SINGAPORE: In a move set to grow the funding landscape for start-up firms, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is reviewing the regulatory regime for venture capital (VC) managers, MAS chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Thursday (Nov 10).
Speaking at LATTICE80 - dubbed the world's largest financial technology (FinTech) hub - Mr Tharman said the role the venture capital industry plays in stimulating economic dynamism is a recurring theme in discussions of the Committee on the Future Economy.
The committee had its first meeting in January this year and has five sub-committees to set the direction for Singapore's future economic development in the areas of corporate capabilities and innovation, future growth industries and markets, connectivity, urban development and infrastructure, as well as jobs and skills.
The review is one of two "key prongs" in MAS' approach towards the VC industry, the Deputy Prime Minister said.
With this review, Mr Tharman said, authorities are looking to significantly simplify and shorten the authorisation process for new venture capital managers.
To the extent that there are "contractual safeguards to provide sufficient protection to a VC's sophisticated investor base", MAS is also looking to exempt VC managers from the business conduct requirements applied to asset managers in general, he added.
Authorities will be doing a public consultation on its proposals for the review in January 2017, with changes set to be introduced by the following July, according to Mr Tharman.
The second prong involves MAS studying whether existing incentives for attracting traditional asset managers to Singapore are also suitable for anchoring VC funds and fund managers in the country, he said.
"We recognise that VC funds and fund managers are typically smaller in size and headcount than traditional asset managers, but they contribute in a different way by supporting entrepreneurship in Singapore and the region," he said, adding that this will be taken into account when assessing the requirements for VC funds and fund managers to qualify for incentives.