited

Aspen (Group) Holdings Limited ("Aspen" or the "Company") is offering 173.27m shares at $0.23 each for a listing on Catalist, of which 4.348m is for public and 168.922m shares via placement. The offer will close on 26 July 2017 at 12pm and starts trading on 28 July at 9am. The market cap based on the IPO price is S$199.32m. You can obtain a copy of the prospectus here.

Principal Business

The Company is a Malaysia-based property development group with a focus on developing affordable residential and mixed development properties and target middle-income mass market segment. Aspen intends to provide "value-added" options to its units, such as furnishings and home appliances of reputable brands at cost-efficient prices.

The flagship project of Aspen is the "Aspen Vision City", a 245-acre freehold mixed development project. Aspen has entered into JV agreements with Ikano (Ikano is the franchisee of IKEA for the South East Asia region and owns the franchise in Singapore) to develop some properties within the Aspen Vision City (artist impression below on Aspen Vision City)

While you can see the Penang bridge in the picture above, do note that Aspen Vision City is not on Penang Island itself but on the mainland in Batu Kawan. I have no clue where Batu Kawan is or its future potential. 


The Company has 3 stated on-going projects launched in Penang, namely Tri Pinnacle, Vervea and Vertu Resort. The estimated date of completion for Vervea and Vertu is 3Q 2018 and Q1 2021 for Tri Pinnacle. This will be the time where the bulk of the profits will be recognised. 

According to a Company fact sheet which i received from the IR company, most of the projects launched have already been sold ranging from 57% to 83%. According to that same fact sheet, the aggregate confirmed sales which have not been recognised as revenue amounted to approximately RM 1.108 billion. This will probably be the revenue that will be coming on stream in 2018 and 2021 when the projects are completed.

Financial Highlights and Valuation

The Company has started to recognise some of the revenue using % of completion method. The earnings will be very lumpy as the Company will be recognising revenue from ongoing projects and then launching new projects within the Aspen Vision City.


According to the valuation by Henry Butch, the market value of the projects is around RM 1,233.50 million. That translate into S$392m as of today's rate. I am not sure how that was accounted for in the books.

The prospectus is frankly not easy to read, i have also no idea how to interpret "Gross Development Value" and "Projected Development Profit". Perhaps someone in the know can enlighten me. Is the Company trying to tell me that there are profits to be recognised in future, that is why they can sell the Company at a high price to me today?

Use of Proceeds

The Company is raising $39.9m and intends to use the proceeds to acquire new land for future developments.


You can see from the above table that the Company will continue to be tightly controlled by the existing shareholders. It is interesting to note that the CEO, Dato Murly started working at Ivory Properties when he was 18 and he is only 30 years old now.  A very young CEO indeed (not to mention his high pay as well...)! 

SBK intends to subscribe for 26m shares at the IPO and the public will hold around 17% of the Company post listing. The SBK shareholdings will then be distributed to its shareholders post the listing of the Company according to the table below.

From the table below, you can see that shareholders of AVG and SBK paid around 2.08 cents to 4.41 cents. New investors are coming in at 23 cents.

Peer Valuation

Looking at the peer table above, probably the closest peer are Oxley and World Class Global (which is not in the table). You can find my write up on World Class Global here.

According to the prospectus, price to book is around 3.9x (23 cents divide by NTA of 5.89 cents). As you can see from the table above, most of the peers are trading at below 2x book value and generating a profit. Even World Class Global, with exposure to Penang and Australia, was launched at a price to book of around 2.28x based on its IPO price (now would be lower given the share price is below 26 cents).

If i use World Class Global as a benchmark, where its valuation is lower than Aspen, where investors are more familiar with it and where the founders probably supported the IPO at launch, the subsequent drop of WCG below its IPO price probably send a strong signal that investors here are not able to appreciate such companies - not to mention one that is coming purely from Malaysia. 

What I like about the Company
  • Focus on marketing quality properties to the masses - This is probably the right market segment to target in Malaysia where there will always be demand for affordable quality housing. 
  • Tie up with IKEA for mixed development - The JV with Ikano to develop the shopping mall and open an IKEA mall within Aspen Vision City is a good move to attract traffic to the mall. Mixed development concept is also catching on with families now preferring to stay close to amenities. 
  • KPMG is the auditor - okay at least they are using one of the big 4 to audit their accounts but i have not heard of Henry Butcher, the independent valuer
Some of my Concerns
  • Single country (mainly Penang) exposure - All the projects are located in Penang. Given the listing is in Singapore and reporting the earnings in Singapore, investors will have demographic, economic and currency exposure to Malaysia, especially that of Penang. Given how the MYR has depreciated against the SGD over the last 30 years, investors will have to see if they want the currency exposure. (This is not the case where they are taking advantage of local costs in MYR and selling the products in USD)
  •  Expanding to other South Ease Asia regions - The Company intends to expand into regions like Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia (sounds like an Oxley in the making).  While it holds potential, it is really too early to tell if they will be able to execute their strategy of exporting "affordable quality housing" overseas.  
  • Lumpy earnings and huge premium over its NTA - Adjusting for the estimated net proceeds and post invitation share cap of 886,617,900 shares, the NTA of 5.89 cents is at a huge discount over the issue price of 23 cents. Investors are paying forward for the future value of the land that is currently under development.
  • Company is currently loss making with no stated dividend policy - Company is still loss making with no clear sights of when it will turn in a profit or pay out a dividend. It will probably need to use all the profits generated to continue developing Aspen Vision City.
  • Joint ventures is always a risk - Sorry for my pessimism, JVs is always a risk unless the partnership is already tried and tested. While the tie up with Ikano is promising, there is always a risk that it may not work out. Here is an article on the fight over iconic Capitol in Singapore.
My Chilli Ratings

Comparing World Class Global where i give it a zero chilli rating, it will be hard for me to give anything higher than that for Aspen, especially when local investors here are more familiar with WCG, and that WCG promised to pay dividends and has a better price to book valuation.

(Additional note: Hattan Land, a developer from Malacca, did a reverse take-over of VGO, placed out shares at 28 cents as well and the current price is below its "IPO price" as well).

As such, it is a zero chilli rating for me. I will give this IPO a miss and perhaps use the $2 for a nice bowl of Penang Laksa.

Straw Poll

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Union Gas - Balloting Results

Union Gas announced that its IPO drew strong support from investors and was 7.1x subscribed.

Ms. Alexis Teo (εΌ ζ·‘ε©·), Chief Executive Officer of the Group said: "We are very encouraged by the positive response to our IPO from investors and I extend my deepest appreciation for the confidence they have shown in us. This listing is just the beginning for Union Gas. We have several expansion plans and I hope that our new family of investors will continue to support the Group as we carry out these plans."

The balloting table is presented below for your information:

It is difficult to get the shares through the public offering. Investors who applied for 100,000 shares will have 8% chance of being allotted 6,000 shares. 

The placement was quite likely to be placed out to close friends and relatives as well

Good luck to those who managed to get some shares!

Happy "gassing" πŸ˜‚

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