IE S'pore Board Act amended to reflect shift in agency's role

The International Enterprise (IE) Singapore Board Act has been amended to reflect changes in IE Singapore's role in overseeing commodity trading.

Dr Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, told Parliament yesterday that the changes mean that IE Singapore's regulatory function will be now limited to spot commodity trading and the rubber trade industry.

Regulatory oversight of commodity futures contracts, which previously came under IE Singapore, was transferred to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in 2008.

The Securities and Futures (Amendment) Bill 2016 that was passed last month involved similar changes. It will see IE Singapore transfer the regulation of over-the-counter commodity derivative contracts to the MAS, which will bring about more effective regulatory oversight under a single agency.

Second, the International Enterprise Singapore Board Act has been amended to clarify that IE Singapore can collect, compile and analyse information relating to the commodity trade and industry.

"This gives IE Singapore, the lead agency responsible for the promotion and development of the commodity trading industry, continued access to company and market data for policy-formulation purposes," Dr Koh said.

The Act has also been updated to set out the circumstances under which IE Singapore may disclose confidential information related to the commodity trading industry to another public agency.

This includes disclosure of such information for formulating or reviewing policy relating to trade.

There will also be an administrative amendment to update the purposes for which the Singapore Rubber Fund (SRF) may be used. This will be done to take into account the revised functions of IE Singapore.

The fund is to be used to facilitate the promotion of the rubber trading industry.

Mr Louis Ng, MP for Nee Soon GRC, pointed out that the use of the SRF in the amended International Enterprise Singapore Board Act is not exclusive to the rubber trading industry.

Dr Koh replied: "This is indeed the case, to allow for some flexibility in the use of the SRF.

"While the fund has been and will continue to be used to facilitate the promotion and development of the rubber trading industry, it can be tapped upon to promote or develop the broader commodity trading industry, with the view that the benefits also accrue to the rubber trading industry."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'IE S'pore Board Act amended to reflect shift in agency's role'. Print Edition | Subscribe