Just as Hong Kong has taken over from Japan as the second largest stock exchange in Asia (behind Shanghai), and as larger and better performing IPOs show renewed confidence on the part of investors in the city, Singapore’s primary markets have quietly (and rather worryingly) gone off the grid.
Clawback columnist Philippe Espinasse says the latest proposals by Hong Kong’s Law Society could spell bad news for international securities lawyers in the city. read
As Asian exchanges increasingly embrace the US model for new listings — the introduction of variable voting rights being a case in point — disintermediated IPOs may perhaps soon be the next fad.
Cornerstone investors used to be the trusted, fail-safe, mechanism that ensured the success of Hong Kong IPOs. Not anymore. read
Earlier this month, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced that it was seeking feedback from market participants on whether to retain quarterly reporting, which the bourse first introduced in 2003. read
Something quite extraordinary has just been happening in Singapore. For the first time in several years, investors in the city-state have been able to punt on a local, multi-billion-dollar IPO. read
Readers of this column will be familiar with my occasional ranting about Hong Kong’s cornerstone investor regime, and in particular the doltish six-month lock-up rule which the Singapore Exchange, for one, never saw fit to introduce, and which even Bursa Malaysia ended up ditching, after having initially restricted it to subscriptions representing 5% or more of a company’s share capital. read
Just a few weeks apart, announcements were recently made by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX) and Singapore’s SGX respectively about changes to front line regulatory functions they perform. The approaches under these proposals couldn’t have been more different. read
Around this time last year, I reviewed the dismal performance of the Hong Kong primary markets, and ventured a guess that investors could instead turn en masse to ECM transactions in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia – and even the Philippines. How wrong I was! read
At long last, the operator of Hong Kong’s stock exchange has published conclusions to its concept paper on weighted voting rights (WVRs). Almost as soon as it did, Hong Kong’s other regulator expressed its opposition to the idea. But WVRs were always a worrying development. More urgent reforms are needed for the exchange to compare favourably with New York or London. read