Singapore Exchange (SGX) has set up three independent listing committees in a move to strengthen the listing regulatory process.
A new Listings Advisory Committee (LAC), Listings Disciplinary Committee (LDC) and Listings Appeals Committee (LApC) will be in place by Oct 7, SGX said yesterday.
This is in line with the new disciplinary framework that will take effect from next month.
Blackstone Singapore chairman Gautam Banerjee will head the LAC, which will advise SGX on listing applications involving novel or unprecedented issues, requiring specialist expertise, affecting public interest or any other cases deemed appropriate.
About the committees
LISTINGS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Chairman: Mr Gautam Banerjee, chairman of Blackstone Singapore.
Members: Fifteen people from various sectors such as law, corporate finance, accounting or the investment community.
Role: Advise and guide the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on listing applications that involve novel or unprecedented issues, require specialist expertise or affect public interest. It will also take up any other cases that it or the SGX deem appropriate.
LISTINGS DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE
Co-chairmen: Mr Eddie Tan, Citibank corporate regional treasurer of Asia; and Mr Eric Ang, DBS Bank senior executive adviser.
Members: Fourteen people, including those from the existing SGX Disciplinary Committee.
Role: Sit on hearings for serious breaches of listing rules.
It has a wider range of enforcement powers than the SGX, such as the power to issue public reprimand against companies and office-holders, impose fines against issuers and deny market access to issuers.
LISTINGS APPEALS COMMITTEE
Chairman: Senior Counsel Francis Xavier, Rajah & Tann regional head of dispute resolution.
Members: Seven people, including those from the existing SGX Appeals Committee.
Role: Sit on hearings for appeals against decisions made by the Listings Disciplinary Committee or certain decisions made by the SGX which may result in the delisting of an issuer.
Mr Eric Ang, senior executive adviser at DBS Bank, will chair the LDC together with Citibank Asia corporate regional treasurer Eddie Tan. The LDC will oversee serious breaches of listing rules.
Senior counsel Francis Xavier, regional head of dispute resolution at Rajah & Tann, will lead the LApC - to which parties can appeal against disciplinary actions.
The move comes after SGX had sought public feedback on the setting up of the committees last year.
To better the governance and compliance standards for admissions, SGX will also adopt a wider range of enforcement actions it can take, starting next month.
It will, for instance, be able to impose fines on companies, directors, executive officers and issue managers for breaching listing rules, as well as restrict their market access.
SGX chief regulatory officer Tan Boon Gin told a briefing that the new measures, along with those it has rolled out in recent years, are aimed at improving the overall attractiveness of the capital market.
"All these are long-term measures that will improve market structure as well as processes.
"This will lead to a better quality market that we think will lead to better quality listings."
Mr Banerjee said the changes will give investors a confidence boost, now that the processes in the exchange are "more transparent, with outsiders involved".
Market watchers have given the move the nod, given that SGX plays both the roles of a regulator and a listed company .
With the new independent committees, SGX will be subject to "more checks and balances", said Mr David Gerald, chief executive of Securities Investors Association (Singapore), who has also been appointed as a member of the LAC.
"Investors and the overall market will benefit from an even more robust regulatory process and framework in Singapore," he added.
Mr Robson Lee, a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, noted that the independent committees could "mitigate or mute concerns that the SGX is both the policeman and the entrepreneur".