* Agreement aimed at lowering access barriers to capital market
* Accredited firms will get support to launch IPOs
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Reuters) - Singapore Exchange Ltd announced a partnership with the city-state’s technology and media regulator, in a move that will facilitate accredited companies to list on the exchange and shore up the bourse’s appeal as a listing destination.
“Through this memorandum of intent (MOI), both parties aim to lower the access barriers for technology companies into the capital markets, catalyse more high-tech IPOs and increase Singapore’s attractiveness as a venue for capital raising,” SGX and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The IMDA develops and regulates Singapore’s technology, media and telecom sector. Under its accreditation programme, infocomm media companies are supported by investments and resources to grow and compete in global markets.
As of end May 2017, the IMDA programme had 18 accredited companies in areas such as video and data analytics and robotics.
SGX’s partnership with IMDA would allow them to organise financial support for IMDA-accredited companies in their IPO journey and advise them on listing processes, the statement said.
SGX, a global centre for business trusts and real estate investment trusts, has taken several measures in the past few years to shore up market liquidity, improve the quality of listings and strengthen its regulatory framework after a penny stocks crash in 2013 battered investor confidence.
Fund-raising via IPOs at SGX, where about 40 percent of over 700 listed companies originate outside the country, rebounded to $1.7 billion last year after slumping to its lowest in 17 years in 2015, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Under CEO Loh Boon Chye, who joined the SGX two years ago, the exchange is in the process of deciding whether it should introduce dual-class share listings.
If approved, this would mark the boldest move by the exchange in years and is expected to help it become the go-to-place for potential IPOs for Southeast Asian start-ups from the technology and other sectors. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Stephen Coates)