FILE PHOTO: A Grab motorbike helmet is displayed during Grab’s fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo
April 19, 2021
By Anshuman Daga
SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing to delivery giant, is considering a secondary listing in its home market of Singapore after completing a Nasdaq listing via a $40 billion SPAC merger, three sources familiar with the matter said. Listing on Singapore Exchange would enable Grab to have an investor base close to where its regional business is based, the people said, potentially offering its customers, drivers and merchant partners easier access to trade its shares. Grab, a household name across Southeast Asia, is in the early stages of considering a secondary listing in the city-state, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak about the matter.
Grab and SGX declined to comment on the listing plans.
“For the right issuer, a secondary listing could well be a good move. You can get the best of both worlds,” said Raymond Tong, capital markets and M&A partner at law firm Rajah & Tann Singapore.
“If your home markets are in this region, a Singapore listing can help you tap another pool of investors as there are many family offices and funds based in Singapore,” said Tong.
The potential Singapore listing plans come after Grab this week struck a $40 billion merger with Altimeter Growth Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), setting a record for the world’s biggest SPAC deal.
As part of the transaction, Grab is raising $4 billion from investors including BlackRock, Temasek Holdings, Fidelity International, Malaysia’s Permodalan Nasional Bhd and some of Indonesia’s richest family groups.
Grab, which began as a ride-hailing business in 2012, now operates in eight countries and more than 400 cities and has expanded into food and grocery deliveries, as well as digital payments. Last year, it won a digital banking licence in Singapore.
It wasn’t clear how much Grab might aim to raise in any secondary listing, with financial terms and timetable still in the early stages of consideration, the sources said.
The company with the top valuation on the Singapore bourse is bank DBS Group Ltd, currently worth about S$74 billion ($55.4 billion) by capitalisation.
One of the sources said that while Grab has sufficient cash reserves and could end up raising only a small amount on SGX, a listing would mark a big win for the exchange.
SGX has mainly only seen large IPOs from real estate investment trusts. Hindered by a small base of retail investors in the city-state, it has struggled with low liquidity and valuations, forcing a spate of delistings and also discouraging big-ticket listings from regional high-growth companies.
The Hong Kong bourse, however, has benefited from diplomatic and political tensions between the United States and China that have led many Chinese firms to seek secondary listings in Hong Kong. Global fund managers have also been swapping China holdings from Wall Street to Hong Kong.
SGX has taken many steps to try to bulk up its stock market in recent years, and under Chief Executive Loh Boon Chye, who was appointed six years ago, it has acquired firms to transform itself into a multi-asset exchange.
Over the past three years, SGX-listed companies have raised about four times more funds in the secondary market than from primary fund raising.
Currently, there are 28 companies with a secondary listing on SGX, including Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd and Hong Kong conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings.
Last year, AMTD International became the first NYSE-listed firm to list on SGX. It also became the first to take advantage of a dual-class share structure in Singapore.
($1 = 1.3351 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Jason Neely)