ASX and SGX Merger Denied by Wayne Swan
Written BY: M.mcnamara
It appears that a merger between stock market operators Australian Securities Exchange and Singapore Exchange is unlikely at this point, due to Treasurer Wayne Swan’s “serious concerns” of foreign control from the Singapore government.
The Foreign Investment Review Board on behalf of the Australian Treasurer unanimously rejected the proposed merger between ASX and SGX, which they believe is contrary to Australia’s national interest. However, the ASX did want to proceed with the $8.4 billion takeover, with all board members unanimously approving the bid. In a statement released from the ASX on Tuesday, the stock market operator said, “The ASX board maintains an onging belief in the need for ASX participation in regional and global exchange consolidation.”
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According to the Wall Street Journal, “SGX's ambitions to become a global player through a merger with its Australian counterpart that would create the world's fifth-largest listed exchange by market capitalization of the combined company.”
However, the SGX will likely regroup and announce a new strategy. “Asia will remain the world’s growth engine in the coming decades. SGX, as the Asian Gateway, is well-positioned to leverage on opportunities within Asia’s vibrant and dynamic economies. We will continue to pursue organic as well as other strategic growth opportunities, including further dialogue with ASX on other forms of co-operation," the Singapore Exchange said Tuesday.
The Australian reported that “Swan’s decision is the most significant rejection of a foreign takeover on "national interest" grounds since then treasurer Peter Costello blocked Shell from buying Australian offshore gas producer Woodside Petroleum for $12bn almost exactly 10 years ago.”
Following the news, ASX shares dropped to a six-month low of $33.70.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.