Private exchange HGX begins trading, Companies & Markets

Mon, Sep 14, 2020 – 4:23 PM

UPDATED Mon, Sep 14, 2020 – 5:17 PM

HG Exchange (HGX) has begun trading shares of private companies on its live exchange, it said in a press statement on Monday.

As more companies delay their initial public offerings, opportunities have become abound in the private capital markets, according to the private exchange. HGX’s newly appointed chairman Richard Teng observed that the private capital markets are steadily gaining momentum in deal volume, with their “vibrancy in activities” surpassing public counterparts.

The finance veteran said: “We are harnessing our strength to further transform the ecosystem by offering the market with greater liquidity options.”

Mr Teng is also the chief executive of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market, following a stint as the chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange as well as a career that spanned over a decade at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

HGX leverages the network of brokers and customers of its three founding members PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel, to automatically link 500,000 investors online.

The member-driven private exchange had entered MAS’s fintech regulatory sandbox in June to test a marketplace for private-company shares.

With sandboxes – created by limiting the scale and reach of the experiment – MAS assesses applications and relaxes specific regulatory requirements for the duration of the testing. Examples of such requirements include credit ratings, minimum paid-up capital, track record and fund solvency.

Besides securities in the traditional non-digital format, HGX is also allowed to offer digitised assets using blockchain technology, thereby allowing the buying and selling of smaller lots at a fraction of charges associated with a public listing.

This will benefit issuers who seek partial liquidity or own a limited amount of shares, such as employees of private companies with equity gained via employee share options or employee share ownership plans, HGX said.

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