Bali United, a football team in Liga 1 – the premiere division of Indonesia’s professional league – has become Southeast Asia’s first team to go public, raising $24.7m (€21.8m) on its debut on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (ISE) , with a ticket symbol BOLA, the Indonesian word for “ball”.
Yabes Tanuri, owner of Bali United, said in a report by Nikkei Asian Review that he hopes the listing will elevate the country’s sports and entertainment sectors. Bali United’s shares started trading on the ISE on June 17, selling 2 billion shares, one third of its total, at 175 rupiah per share, according to reports in the Business Times. The shares were up 140 per cent from their IPO price in the first three days, before eventually giving up some gains.
The listing puts the team in the same company of top football clubs like Manchester United, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund which were also previously publicly-listed.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Indonesia, with total attendance for Liga 1 matches topping 3 million in 2018, up 17 per cent from a year earlier, according to the Indonesian Soccer Association.
It’s also reported that Persija Jakarta, Liga 1’s 2018 champion, and Thailand’s Buriram United already have IPOs planned as well.