Forum boost for S'pore-Shanghai ties

MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh said there is great potential for Singapore to partner Shanghai to develop their respective financial centres.
MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh said there is great potential for Singapore to partner Shanghai to develop their respective financial centres.PHOTO: MAS

Event brings together financial experts from 2 cities to discuss trends and explore linkages

Financial industry experts from Singapore and Shanghai met here yesterday to exchange views and explore possible partnerships.

The first Singapore-Shanghai Financial Forum, an event to be held regularly, offers a platform for market participants from the two leading Asian financial centres to discuss trends and developments.

It was jointly organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Shanghai Municipal Financial Services Office and had more than 100 participants.

"As a leading financial centre in China, Shanghai plays an instrumental role in piloting financial reforms and expanding a network of linkages with international financial markets," said MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh in her opening address at the forum, held at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel.

"There is great potential for Singapore to partner with Shanghai to develop our financial centres and contribute to the growth of the broader Asian financial market," she said.

Ms Loh pointed out several ways in which companies and banks in both markets can work together.

This included using each other's networks and knowledge for expansion into South-east Asia for the Shanghai companies, and into Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces for the Singapore companies.

Singapore banks could also partner Shanghai's financial authorities to test out pilot schemes and policies, and provide feedback for their fine-tuning, before they are rolled out to the wider market, she said.

In terms of specific areas, she listed asset securitisation and financial technology as examples where both markets can work to share experiences and learn.

Singapore's financial cooperation with China has been growing steadily in recent years.

Last week, MAS announced several key yuan initiatives, including expanding channels for cross-border yuan flows to include Chongqing, besides Suzhou and Tianjin.

Singapore-based banks will be allowed to lend yuan to firms in these three cities, while companies in those cities may issue yuan bonds in Singapore and "fully repatriate the proceeds" for use in China.

Singapore's quota under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme will also be doubled from 50 billion yuan (S$11 billion) to 100 billion yuan. The move was confirmed by China's central bank in a statement released on its website yesterday .

Both central banks will also renew and enhance a bilateral currency swap arrangement as the existing arrangement expires next March.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2015, with the headline 'Forum boost for S'pore-Shanghai ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe