S’pore un­veils plan to cre­ate 4,000 fi­nance sec­tor jobs

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page -

SIN­GA­PORE: Sin­ga­pore wants to bol­ster its sta­tus as a wealth man­age­ment and for­eign-ex­change cen­tre as part of plans to cre­ate more fi­nan­cial-sec­tor jobs and mit­i­gate the ef­fect of rapid changes in tech­nol­ogy.

In a plan un­veiled yes­ter­day, the Mone­tary Au­thor­ity of Sin­ga­pore (MAS) said it aimed to cre­ate 4,000 net new jobs in fi­nan­cial ser­vices and fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy, and achieve real growth in the sec­tor of 4.3% an­nu­ally, faster than the over­all econ­omy.

“With tech­nol­ogy trans­form­ing the way fi­nan­cial ser­vices are pro­duced, de­liv­ered and con­sumed, it is crit­i­cal that Sin­ga­pore’s fi­nan­cial sec­tor also trans­forms, to stay rel­e­vant and com­pet­i­tive,” the MAS said in a state­ment.

Banks around the world are cut­ting jobs as the in­dus­try is trans­formed by dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy, and the ap­pli­ca­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and robotics. Vikram Pan­dit, for­mer Cit­i­group Inc CEO, has pre­dicted some 30% of bank­ing jobs will dis­ap­pear over the next five years.

The MAS listed three el­e­ments to its so-called in­dus­try trans­for­ma­tion map for fi­nan­cial ser­vices. It said Sin­ga­pore aims to be:

> A lead­ing in­ter­na­tional wealth man­age­ment hub. The MAS said it’s work­ing with the in­dus­try to de­velop Sin­ga­pore as a “cen­tre of ex­cel­lence for wealth man­age­ment tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion”.

> An Asian hub for as­set man­age­ment, and a place where more funds are domi­ciled.

> A global for­eign ex­change price dis­cov­ery and liq­uid­ity cen­tre in the Asian time zone. Sin­ga­pore is cur­rently the third largest for­eign-ex­change cen­ter glob­ally. The MAS said it will en­cour­age key par­tic­i­pants to “an­chor their match­ing and pric­ing en­gines here, to en­able mar­ket par­tic­i­pants to ben­e­fit from

bet­ter liq­uid­ity and greater ef­fi­ciency in ex­e­cut­ing FX trans­ac­tions.”

Sin­ga­pore is pro­ject­ing a 4.3% an­nual growth rate for the fi­nan­cial sec­tor through 2020, higher than the planned over­all eco­nomic growth of 2% to 3% in­cluded in a set of na­tional strate­gies un­veiled in Fe­bru­ary. The fi­nan­cial sec­tor ac­counts for about 13% of Sin­ga­pore’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct and em­ploys around 200,000 peo­ple.

As­sets un­der man­age­ment grew 7% last year to S$2.7 tril­lion (RM8.4 tril­lion), ac­cord­ing to MAS data pub­lished in Septem­ber.

It’s a good time to set fi­nan­cial sec­tor pri­or­i­ties be­cause the macro-eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment is im­prov­ing, said Over­sea-Chi­nese Bank­ing Corp’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Sam Tsien.

“That be­ing the case, it is even more im­por­tant for us to get the in­fras­truc­ture ready, so that we have the peo­ple, the tech­nol­ogy and the reg­u­la­tory-fa­cil­i­tat­ing fa­cil­i­ties,” Tsien said yes­ter­day.

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