S$75m grant to boost Singapore as enterprise financing hub

S$75m grant to boost Singapore as enterprise financing hub

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will launch a new S$75 million grant to help enterprises seeking to raise capital through Singapore's equity market. Channel NewsAsia's Eugenia Lim reports.

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will launch a new S$75 million grant to help enterprises seeking to raise capital through Singapore's equity market.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced this at the UBS Wealth Insights conference on Monday (Jan 14).

The Grant for Equity Market Singapore (GEMS) - a three-year initiative - will be launched on Feb 14 as the country aims to enhance its role as an enterprise financing hub.

It will have three components - a Listing Grant to defray part of initial public offering costs, a Research Talent Development Grant to groom equity research talent, and a Research Initiatives Grant to support crowd-sourced initiatives to propel Singapore's equity research system.

The Listing Grant with different funding tiers will encourage eligible enterprises across a range of sectors to list on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Tech companies seeking to list stand to receive the highest level of funding of 70 per cent of listing expenses with a cap of S$1 million. Companies in high growth sectors may receive 20 per cent funding of its listing expenses, capped at S$500,000. High growth sectors, identified by the Committee on the Future Economy report, are digital cluster, advanced manufacturing, hub services, logistics, urban solutions & infrastructure and healthcare.

Tech and high growth companies must have a minimum market capitalisation of S$300 million to be eligible.

Companies from other sectors will also receive help, and can get 20 per cent of listing expenses, capped at S$200,000. These companies do not need to meet a minimum market capitalisation to be eligible for the grant.

To help enhance research coverage and groom equity research talent the Research Talent Development Grant will co-fund 70 per cent of the salaries for fresh graduates hired as equity research analysts for a two-year period. Re-employed experienced equity research analysts with at least 5 years experience will get help too, with 50 per cent of salaries co-funded for a one-year period.

MAS aims to propel the development of Singapore's equity research ecosystem, and will earmark funds to crowd-source initiatives that will broaden and deepen the industry. Examples of such initiatives include publication of industry sector primers and new ways to distribute research as well as disseminate company information to investors.

GEMS is funded under the Financial Sector Development Fund and the MAS said it will release more details next month.

"Singapore has played a key role as a gateway to investment opportunities in Asia ... besides providing a conducive environment to support Asian enterprises Singapore plays an integral role in crowding in global investments by offering asset managers and institutional investors an attractive platform to to access pan-Asian investment," said Finance Minister Heng.

The grant scheme is Singapore's latest move to enhance the country's role as an enterprise financing hub. Last November the MAS announced a US$5 billion private markets programme (PMP) to fund locally based fund managers who invest in private enterprises and infrastructure projects.  

Source: CNA/mn

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