Axcelasia Plans Expansion After Successful Listing In Singapore
Charles FernandezThursday, January 7, 2016
We are ready to take Axcelasia onto a bigger platform. The listing marks a significant milestone for us as it will allow us to embark on our next phase of growth, says Singh.
SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) like professional services firms, which find it cumbersome to gain listing on the second board of the Malaysian stock exchange, are looking at Singapore.
A few Malaysian-based firms have actually gained listing on the neighbouring republic’s Catalist Market. It seems they actually get encouragement to do so.
The Catalist Market is the second board at the Singapore Exchange (SGX). It is similar to the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Bhd, for fast-growing small companies with high growth potential to go for listings under more flexible requirements, plus the fact that the island state is an investment hub which encourages the services sector in terms of listing opportunities.
Catalist is open not only to entities with revenue-generating assets like a factory or plant, but also for those that rely on intellectual capital and human talent.
So far, two Malaysian companies are known to be holding their own assets in the Catalist Market: Specialist eye-care provider ISEC Healthcare Ltd and integrated professional services provider Zico Holdings Inc.
Towards the end of 2015, Axcelasia Inc joined this small club. The integrated multidisciplinary professional services provider has joined the rank of Malaysian firms in the Catalist Market when it gained SGX listing on Nov 27 last year.
Incorporated in Labuan, together with its subsidiaries, the group provides professional services mainly in Malaysia to government-linked entities, private- and public-listed companies and multinational corporations. It has four core businesses: Tax advisory business, business consultancy, enterprise management system application and business support.
Taxand Malaysia, the group’s tax advisory business, is a member of Taxand, a global organisation of independent tax advisory firm. As such, it believes it will be able to leverage on Taxand’s client base and work with other Taxand member firms in servicing their clients.
Axcelasia executive chairman Dr Veerinderjeet Singh is no stranger to many in the Malaysian corporate world, especially when it comes to the accounting and taxation world.
He said the group’s business consultancy and enterprise risk management (ERM) application businesses are forerunners in the areas of ERM and business continuity management.
“We are ready to take Axcelasia onto a bigger platform. The listing marks a significant milestone for us as it will allow us to embark on our next phase of growth by leveraging our success in Malaysia to scale up our presence in the Asean region,’’ he told The Malaysian Reserve.
He said this is the first time ever that such an integrated professional services group has been listed in this part of the world. There have been previous listings of service providers who provide corporate secretarial services or business support services such as boardroom which is listed in Singapore.
Globally, the most well-known professional services group that is listed in the US is Accenture plc, which provides business consultancy services.
“However, none of these companies have ever had a tax advisory service entity within its group. As such, this is the first and a Malaysian group is leading the way,’’ he said.
As for its growth plans, the tax practitioner said Axcelasia has earmarked 68% of the gross proceeds from the listing exercise to expand its business operations in Malaysia and the Asean region, and enhance its range of professional services.
“The remaining proceeds, net of listing expenses, will be used to enhance the group’s office and support infrastructure as well as working capital,’’ he said.
Elaborating further on the group’s future plans, he said, Axcelasia intends to expand its domestic businesses, in particular their tax advisory business to other cities in the country and, at the regional level, to other Asean countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos and Thailand.