Rebuild vibrant capital market to boost investor confidence

The Committee on the Future Economy has done a commendable job in providing a broad range of policy proposals to achieve quality, productivity-led growth for the next 10 years ("Ability to execute proposed growth strategies is key: Iswaran"; Feb 10).

Indeed, the key to achieving these proposals rests with effective implementation.

One area that badly needs to be addressed is how we can re-create a vibrant capital market.

Over the past year, many home-grown companies, such as SMRT, Osim, NOL and Eu Yang Sang, have been taken private.

Yes, companies going private is part and parcel of any vibrant stock market, but in Singapore, there are more companies being privatised than there are companies being listed.

Perhaps companies see less value in being a listed Singapore entity due to the poor trading volumes and the incidental compliance costs. Also, the market does not accord them the valuation they deserve, as our stock market is not robust.

Normally, a listed entity commands a higher valuation, compared to being a private one, due to the prestige of being a listed company and the ease of raising additional capital.

Many investors have lost confidence in our capital market, and not enough has been done to address the issues plaguing our moribund market.

All is not lost, though.

We need a robust committee of market practitioners, intellectuals and policymakers to rebuild much-needed market confidence.

I am confident that we will rise to the challenge and make Singapore an important gateway to the world again.

S. Nallakaruppan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'Rebuild vibrant capital market to boost investor confidence'. Print Edition | Subscribe