SGX’S PLAN SET TO BE GAME CHANGER

Bourse wants to be a go-to-place for start-up IPOs in South­east Asia

New Straits Times - - Business | World -

SIN­GA­PORE

SIN­GA­PORE’S plans to be­come the first Asian bourse to al­low du­al­class share list­ings is catch­ing the at­ten­tion of tech en­trepreneurs and could help turn a staid mar­ket into a buzzing tech hub, as the city-state looks to re­brand its im­age.

Sin­ga­pore Ex­change’s (SGX) bold­est move in years is de­signed to make it the go-to-place for po- ten­tial ini­tial public of­fer­ings (IPOs) for South­east Asian star­tups, such as ride-hail­ing ser­vices Grab and GO-JEK, and on­line re­tail­ers Toko­pe­dia and In­dia’s Flip­kart.

Such a change, if ap­proved, would sup­port the South­east Asian fi­nan­cial hub, which is bat­tling the im­pact of cool­ing global trade, a down­turn in its key off­shore sup­port ser­vices sec­tor, and a spate of delist­ings.

Sin­ga­pore could by the end of this year im­ple­ment a split share s y s t e m t h a t a l l o w s e ntrepreneurs to re­tain con­trol even with mi­nor­ity stakes by giv­ing some shares more weight.

“It’s a game changer,” said Vin­nie Lau­ria, found­ing part­ner at Golden Gate Ven­tures, a South- east Asian ven­ture cap­i­tal firm which has in­vested in more than 30 com­pa­nies across more than seven Asian coun­tries.

“These firms want to have the vot­ing power and the con­trol­ling shares within a small group of peo­ple who have been re­ally in- volved since the be­gin­ning.”

Dual-class share list­ings, which are al­lowed on the New York Stock Ex­change and Nas­daq, give ex­tra vot­ing power to pro­tect ex­ec­u­tives from share­hold­ers ob­sessed with short-term gains. Reuters

REUTERS PIC

Sin­ga­pore Ex­change’s plans to al­low dual-class share list­ings is catch­ing the at­ten­tion of tech en­trepreneurs and can help turn a staid mar­ket into a buzzing tech hub.

BLOOMBERG PIC

Voda­fone and Idea Cel­lu­lar plan to an­nounce a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment this month.

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