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Hg Exchange graduates from MAS regulatory sandbox

Source: Hg Exchange

Hg Exchange (HGX), a private securities exchange formed by an alliance of leading capital market intermediaries, announced today its milestone graduation from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Fintech Regulatory Sandbox with a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) license awarded by the MAS.

With this RMO license, HGX can now fully operate as Asia’s first member-driven private exchange to support the issuance and trading of both digital and non-digital capital market products. The exchange has also appointed Eric Neo Say Wei as President and promoted Willie Chang from Chief Operating Officer (COO) to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to drive HGX’s business growth in Asia.

Graduation from the MAS Sandbox
“Hg Exchange’s graduation from the MAS Fintech Regulatory Sandbox is a crucial step in our development and we are confident in attracting more global companies and investors to the platform. We want to build a strong marketplace where investors can access everything from equities in high-growth companies, funds, and loan products to more unconventional financial products such as high-end luxury goods like art, wines and whiskies,” said Willie Chang, CEO of HGX. “Hg Exchange is a venue designed to make these financial products accessible to a broad investor base. I am excited to lead Hg Exchange to greater heights and nurture an ecosystem that will help build the exchange of the future.”

HGX’s graduation from the MAS Fintech Regulatory Sandbox indicates that HGX has demonstrated compliance with rigorous regulatory requirements and ensured its structure and operations are in accordance with local and international standards and best practices. Activity on the exchange has been robust since September 2020, when HGX announced its first trades. Thirteen different products have been successfully listed with a total average monthly trading volume exceeding US$500,000 in the last six months.

A designated market maker
PhillipCapital, a Member Firm, will be a designated market maker to boost exchange liquidity and facilitate trading at competitive bid and offer prices.
“We are excited to be HGX’s Member Firm. Our clients can now access and invest in a wider universe of alternative assets to assist in their financial planning. At the same time, we see the HGX marketplace as a great place to bring alternative assets into the market through listing.” said Luke Lim, Managing Director of Phillip Securities Pte. Ltd.

Established by four distinct industry-leading firms, Fundnel, PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Zilliqa, HGX is Asia’s first member-driven private exchange. Powered by leading blockchain platform provider Zilliqa, HGX technology allows for digitised securities issuance and secondary trading of digital securities. Digital securities can also be fractionalised, allowing investors to transact securities at more accessible price points. The goal of HGX is to provide an equitable trading platform by bringing operational transparency, fair competition, and cost- efficiency to the private capital markets.

Three of the four HGX founders - Fundnel, PhillipCapital, and PrimePartners - are also Member Firms, each individually licensed and regulated by MAS. Currently, participation and trading in HGX is open to professional, expert and accredited clients of Member Firms, which currently includes over 500,000 investors globally. This unique platform ecosystem will continue to grow as more Member Firms are added, enhancing access to invest in companies and private assets with high growth potential.

Strengthening leadership
“The financial landscape has evolved at a rapid pace in the last decade as we now look to democratising private fundraising and investments for companies. Family offices, high-net- worth individuals, investment managers, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and wealth managers are seeking inroads into alternative investments,” said Eric Neo Say Wei, President of HGX. “This has positioned HGX squarely in the centre of this exciting revolution. Harnessing technology and financial innovation for the betterment of society has always fascinated me and I am proud to be a part of the HGX team that embodies these goals.”

Eric will bring two decades of experience in capital markets, fintech and entrepreneurship to lead HGX’s strategic fundraising and build its membership ecosystem. He previously founded the Trading Atrium, Asia’s first award-winning multi-asset low latency trading ecosystem, at Neo & Partners Global and co-founded RF International Holdings, an investment holding company. Eric was also awarded Executive of the Year, Financial Services at the SBR Management Excellence Awards 2020. He will be reporting to Willie, who will focus on strategy and operations as CEO, leveraging his twenty years of experience in fintech, investment banking and management consulting to steer HGX forward. Willie has previously launched a digital asset exchange platform for cryptocurrencies and held multiple strategic and management roles at several banks and consulting companies.

Since its inception, HGX has recorded many milestones, including closing its first trade in September 2020 and launching Asia’s first digital whiskey-based asset-backed security in January 2021. Thirteen different financial instruments have been successfully listed with a total average monthly trading volume exceeding US$500,000 in the last six months. Looking to the future, HGX has built a strong product pipeline of capital market products, with funds, loans, luxury assets, and real estate under evaluation for future listing. HGX also plans to onboard more Member Firms, expanding the overall marketplace and ecosystem.

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