Singapore-based Hg Exchange, believed to be Southeast Asia’s first member-driven private exchange, said its founding members PhillipCapital, PrimePartners, and Fundnel have begun live trading of private company shares.
Assets that can be traded on the exchange include funds, high-growth companies, and other alternative private assets, the exchange said in a statement on Monday. The exchange is named for the chemical symbol for mercury, or Hg, referring both to the metal’s use in thermometers and for the Roman god who acted as a messenger.
HGX told DealStreetAsia that the exchange so far seen a “healthy” flow of buyers and sellers via member firms, but declined to provide further details at this time.
The exchange will accept both direct secondaries, such as private companies’ employee and investor shares, and will also work with private equity and venture capital funds, the company said via email. It added that no funds are currently traded on the exchange, but HGX would be open to speaking with fund managers about potential services.
Hg Exchange had, in June, entered the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s regulatory sandbox, which allows fintechs to test products with a light regulatory touch. MAS has given Hg Exchange approval to list and trade both digital and non-digital capital markets products (CMPs).
Digital CMPs involve securities being converted into tokens and traded via the blockchain, allowing that same lot to be traded easily subsequently, while non-digital CMPs are securities traded more traditionally.
For digital products, HGX said it will use blockchain technology to improve efficiency and allow trading in smaller lots; that will benefit issuers seeking partial liquidity or those who own a limited number of shares of private companies, such as employees receiving equity or options as compensation.
Founding partner Fundnel is Southeast Asia’s largest private investment platform, using proprietary AI and machine learning to syndicate deals. PrimePartners is a Singapore-based financial services group focusing on investment and fund management, corporate financial advisory and capital raising. PhillipCapital provides financial services to retail and high net worth clients, family offices, and institutional customers.