Singapore unveils plan to bolster its status as an Asian financial hub

Singapore unveils plan to bolster its status as an Asian financial hub

SINGAPORE - Singapore unveiled a roadmap for strengthening its status as a financial hub in Asia, with the aim of growing the sector more than 4 per cent a year and creating thousands of jobs.

"With technology transforming the way financial services are produced, delivered, and consumed, it is critical that Singapore's financial sector also transforms, to stay relevant and competitive," the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Monday.

The central bank said Singapore aims to be a leading international wealth management hub, as well as an Asian hub for fund management. It also wants to be a centre for foreign exchange price discovery and liquidity in the Asian time zone.

"Singapore is currently the third largest FX centre globally. With Asia expected to attract a larger share of global investment flows, MAS will encourage key FX players to anchor their matching and pricing engines here, to enable market participants to benefit from better liquidity and greater efficiency in executing FX transactions," the central bank said.

The MAS said it is working with the financial industry to develop Singapore as an Asian centre for capital raising and enterprise financing, as well as an infrastructure financing hub.

It also seeks to develop Singapore as a leading centre for Asian fixed income, and a global capital for Asian insurance and risk transfer.

A focus of the roadmap is encouraging the adoption of technology to increase efficiency, the central bank said.

To this end, the MAS said it will take steps such as collaborating with financial institutions to create common utilities for services including electronic payments, as well as investing in research and development to develop solutions such as "distributed ledger technology" for inter-bank payments and trade finance.

The MAS will also expand cross-border co-operation agreements with other fintech centres to help grow Singapore as a base for foreign fintech start-ups, and will harness technology to simplify financial institutions' regulatory compliance.

The industry transformation map aims to achieve growth in financial sector real value-added of 4.3 per cent annually, and to create 3,000 net jobs in financial services, and 1,000 net jobs in the fintech sector annually, the central bank said.

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