Feb 7, 2022 - Economy

SPACs go global

Checks with a shadow writing over one of the checks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. SPAC boom has become a SPAC bust, with dozens of post-merger companies trading below their sale prices. But that hasn't stopped foreign stock exchanges from enthusiastically grasping for the falling knife.

Driving the news: Singapore last month hosted its first SPAC listings, and Hong Kong got its first SPAC filing. London's debut SPAC came in December, around the same time that Brazil approved its own inaugural SPAC.

  • Abu Dhabi proposed a SPAC framework a couple of weeks ago.
  • Indian securities regulators said last summer that they are working on their own framework, but haven't yet released it.

Behind the scenes: This is mostly about local exchanges not wanting to lose homegrown companies. Plus, of course, fees.

Hold-outs: Large exchanges in Australia, Shanghai or Shenzhen look unlikely to relax their rules anytime soon to allow SPACs.

The bottom line: It's too early to know if these new SPAC efforts will mimic the U.S. roller coaster, or if lessons learned while watching from afar will limit volatility. But sometimes it's better to be never than late.

Go deeper