Singapore to ease venture capital rules in bid to boost Fintech

SINGAPORE - Singapore's central bank is looking to ease regulation for venture capital (VC) investors next year in a further push to boost the financial technology industry, deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Thursday.

The wealthy city-state is one of the world's leading finance centres and aims to become an important Fintech hub as well. Policymakers have sought to attract investment in Fintech, easing regulation and setting up special departments to support the industry.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which is chaired by Tharman, is holding a Fintech festival next week, inviting regulators, investors and fintech firms from across the world.

"MAS is looking to significantly simplify and shorten the authorisation process for new VC managers," Tharman said at the launch of Singapore's first innovation space designated for Fintech.

"Further, to the extent that there are contractual safeguards to provide sufficient protection to a VC's sophisticated investor base, MAS is also looking to exempt VC managers from business conduct requirements that are currently applied to asset managers in general."

The MAS aims to introduce the changes by July 2017.

More than 300 Fintech start-ups have set up shop in Singapore, while over 20 global banks and insurance companies have set up innovation labs and research centres.