Singapore plans $1.1bn fund to boost stock market

© flickr Singapore is planning to set up a $1.1 billion fund backed by state investment company Temasek Holdings to support the stock market. Photo: flickr

Singapore is planning to set up a S$1.5 billion ($1.1bn) fund backed by state investment company Temasek Holdings to bolster its stock market, which has struggled with tepid listings and slow trading.

The fund will invest in high-growth companies and initial public offerings. Separately, the investment arm of the Economic Development Board, a government agency promoting foreign investment in Singapore, will put up to S$500 million into a fund aimed at companies looking to list in two to five years.

“We know that the initiatives we are launching today are no magic bullet. But we believe they will blow new wind into the sails of our public equity market,” Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said on Friday.

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The plan, which was reported by Bloomberg on September 14, is meant to increase the city-state’s attractiveness as a location for capital raising for local and regional companies, the government said. Stock exchange operator Singapore Exchange (SGX) is also involved.

“It’s a step in the right direction but the total amount is small for now, and we may need to see more measures for the needle to really move,” said Terence Chua, an analyst at Phillip Securities Research.

Singapore’s bourse has struggled in recent years with tepid listings and low equity trading liquidity. SGX this month announced a framework for listing blank-cheque companies and signed a partnership with Thailand on depository receipts.

“We are not doing this just for the sake of having high valuations or market cap. It is to give the most promising start-ups and entrepreneurs from Singapore and across the region another engine of growth,” Mr Kim Yong said.

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