Southeast Asian companies, long considered smaller players compared to those in other Asian markets, are growing in international influence. In the past, large companies in Southeast Asia have mostly concentrated on their home markets, where they faced little competition. But as they run out of room to expand at home, companies are taking their large stockpiles of cash and turning toward the international markets.
Cross-border acquisitions by Southeast Asian corporations have tripled since this time last year. Energy firms like Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Malaysia’s Petronas are acquiring companies in the U.K. and Canada. The region is also making a splash in the public offerings world: Malaysia has had the world’s second- and third-largest IPOs this year.