SGX RegCo enhances rules governing listings review, increases oversight and due diligence standards

SINGAPORE: Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) is incorporating The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) Listings Due Diligence Guidelines (ABS Guidelines) and Issue Managers (IM) independence requirements into the Mainboard Listing Rules, a press release said.

SGX RegCo is also strengthening its oversight of IMs as part of overall enhancements to regulations governing the Mainboard listings review process.

The ABS Guidelines will serve as a reference point for expected industry standards and guidance on the broad framework and principles which IMs should consider when conducting their due diligence work. IMs will be required to conduct adequate due diligence and SGX RegCo will have regard to the ABS Guidelines when assessing the adequacy of due diligence issue managers conduct. These and other enhancements to the Mainboard Listing Rules follow generally supportive feedback to a public consultation on the listings review process in late 2018.

SGX RegCo is codifying existing IM independence requirements in the Mainboard Listing Rules and will introduce a practice note to provide guidance on its assessment of the factors affecting an IM’s independence. The practice note sets out the circumstances and relevant threshold limits in considering whether an IM is considered independent.

SGX RegCo will also explicitly require all directors and executive officers of a listing applicant, whether proposed or appointed, to be held responsible for ensuring information submitted to SGX in listing applications and SGXNET announcements is complete and accurate in all material respects, and not misleading. Such rule enhancement will clarify the regulatory position that proposed directors and executive officers will form part of the relevant persons held responsible for the accuracy and completeness of information contained in listing applications.

“The strengthening of the rules governing the listing review process is crucial to investor confidence. Issue Managers are the gatekeepers to our market, and together with company directors and executive officers, hold great responsibility for ensuring quality disclosures of information that emphasise substance over form. The Singapore market can only continue to thrive when directors and executive officers, with market professionals play their part responsibly and robustly,” said Tan Boon Gin, CEO of SGX RegCo.

Edited by Nayyar Iqbal

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