Magnus Bocker on...

His successor Loh Boon Chye

"Boon Chye is an excellent example of someone with a different profile with a lot of experience, a lot of competence in different markets, coming to take over the leadership of our company.

"He knows the business pretty well and he has been a very good market participant. He is a very suitable candidate to succeed me. He is a very good guy."

The importance of making changes

"All markets have their peculiarities. In Singapore, we have a lot of features which other markets don't recognise such as remisiers, contra trades, a long settlement period, to name a few.

"But we don't have one billion people, and as an international financial centre, we cannot afford to have some of these peculiarities. We need to have a much more recognisable way of doing things in order to connect with the rest of the world.

"Right now, we are like living in a house which we are refurbishing. It may not be nice to live in a house when the painter is coming in. But when we are through with these changes, the attractiveness of our market will go up.

"The transformation started taking place last year. We added circuit breakers, liquidity providers, reduced the broad lot size and introduced minimum trading prices. We are also making changes to our back-office system so that brokers can introduce products such as stock options."

China's growing importance to SGX

"With the China A50 contract, we have become the largest futures market for China securities.

"We are also the world's largest hub for iron ore trading. And who is the world's biggest user of iron ore? China.

"There are 140 listed firms on SGX from China. We need to see how they can enjoy a stronger relationship here, how we can better link them to their home market and how we can help them to perform better.

"From a revenue perspective, China is growing in importance, so it makes sense for us to have a presence there. So, we sent our most skilled senior manager - Lawrence Wong - to China."

Connecting with other markets

"I am sure that with all the changes lined up in the SGX, in time, we will be connected to other markets, whether it is Asean, Taiwan or markets farther up north.

"If (China) does two successful connections - Shanghai, and then Shenzhen - to Hong Kong, the chance that it would do a third connection is much higher. In fact, the more linkages China has, the more likely it is to link up with Singapore and other markets.

"The success of linking with other markets will be much higher if we improve the quality of our own market. In transforming the market as we had done, the attractiveness of Singapore in three to five years' time will be much higher than today."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'MAGNUS BOCKER ON...'. Print Edition | Subscribe