SGX, IMDA nearing deal on tech start-up IPOs: Sources

The deal will allow the SGX to be engaged with tech-related firms earlier, according to people familiar with the matter. The bourse will work with advisers from the securities industry to pair the firms with potential investors.
The deal will allow the SGX to be engaged with tech-related firms earlier, according to people familiar with the matter. The bourse will work with advisers from the securities industry to pair the firms with potential investors.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is nearing a deal with the nation's technology regulator to develop a system designed to encourage local start- ups to list on the bourse, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under the agreement, the bourse operator would help pair technology companies with investors with the aim of securing their listings in Singapore, the people said.

The SGX and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) are close to finalising the accord, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Stock exchanges around the world are competing for initial public offerings (IPOs) as the fight for global capital intensifies. The SGX's tie-up with the regulator will deepen the bourse's "sector approach", with four industries, including technology, the focus of its listings strategy.

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The move comes as firms with Singapore roots, including Razer and Sea - South-east Asia's most valuable start-up formerly known as Garena - are said to be considering listing in Hong Kong or the United States.

An SGX spokesman declined to comment. An IMDA representative did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment. SGX shares rose 2.1 per cent in Singapore trading yesterday to reach $7.41, at which it ended the day.

The deal with the IMDA will allow the exchange operator to be engaged with tech-related firms earlier, the sources said. The SGX will work with advisers from the securities industry to pair the firms with potential investors, they said.

The bourse in March signed separate agreements with a crowdfunding platform and PricewaterhouseCoopers' Venture Hub to facilitate capital access for start-ups.

The IMDA oversees Singapore's tech, telecommunications and media sectors. It has been tasked with creating a globally competitive tech industry in the city by 2025.

Singapore was ranked first in the World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report 2016.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'SGX, IMDA nearing deal on tech start-up IPOs: Sources'. Print Edition | Subscribe