Media Releases
Published Date: 07 July 1999

Encouraging Signs of New Growth in the Financial Services Sector


Date: 7 Jul 1999 


Increase in the number of asset management companies managing global funds in Singapore

Three companies have been awarded the Enhanced Fund Manager status, each of them managing more than S$5 billion of foreign-sourced funds in Singapore.

  • Increase in size of funds under management

Whilst there has been a sharp fall in asset values over the last year, MAS' latest half-yearly snapshot survey of fund management companies covering the half-year ended 30 Jun 99 show that the total discretionary funds under management has increased by about 25% from S$112 billion at end-Dec 1998 to an estimated amount of S$140 billion1 at end-June 1999. This is a 13% increase when compared with the total discretionary funds under management of S$124 billion at end-1997.

  • A 25% increase in the number of unit trusts offered

Since the liberalisation of investment guidelines for unit trusts, a total of 127 unit trusts were offered in 1998 compared to 101 in 1997.

  • A three-fold increase in the size of funds managed by CPF-approved unit trusts

Since the revamp of the CPF Investment Scheme, aggregate funds managed at end-1998 amounted to S$1.5 billion compared to S$518 million at end-1997.


  • Continued lead in foreign exchange activities

Singapore retained its position as the 4th largest foreign exchange trading centre in the world, after London, New York, and Tokyo, according to the BIS Central Bank Survey of Forex and Derivatives Market Activity.

  • Growing interest by MNCs to base regional treasury centres in Singapore

During the period Apr 98 to Mar 99, ten MNCs qualified under MAS' Finance & Treasury Centre scheme. They included global names like Caltex, Ericsson, Intel, and NCR.


  • Increased interest by foreign issuers to raise funds in Singapore

There have been several landmark S$ bond issues by supranationals and foreign corporates in Singapore billion since the relaxation of guidelines on the internationalisation of the Singapore Dollar. Total S$ bond issues by foreign entities has amounted to S$1.75 billion since the relaxation of the guidelines in August 1998.

  • A steady stream of public sector statutory board bond issues

In the last financial year, Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) and the Housing & Development Board (HDB) have raised S$1.4 billion through bond issues.

  • A 60% increase in average daily turnover in the Singapore Government Securities (SGS) Market

Average daily SGS turnover was S$874 million in 1998 compared to S$534 million in 1997.


  • More new product offerings on SIMEX

New contracts introduced include the MSCI Singapore stock index futures contract, the Dow Jones Thailand stock index futures contract, and the Euroyen LIBOR futures and options contract.

  • Strategic international linkages with other exchanges

SIMEX became part of the Globex electronic trading alliance with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Societe des Bourses Francaises (SBF) as the demutualisation and merger of SES and SIMEX creates a strong and integrated exchange that can seek strategic international linkages.

  • Sharp increase in trading volumes on SIMEX and SES

Annual trading volume on SIMEX reached a record high of 27.9 million lots in 1998 compared to 24.1 million lots in 1997. Trading volume on SES surged by 43% to 74 billion units in 1998 from 52 billion units in 1997.

1 S$140 billion estimated based on preliminary returns from fund management companies. The final amount of discretionary funds under management will be released at a later date.