HPH Trust: The big moment
Having won such a trophy, Singapore paraded it with pride. On the day HPH Trust began trading, March 18, newspapers – international as well as local – carried two full pages of ads apiece using the listing to promote Singapore as the “home of infrastructure companies tapping into Asian liquidity”. And the moment of listing was set at 2pm, the start of the afternoon session, rather than the morning bell to accommodate maximum international participation at the listing ceremony. These ceremonies come and go regularly at SGX, on the second-floor foyer of the exchange’s Shenton Way building, but this one attracted a particularly senior crowd. Ho Ching, chief executive of sovereign wealth fund Temasek, was there to greet the great and the good of the Hutch empire, including Canning Fok, Frank Sixt and a host of executives from the port business and the new trust. Singapore Exchange had its top brass out: chairman Chew Choon Seng, president Gan Seow Ann, listings head Lawrence Wong – in fact everyone bar chief executive Magnus Bocker, no doubt embroiled in SGX’s continuing tilt for the Australian Securities Exchange.
A screen had been erected behind the stage showing the bid and ask prices ahead of the start of trading; in front of it, as the big moment approached, Chew and Fok made speeches.