Jurisdiction - Singapore
Reports and Analysis
Singapore – SGX To Reduce Board Lot Size To 100 Units As From 19 January 2015.

29 August, 2014

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore  Capital Markets

 

The Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) has announced that it is reducing the standard board lot size from 1,000 units to 100 units with effect from 19 January 2015. The reduction will apply to the following instruments:

 

  • Ordinary shares (including shares traded on GlobalQuote);
  • Real estate investment trusts;
  • Business trusts;
  • Company warrants;
  • Structured warrants; and
  • Extended settlement contracts.

Existing board lot sizes of 100 or less units will remain unchanged.

 

Sister Counters, Odd Lots, And Other Investments

 

For securities with more than one board lot size, the counters with a current board lot size of 100 units or more will be consolidated into a single board lot size of 100 units. Sister counters with a board lot size of less than 100 units will remain unchanged after the reduction of board lot size. Investors can also continue to trade in odd lots through the Unit Share Market, and upon the implementation of the board lot reduction, the maximum quantity of units that can be traded in the Unit Share Market will be revised from 999 to 99.

 

The board lot sizes for the following instruments will remain unchanged:

 

  • Exchange traded funds (except for SPDR STI ETF and ABF SG Bond Fund for which the board lot size will be reduced to 100 units);
  • American Depositary Receipts; and
  • Fixed income instruments, including Singapore Government Securities and preference shares.

 

Rule Amendments

 

The SGX will not be amending the Mainboard and Catalist listing rules requirements on minimum initial shareholding spread requirements and distribution guidelines at initial public offer and minimum float requirements after listing. It has, however, provided for both primary and secondary listings that the subscription and allocation value of the shares at the initial public listing for each investor must be at least SGD 500 and must be based on an integral multiple of a board lot. This is intended to address the disproportionately high trading costs that may be incurred by IPO applicants who may be allotted the minimum number of shares at the minimum issue price for IPO shares.

 

It has additionally also amended the Mainboard and Catalist listing rules as follows:

 

  • The distribution schedule of each class of equity securities which must be contained in the annual report currently has a 1–999 category. This category has been split into two: 1–99 and 100–1,000. This is to track holders who hold less than 100 units of the security.
  • The requirements as to the board lot size for the different categories of structured warrants have been removed.

Impact And Implications

 

The reduction in board lot sizes was first proposed in a Consultation Paper by the SGX in August 2013. As noted in the Consultation Paper, the proposal may potentially result in a larger number of shareholders for a listed company, particularly in the case of companies with higher-priced shares. As a result, listed companies may face increased administrative costs arising from:

 

  • the distribution of annual reports and circulars;
  • the processing of corporate actions; and
  • the holding of Annual General Meetings.

 

On the other hand, the SGX has also noted that the reduction in board lot size will enable retail investors to build more balanced and diversified portfolios and institutions to better manage their risk exposures through finer allocation of funds.

 

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For further information, please contact:

 

Rachel Eng, Partner, WongPartnership
rachel.eng@wongpartnership.com

 
Gail Ong, Partner, WongPartnership
gail.ong@wongpartnership.com

 
Chee Shan Long, Partner, WongPartnership
cheeshan.long@wongpartnership.com

 

Annabelle Yip, Partner, WongPartnership

annabelle.yip@wongpartnership.com

 

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