Merdeka Battery jumps on debut as Indonesia’s EV push draws investors

Merdeka Battery jumps on debut as Indonesia’s EV push draws investors

Merdeka Battery Materials (MBMA.JK) surged 11.3% in its stock market debut on Tuesday, becoming the second Indonesian nickel producer in the past week to make a robust start as a publicly listed company.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, has been stepping up its efforts to become a major player in the global electric vehicle (EV) supply chain by tapping its nickel reserves, the largest in the world. Nickel is a raw material for making EV batteries.

Merdeka Battery’s shares soared as much as 20.1% to 955 rupiah on the Indonesian stock exchange, compared with its IPO price of 795 rupiah. They closed at 885 rupiah. The local benchmark stock index (.JKSE) ended 0.5% higher.

The IPO raised 8.75 trillion rupiah ($591.82 million), Indonesia’s third largest this year.

“The big interest in this IPO signals that investors are very optimistic about the prospects of nickel downstreaming and development of EV battery business that will be done by MBM,” Merdeka Battery’s CEO Devin Ridwan said at the market debut ceremony in Jakarta, referring to Merdeka Battery as MBM.

Trimegah Bangun Persada (NCKL.JK), also known as Harita Nickel, debuted on the local stock exchange last Wednesday with a positive showing after raising 10 trillion rupiah. The stock has climbed 15.6% versus its IPO price.

European automaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) is planning to partner with Indonesian companies, including the Merdeka group, to source EV battery raw materials, a cabinet minister said on Sunday.

When asked about the potential collaboration, Devin told reporters that the company is discussing the structure of its partnership with Volkswagen but there was no concrete agreement yet.

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