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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore and Hong Kong battle it out to snag the hottest IPOs

PM Lee gave his nod on dual-class shares.

According to Bloomberg, Singapore is a few steps ahead of Hong Kong in the battle for IPOs. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last week gave his approval to dual-class shares and other measures proposed by a panel to drive economic growth. The city-state’s stock exchange on Thursday started a public consultation, a final hurdle before allowing the structure. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Charles Li in January revisited the topic after a 2015 proposal was shot down by his regulator.

While Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading IPO venues, it’s been passed over by big Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc., which listed on New York bourses where different classes of shares are allowed. As Alibaba’s banking and payments arm Ant Financial prepares an IPO, Singapore and Hong Kong are trying to balance the interests of founding shareholders with those of other investors.

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