Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore's stock market opens steady after news of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's passing

SINGAPORE - The Singapore stock market opened largely unchanged after news of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's passing early on Monday morning.

The Straits Times Index edged up 1.21 points to 3,413.65 points after the opening bell but moved a marginal 0.11 points down to 3,412.33 after a few minutes.

The stock market had closed higher on Friday, up 26.28 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 3,412.44 points on hopes for stimulus measures in China. The Nasdaq had hit a 15-year record high on Friday.

OCBC Bank economist Selena Ling said that any stock market reaction is "more of a knee-jerk reaction. Mr Lee's impact on the real economy will be fairly limited as he has not been a policymaker in recent years".

NRA Capital executive chairman Kevin Scully said of the limited stock market impact: "There is an established leadership team in place and Mr Lee has not been actively managing the country for some time."

Mr Lee, who would have turned 92 this September, died at the Singapore General Hospital where he had been warded for severe pneumonia since Feb 5.

A statement from the Prime Minister's Office said: "The Prime Minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore. Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18 am. He was 91."

PM Lee Hsien Loong has declared a seven-day period of national mourning. As a mark of respect, the state flags on all government buildings will be flown at half-mast for the mourning period, which starts on Monday, March 23, and ends on Sunday, March 29.

A private family wake will be held on Monday, March 23, and Tuesday, March 24, at Sri Temasek.

Mr Lee's body will lie in state at Parliament House from Wednesday, March 25, to Saturday, March 28, for the public to pay their last respects. They can do so from 10 am to 8 pm daily during that time.

A state funeral service for Mr Lee will be held at 2pm on Sunday, March 29, at the National University of Singapore's University Cultural Centre.