LEAP debutant Cloudaron closes at 50% premium

KUALA LUMPUR: The Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) market’s inaugural listing Cloudaron Group Bhd, which closed its first day of trading at a 50% premium to its restricted offering of 11 sen, was eyeing listings on the Australian and Singaporean stock exchanges before deciding on Bursa Malaysia’s latest offering.

“We started looking before LEAP was announced…We never knew how long LEAP was going to take. In fact, we waited for a long time before LEAP was announced. We were exchange-ready about 6-12 months ago,” said the non-independent and non-executive chairman of the Singapore-based company Datuk Larry Gan Nyap Liou.

“We were actually exploring (options) in Australia and Singapore. We were convinced by Bursa that LEAP is imminent and it is almost there, so we thought of bringing the company back to Malaysia. We are actually a Malaysian company,” he added.

Larry said the listing could give it a profile boost and access to capital, which in turn will also benefit its customers.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the listing ceremony, Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan said he strongly believes that more listings will follow suit, although it may be more or less than the 11 announced at the launch of the LEAP market in July.

“It wasn’t that the 11 was sanctioned or approved to be out there. The approval is done by the advisers and it is the advisers who thought these are the 11,” he said.

With 19,000 SMEs in need of funds, Tajuddin said creation of the market is a step in the right direction and is in line with the vision of members of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) which have acknowledged the need for markets to support the capital needs of SMEs, touted as the backbone of world economy.

In line with that, the Thai and Singapore exchanges are said to be working on markets similar to LEAP.

Inadequate supply of funds has prompted takeovers of cash strapped SMEs by foreign companies, which eventually takes these companies out of Malaysia.

Tajuddin added that it will need a window period of between six and 18 months to study the trends of the market from which the gaps can be identified and bridged.

Cloudaron debuted at a 50% premium to its restricted offering of 11 sen a share, closing at 16.5 sen. Some 315,000 shares were traded. It raised RM5.5 million through this restricted offering, with the issuance of 50 million shares equivalent to 6.4% of its enlarged share capital.

The company which plans to pay out a dividend of up to 20% of its future net profits, is involved in technology solutions for cloud, workspace transformation and services for business enterprise.

It is scouting for mergers and acquisition opportunities, particularly in the online business segment, and also working towards expanding its presence into regional markets like Indonesia where it had opened an office on Monday and the Philippines, where it already has resellers.