KUALA LUMPUR—After raising $2 billion in the world's third-largest initial public offering this year, IHH Healthcare Bhd., Asia's largest hospital operator by market value, staged a solid trading debut in Malaysia and Singapore on Wednesday.
The hospital operator's shares opened at 3.07 ringgit (97 U.S. cents) on the Malaysian stock exchange, 9.6% above their the IPO price of 2.80 ringgit, as investors scrambled to buy into what is viewed as a recession-resistant business, and ahead of the stock's inclusion in the country's benchmark index expected as soon as Aug. 1.
With 390 million shares changing hands, they closed up 10% at 3.09 ringgit, valuing the company at US$7.8 billion, the world's second-largest health-care provider by market capitalization after HCA Holdings Inc. HCA +1.50% of the U.S. at US$11.7 billion. Malaysia's benchmark 30-share FTSE Bursa KLCI index ended up 0.2% at 1635.09.
The offering adds to Malaysia's reputation as a hot spot in a tepid global IPO market after another local firm, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd., 5222.KU -0.94% raised $3.3 billion last month in 2012's second-biggest share offering. Facebook Inc.'sFB +1.93% $16 billion deal tops this year's list.
The gains by IHH, which runs hospitals in Singapore, India and Turkey, were partly due to its backing by the Malaysian government and strong demand from 22 cornerstone investors, which are guaranteed large allotments in an IPO in exchange for agreeing to hold the shares for a certain period. Such investors also boosted Felda's IPO, as their presence helps calm jittery investors in a weak global market.
The cornerstone investors in the IHH offering, including the sovereign-wealth funds of Kuwait and Singapore and the investment arm of the World Bank, collectively took up close to two-thirds of the total shares that were offered.