On 2 September 2021, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced1 new rules to enable Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) to list on the Mainboard of Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX Mainboard). The rules took effect on 3 September 2021, making the SGX the first exchange in Asia to allow SPAC listings.
Singapore first considered allowing SPACs to list in January 2010, but shelved the proposals in response to market feedback at the time. Interest in listing so-called blank cheque companies revived in the wake of the popularity of SPACs in the United States and the SGX issued its consultation paper2 proposing a listing framework for SPACs in March 2021 and its response to comments on the consultation paper3 on 2 September 2021.
With the relaxation of some of the original proposals and the halving of the originally proposed S$300 million (USD223.5 million) minimum market capitalisation, the SGX will be hoping to offer SPACs an alternative listing venue to the US bourses. The new framework may also revive interest in Singapore’s lagging IPO market which saw only 3 IPOs raising USD107 million in the first half of 2021 compared to Hong Kong which saw 46 IPOs raising USD27.4 billion in the same period.4
The following provides a summary of the key features of SGX’s framework for SPAC listings. As Hong Kong lawyers, Charltons is not qualified to advise on Singapore law and the following represents our understanding of the SGX’s requirements.