Listed SMEs urged to engage investors

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) logo and sign.
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) logo and sign. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SGX also undertaking initiatives to raise profile of small caps to spur lagging market

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) listed in Singapore could help revive lagging share prices amid the market downturn by communicating more with investors.

Mr Mohamed Nasser Ismail, the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) head of equity capital market for SMEs, told The Straits Times that keeping shareholders up to speed on how the firm is progressing and its strategy for growth can pay dividends.

He said: "There are challenges and hesitation due to market cycles and macroeconomic uncertainties... But for the listed companies, it's not a short-term game.

"They are building their businesses for the long haul, and they should paint that picture for the investors, who can then better appreciate the true value of these companies."

The SGX has made profiling listed firms one of its priorities, said Mr Nasser.It has held corporate access events in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and London in the past three months, with 44 listed firms showcased to over 360 investors from 230 institutions and funds.

Mr Nasser shared his views at yet another investment seminar held here yesterday, where six small- cap companies were featured.

He added that the listing pipeline for smaller firms remains "robust".

MORE COMMUNICATION

For the listed companies, it's not a short-term game. They are building their businesses for the long haul, and they should paint that picture for the investors, who can then better appreciate the true value of these companies.

SGX HEAD OF EQUITY CAPITAL MARKET FOR SMEs MOHAMED NASSER ISMAIL

Separately, The Straits Times understands that at least a handful of SMEs, including a local food and beverage firm, are lined up for listing in the first quarter of next year.

Top executives of AGV Group, Axcelasia, CNMC Goldmine Holdings, Grand Banks Yachts, Global Invacom Group and Sapphire Corporation were at the seminar yesterday to discuss business performance and outlook with about 100 brokers and fund managers. The seminar was co-organised with WeR1.

AGV, a company that specialises in anti-corrosion coating, was listed on the Catalist board in late August. Co-founder and chief executive Albert Ang said the firm - one of only five in that industry here - expects a boost from infrastructure projects such as the second phase of Singapore's Deep Tunnel Sewerage System, which will fuel demand for "five to eight years". AGV shares closed one cent lower or 4.65 per cent at 20.5 cents.

Two other companies - Grand Banks Yachts and satellite equipment firm Global Invacom Group - have reaped rewards in turning their businesses around.

Grand Banks Yachts reported a $1.97 million net profit for the financial year ended June 30, a major reversal from the $4.8 million loss a year ago. Chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Richards said the firm's order book was $34.1 million as at June 30, an almost tenfold increase in the two years since he joined.

Global Invacom was also back in the black, reporting a US$230,000 (S$315,000) profit for the three months to June 30 after suffering a US$1.91 million loss a year earlier. CEO Tony Taylor said the company - the world's only designer and manufacturer of integrated satellite communications equipment - will benefit from the rise of 4K broadcasting as the super high-definition content will require a new generation of satellite equipment.

Grand Banks shares last closed flat at 24 cents, while Global Invacom added half a cent or 3.21 per cent to close at 16.1 cents yesterday.

The event yesterday followed one held two weeks ago at which the SGX hosted nine healthcare firms, including women healthcare provider Singapore O&G. Its CEO Victor Ng said: "These outreach events definitely raise a company's profile and continue to keep investors interested. They also keep a company's investor relation objectives fresh and updated."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2016, with the headline 'Listed SMEs urged to engage investors'. Print Edition | Subscribe