SGX needs to correct failed policies

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

I have been in the stockbroking industry for nearly 25 years and have not seen such malaise in the Singapore stock market, with so much shattered investor confidence.

Many fraudulent firms were listed and went bust with billions of dollars wiped out from poor, aggrieved investors' pockets.

Our investigations take forever, with not much accountability.

One common refrain is that investigators are not at liberty to disclose the nature of their investigations.

Meanwhile, investors have to suffer in silence, with little hope for recourse.

Several of us in the industry had written to the Government in 2015 about the urgent need to restore investor confidence, and provided suggestions on what could be done, but not much came out of it.

No one has taken responsibility for failed initial public offerings or decisions like the minimum trading price or reduction of bid-ask spreads, or tried to analyse if there was damage done to the markets.

The Singapore stock market used to be the market leader in Asean but now we have fallen behind Thailand, and continue to fall further behind still.

The bottom line for Singapore is to be a premier financial centre in the region, if not the world, and we need experienced people to run the markets.

However, they must be held accountable for failed policies.

Heads need not necessarily roll, but they must take ownership of failed policies and take the necessary corrective actions.

S. Nallakaruppan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2019, with the headline 'SGX needs to correct failed policies'. Print Edition | Subscribe