World Economy

Singapore Trade Deals Rise to $55b

Singapore Trade Deals Rise to $55bSingapore Trade Deals Rise to $55b

There were a total of 416 deals from mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals and initial public offerings this year, with mergers and acquisitions making up the bulk of the deals, according to consultancy firm American Appraisal.

Transaction activity in Singapore jumped 30 percent this year to $55.4 billion (S$69.3 billion), up from $42.5 billion last year, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Most of the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals in Singapore were from the real estate sector, the consultancy said.

The bulk of transaction deals this year came mainly from Singapore companies acquiring businesses overseas, with a total of 163 deals worth $33.7 billion taking up 60 percent of the total transaction value.

“Singapore is among the countries leading the charge with its M&A and private equity deals having seen the highest half-yearly value in the second half of 2014 over the last three years,” said Ms Srividya Gopalakrishnan, managing director of American Appraisal Singapore.

“Based on this growth and the current deals in the offing, we expect to see further encouraging results early in 2015,” she added.

  Capital Markets

More than one year after the penny stock scandal in October 2013, Singapore’s stock market continues to suffer from the fallout. Trading volumes have been weak in 2014, with the average daily value of stocks falling year-on-year for about 13 straight months. The daily value of securities traded are currently holding at S$1.037 billion.

While returns are not particularly high, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) feels there is not much to worry about in this regard. M. Ramaswami, president of SGX, said: “Stocks that are listed on the SGX, which are the underlying Singapore stocks, are very stable and what you would call almost developed market characteristics stocks.

“Most of them tend to be good yield giving stocks and have not got the same growth characteristics as what you would call ‘frontier market’ now. We are a much more mature and a much more stable market place and I think to that extent, we will continue to see yield focus here as well as long-term growth.”

Some analysts feel the low returns in the market could be due to the fact that Singapore is moving from a period of high growth and low inflation to a period of lower growth rates and higher inflation.