| According to a company statement, the funds so raised
are slated to go towards debt repayment. Market analysts have pegged
the offer to debut at a 10 per cent premium on 28 October, which is
when the shares will be first listed on the Exchange.
According to Malaysian Issuing House (MIH), 111,817 applications
had been received against 241.21 million IPO shares for Astro All
Asia Networks' public tranche and 88,139 applications were received
for 245.41 million shares from eligible subscribers and retailers.
Astro had offered 425 million shares to foreign and Malaysian institutional
and selected investors and 83.4 million shares were up for retail
investors. The IPO's retail portion was reportedly fixed at RM3.65
a share and its institutional portion at RM4.06 a share.
As per a Financial Times report, about 60 per cent of the IPO had
been offered to foreign institutions, 24 per cent to local funds,
and the balance to retail and employees.
Although according to earlier estimates, the issue was deemed oversubscribed
by over 15 times, the final figures from MIH reflected market concerns
about Astro's earnings growth potential. The IPO is now being said
to be 8.16 times oversubscribed - around half way through initial
Since Astro is not considered a high-yield stock, investors are
more interested in the satellite operator's earnings growth, which
would depend largely on whether the media group can rope in the
predominant Malay population. For now, most of Astro's 1.1 million
subscribers comprise the Chinese and Indian communities, which are
nearly a quarter of all Malaysian households.
Astro - Malaysia's sole pay-TV operator - has been offering satellite
services for the last seven years and operates 46 pay channels that
compete with five free-to-air broadcasters. As per its financial
results in the prospectus, Astro had posted a net profit of RM293.11
million for the year till January 2003; but for the first six months
till July this year, it made a net loss of RM30.77 million.