INCREASING numbers of Hong Kong companies see a Singapore listing as an escape from the territory's lacklustre stock market. Assistant director of the corporate finance division of Standard Chartered Merchant Bank Asia, Tan Chong Lee, said: 'We don't know the exact number of applications this year, but the momentum is definitely growing. 'I think a lot of the interest that has been generated is attributable to the higher price earnings of a Singapore listing. 'I believe at this point in time, the PE multiples are about 10 times.' The five new US dollar listings in Singapore this year have prospective price earnings multiples of 9.6 to 26.4 times. Singapore requires all counters incorporated overseas to trade in foreign currencies and most of them are traded in the US dollar. Besides the pricing, the warm response to Hong Kong-based automotive electronics group, GPE Industries, has aroused more interest from Hong Kong companies, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu partner Joseph Wong said. 'There are more clients asking about listing in Singapore after the listing of GPE Industries,' he said. GPE Industries, another spin-off of the Hong Kong-listed Gold Peak Industries Group, was 12 times subscribed for its listing this month. More Singapore listings of Hong Kong companies are in the pipeline. Mould bases maker Lung Kee (Bermuda) Holdings and a subsidiary of South China Industries, Wah Shing International Holdings, are heading for a listing in Singapore. Mr Wong said manufacturers in food processing and electronics were favourites with Singapore investors. Singapore listings face tighter regulation which demands a five-year track record. Even a company which set up a new holding company as a listing vehicle had to disclose the five-year track records of all the subsidiaries under the listing vehicle, Mr Wong said. Listing candidates in Singapore also faced higher listing standards than those in Hong Kong. Overseas holding companies have to achieve $82.5 million of pre-tax profit over the past three years and at least $11 million for each year. Singapore holding companies have to achieve a total of $41.3 million profit in the past three years and at least $5.5 million in each year. By contrast, listing candidates in Hong Kong are required to achieve $20 million in the past three years. Singapore-listed companies also are required to have two Singapore residents as independent directors and a full-time director based in Singapore. Mr Wong warned that dividends and personal incomes of employees of a Singapore-listed company might be subject to higher tax. A Deloitte partner in Singapore, Chaly Mah, said the price of Jardine Matheson was flat because it was only a secondary listing.