Media Releases
Published Date: 01 February 1999

MAS to Introduce New Legislation to Promote Credit Enhancement

OECD Conference to Discuss Insurance Markets and Regulations and Opportunities for Growth  

01 Feb 1999... Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, today announced the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will be making legislative amendments to attract specialist financial guarantee insurers to Singapore.

2   Financial guarantee insurers allow an investor to be insured against the possible default of a bond issuer. In the current economic climate, when investors may be wary of emerging market credit, financial guarantee insurers can help attract capital flows back into the region.

3   Mr Lim said the legislative amendment would allow the setting up of branch operations by triple-A rated financial guarantee insurers in Singapore, such as US-based financial guarantee insurer, Financial Security Assurance. He added that the introduction of such insurers would play a key role in the credit enhancement of debt securities, thereby strengthening Singapore's efforts to stimulate the Asian debt market.

4   Mr Lim was speaking at the first Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conference on the regulation and supervision of the insurance industry in Asia. The conference is jointly organised by the OECD and MAS. The conference will be held over two days and followed by an International Association of Insurance (IAIS) training seminar on supervisory principles and standards for public sector participants.

5   The two events are targeted at Asian insurance regulators and addressing the regional financial crisis' impact on the insurance industry.

6   The conference brings insurance regulators and private sector representatives from 30 countries to Singapore, including Mrs Helena Conruyt-Angenent, Chairperson of the OECD Insurance Committee. It will be a forum to discuss global trends in insurance regulation and policy issues on the licensing of companies, regulation of insurance intermediaries, reinsurance and treatment of insolvent companies.

7   The IAIS seminar will be held from 3-4 February and provide government representatives training on supervising both life and non-life insurance institutions.

8   The Managing Director of the MAS, Mr Koh Yong Guan, said that Singapore would continue to actively host such regional and international meetings on supervisory and regulatory issues given the high prudential standards and effective supervision that it has maintained. "Singapore will seek to contribute to, and learn from, the evolving best practice among regulators globally," he said.

9   MAS Executive Director of Insurance and co-chairperson of the OECD conference, Mrs Lim Shu Chiau said the hosting of the conference and seminar affirms Singapore's status as a developed insurance market. It is also timely as the region's financial crisis had highlighted the need for insurance industry regulators and supervisors to rethink their regulatory frameworks.

10   "Dialogue sessions with our OECD and international counterparts will help us develop strategies for dealing with the financial crisis to create a resilient and progressive insurance industry," she said.