BUILDING ON OUR FUNDAMENTALS, PREPARING FOR THE UPTURN
Singapore's Strong Fundamentals
The resilience of Singapore's financial sector can be traced to our strong fundamentals: a strong and progressive supervisory regime, coupled with a highly reputable legal and corporate governance framework. We were ranked first in corporate governance standards in Asia by the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2009. In addition, Singapore has strong balance-of-payment and fiscal positions and low levels of domestic and external debt. Fitch reaffirmed Singapore's 'AAA' sovereign rating in April 2009.
Today, Singapore is recognised as a leading centre for banking, foreign exchange and insurance. The City of London's Global Financial Centre Index ranked Singapore the most competitive financial centre in Asia, and third globally, after London and New York. Over the years, the Singapore international financial centre has grown in size and diversity. It is recognised as a major centre for asset management in the region. Singapore is the second largest foreign exchange trading centre and the leading commodities derivatives trading hub in Asia. The Singapore dollar bond markets continue to see active issuance by foreign issuers and the Singapore Exchange remains an attractive listing location for foreign companies in Asia. In Islamic Finance, more Shariah-compliant products and services are being offered by financial institutions based here. To encourage the further growth of Islamic finance, MAS has developed a Sukuk facility. (See Box Story 3.)
Although economic growth in Asia is expected to slow in the immediate term, the region is still expected to outperform the global economy. The macroeconomic and financial fundamentals of Asian economies remain sound.
Asia will continue to provide strong growth opportunities. Together with our long-term strategy of building a pro-business and competitive financial centre, Singapore is well positioned to emerge stronger from this crisis.