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The initial public offer (IPO) of Nanofilm Technologies on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) may represent the same inflection point that the listing of Xero Technologies did for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The listing of Xero in late 2012 laid the foundation for the ASX to establish its brand as an ‘“Asia-Pacific Nasdaq”. It has positioned itself as a bourse able to support the finance needs of growth-stage technology enterprises.

So will Nanofilm’s listing in October 2020 enable the SGX to burnish itself as a platform for technology enterprises?

In 2020, Singapore saw the number of public companies on Singapore…


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With Singapore seeking to revive its lacklustre equities market, it may have the potential to forge a niche as a dual listings node for corporates looking to tap Asian capital markets and internationalise.

If the secondary listing of NYSE-listed AMTD International on the Singapore bourse in April 2020 is any indication, it could build an appeal to technology and finance firms seeking international capital exposure. This is especially relevant as technology major Grab, Singapore’s most visible and valuable venture-backed technology enterprise, prepares for a US$2.7 billion share sale in New York. …


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Singapore can revive its economic engine and equity markets with Central Provident Fund (CPF) reforms. Tapping CPF cash to induce positive feedback loops between Singapore’s pension assets and capital markets can economically revive the domestic economy and mitigate the risks of income disparity in the post-COVID world.

Successful financial centres like New York City, London and Hong Kong enjoy major economic benefits, generating significant revenue through financial services. In 2018, Hong Kong’s financial services sector accounted for 20% of GDP and 7% of the workforce, compared to 13.9% of GDP and 5% of the workforce in Singapore.

However, Singapore’s strength…


Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal, a former parliamentarian aligned with Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) during his political career, reckons that Singapore must radically evolve rather than relying on the old formulas that have sustained it.

With a career spanning corporate roles at Texas Instruments, as well as an entrepreneurial career with the founding of United Test and Assembly Center (UTAC), a semiconductor firm, in 1998 — valued at US$2b in 2001 and mostly funded by Taiwanese friends — according to details in a Business Time interview dating to 2006, he has also built up Tri-Star, a trading and services firm…


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Incorporating Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) apartment complexes — the city-state’s public housing assets — into residential infrastructure trusts can mitigate the issue of HDB lease decay. Additionally, it has the potential to enhance retirement adequacy of its pension system, the Central Provident Fund (CPF), as well as deepening its strength in real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Often cited as an leading example of public housing worldwide for its replicability, it also exemplifies the technocratic governing philosophy of “think ahead, think again and think across”. …


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Singapore can be a key enabler of the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor (VCMC). By strengthening relations with India and Russia, it builds strategic autonomy amidst US-China rivalry.

Leveraging its logistics and maritime infrastructure, it can remain a competitive commercial centre amid geopolitical gyrations and international economic competition while augmenting the strategic Indo-Russian partnership.


Alex Wicks, CEO-Founder of Myanmar logistics startup Karzo.

What led you to start Karzo? Your professional background was in media. How did you go from film production to starting a logistics company in Myanmar and what was that that journey?

It started a long time. I left Australia and ended up in Myanmar
running a logistics startup is because of a girl that I followed to France many years ago. We lived in Sydney, where I worked in the film industry for a number of years. Then I moved to France with my ex-partner. …


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Current global socioeconomic turbulence, deglobalisation and the challenges to Singapore’s future socioeconomic development and growth model highlights the need for Singapore’s public sector (i.e. the state sector) to retool its approach in aligning capital markets and economic development in the city-state.

Organizations such as the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) will have to retool their approach and collaborate in realigning Singapore’s economic development and equity capital markets strategy, given the two are crucial to each other.

Prioritizing the growth of its equity capital markets as a core component can drive…


Global perspective

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2020 sees stakeholders in Singapore’s equity capital markets being cautiously optimistic, given the city-state’s recovery despite global headwinds. Worldwide, 2019 saw some of the lowest levels of new equity listings in recent years as capital markets contracted, with 2020 being up in the air.

However, information from Duff & Phelps Transaction Trail 2019 indicated Singapore’s IPO performance witnessed a significant recovery — capital raised in 2019 was US$2.3 billion — about four times the capital raised in 2018. This was driven by the listings of several large property trusts, which included Prime US REIT, Eagle Hospitality Trust, and Lendlease Global…


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With the implementation of a free trade pact with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) paving the way for greater business links between Singapore and EAEU markets — which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia — Singapore’s capital markets could play host to a wave of initial public offers (IPOs) by Russian firms.

The EAEUs’ total gross domestic product is estimated at US$1.9 trillion, and in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) was estimated at US$5 trillion in 2018. The Russian economy, the 6th largest economy globally, has an economy estimated at US$4.21 trillion on PPP terms.

Russia is…

Shiwen Yap

Versatile businessperson based out of Singapore.

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