IMF to assess Singapore's financial stability in April, May

IMF to assess Singapore's financial stability in April, May

SINGAPORE - Singapore will undergo a financial stability assessment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday.

The assessment, which will take place in April and May, is part of a newly mandated international surveillance programme for systemically important financial centres.

In 2010, the IMF designated 25 financial centres, including Singapore and Hong Kong, as "systemically important" financial sectors that would require a stability assessment every five years. Participation in the surveillance programme is voluntary for other members, although those 25 designated countries can also undergo more frequent assessment if they wish.

Singapore last took part in 2004. Back then, the assessors gave Singapore overall high grades, but highlighted a number of areas for possible improvement.

Among the assessors' concerns in 2004 was the level of independence of Singapore's central bank, which remains led by sitting ministers. The current MAS chairman is Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

MAS told BT that it has since taken various steps, including legislative amendments, to clarify MAS's objectives, powers and functions. MAS said it has also improved accountability, with annual reports on its performance that must be presented to the president of Singapore.

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