World's No. 1 condom maker Karex makes strong stock trading debut with 32 per cent gain

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Karex Berhad, the world’s top condom producer, surged more than 30 per cent in its trading debut Wednesday on Malaysia’s stock exchange, following a 125 million ringgit ($39.2 million) initial public offering to bolster its market share.

Karex shares jumped to 2.45 ringgit (77 cents), up 32 per cent from its IPO price of 1.85 ringgit (58 cents).

Karex, which has two manufacturing plants in Malaysia and one in Thailand, said it would use the IPO proceeds to double its current production capacity to 6 billion pieces a year by the end of 2015. It hopes this will help raise its global market share from 10 per cent now to 20 per cent by 2016.

Analysts say the global condom industry is expected to expand 7.5 per cent annually to 30.4 billion pieces by 2016.

Karex, a family-run business established in 1988, supplies to commercial customers with well-known brands such as Durex as well as government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Maybank Research said demand for condoms is likely to grow because of world population growth and increased use of contraception.