October 18, 2017 / 3:28 PM / a year ago

Nasdaq, SGX in pact to woo firms interested in listing on both boards

FILE PHOTO: The Nasdaq logo is displayed at the Nasdaq Market site in New York September 2, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) (SGXL.SI) and Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) said on Wednesday they were teaming up to woo fast-growing Asian tech firms interested in listing on both their exchanges, as they look to better compete for mid-sized IPOs.

The tie-up, which comes as the two exchanges grapple with a decline in new listings, would help Asian companies first list in Singapore as a springboard and then ease smoothly to the Nasdaq as they expand globally.

“This would be a very good East-West bridge for companies at different stages of growth to accelerate going public by choosing Singapore first or if they want to have a dual class regime, go to the U.S. but still have a secondary listing in Singapore concurrently,” Chew Sutat, head of equities and fixed income at SGX, said in an interview.

While global IPO volumes have jumped about 32 percent to $126.3 billion so far in 2017, according to Thomson Reuters data, much of that business is going to exchanges in China and the New York Stock Exchange.

By contrast, Nasdaq has seen a 2.3 percent decline while SGX has seen a fall of 2.7 percent.

Several Asian technology companies have sought listings in New York because of the size of the market and number of fund managers more familiar with investing in unprofitable startups.

Asian companies aiming to list in the United States include Singaporean online games maker Sea Ltd, which is looking to raise nearly $700 million with its IPO, Thomson Reuters publication IFR has reported.

Chew said there was strong case for many companies to start off in Asia first.

“Many regional Southeast Asian or Chinese companies have their businesses predominantly in Asia and if they’re not of the size and scale that makes them attractive in a big market like the U.S., they could get lost,” he said.

Additional reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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