Singapore government and SGX launch their drive for more tech IPOs

By Jack Ellis for Tech in Asia

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Singaporean government’s main ICT and media industry regulator, have today signed a memorandum of intent (MoI) aimed at easing the path to IPO for local and foreign tech companies in the country.

Under the terms of the MoI, SGX and IMDA will work together to lower barriers faced by tech companies seeking to access Singapore’s public and private capital markets. It is hoped that this will lead to more high-tech IPOs in the city-state and increase its attractiveness as a fundraising venue.

In particular, the MoI is targeted at assisting fast-growing IMDA-accredited companies to leverage the country’s capital markets. The IMDA accreditation program (A@IMDA) evaluates promising local startups and SMEs across a range of verticals and helps them attract investment and explore exit opportunities.

The MoI will see SGX and A@IMDA collaborate to help accredited companies source pre-IPO funding and prepare them for eventual listing. They will also assist accredited businesses in bringing in accounting and legal expertise so that they can be IPO-ready in a shorter timeframe.

Singapore’s communications and information minister Yaacob Ibrahim had indicated that IMDA and SGX would be teaming up to address the difficulties faced by prospective IPOs when he spoke at the opening of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange earlier this month.

In that address, he also outlined a number of other objectives for the country’s Smart Nation drive, including greater utilization of virtual reality technology in schools and hospitals, enhanced training for would-be fintech professionals, and rapid adoption and deployment of 5G telecoms infrastructure.