Mining minnow’s float to cap off a remarkable year for IPOs

Tech darling Nuix may have been the star of the ASX’s initial public offerings (IPO) this year but it will be a humble mining minnow, BPM Minerals, that will cap off a remarkable year for floats which has seen $5.2 billion raised from investors.

While the ASX is yet to finish tallying the official numbers, it expects 2020 to end with as many as 115 companies making their stock market debut, compared to just 92 last year despite COVID smothering the market for most of the first half.

ASX head of listings Max Cunningham said that as many as 87 companies will have hit the boards in this half year with small cap miners such as BPM making a strong contribution.

Mining exploration companies are making up the numbers in the last minute rush to list on the ASX this year but the sector is not attracting the big money.
Mining exploration companies are making up the numbers in the last minute rush to list on the ASX this year but the sector is not attracting the big money. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

BPM, a Perth-based gold and nickel explorer has signed an acquisition agreement for three West Australian-based projects.


“Based on historical exploration and an evaluation of available data, the Company considers that all three Projects are highly prospective for gold and nickel mineralisation,” it told investors in its prospectus.

Analysts say the significant number of miners hitting the bourse is linked to the strong gold rally which has taken place this year and made exploration activities more attractive.

“We have seen a resurgence in mining IPOs,” said Mr Cunningham. But he cited tech, retail and financial services as the bigger themes for 2020.

The raft of small cap miners hitting the stock market might account for the fact that while 2020 easily beat the prior year on the number of floats, it did not come close to it in terms of how much funding was raised from investors.

According to ASX data, $7 billion was raised in 2019 which easily outstrips the $5.2 billion raised in 2020. While mining stocks comprised five of the final seven floats for 2020 they barely raised $20 million between them.

The non-miners that landed on the ASX over the past week raised a lot more. The float of the $190 million luxury online retailer Cettire last week raised $65 million for expansion at the company, which has forecast sales revenue of $70 million for the year ending June 30. Elsewhere, the latest buy-now-pay-later player, Payright, raised $10 million ahead of its float.

However, their promised value has not been reflected in their respective performances since listing. Cettire closed on Tuesday at its issue price of 50¢, while Payright continues to underperform and closed at 97.5¢, well below its $1.20 issue price.

Globally, tech and healthcare have been the strongest themes for the year, said EY partner Duncan Hogg. While Australia’s resource background gives us a stronger mining theme, he says the local market will also reflect the demand for quality tech and health companies.

“I think the more attractive IPOs will still be those in the technology and healthcare space because that’s where the real growth is right now, in terms of opportunity,” he said.

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