Singapore Exchange Looks to India. (Asia Australia Investment Conference)

Article excerpt

Officials from Singapore Exchange Ltd are on a mission to the city that houses Asia's oldest bourse, wooing companies listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange.

Faced with a slump in trading and rising delistings at home, Singapore Exchange needs to find new sources of revenue. Of the 98 non-Singaporean companies from about 10 countries listed on Singapore's main and secondary boards, none are from India.

"The market here is so small and the number of listings is shrinking, so they're trying all the untapped markets near Singapore," said David Lum, a regional banking analyst with Daiwa Institute of Research in Singapore.

Singapore's exposure to Indian companies is not new. Government of Singapore Investment was one of the earliest investors in Infosys Technologies Ltd, when India's second-biggest software developer by market value sold shares to the public in 1993.

Now, it wants companies like Infosys and Wipro Ltd, India's biggest publicly traded software developer, to also consider listing in the city-state. That's why chief executive Thomas Kloet of Singapore's securities and derivatives exchange will also visit Bangalore, the country's information-technology center and home to infosys.

Kloet's mission has added urgency because the market capitalisation of stocks on Singapore's two boards has fallen from S$456 billion ($467 billion) at the end of 1999 to S$335 billion at the end of last year, according to figures from the Singapore exchange's website. …