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Boost from SGX and IMDA for tech IPOs

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The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has started an initiative aimed at making it easier for high-tech start-ups to launch initial public offerings (IPOs).

The move, in collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), involves engaging such start-ups earlier on in the process of an IPO and for a lower fee.

Under the scheme, a pool of appointed sponsors, auditors and solicitors will dispense services at a preferential fee.There are six firms in the pool, but the SGX plans to enlarge it.

The initiative is aimed at the 17 start-ups that have been accredited by the Accreditation@IMDA (A@IMDA) programme, which helps firms win more work with the Government to beef up their track record and market visibility. Four or five of these are considering exit options, including an IPO.

IMDA-accredited firms include HOPE Technik, a local poster boy for innovation, as well as Anacle Systems, which listed in Hong Kong last year.

Mr Chew Sutat, head of equities and fixed income at the SGX, said: "The point really is a lot of companies who think about coming to market often take a very long time and are not adequately ready to actually meet investors, organise themselves in the right way.

"What the A@IMDA does is provide these companies at an early stage the ability to think forward, prepare forward."

The key here is giving companies a shorter time to market, since other avenues already defray listing costs, he said.

Enterprise agency Spring Singapore already offers Capability Development Grants for firms to improve governance and finances before they go public.

Mr Benjamin Mah, chief executive of V-Key, an IMDA-accredited mobile security provider, welcomed the initiative.

He said: "This will help drive the number of tech companies willing to consider capital markets and make Singapore an attractive venue for capital raising." - THE STRAITS TIMES

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