As the market operator, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has to balance the interests of all participants: retail and institutional investors, traders and intermediaries, such as brokers and remisiers, all of whom have differing objectives and concerns ("Investing not the same as trading" by Mr Narayana Narayana; Wednesday).
That not everyone agrees with decisions made on the market is par for the course.
Whether online trading is beneficial is one area where market participants may differ. Retail investors are adopting online trading as they are online banking or online air- ticketing - with great enthusiasm and an increasing share of their wallets.
We recognise this presents new challenges to some traditional business models.
This is why we have been providing ongoing training to remisiers and working with brokers to enable their trading representatives (TRs) to better support their clients.
For remisiers, SGX launched the Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis Sales Management Programme in 2012 and e-training investment courses in 2013.
SGX Academy has also organised courses on professional trading and partnered tertiary institutions to help TRs learn new skills in sales and relationship management.
There has been debate on whether the new 100-unit board lot size has led to an increase in retail investing.
One school of thought attributes the increased activity only to high-frequency traders (HFTs).
The Singapore market is not a regular stomping ground for HFTs as there is little opportunity here for HFTs to do what they do best - arbitrage between price differences for the same stock concurrently traded in different markets.
The perception of increased HFT activity may have stemmed from an increase in 100-share transactions from international brokers who are members of SGX. These brokers
offer channels for non-traditional intermediaries, including increased retail transactions from consumer and private banks. A retail investor perusing the recent raft of letters published in the newspapers might assume this is a market deeply divided.
While different participants have different viewpoints, we all have a common objective in developing a thriving and competitive Singapore stock market.
Only if all service providers stand together can we successfully build a leading stock market offering world-class services to our investing public.
SGX will continue to actively engage with all market participants and implement constructive suggestions to deliver the best market for all investors.
Chew Sutat Executive Vice-President Singapore Exchange
This article was first published on March 06, 2015.
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