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PropNex seeking mainboard listing in Singapore

REAL estate agency PropNex is seeking a listing on the Singapore Exchange mainboard, lodging its preliminary offer document on Thursday.

Through listing, the firm aims to enhance its profile locally and internationally, and tap capital markets to fund expansion. Proceeds will go towards local and regional expansion, enhancement of its real estate brokerage business, expansion of its range of services and enhancement of technological capabilities, as well as working capital.

Its initial public offering (IPO) will comprise a placement and a public offering, with cornerstone investors having also entered subscription agreements for a total of 50 million shares.

The cornerstone investors are Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad, FIL Investment Management (Hong Kong), Nikko Asset Management Asia, NTUC Income Insurance Co-Operative, Samsung Asset Management (HK) and Value Partners Hong Kong.

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The firm does not have a fixed dividend policy, but the board intends to recommend and distribute dividends of at least 50 per cent of announced net profit after tax attributable to the owners of the company (excluding exceptional items) for the period from the listing date to Dec 31, 2018, as well as FY2019.

PropNex is Singapore's largest real estate agency with 6,688 agents. With the proceeds from the listing, the firm intends to further strengthen its market position by recruiting more salespersons, developing more effective training programmes, improving its administrative support and putting more resources towards marketing property projects.

Proceeds will also be used for overseas expansion, including developing new opportunities in regional countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.

PropNex is further exploring the possibility of providing more services such as valuation, research and marketing, and corporate leasing.

The firm said it does not expect to use the IPO proceeds to meet its payment obligations to real estate firm Dennis Wee Realty, with which PropNex entered into a business takeover agreement in 2017 for the transfer of 845 salespersons, at an aggregate purchase consideration of S$5 million.