Singapore reaches out for financial industry advice

Added 29th July 2015

As Hong Kong develops strong market links with China, Singapore's new financial centre advisory panel hopes to chart strategies for the Lion City's own future.

Singapore reaches out for financial industry advice

The panel comprises 26 representatives from banking, insurance and asset management industries and it aims to strengthen the dialogue and partnership between MAS and the financial industry.  

“Given the rapid changes in the global financial landscape, we need to deepen our partnership with the industry to better anticipate trends, co-create policies, and chart strategies for the future,” said Ravi Menon, managing director.

A long-term strategic plan is crucial if Singapore wants to remain relevant. 

Hong Kong is Singapore's rival in the competition for asset and wealth managers, and it has gained a serious competitive advantage through links with China. 

As the Stock Connect programme and the Mutual Recognition of Funds initiative mature and China's A-shares are included on global indices, the SAR is expected to attract increasingly more global wealth managers and fund houses.  

“A long-term strategic plan is crucial if Singapore wants to remain relevant"

BlackRock estimates a 10-15% inclusion of A-shares on the MSCI indices will result in around $50bn in capital flows, and much of that flow will reach Hong Kong.

At the same time, Singapore has seen an erosion of confidence from some sectors. 

Hedge funds are considering leaving Singapore due to an increasingly heavy regulatory burden, according to industry reports. 

On the insurance side, Standard Life last month said it was pulling out of Singapore as a result of its increasing focus on building business with Chinese and Indian partners in Hong Kong, FSA's sister publication International Adviser reported.

FSA contacted Nikko and Lion Global and asked about the trigger for setting up the panel at this particular time, but Nikko referred comments to the MAS and Lion Global declined to comment. 

An emailed reponse to the question from a MAS spokeswoman was that the FCAP was set up to "sharpen our financial sector’s competitive edge" and "drive the next phase of growth and development for Singapore’s financial centre". 

The FCAP is expected to provide advice on asset class strategies to develop various segments of the financial sector and discuss development of technology skills, according to a MAS statement. 

Hugh Young managing director of Aberdeen Asset Management Asia, Kevin Hardy, managing director for BlackRock in Singapore, Eleanor Seet, president at Nikko Asset Management Asia and Gerard Lee chief executive of Lion Global Investors represent the asset management industry.

Edmund Koh, Singapore country head and head of wealth management for Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific at UBS, Piyush Gupta CEO, DBS Bank and Michael Zink, head of ASEAN for Citibank are among the other panel members.

“MAS looks forward to tapping on the insights and experience of FCAP, to help grow Singapore as a leading international financial centre that provides significant opportunity for Singaporeans working in finance,” added Menon, who chairs the panel.

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