From Singapore to the Wall Street: 5 Singapore-Headquartered Companies on the U.S. Exchange

Publish date: Wed, 05 Jun 2024, 01:04 PM
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My name is Jun Yuan, and I am the owner of The Singaporean Investor. I am a full-time retail investor and trader since April 2017, and in this website, I'd be sharing with you my personal analyses of Singapore-listed companies, along with advices relating to investing, as well as trading. You can find out more about me here, and check out my long-term portfolio here.
From Singapore to the Wall Street: 5 Singapore-Headquartered Companies on the U.S. Exchange

Even though Singapore has its own stock exchange (in the Singapore Exchange, or SGX for short), why do some of the Singapore-headquartered companies choose to list in the United States, either on the New York Stock Exchange (or NYSE for short), or NASDAQ?

One of the primary reasons for this is the ability to gain access to a much larger capital pool compared to listing on the stock exchange in its home country. By listing in the United States, the companies will be able to tap into a broader investor base, allowing them to raise significantly more funds.

Liquidity is another factor. If you are familiar with trading on the Singapore market, you will know that only a select few companies have a high trading liquidity. On the other hand, because of the sheer size of the US stock exchanges, the companies listed there have a much better liquidity, and this aids in the ease of buying and selling of shares.

In this post, you will find 5 companies that are headquartered in Singapore, but listed on the US stock exchanges (out of the 5, I am sure you can immediately recognise 3 of them) – in particular, you will learn about each of the company’s businesses, as well as a review of its financial performances over the years.

Let’s begin:

1. Sea Limited (NYSE: SE)

Sea Limited's Website

Image Source: Sea Limited’s Website

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning about this company?

“Shopee!” – that’s right. The online shopping platform is by the Singapore-headquartered company. In fact, it has a market share of close to 50% in Southeast Asia, with Lazada in distant second place.

Apart from Shopee, it is also in the digital entertainment business under the name “Garena”, where it has a global footprint across more than 130 markets. One of the games by the company is “Free Fire” (where the game was the most downloaded on the Google Play Store in 2019).

Sea Limited is also in the digital financial services business under the name “SeaMoney”, where it is a leading digital payments and financial services provider in Southeast Asia under various brands, including ShopeePay, as well as SPayLater. SeaMoney currently offers consumer and SME credit, mobile wallet, banking and insurtech services.

The company was listed on the NYSE in October 2017, and the following is its financial performance (its total revenue and net profit) over the last 5 years (i.e., between FY2019 and FY2023 – the company has a financial year end every 31 December):

(> +100%)
(> +100%)

Two important points to highlight from its recent years’ performance – first, while the company has seen an overall increase in its total revenue over the past 5 years, its grow rate (in percentage terms) has significantly slowed over the last 2 years due to a strategic shift towards profitability. Second, in FY2023, Sea Limited achieved a net profit and management is committed to maintaining this profitable position.

2. Grab Holdings Limited (NYSE: GRAB)

Grab Holdings Limited's Website

Image Source: Grab Holdings Limited’s Website

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you need a taxi, or when you need food delivery? Most will think of the word “Grab”.

That’s right – in Singapore, the company holds a dominant position in the ride hailing business over its rivals, where it has around 50% of the market share. Grab also have a 50% market share in the food delivery business (with Foodpanda and Deliveroo in distant second and third place respectively).

On top of its ride hailing and food delivery businesses, it is also in the financial services business (through GrabPay, which can be found within its app). The company’s app is also a leading super app in Southeast Asia.

The company was listed on the NYSE in December 2021, and the table below is Grab Holdings’ financial performances (particularly its total revenue and net profit) between FY2022 and FY2023 (its full-year results post-IPO; the company has a financial year end on 31 December):

Net Loss

The jump in Grab’s total revenue (by 64.6%) in FY2023 compared to the year before can be attributed to growth across all of its business segments, continued incentive optimisation, and a change in business model for certain delivery offerings in one of its markets.

Even though the company was still in a net loss position at end FY2023, but it was significantly lower than the amount recorded the year before, primarily due to improvements in the Group’s Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortisation), reduction in fair value losses on investments, and lower interest expenses and share-based compensation expenses.

3. PropertyGuru Group Limited (NYSE: PGRU)

PropertyGuru Group Limited's Website

Source: PropertyGuru Group Limited’s Website

PropertyGuru is another company that is familiar with Singaporeans – where for most, it is one of the websites you will visit when you want to look for properties to purchase or rent. Similarly, when you want to sell or rent out your property, your property agent will list it on the website as well.

This is on top of the company’s namesake website having referral arrangements with all the major banks in Singapore, allowing them to offer property buyers competitive bank rates and service.

PropertyGuru also provide market and property insights to property agents through its DataSense platform to gather valuable information such as transaction and market prices of properties, along with insights on market supply and demand trends, among others.

Founded in 2007, PropertyGuru Group Limited is now one of the leading PropTech (property technology) company in Southeast Asia (based on SimilarWeb data between July and December 2023), where it has a business presence in Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The Singapore-headquartered company was listed on the NYSE in March 2022, and the table below is a comparison of its total revenue and net profit between FY2022 and FY2023 (it has a financial year end on 31 December):

Net Loss

The 12.1% increase in the company’s total revenue can be attributed from its Singapore (which saw its number of agents and average revenue per agent grew) and Malaysia marketplace, as well as an improvement in its fintech and data services revenue. However, this was offset by a decline in its revenue in Vietnam (due to a drop in the number of listings).

While the Singapore-headquartered company remained in a net loss position at the end of FY2023, but it was a significant improvement compared to a year ago.

4. Flex Limited (NASDAQ: FLEX)

Flex Limited's Website

Source: Flex Limited’s Website

I’m sure for many, this is probably the first time you heard about the company – especially if you are not familiar with the manufacturing industry.

Established since 1969 (with its headquarters in 2 Changi South Lane in Singapore), Flex Limited helps market-leading brands design, build, and deliver innovative products for a diverse set of industries, including:

  • Automotive – in next generation mobility, autonomous, connectivity, electrification, and smart technologies;
  • Health Solutions – in medical devices, medical equipment, and drug delivery;
  • Industrial – in capital equipment, industrial devices, renewables, and grid edge;
  • Communications, Enterprise, and Cloud – in data, edge, and communications infrastructure;
  • Lifestyle – in appliances, consumer packaging, floorcare, micro mobility, and audio;
  • Consider Devices – in mobile and high velocity consumer devices.

The company has business operations in Asia, the Americas, as well as Europe, and some of its customers include Alphabet Inc and Amazon Inc (where they provide manufacturing and supply chain solutions for the tech companies’ hardware products), HP Inc (on the manufacturing of printers and other electronic devices), General Electric Company (where Flex partners on various projects, including healthcare and industrial products), among others.

Flex Limited was listed on the NYSE since January 1994, and the following is the company’s total revenue and net profit over the last 5 years (between FY2020 and FY2024 – it has a financial year end every 31 March):

(> +100%)

Unlike the other 3 Singapore-headquarters we have seen earlier in this article, Flex Limited is in a net profit position throughout the entire 5-year period I have looked at.

Total revenue fell in 2 out of 5 years (i.e., in FY2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and in FY2024 due to the spin-off of its subsidiary, Nextracker), while net profit saw a decline 1 out of 5 years (in FY2023, primarily due to a higher cost of sales, increased selling, general, and administrative expenses, as well as restructuring charges).

5. Wave Life Sciences Limited (NASDAQ: WVE)

Wave Life Sciences Limited's Website

Source: Wave Life Sciences Limited’s Website

Similar to Flex Limited which we have looked at earlier, most of you are probably new to Wave Life Sciences Limited as well.

Founded in 2012 (with its headquarters located in Marina One East Tower in Singapore), Wave Life Sciences Limited is in the business of unlocking the broad potential of RNA (ribonucleic acid) medicines, or those targeting RNA, to transform human health.

In December 2022, the company announced a strategic collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Intellectual Property, with an aim to create a new range of breakthrough treatments and explore new areas of disease biology. This is on top of the development of WVE-006 as a leading treatment for AATD (alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency), potentially addressing both liver and lung issues caused by the disease.

The Singapore-headquartered company was listed on NASDAQ in November 2015, and in the following table, you will find its total revenue and net profit recorded over the last 5 years (between FY2019 and FY2023 – the company has a financial year end every 31 December):

(> +100%)
(> +100%)

While total revenue saw a pretty good growth over the last 5 years (apart from FY2022, due to a significant decline in revenue recognised from its collaboration with Takeda due to an amendment in terms of the company’s collaboration).

However, it was in a net loss position throughout the entire 5-year period I have reviewed – much like the other 3 Singapore-headquartered companies (i.e., Sea Limited, Grab Holdings Limited, and PropertyGuru Group Limited) I have looked at in this post.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, the 5 Singapore-headquartered companies that opted to list in the US stock exchange instead of Singapore’s.

Moving forward, for the same reasons I have shared in the introductory paragraph (due to access to a much bigger capital pool, and also a much higher liquidity), we are likely to see more Singapore-headquartered companies choosing to list in the United States.

As to whether you should invest in these companies, it will very much depend on your investment criteria (and home bias should not be one of them).

With that, I have come to the end of my share today. Do take note that all the opinions shared in this post are purely mine for educational purposes only. The do not constitute any buy or sell calls for any of the companies. You are strongly advised to do your own due diligence before you make any investment decisions.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, I have shares of Sea Limited.

The post From Singapore to the Wall Street: 5 Singapore-Headquartered Companies on the U.S. Exchange first appeared on The Singaporean Investor.

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