By Eunice Lim, SEC Newgate Singapore
If there is something in common between gaming hardware maker Razer and consumer internet giant SEA, it is that they have both opted to list offshore, although they were founded in Singapore and maintain strong links to our city-state.
The Singapore Exchange or SGX has seen a spate of de-listings, diminished liquidity and low valuations in recent years, resulting in successful homegrown technology companies choosing to list on rival bourses in Hong Kong or New York instead.
In an attempt to turn things around, Singapore is ramping up its efforts to attract high-growth technology companies to list on our local bourse. The SGX has recently unveiled a series of government and inter-agency initiatives to fund companies at various stages of the IPO process, as well as help them defray listing costs. Notably, the largest initiative is the establishment of a fund – Anchor Fund @ 65 – with an initial tranche of S$1.5 billion that seeks to assist promising, high-growth companies raise capital through public listings on the SGX.
Other initiatives include enhancements to the Grant for Equity Market Singapore scheme to support companies looking to list here, as well as to develop our equity research ecosystem. The SGX has also set out a Strategic Partnership Model to render various forms of support to companies, from private market fundraising to global investor outreach, both before and after listing.
As more homegrown companies continue their promising growth trajectories and seek to list on public markets, it remains pertinent for these companies to stay rooted here in Singapore. Whilst by no means an overnight panacea to revitalise our local bourse, this roll-out of initiatives is nonetheless a step towards establishing a more vibrant public equity market – one that is attractive and conducive to innovative, high-growth companies.