Photographer: Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg

Singapore Exchange Said to Be Near Deal With Regulator for IPOs

  • Technology firms will be nurtured with aim to list in city
  • Agreement comes as exchanges fight for global capital

Singapore Exchange Ltd. is nearing a deal with the city’s technology regulator to develop a system designed to encourage local startups 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 listing in the city-state, the people said. SGX and the Infocomm Media Development Authority are close to finalizing the accord, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Stock exchanges around the world are competing for IPOs as the fight for global capital intensifies. SGX’s tie-up with the regulator will deepen the exchange’s so-called sector approach, with four industries, including technology, the focus of its listings strategy. The move also comes as companies with Singapore roots including Razer Inc. and Sea Ltd., Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup formerly known as Garena, are said to be considering listing in Hong Kong or the U.S.

An SGX spokeswoman declined to comment. Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said in a speech Tuesday that IMDA is working with SGX to increase technology companies’ accessibility to capital markets, to “provide runway for further growth.” More details will be announced next week, Yaacob said.

SGX shares rose 2.1 percent to close at S$7.41 in Singapore trading, the biggest rise since Jan. 13.

The deal with IMDA will allow the exchange operator to be engaged with tech-related firms earlier, the people said. 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 LLP’s Venture Hub to facilitate capital access for startups.

IMDA oversees the technology, telecommunications and media sectors in Singapore. The regulator has been tasked with creating a globally competitive tech industry in the city by 2025. Singapore, where there’s more mobile phones than people, was ranked first in the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2016.

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