KUALA LUMPUR: More initial public offerings (IPOs) are expected this year, but in terms of value it would be much lesser than 2017 given the challenges facing the stock market in 2018, according to Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan. “We don’t have a big (listing in the) pipeline at the moment. Hopefully we will see bigger companies coming in,” Tajuddin said at a media briefing today. “There are few big ones that are yet to be ready and couldn’t come onboard. Hopefully they will repackage themselves and make sure that they are ready to be listed,” he added. As at June 30, Tajuddin said the exchange attracted 11 new listings with a total value of RM2 billion, compared with 13 listings with a value of RM21 billion in the full year of 2017. He said this came as issuers waited for the outcome of the 14th general election, adding that geopolitical uncertainty, trade tensions and macroeconomic conditions had also influenced businesses’ investment activities. On prospects, Tajuddin said the Securities Market segment performance is expected to remain resilient, given the strong economic fundamentals and the new government’s approach towards strengthening transparency and accountability as well as sustained growth outlook. He added that trading and hedging activities will continue to be influenced by volatility in commodity prices and the underlying equities market. Tajuddin also noted that the introduction of US dollar-denominated refined, bleached and deodorised palm olein futures contract is anticipated to attract new participants, improve arbitrage opportunities and assist in managing palm oil refining margins. On Islamic Capital Market, Tajuddin said the exchange will continue to promote Shariah-compliant investing on the Bursa Malaysia-i platform through engagements with market players and intensified promotion activities to retail investors, such as the Shariah Investing Fair. “Bursa Suq Al Sila’ on the other hand, will continue to expand its global reach into the African and Central Asian regions in 2018,” he added. Bursa Malaysia’s net profit decreased 2.2% to RM58.2 million in the second quarter ended June 30 from RM59.5 million in the previous corresponding quarter. Revenue for the quarter declined 1.48% to RM141 million, compared with RM142.67 million in the same period a year ago. For the six months period, its net profit increased 5% to RM122 million against RM116.17 million in the previous year, while revenue grew 2.1% to RM291.3 million from RM285.4 million previously. The higher net profit was primarily due to higher operating revenue of RM279.1 million, a 3.6% increase from the previous corresponding half year. This is Bursa Malaysia’s highest half year operating revenue since listing in 2005. The bourse has approved a first interim dividend of 14 sen per share and a special dividend of 8 sen per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, amounting to approximately RM177.6 million which is payable on Aug 16 and 29.