SINGAPORE: The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been relatively quiet this year, but the monotony may soon be broken: Real estate management firm LHN Group will launch an initial public offering on Apr 13 making it the first listing locally, this quarter.
The company lodged its prospectus on Wednesday (Apr 1).
LHN Group is in the business of making space more spacious. It secures master leases of properties, and with redesign, increases the net lettable area of those properties.
The company also operates GreenHubs, or serviced offices where tenants lease space for work, but share facilities like meeting rooms, lounges and pantries. The value proposition here is that these GreenHubs are located near the city centre, but not in it, so rental rates are lower.
The real estate management company sees further potential not just in Singapore, but Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. It is listing on SGX’s Catalist board, with an eye to raising S$17 million to pursue expansion plans.
It is undeterred by the bourse's bearish run in the first quarter of 2015.
Said Mr Kelvin Lim, group managing director of LHN Group: “There is no right or wrong time to list a company. Having a listed status, we can attract more talents to join us. We are also able to better represent ourselves overseas other than Singapore. And we are bullish about our growth and we are in the growth phase, so we feel that it is a good time."
LISTING ACTIVITY SHOULD PICK UP IN H2: RHB RESEARCH INSTITUTE
With activity on the Singapore bourse tepid, RHB Research Institute said companies eyeing a listing may take a wait-and-see approach. It believes activity should pick up in the second half of 2015, with offshore marine and property firms helping to drive a recovery.
Mr Terence Wong, executive director and head of research at RHB Research Institute Singapore, noted: “There are companies that want to list and they are looking for quite a fair bit of money. They are afraid that the liquidity isn't around. So only when the liquidity returns, I think, would companies come back. I do believe that liquidity is the main source."
RHB said that if firms can get good valuations in a buoyant Singapore market, more listings can be expected. However, if the market remains weak, the Singapore bourse could see a bigger proportion of listings on the Catalist, versus the mainboard.
RHB said that familiarity with the local bourse also helps encourage Singapore-based firms to go public in the Republic. It added that smaller firms, especially, are unlikely to list elsewhere for fear of "getting lost" among more established players overseas.