STOCKS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Hong Kong and Singapore bourse bosses lock horns over listings

SFC executive Ashley Alder called out an SGX executive’s comments on their performance.

Hong Kong and Singapore’s long-running rivalry got more heated than usual.

According to Bloomberg, a Singapore Exchange (SGX) executive reportedly suggested that China’s government has “some influence” over Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) during a marketing trip to Hong Kong last week.

In a public forum, SFC chief executive Ashley Alder remarked, “We don’t normally as an organization dignify remarks made by competitors with a response, but I thought today I’d make an exception to that rule.” Alder added that Hong Kong has an “arms-length” relationship with policy makers in Beijing and any suggestion that the SFC is “under the influence” is “totally false.”

“I don’t think it was very adult,” Alder said of the executive’s comment.

The episode highlighted the growing intensity of a battle for stock-market listings between the two financial hubs, with exchanges in both cities recently proposing changes to their rules to lure more fast-growing technology companies. Hong Kong has dominated its rival when it comes to initial public offerings over the past few years, though Singapore remains competitive in other areas.

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