SGX and Nasdaq in pact to smooth dual listings

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Nasdaq will extend their partnership to help companies access capital in both jurisdictions.

The increased cooperation will include a streamlined framework for issuers seeking a secondary listing on SGX, the bourse said in a statement on Tuesday (July 21).

The two exchanges are deepening their partnership at a time when tensions between the United States and China have escalated, the mainland has cemented its control over Hong Kong and as the competition between Asia's two financial hubs has increased.

The framework allows documents required for the SGX listing to be based on information contained in the US listing and subsequent filing documents to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and/or Nasdaq, together with additional disclosure in compliance with Singapore's rules.

Shares of SGX fell as much as 19 cents or 2.25 per cent to $8.25 on Wednesday.

A dual-listing tie-up with Nasdaq "will significantly bring up SGX's profile" as an important destination for technology listings in Asia, said Ms Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX in Singapore. "This is significant for SGX, which has suffered from delistings and lack of technology firm IPOs in the past years."

Cooperation will further enable monitoring and assessment of issuers, and the enforcement of regulatory actions, including referrals of cases to the authorities of the respective jurisdictions.

SGX saw its stock price tumble in May after MSCI Inc announced that it would move licensing for derivatives products on some gauges to Hong Kong from Singapore. It has not stayed still - the bourse said last month it would launch single-stock futures on some companies listed in the city-state, and announced it will acquire the remaining 80 per cent stake in BidFX, a foreign exchange trading platform.

The move also comes after US President Donald Trump ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status with the US and signed legislation that would sanction Chinese officials responsible for cracking down on political dissent in the city.

In May, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a Bill that could lead to Chinese companies being barred from listing on US stock exchanges.

"This is basically a step in corporate governance in line with the US Senate Bill," said Mr Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. "Given that the US is taking a view that Hong Kong is now China and special status does not hold, Singapore might be in good position to cement its status as a regional financial hub."

Mr Nirgunan Tiruchelvam at Tellimer also sees it as a positive for the Singapore bourse.

"This is a shot in the arm for the SGX," he said. "It is an opportunity for the SGX to gain lost ground from a string of delistings. Singapore could become a magnet for high-profile listings as clouds darken over Hong Kong."

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