What were the highlights of your equities business over the past year?
We saw some positive trends over the past year, with more issuers raising record funds at attractive valuations. For the entire period of 2017, our new bond and equity listings raised funds totalling more than S$500 billion, double the amount raised in 2016.

In the quarter ended December 2017, equity listings raised 10 times more funds than in the same period last year (S$1.6 billion vs S$131.1 million) and valuations were attractive in the marketplace.

We focus on six core sector strengths; technology, real estate, consumer, healthcare, maritime and offshore services as well as mineral, oil and gas. As the largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) market in Asia-ex-Japan, we continue to play to our strengths. There is strong interest in REITs and business trusts with international assets. China’s Belt & Road initiative will fuel further interest, particularly in infrastructure and real estate sectors.

SGX is Asia’s leading bond market – what’s driving this?
Exciting growth in Asia’s debt market is driven by positive macroeconomic trends, infrastructure financing needs as well as corporate capital expenditure financing needs. SGX is Asia’s leading integrated bond market infrastructure provider, being the preferred venue among issuers to list bonds in Asia, and an enabler of flow in the secondary market through our OTC bond trading platform, SGX Bond Pro.

Around 45% of APAC G3 currency bonds are listed on SGX and we have seen about US$850 billion raised through approximately 2,300 debt securities listed by over 800 issuers from 41 countries.  We offer a platform supporting a broad range of debt instruments, including green bonds, where we are witnessing growth and have listed a third of issuances in Asia.

The diversity of our listings, with these coming from a broader range of issuers, products, and geographies, going beyond Asia with issuers from Central and South America, is an encouraging development for our platform.

India is an important issuer location for us and we have listed more than 170 active bonds from more than 90 Indian issuers spanning from government linked to private sector corporations. More than 80% of active G3 currency listed bonds by Indian issuers are listed on SGX.

These are all positive signs that issuers continue to be attracted by SGX’s clear regulatory framework, efficient listing process, post-listing requirements, and the access it provides to a diverse and deep pool of capital.

We will continue to help grow and develop the Masala bond market and bring these opportunities to global investors. Looking ahead, we hope to see more activity from Indian bond issuers.

Tell us about SGX being the leading exchange in Asia for overseas bond listings by Indian companies.
Singapore is home to several Indian and other International companies. With many choosing this city-state from which to grow their global footprint, as they are attracted by the regional connectivity, the wealth management hub, and related financial ecosystem.
Capital raising is an important part of this and SGX is the leading exchange in Asia for overseas bond listings by Indian companies.  Since 2010, there have been 25 INR denominated issues listed on SGX and we have been growing as a leading Masala bond hub with 12 such bonds listed on the exchange.
Raising debt on SGX allows Indian corporates and institutions to diversify their funding base and access the growing investor appetite for Masala bonds.  Asia is emerging as a core investor base for Masala bond issuers. Investors in this region accounted for around 70% of some of our listings, including NTPC and Adani Transmission, and we expect this positive trend to continue.
Through our office in Mumbai, we remain active in providing education and information on capital raising in Singapore.  This includes information about the investors that can be reached by issuers and possible ways of fund raising including Masala bonds. All these efforts make SGX the leading exchange in Asia for overseas debt listings from India.

What can SGX offer companies that are looking to raise capital?
Listing on SGX offers companies access to a deep and diverse pool of international capital within a market oriented regulatory framework and a business friendly environment.  We can provide access to Asia’s wealth management hub, enabling companies to tap liquidity provided by S$2.7 trillion of assets under management in Singapore, as well as access to a global investor base, including retail investors from China, India and South East Asia.
We are the most international exchange in Asia, with nearly 40% of all companies listed coming from overseas. Listing outside of your domestic market in an international venue like Singapore offers the added benefit of increased brand awareness. 
While we attract companies from across a wide spectrum of sectors, we have clear strengths in sectors including REITS, with the largest portfolio outside of Japan, and Maritime and Offshore, where we have the largest pool of listed companies among Asian exchanges.

What are SGX's plans to attract new technology companies?
Technology is one of our sector strengths.  Technology and telecommunications is now one of the largest segments of companies listed on SGX with close to 80 companies and a combined market capitalization of US$62 billion, comparable to our REIT sector, another of SGX’s strong sectors, along with the consumer, healthcare, mineral, oil and gas as well as marine and offshore sectors.

There is a strong investor appetite for tech stocks in Singapore. Our own community of tech listings has much room to grow and we are in continuous talks with tech listing aspirants.

We are in various partnerships with the Singapore government and private sector to supporting Singapore’s tech and start-up ecosystem. We are also in a partnership with Nasdaq to jointly attract companies to list on both exchanges.   

What new innovations SGX is considering such as dual-share listings? How do you expect these to evolve?
Singapore is making huge efforts to transition into the New Economy. The country is already recognized as a leading hub for start-ups, and some of these companies may need a capital structure that supports a scaling up of the business. We want to support this as a fundraising platform and the DCS structure is one way to do this.  The rules on DCS are expected to be out by the second quarter of 2018.

What is your outlook for the year ahead?
The IPO momentum that we’ve seen over the past year is set to continue, driven by improving equity markets and ample liquidity in the market looking for investment opportunities.

We hope to see the results of our efforts to scale up our securities business, such as strategic alliances, and further strengthening Singapore’s position as a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and capital raising.

We will continue to grow our offering to clients in both equities and debt. We are working hard to establish ourselves as the go-to destination for all capital needs, for example through our collaborative listings agreement with Nasdaq that creates an East-West corridor. This will enhance the channels available for companies to access capital market funding and enhance their corporate profile in both markets.

 

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