Manulife Delays U.S. REIT IPO in Singapore Amid Volatile Markets

Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest life insurer, has delayed plans for an initial public offering of its U.S. office assets in Singapore because of increased stock-market volatility.

“Depending on market conditions, the IPO is expected to proceed at a later date,” Manulife said in an e-mailed response to a Bloomberg query about the status of the listing.

The life insurer was planning to tap investors, including Oman’s sovereign fund, as it sought to raise S$569 million ($421 million) in the biggest Singapore initial public offering in almost a year.

Manulife U.S. REIT was offering to sell 694.4 million units at a fixed price of 82 Singapore cents apiece, according to a prospectus on the website of the island-state’s central bank in June. The insurer was offering an estimated 6.3 percent dividend yield for 2016 in the offering of its U.S. office properties.

Asian shares outside China dropped amid a flight to safety after Greek voters rejected austerity measures demanded by creditors for a bailout package. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 1.9 percent, while Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index fell 0.9 percent at 11:30 a.m. local time.

“The weekend Greece result could have added to the reason for Manulife to pull out their IPO,” said Nicholas Teo, a Singapore-based strategist at CMC Markets. “The vote hasn’t solved any problems, it’s just added to the uncertainty.”

Cornerstone investors in the IPO included Oman Investment Fund, Fortress Capital Asset Management and Nikko Asset Management Asia Ltd., according to the prospectus.

The REIT was backed by three office properties in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Orange County, California. DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were managing the offer.

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