Junior market to nurture jobs?

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Set to rival London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), Singapore's new junior market could create jobs in the city state.

Last year, Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) unveiled Catalist - a sponsor-supervised listing platform for fast growing local and international companies.

Banks are already getting in on the act. Earlier this month, SGX named 10 sponsors for companies seeking a listing on the junior bourse, including Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, as well as local banks DBS and UOB.

SGX senior staff are already declaring the new exchange a success. Pleased with the "strong" response, Gan Seow Ann, senior executive vice president and head of markets at SGX, says sponsors will be critical in drawing "quality" companies to Catalist.

As sponsors flock to the new bourse, jobs may well follow. Jennifer Goh, of Robert Walters Singapore, says Catalist could promote recruitment at local/boutique advisory firms, such as Kim Eng, Philip Securities and Westcomb.

She says candidates from Big Four corporate finance (IPO) firms, pre-IPO firms and legal firms with banking specialisations are likely to be in demand.

Independent UK stockbroker Collins Stewart, a Catalist sponsor and player on London's AIM, is among those taking advantage of the opportunities presented to growth companies on Singapore's junior bourse. "We are excited about the potential of the newly established Catalist, as well as the exponential growth Asia offers," says Kripa Radhakrishnan, director and head of capital markets at Collins Stewart.

With an initial staff of eight in Singapore, Collins Stewart says it plans to expand the business over the next 12 to 18 months. CEO Alex Tan - a former managing director of Philip Securities - will lead the corporate finance division in the city state.

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