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Grab considering secondary Singapore listing after US SPAC merger: Sources

Grab considering secondary Singapore listing after US SPAC merger: Sources

A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore. (File photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia's ride-hailing to delivery giant, is considering a secondary listing in its home market of Singapore after completing a Nasdaq listing via a US$40 billion SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) merger, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Listing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) would enable Grab to have an investor base close to where its regional business is based, the sources said, potentially offering its customers, drivers and merchant partners easier access to trade its shares.

Grab, a household name across Southeast Asia, is in the early stages of considering a secondary listing in Singapore, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak about the matter.

The potential Singapore listing plans come after Grab this week agreed a US$40 billion merger with Altimeter Growth, a SPAC, making this the world's biggest SPAC deal.

Grab, which began as a ride-hailing business in 2012, now operates in eight countries and more than 400 cities, and has expanded into food and grocery deliveries, as well as digital payments. Last year, it won a digital banking licence in Singapore.

It wasn't clear how much Grab might aim to raise in any secondary listing, with financial terms and timetable still in the early stages of consideration, the sources said.

The company with the top valuation on the Singapore bourse is bank DBS Group, currently worth about SS$74 billion (US$55.4 billion) by capitalisation.

Grab and SGX declined to comment on the listing plans.

READ: Grab to list in the US through world's biggest SPAC merger, valued at nearly US$40 billion

Commentary: Grab’s blockbuster deal comes at questionable time for SPAC market

One of the sources said that while Grab has sufficient cash reserves and could end up raising only a small amount on the SGX, a listing would mark a big win for the exchange.

The SGX has mainly only seen large IPOs from real estate investment trusts. Hindered by a small base of retail investors in the country, it has struggled with low liquidity and valuations, forcing a spate of delistings and also discouraging big-ticket listings from regional high-growth companies.

The Hong Kong bourse, however, has benefited from diplomatic and political tensions between the United States and China that have led many Chinese firms to seek secondary listings in Hong Kong. Global fund managers have also been swapping China holdings from Wall Street to Hong Kong.

SGX has taken many steps to try to bulk up its stock market in recent years, and under chief executive Loh Boon Chye, who was appointed six years ago, it has acquired firms to transform itself into a multi-asset exchange.

Currently, there are 28 companies with a secondary listing on SGX, including Malaysia's IHH Healthcare and Top Glove, and Hong Kong conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings.

Last year, AMTD International became the first NYSE-listed firm to list on SGX. It also became the first to take advantage of a dual-class share structure in Singapore.

For Grab, as part of the SPAC merger, it's raising US$4 billion from global investors including BlackRock, Temasek Holdings, Fidelity International, Malaysia's Permodalan Nasional and some of Indonesia's richest family groups.

Source: Reuters/kg

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