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Singapore Exchange (SGX) is organising a roundtable with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law to discuss the feasibility of introducing the dual-class shares structure in the local market.
The “Roundtable on Dual-Class Shares Structure and the Singapore Context” taking place today, 14 November 2016, is part of SGX’s process of gathering feedback and engaging with stakeholders on an issue that has generated debate from stakeholders across the spectrum.
Featuring six speakers and moderated by Professor Hans Tjio of NUS Law who is Co-Director of the Centre for Banking & Finance Law, the round-table discussion will be followed by a half-hour question-and- answer session with members of the audience.
Loh Boon Chye, CEO at SGX, and Professor Tan Cheng Han, Chairman at Centre for Law & Business, NUS Law, will issue opening remarks, while Mr Tan Boon Gin, Chief Regulatory Officer at SGX will conclude the roundtable with closing remarks.
Ang Hao Yao, private investor and member of the Corporate Governance Committee of the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), said:
The introduction of the dual-class shares structure provides more options for the investors and generally that is beneficial to the market. There remains though genuine corporate governance issues such as entrenchment and expropriation risks which I believe can be mitigated through safeguards. I am confident that SGX will address these issues and introduce appropriate conditions to protect minority investors before dual class shares are listed.
Goh Eng Yeow, Senior Correspondent, The Straits Times, added:
Dual class shares raise issues over entrenchment of control and these shares are not available to the public. So far, the discussion is over the safeguards which should be put in place if they are introduced here. But we should also ask if the investing public understands the issues involved and whether they are ready for these substantially different voting rights in a listed company.