More than a decade following the successful IPO of Sarine Technologies and two years after HFN successfully represented the Israel Electricity Company in its security bonds offering on the Catalist index of the SGX, it was announced yesterday that the Trendlines Group has successfully completed its IPO in Singapore. Trendlines, an Israeli technology incubator, was able to list itself at a staggering valuation of US$90M, following a successful pre-IPO round in which it raised US$27.5M. These numbers show, more than anything else, the strength of the Singapore Stock Exchange and its ability to become a real alternative for Israeli technology companies looking to raise significant funds.

HFN is pleased to have played a pivotal role in this transaction and to remain at the forefront of Israeli activities in Asia. It should be noted that the entire process took approximately 10 months and the support received from the Singaporean capital markets was invaluable.

We believe that the current climate of the Singapore capital markets provides ample opportunities for many more Israeli companies, especially those in the fields of medical devices, cyber security and IT, to raise capital on the SGX. In addition, the welcoming ecosystem in Singapore makes the entire process more approachable and comfortable for Israeli companies.

The IPO process for the Catalist index in Singapore is very similar to that of the AIM in London, wherein, the regulatory requirements are significantly lower than the main index and the entire process can be carried out by an approved sponsor. The costs of fascilitating an IPO in Singapore are significantly lower than those on the AIM or the NASDAQ. As such, we strongly recommend that Israeli companies consider the SGX as a viable platform to raise funds.

Before doing so, here’s a bit of background. Since the Catalist index’s inception in 2008, 90 companies have listed. That is an average of about 1 listing per month. The total IPO funds raised on Catalist in 2014 is recorded at US$261M, an amount that exceeds the previous year’s figure by 36%. It’s important to note that the liquidity of the Catalist is in fact higher than other comparable markets, including the NYSE Alternex, London AIM and Canada TSX Venture. While, the average trading volume on SGX’s Catalist index in 2014 was about $360M accounting for approximately 37% of total trading volume on the SGX.

Now that you have been privy to the facts on the ground, our Asia Practice team Adv. Yair Geva, head of Asia Practice, Adv. Gilad Shay and Adv. Ron Ben-Menachem are happy to meet with companies who are interested in raising capital on the SGX and share our experiences and insights.