In late June, Hong Kong-based private-equity executive Kenneth Ng listed Malacca Straits Acquisition Co on Nasdaq, raising US$144 million ($197 million). The company has no assets and Ng has never run a listed firm before. With its new-found cash, Malacca Straits is targeting Southeast Asian businesses in media, renewable energy and healthcare. Yet, the Nasdaq listing went unnoticed in Hong Kong and across Southeast Asia. Malacca Straits is a blank-cheque company commonly known as a SPAC, or Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation.

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