Published Date: 05 December 2014

"SIMEX – 30th Founding Anniversary" - Remarks by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at SGX’s SIMEX Hall of Fame, SGX Building on 4 December 2014

Mr Magnus Böcker, CEO of SGX,
Pioneers of SIMEX, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen;

Good afternoon. Delighted to join you at SIMEX Hall of Fame to mark the 30th founding anniversary of SIMEX

  • SIMEX has the distinction of being Asia’s first financial futures exchange.
  • Its birth in 1984 represents milestone in development of Singapore’s financial markets.

Singapore’s listed derivatives markets have grown phenomenally during last three decades.

  • Trading volumes have grown over 700 times since 1984.
  • SIMEX set several firsts during this period, such as launch of first Japanese index futures, the Nikkei 225.
  • Following merger of SIMEX and Stock of Exchange of Singapore in 1999, SGX has carried on SIMEX’s tradition of innovation.
  • Today, SGX offers a strong suite of derivative contracts covering multiple asset classes – equity indices, FX and commodities.
  • More than 100 million contracts traded annually and partnerships with exchanges around the world.

Singapore’s thriving derivatives markets owe much to vision and stewardship of SIMEX’s pioneering leaders.

  • Many of them have also made extensive contributions to Singapore’s financial sector beyond SIMEX.

As we gather in SIMEX Hall of Fame, let me take the opportunity to thank these Pioneers who led SIMEX through its first 15 years.

  • Mr Ng Kok Song, founding Chairman of SIMEX, spearheaded the historic Mutual Offset System with Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) in 1984. This is one of earliest and most successful exchange linkages in the history of the derivatives industry, and remains widely used today.
  • Mr Ang Swee Tian, President of SIMEX and SGX from 1984 to 2006, led the launch of Nikkei 225 and MSCI Taiwan futures contracts, the first Japanese and Taiwanese equity index futures created in Asia respectively. It was under Swee Tian’s leadership that we made transition from pit trading to electronic trading.
  • Mrs Elizabeth Sam, two-term Chair of SIMEX from 1987 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996, oversaw the expansion of SIMEX into the financial options and commodities markets. Elizabeth led SIMEX during tumultuous times, upholding integrity of the market during the 1987 Black Monday and 1995 Barings crises.
  • Mr Francis Yeo, Chairman of SIMEX from 1990 to 1993, oversaw expansion of SIMEX’s options market with launch of first offshore Japanese equity index options.
  • Mr Ho Tian Yee, Deputy Chairman of SIMEX from 1993 to 1996, headed SIMEX Currency Contract Committee, which led to the addition of deferred spot currencies to exchange’s growing suite of products.
  • Mr Victor Liew, Chairman of SIMEX from 1996 to 1999, played a critical role in merger between SES and SIMEX to form today’s SGX.

The growth of Singapore’s derivatives market received crucial support from a robust and coherent regulatory framework, which underpinned market confidence and provided a conducive environment for its development. I would like to thank past leaders of MAS who were key to the growth of SIMEX:

  • Mr J Y Pillay, Managing Director of MAS from 1985 to 1989, played a leading role in implementation of new securities laws following Pan-Electric crisis of 1985. Mr Pillay also helmed SGX as its first Chairman from 1999 to 2010, overseeing the public listing of SGX in 2000.
  • Mr Lim Ho Kee, Deputy Managing Director of MAS from 1981 to 1982, was one of the crucial architects in creation of SIMEX and facilitated the establishment of Mutual Offset System linkage between SIMEX and CME.
  • Mr Koh Beng Seng, Deputy Managing Director of MAS from 1988 to 1998, was pivotal in building high standards of financial regulation that helped underpin investor confidence in our capital markets.

The last group I want to acknowledge – the people who actually made it all happen – is the staff and management of SIMEX and SGX.

  • You had a keen eye for market trends and opportunities.
  • You tirelessly pursued innovative products.
  • You forged strong partnerships which have made Singapore a dynamic and thriving global market place for derivatives.

I wish everyone a pleasant evening and wish SGX many more celebratory anniversaries ahead.