Singapore government announces $1 billion new fund to boost local stock market

An escalator past an electronic screen and ticker board at the Singapore Exchange.

Lee Yen Nee | CNBC

SINGAPORE — The Singapore government on Friday announced a series of initiatives to boost the domestic stock market, including co-investing in a new fund to support “promising high-growth” companies.

The new fund will be set up with state investment firm Temasek. It will start with 1.5 billion Singapore dollars ($1.1 billion) to help companies raise capital through public listings — whether primary, secondary or dual — in the Southeast Asian city-state.

Here are other initiatives that were announced:

  • The investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board intends to establish a new fund to invest in later-stage companies and work toward an eventual listing in the city-state. The fund will start with 500 million Singapore dollars.
  • The financial regulator, Monetary Authority of Singapore, will increase its grants to help companies defray the cost of listings.
  • The exchange operator, Singapore Exchange, will help high-growth companies to raise funds privately prior to a public listing.   

Earlier this month, the SGX announced new rules to allow the listing of special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs. The move was seen as a way to revive Singapore’s IPO market.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC, SGX Chief Executive Loh Boon Chye said there’s a “robust pipeline” of potential SPAC listings — and the first could come through in a couple of weeks.

Singapore’s stock market has outperformed many of its regional peers this year, with the benchmark Straits Times Index gaining around 7.8% as of Thursday’s close.

But initial public offerings on the Singapore Exchange have been lackluster in comparison. In the first half of this year, Singapore drew just three IPOs that raised $200 million in proceeds, while fellow financial hub Hong Kong had 46 listings that raised $27.4 billion.

— CNBC’s Weizhen Tan contributed to this report.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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