Amadeusz Juskowiak

Singapore exchange seeking nasdaqlondon link

The Stock Exchange of Singapore SES plans to introduce electronic trading of shares listed on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System NASDAQ in the US And on Londons Stock Exchange Automated Quotation System banking sources said

The SES is discussing the idea with the London and New York authorities Gordon Macklin president of the National Association of Securities Dealers in Washington said he was very optimistic about an early agreement possibly by the end of this month

Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS sources told Reuters they supported the proposed linking of computer trading systems on the three exchanges and the banking sources said local financial support for the plan existed

Macklin said if an agreement were reached it would move the three exchanges towards 24hour trading with Singapore filling a gap when no trading takes place

A small group of selected stocks would be used at the start of threecentre trading to determine investor interest

The Singapore London and New York authorities have agreed in principle on how the three exchanges would trade and transfer information among the different time zones but some details still have to be worked out a senior Singapore bank director said

Questions remain concerning investor willingness to deploy sufficient capital in Singapore to ensure adequate market liquidity and communication links to the other three centres

But if agreement is reached Singapore will have a head start over the other Asian financial centres in Hong Kong Toyko and Australia he said

On February 18 the SES created the Stock Exchange of Singapore Dealing and Automated Quotation System SESDAQ modelled on NASDAQ

At present SESDAQ is trading the shares of only one company the governmentowned Singapore National Printers Ltd SNP but its turnover has been fairly active and other small firms have said they plan to seek listings soon

Market sources expect the next few companies listed will also be governmentowned entities which would have no problem meeting the listing conditions Approval for a listing of TransIsland Bus Service Pte Ltd is expected soon they said

SNP previously whollyowned by the governments Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd issued seven mln 50cent shares at one dlr each last month in a public offering oversubscribed 119 times

In SESDAQ trading SNP shares have advanced from an initial 187 dlrs to a Friday close of 232 after a 280 high So far more than 900000 shares have traded

REUTER