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Grab listing opens next chapter in Southeast Asia's startup story

Region set to follow US and China as hub for publicly traded tech giants

"Super app" developer Grab's SPAC deal could point the way for other tech startups in Southeast Asia eager to go public quickly. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

SINGAPORE -- The plan by Singapore tech group Grab to become a U.S. listed public company via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is a landmark deal in both the company's old and new homes.

Grab's plan for a listing that would value it at almost $40 billion makes it the largest such deal to use a SPAC, after an unprecedented rush on Wall Street to create such "blank check" listing vehicles that are then used to acquire companies.

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