Real estate developer China New Town Development, which delisted from SGX in February but remain listed in Hong Kong, said exiting Singapore will lead to savings in compliance costs and management resources.
"A single listing may help to consolidate the trading of the shares and lead to further liquidity, which would broaden the shareholder base and enhance the attraction of the company as an investment target. Such liquidity is typically an important consideration for market indices in determining their constituent stocks," the firm said in a statement.
Max Loh, EY managing partner for Asean and Singapore, said it makes sense for companies such as China New Town Development to build product and brand recognition closer to their home market. He also noted that S-chips may not have seen the interest they were seeking from investors in Singapore.
"There is the perception that they are not garnering sufficient value and interest from investors on the SGX. In addition, the historical unfavorable experiences with certain S-chip companies continue to cast a pall over the entire slate of companies in this space," he said.
Loh was referring to the accounting fraud and other corporate scandals among a few S-chips that rocked the Singapore stock market in the early 2010s, tarnishing the reputation of Chinese companies, which saw their share prices collapsing in the aftermath of the episode.
Questionable corporate governance and accounting practices have since led to the SGX placing many S-chips on its watch list for close monitoring. Several firms were subsequently asked to delist after failing to meet listing requirements.
"The exchange will take action if the company does not satisfy the minimum financial performance over a certain period of time… In addition, since bearish market generally happens with poor economic performance, financial performance of these companies also will be poor. Thus, these companies may decide to delist and go private," said Sundaram Janakiramanan, a finance professor at Singapore University of Social Sciences.