SINGAPORE (Apr 30): It has been a disappointing week for IPOs. On April 24, Bangladeshi independent power producer Summit Power International told investors that it had decided not to proceed with its IPO schedule, owing to “recent market volatility”. The next day, Malaysian healthcare company Qualitas Medical said its IPO had been delayed because of pricing issues.

If they had proceeded, the two IPOs would have increased the number of listings in Singapore to seven this year, and potentially added about $477.8 million to the total market capitalisation of the city state’s stock market. Instead, their delay has sparked another bout of hand-wringing over the ability of the Singapore Exchange to attract high-quality listings.

Why are questions constantly being asked about Singapore’s prowess as a capital-raising hub? According to some local brokers, weak retail investor participation has weighed on trading volumes as well as stock valuations. That has deterred companies from listing here and spurred a surge in companies going private. The problem has been compounded by higher initial and annual listing fees for Mainboard companies. SGX increased fees in 2013.

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