SINGAPORE - Retail investors can apply for the first issue of the much-anticipated Singapore Savings Bonds from September 1, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday (July 21).
The first Savings Bonds will be issued on Oct 1 and MAS said it could potentially issue between $2 billion and $4 billion worth of such bonds this year, depending on demand.
"A new Savings Bond will be issued every month for at least the next five years, so there is no need to rush for the first issuance," MAS managing director Ravi Menon told a press conference on the release of the central bank's latest annual report.
In a media release later on Tuesday, MAS said it will issue a public notice on Sept 1 giving information on the first bond issue, including the amount on offer and the interest pay-out schedule from the 1st to the 10th year.
The notice will be published after 4.30pm on the Savings Bonds website (www.sgs.gov.sg/savingsbonds).
The website will also feature tools to help investors keep track of application timelines and understand the returns from investing in Savings Bonds over different investment periods.
The public can also the Savings Bonds hotline on 6221-3682 to find out more about the new government securities.
In order to apply for Savings Bonds, investors must have an account with participating banks, namely DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB and an individual CDP Securities account with direct crediting service, to allow the bond payments to be made directly into the bank account.
The launch of the Savings Bonds is one part of an initiative by MAS to improve the savings and investments options for retail consumers.
"This has been a problem in Singapore - we just don't have enough of these simple, low-cost investment products to put our monies in," Mr Menon said earlier on Tuesday.
Besides introducing the Savings Bonds, MAS has over the years also made it easier for retail investors to access more exchange-traded funds by revising its rules.
MAS is also working with the Singapore Exchange to reduce the cost of retail bond issuance and make it easier for investors to buy corporate bonds, which traditionally have a low take-up rate among retail investors.
It reiterated that it does not expect the new Savings Bonds to compete with banks for deposits.
Citing the potential issuance amount of between $2 billion and $4 billion for the new bonds, MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh said: "The overall deposits in Singapore's banking system from non-bank customers amount to over $500 billion, so we do not expect the impact to be significant."
She added that investors in the new bonds will be subject to an overall cap of $100,000, as well as a $50,000 cap on any single issue.