Remisiers can steer investors away from dodgy IPOs

THE Society of Remisiers (Singapore), or SRS, says that regulators must take responsibility for authenticating the assets and liabilities of potential listed companies ("Do more to protect investors from inflated prices"; yesterday).

It is not their job to do so. Auditors are supposed to do that.

Likewise, it is not the regulators' job to ensure the listing price of an initial public offering (IPO) is not inflated or deflated.

Companies have investment bankers to advise them of listing prices based on market demand.

Investing comes with risks and investors have to protect themselves. Remisiers can add value by steering investors away from IPOs that they feel are of dubious value or have over-inflated listing prices.

IPO companies must issue prospectuses if they want to list, and remisiers can summarise the salient points for their clients.

It is preposterous for the SRS to expect the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to bring in only IPO companies that explode on the first day of listing, like Singapore O&G ("Singapore O&G stocks get off to flying start"; June 5).

No one can ensure that all IPOs can make money for investors, not even SGX.

The SRS also advocates an over-the-counter (OTC) third board for rejects like failed and delisted companies.

It should not give false hope to investors that these failed companies can be resuscitated by being quoted on an OTC board.

Such companies have caused more misery to investors and are the subject of numerous scams.

Instead of blaming regulators for investors' and remisiers' woes and losses, the SRS should assist and educate investors on the risks of stock investments.

Vincent Khoo Teng Lau

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2015, with the headline 'Remisiers can steer investors away from dodgy IPOs'. Print Edition | Subscribe