UPDATE 1-Indonesian IPO market picks up with $450 mln deals in H1
* Saratoga, Blue Bird eye listings -sources
* Major companies seek IPOs in 2013 ahead of 2014 election (Adds quotes, details)
By Janeman Latul and Saeed Azhar
JAKARTA/SINGAPORE, April 2 (Reuters) - Indonesia is set to see two rare major listings worth a combined $450 million over the next few months after the $1.3 billion share sale of retailer PT Matahari Department Store in March boosted equity demand in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
Private equity firm PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya, and Indonesia's biggest taxi operator Blue Bird Group, have picked underwriters to prepare their IPOs as they seek to raise money ahead of a 2014 general election which promises heightened instability in capital markets, sources said.
Saratoga and Blue Bird are among several deals expected in Southeast Asia's largest economy, where demand for local stocks pushed the Jakarta index to a record high this week.
"We are seeing a huge pickup in terms of demand from foreign investors compared with last year as they are looking for higher yields," said Marciano Herman, chief executive of state-owned Danareksa Securities, a leading local brokerage.
"The timing is good this year for big private companies to tap the market, as next year is not a good time given the election."
In late March, London-based CVC Capital Partners and PT Multipolar raised $1.3 billion by selling part of their stake in Matahari, making it the biggest stock sale in Indonesia since 2008.
Indonesia is expected to host several other IPOs this year, including in the vehicle financing and agricultural sectors, which altogether could raise over $2 billion and challenge Malaysia as the region's top equity market.
In Malaysia, awaiting a general election which must be held before the end of June, the equity market has been subdued with $120 million raised in IPOs this year. Bankers still expect companies to raise up to $3 billion in share sales in the second half of the year, according to IFR estimates.
Saratoga has picked UBS AG and Deutsche Bank to lead its initial public offering in the second quarter of this year which aims to raise at least $200 million, sources said on Tuesday.
Saratoga, which was founded in 1998 by Indonesian tycoons Edwin Soeryadjaya and Sandiaga Uno, would be the first private equity firm to float on the Jakarta stock exchange.
The process is in an advanced stage and it is expected to float in late April or early May, one of the sources said.
Saratoga owns shares in several major Indonesian companies, including coal miner PT Adaro Energy and PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure, a telecommunications tower operator.
Blue Bird Group has picked Credit Suisse AG and UBS AG to lead its listing which aims to raise at least $250 million, sources said.
Blue Bird wants to sell a stake of between 20 percent and 40 percent around the middle of this year, said one of the sources.
It is aiming for a $1 billion valuation for its businesses, which range from taxis to supply-chain management, said another source who declined to be identified because the talks were not public.
A lack of public transport across Indonesia means demand for car and motorbike taxis is generally strong, and Blue Bird is one of the country's most prominent brands.
Blue Bird declined requests for comment, and Saratoga was not immediately available for comment. (Additional Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui in KUALA LUMPUR and Daniel Stanton from IFR in SINGAPORE; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)
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