SGX CEO: Bourse always open to opportunities

Despite taking on some debt to fund recent buyouts, the SGX still has strong cash flow.
Despite taking on some debt to fund recent buyouts, the SGX still has strong cash flow.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) will continue to look for acquisition targets that help it achieve its goal of becoming a multi-asset bourse.

"We are always open to opportunities. We will consider opportunities that will complement our business objectives, business priorities and build further scale," said chief executive officer Loh Boon Chye.

Despite taking on some debt to fund recent buyouts, the SGX still has strong cash flow.

"We now have some debt, but we still have lots of headroom on our balance sheet and not forgetting that we generate good cash flow from our businesses," Mr Loh added.

He said the SGX will remain committed to growing its business organically and through strategic partnerships, such as the recent agreements with Nasdaq, FTSE Russell and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

But the exchange will certainly look at any opportunity that complements the organic activities, he said.

The SGX has made several acquisitions over the past year.

It bought a 93 per cent stake in Scientific Beta for €186 million (S$299 million) to scale up and accelerate the growth of its data, connectivity and indexes business. Scientific Beta is an independent index provider specialising in smart beta strategies, with expertise in factor-based and risk-managed solutions.

 
 

In June, the SGX acquired the remaining 80 per cent stake in BidFX, a cloud-based foreign exchange (FX) trading platform for institutional investors, for US$128 million (S$174 million).

The move is aimed at expanding the SGX's reach beyond FX futures into the global FX over-the-counter market.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2020, with the headline 'CEO: Bourse always open to opportunities'. Print Edition | Subscribe