SINGAPORE (May 16): While Singapore has seen one or two sizeable listings this year amid a spate of privatisation offers, Singapore Exchange has been working hard to attract potential IPO applicants from the US.

In particular, SGX’s efforts have been carried out via a partnership with Third500, a Singapore-based affiliate of US investment bank Healthios Capital Markets. Third500 was previously known as Healthios Capital Markets.

Under the collaboration, US emerging growth companies – typically technology firms – can gain access to local and regional capital and liquidity. This includes via pre-IPO, SGX IPO, Nasdaq IPO or merger and acquisition transactions.

However, local investors who are anticipating more listings here will have to temper their expectations.

When asked to provide an IPO timeline for these companies, SGX head of equity capital markets Mohamed Nasser Ismail offered a vague response.

“Well, it’s later than yesterday. And we have been working on it for some time. So I think we are closer today than when we first started. Much closer,” he told reporters after an investor briefing co-organised by SGX and Third500 today.

Fritz Reichenbach, CEO of Third500’s Singapore branch, offered some clarity: “Not in 2019,” he said.

David Loucks, CEO and Group Chairman of Third500, said he recognises the importance of bringing these companies to market, but stresses that it will be a “process”.

He points out companies that have successfully raised funds at the pre-IPO stage may indirectly indicate their readiness for a listing.

This is because private investors would only invest in companies that have already achieved some degree of success.

“Those will be the early indicators of what will ultimately be the IPO success on the exchange,” Loucks explains.