IE, China Construction Bank to collaborate on infrastructure financing, fundraising

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) signed agreements on Monday to collaborate on infrastructure financing and push for Chinese companies to raise funds in the island's capital markets via listings and debt issues.

IE Singapore, the statutory board under the trade ministry, and CCB signed a memorandum of understanding, in which CCB plans to provide S$30 billion worth of financing services for infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia.

These projects will be related to Chinese President Xi Jinping's One Belt, One Road initiative aimed at developing trade and transport links across Asia and beyond, IE Singapore and CCB said in a statement, ahead of a joint press conference with Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX).

They also said SGX and CCB plan to work more closely to boost fundraising activities by Chinese companies in Singapore.

The collaboration comes at a time when Singapore is facing a dearth of initial public offerings (IPOs) while Chinese corporations are venturing abroad to gain a stronger global foothold via fundraising, mergers and acquisitions.

"SGX and CCB will also highlight opportunities for Chinese companies to issue offshore renminbi bonds, undertake mergers and acquisitions, establish cross-border asset management services and other capital market activities in Singapore," IE Singapore and CCB said in the statement, using an alternative name for China's yuan currency.

The exchange and the bank hope to revive listing activity in Singapore as the number of IPOs runs dry, exacerbated by a slowing Chinese economy and a penny stocks scandal in 2013.

There have not been any main-board IPOs in Singapore this year, while a number of local companies have also launched deals to take themselves private.