Singapore's central bank lays out plan to support CFE recommendations

Singapore's central bank lays out plan to support CFE recommendations

The Monetary Authority of Singapore says it will take measures to strengthen the financing channels for next-generation Asian growth companies and build technology infrastructure to drive innovation.

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday (Feb 13) detailed how it would support the Committee on the Future Economy's (CFE) recommendations that were unveiled last week.

The central bank said it will take a series of specific measures to strengthen the financing channels for next-generation Asian growth companies and build technology infrastructure to drive innovation, according to its press release.

It noted that the CFE report recommended supporting companies with strong growth potential to scale up and internationalise, and that it will be announcing specific initiatives to strengthen funding for such growth companies over the next few days.

One such initiative is to simplify the authorisation process and regulatory framework for venture capital (VC) managers to support start-ups, MAS said.

"VC and private equity (PE) assets under management in Singapore have grown by an average 30 per cent per year in the past five years. But the industry is still at an early stage and there is scope to expand both the number and variety of VC managers," the central bank said.

As such, MAS will work on giving more room for VC managers to operate more nimbly in supporting start-ups here and the region. It will also look to deepen the pool of PE managers in order to draw in more capital for late-stage and mature start-ups.

MAS infographic on supporting CFE

AN ENVIRONMENT FOR INNOVATION

As for building the tech infrastructure to drive innovation, the regulator said the committee recommended harnessing the transformative potential of digitalisation for innovation and growth.

"MAS has been working closely with the industry on technology infrastructure projects to drive innovation, boost market efficiency, enhance customer service, and extend Singapore’s connectivity with the region," it said.

One example is the implementation of a Central Addressing Scheme for Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST), which will allow users to make fund transfers through the payment infrastructure by using proxies such as mobile numbers and NRIC numbers instead of bank account numbers.

The banking industry will implement this in the third quarter of this year, MAS said, adding that with the growing prevalence of QR-code payments here, it is also looking to develop interoperable standards for such payments.

“The underlying thrust of MAS’ various initiatives is to provide a conducive environment for innovation - which is critical for the future of financial services. We do this through a judicious regulatory framework and enabling technology infrastructure," MAS managing director Ravi Menon said.

"And even as we allow more risk-taking, we want to do so without compromising the safety of financial institutions and the stability of the financial system."

Source: CNA/kk

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