SINGAPORE (Mar 26): On March 16, a motley group of Catalist companies — many of them listed in the past year — gathered at the UBS Business University for the launch of the Association of Catalist Companies. Addressing the crowd, association president Philip Rickard, CEO of coal mining firm BlackGold Natural Resources, laid out the issues that the ACC — currently comprising about 30 members — will advocate for with “a common voice”. Among them is speaking out against quarterly reporting mandated by the bourse.

“We’re going to be bothering [the Singapore Exchange] about it… we’ll do a white paper, go back and forth. We’ll try to find what’s best for our members, keeping in mind that it is an exchange that does need some regulation,” Rickard tells the audience. Speaking to The Edge Singapore later, he adds: “Catalist companies don’t have the budgets that Mainboard companies do, to spend a lot of time reporting. Even filing and creating these reports costs us a lot of money.”

Rickard’s comments are not new — smalland mid-cap companies have long complained about compliance fees associated with quarterly reporting requirements. At present, SGX-listed companies are required to undertake quarterly reporting once their market cap hits $75 million. This applies even if the company’s market cap later falls below the threshold. When the requirement was first introduced in 2003 — with a lower threshold of $20 million — only 37% of listed companies were required to report quarterly. Now, about 70% of companies are required to do so.

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