SGX’S PLAN SET TO BE GAME CHANGER
Bourse wants to be a go-to-place for start-up IPOs in Southeast Asia
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
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.
Vodafone and Idea Cellular plan to announce a preliminary agreement this month.