Bali United scores on stock market first for SE Asian club

Bali United’s Stefano Lilipaly (center) and his teammates celebrating after scoring a goal in the first leg of Piala Indonesia quarterfinal against Persija Jakarta on Friday, April 26. Photo: Facebook/Bali United FC
Bali United’s Stefano Lilipaly (center) and his teammates celebrating after scoring a goal in the first leg of Piala Indonesia quarterfinal against Persija Jakarta on Friday, April 26. Photo: Facebook/Bali United FC

Bali United soared on its stock market debut in Jakarta Monday, marking the first time that a Southeast Asian football club has gone public.

The listing puts the team among top clubs Manchester United, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund which have also previously offered their shares.

The Bali side’s parent company jumped nearly 70 percent Monday after an initial public offering that raised a modest 350 million rupiah ($25 million).

About one-third of team owner PT Bali Bintang Sejahtera Tbk was sold at 175 rupiah per share. Its ticker is BOLA, or ball in Indonesian.

Some new shareholders were die-hard fans of Bali United, which is in second spot in Indonesia’s top flight Liga 1, officials said.

“The Bali United brand will become more positive as a professional club with massive support from fans,” said Iwan Budianto, acting chairman of Indonesian Football Association (PSSI).

“PSSI will always support and hope that there will be another clubs that will follow Bali United’s move,” he added.

While it has a low international profile, Indonesia has attracted some foreign talent in the past, including former Chelsea star Michael Essien and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Didier Zokora.

But the league has been tarnished by a host of problems, including match fixing scandals and deadly hooliganism.

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