SINGAPORE (Aug 28): ST Integrated Engineering says it is raising $4 million on a regulated local private securities exchange, 1exchange. This comes just months after asset management firm Aggregate Asset Management announced plans to raise $5.2 million on the exchange.

ST Integrated Engineering - not related to Temasek-back conglomerate ST Engineering - offers integrated facilities management and IT services to customers in Singapore, Malaysia, Saudia Arabia and UAE.

The proceeds will be used to broaden its offerings and expand into new markets. “This capital raising exercise will help us push forward further in our growth strategy of capability-building and market expansion,” says chairman Mushtaq Ahmad.

The company's clients include several government agencies such as the Building and Construction Authority and the Housing Development Board. It also works with McDonald's and the Abu Dhabi Police.

The facilities management and IT services sector are expected to grow amid the rise of smart buildings and intelligent systems deployed across public and private infrastructures, the company says. And it hopes to capture this future growth.

ST Integrated Engineering says the proceeds from the private listing will also be used to bid for bigger projects. The company wants to focus on the rail and infrastructure sector, which is expected to grow 10% annually between 2018 and 2024, according to Global Market Insights. It hopes to participate in large government tenders such as RapidKL in Malaysia.

Launched by private capital platform CapBridge, 1exchange received regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year. At least two other platforms wanting to help private companies raise money have not yet been able to obtain their regulatory licenses.

1X aims to help private companies boost liquidity prior to an IPO or acquisition, and touts itself as having a lower cost structure than a public listing.

ST Integrated Engineering’s move comes at a time when the local public stock exchange has been seeing a dearth of IPOs.

In 2018, there were 15 public listings on the Singapore Exchange, raising a total of $730 million. This pales in comparison to the $4.7 billion reached by 120 IPOs in 2017, according to a report by PwC's Equity Capital Markets Watch.