Record 3,897 candidates to take the CFA in Singapore this weekend

SINGAPORE - A record 3,897 people in Singapore have registered to sit for this year's chartered financial analyst (CFA) examinations to be held on Saturday, an 8 per cent increase over 2014's cohort.

But this is just a fraction of the record 159,889 candidates from 174 countries that will be taking Saturday's exams worldwide - enough to fill the National Stadium nearly three times and more than the existing 123,000 or so charterholders around the world. This year's global candidate pool is up by more than 10,000 over 2014.

In the Asia Pacific, Singapore ranks fifth in terms of the most number of candidates behind leaders China (29,698 candidates), India (12,820 candidates), Hong Kong (6,215 candidates) and Korea (3,912 candidates).

According to a press release on Thursday by the CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals which administers the test, the Asia Pacific continues to lead all other regions in the number of candidates, with 69,131 registered for the June exam or 43 per cent of the worldwide total.

The Americas saw the registration of 55,609 candidates (35 per cent), while the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) had 35,149 candidates (22 per cent).

"Asia Pacific remains a key focus of professional development given the rapid growth of candidate numbers and charter holder members in the region," said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute. "Our recent office openings in China and India underscored our commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and to the continued development of the global investment profession."

Many candidates will not pass. The CFA is considered to be the most rigorous credentialing programme in the investment industry. The three-level exam process covers topics including ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, investment tools, asset classes, and portfolio management and wealth planning.

ann@sph.com.sg