The Singapore Stock Exchange. SGX will work with advisers from the securities industry to pair the firms with potential investors. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Singapore: Singapore Exchange Ltd is nearing a deal with the city’s technology regulator to develop a system designed to encourage local start-ups to list on the bourse, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under the agreement, the bourse operator will help pair technology companies with investors with the aim of securing their listing in the city-state, the people said.

SGX and the Infocomm Media Development Authority are close to finalising the accord, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Stock exchanges around the world are competing for IPOs as the fight for global capital intensifies. SGX’s tie-up with the regulator will deepen the exchange’s so-called sector approach, with four industries, including technology, the focus of its listings strategy. The move also comes as companies with Singapore roots including Razer Inc and Sea Ltd, south-east Asia’s most valuable start-up formerly known as Garena, are said to be considering listing in Hong Kong or the US.

An SGX spokeswoman declined to comment. Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ebrahim said in a speech Tuesday that the IMDA is working with SGX to increase technology companies’ accessibility to capital markets, to “provide runway for further growth.” More details will be announced next week, Yaacob said.

SGX shares rose 2.1 per cent to close at S$7.41 in Singapore trading, the biggest rise since January 13.

The deal with IMDA will allow the exchange operator to be engaged with tech-related firms earlier, the people said. SGX will work with advisers from the securities industry to pair the firms with potential investors, they said. The bourse in March signed separate agreements with a crowdfunding platform and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Venture Hub to facilitate capital access for start-ups.

IMDA oversees the technology, telecommunications and media sectors in Singapore. The regulator has been tasked with creating a globally competitive tech industry in the city by 2025. Singapore, where there’s more mobile phones than people, was ranked first in the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2016.