(Or “Uniquely S’porean? Rewarding Failure Again”)
A few weeks ago, the ang moh FT CEO of SGX got his contract renewed for another three years. This despite:
— Making a spectacular takeover bid for ASX which no-one tot would succeed. It didn’t because, as widely expected, the Oz authorities blocked the deal.
— Failing to get mega-listings. MU is not listing here despite reports that SGX made huge concessions on corporate governance to attract MU. Apparently the central bank was not amused with the concessions. Now even KL is ahead of us in the Asian listings league. S’pore Tak Boleh?
— SGX’s dark pool joint venture Chi-East closed in May as business volumes were weak and unlikely to improve.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong exchange agreed to buy L.M.E. for £1.38 billion (US$2.16 billion). It outbid several American rivals, including NYSE Euronext, for control of the 135-year-old London firm. SGX found the valuations too rich to play. To be fair, so do investors in the HKEx. Its share price dropped. But its plans to introduce Yuan-based contracts and Chinese players into the LME could work. Then the LME price would be cheap*.
So one would have tot it would be about time for the ang moh FT to move on. Nope, he stayed on. Juz like in the case of the Lions where the ang moh FT coach remained despite years of underperformance while the players were moved on.
FYI, the number two at SGX is an ethnic Indian FT. The S’porean who was his equal moved on earlier this year. Not that the S’pore Gan was that gd: he allowed all the S-Chips to list.
*Update: FYI, HKSx paid 180 times last yr’s earnings, or 46 times forward earnings.