How South East Asian are gearing to become financial centres and compete with Singapore?

Interesting piece on how SE Asian nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam etc are trying to compete with Singapore for financial services. Though, Singapore dwarfs most of these countries but the others are trying their best to get some part of the pie:

For the past two decades, Singapore has been the undisputed regional champion. Asean companies looking for a listing have viewed the Lion City as the first choice, especially given the republic’s exposure to international investors.

But things are quickly changing, with economies such as Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines looking to dethrone Singapore from its lofty position. With a market capitalisation of US$787.28 billion last year, Singapore was the 16th largest equity market in the Asia Pacific.

But its growth was insipid compared with others in the region. WFE data showed the Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) market capitalisation grew 13.6 per cent from 2016, compared with Hong Kong’s 37.3 per cent.

In Southeast Asia, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange clocked the biggest jump at 75.2 per cent, followed by Indonesia (22.6 per cent), the Philippines (22 per cent), Thailand (15.7 per cent) and Malaysia (14.5 per cent).

The SGX in recent years has been plagued by a shrinking number of IPOs, delistings, and low liquidity levels.

For the first quarter of 2018, the daily average value of the bourse’s securities was S$1.45 billion (US$1 billion), compared with the average daily trading value of US$2 billion in Thailand, Asean’s most liquid market.

Regional bourses have been more successful in attracting new listings, particularly of domestic companies.

Vietnam had the biggest initial public offering (IPO) haul by proceeds in the first six months of this year, with three deals raising a combined US$2.5 billion, according to data compiled by EY. The communist country has more in tow; it has targeted IPOs for a total of 64 state companies this year, including telecoms firm MobiFone, and 18 others in 2019.

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