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Singapore Exchange CEO Loh Boon Chye speaks at the Reuters NEXT conference in Singapore, on July 9 2024. Picture: ORE HUIYING/REUTERS
Singapore Exchange CEO Loh Boon Chye speaks at the Reuters NEXT conference in Singapore, on July 9 2024. Picture: ORE HUIYING/REUTERS

Singapore — Singapore Exchange (SGX) has no immediate plans to allow cryptocurrency listings on its bourse, CEO Loh Boon Chye said on Tuesday, adding that conditions are still not ripe for such a move.

Speaking in an interview at the Reuters Next conference in Singapore, Loh said “not at the moment”, when asked whether SGX would be open to crypto listings.

“I think for any new product launches, it’s important for this to have a sustainable ecosystem support,” he said. “That really means demand, that really means governance, that really means structure.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2024 approval of US-listed spot bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETFs) marked a watershed moment for the crypto industry and triggered similar moves globally.

Asia got its first spot cryptocurrency ETFs in April with the listing of six bitcoin and ether ETFs in Hong Kong.

Crypto ETF inflows have helped catapult bitcoin to record highs in 2024, with the world’s largest crypto up nearly 35% to date. Ether has risen more than 30% in the same period.

“The ecosystem, I feel, at this point in time, is not ready for such products in Singapore,” said Loh.

“You never say never, as time evolves, and as the ecosystem comes together, we are always known to be the most innovative exchange or platform in the world.”

SGX has been under pressure from institutional investors and industry groups to improve what has been a chronic challenge to attract listings of high-growth companies.

Hamstrung by a small base of retail investors, SGX has grappled with low liquidity and valuations. It has built up an Asian derivatives business and remains a global listing venue for real estate investment trusts.

In response to a question on how SGX plans to revive initial public offerings (IPOs), Loh said “we have a healthy pipeline”.

“Secondary listings is one way where companies get exposure — we have that in the pipeline. We have new IPOs, some companies are really now preparing, and ... we’re going to have a simultaneous dual listing,” he said.

The group posted net profit of 281.6-million Singapore dollars ($208.70m) in the first half of its 2024 financial year, a fall of 1% from the same period a year earlier. As of end-June, SGX had 623 listed securities with a combined market value of 792.93-billion Singapore dollars.

Reuters

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