(Sept 4): Singapore has earned its place among the top financial centres of the world despite not having a particularly large or active stock market. This could change if it succeeds in its ambition of becoming more than just a global asset management centre, and captures a larger portion of the value being created by the region’s knowledge economy.

The latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) released in March ranks Singapore third among international financial centres. London and New York were in first and second place respectively. Hong Kong was ranked fourth and Tokyo fifth. Last year, stocks listed on the Singapore Exchange had a total market capitalisation of only US$640 billion, according to the World Federation of Exchanges. That is far behind exchanges in some of the biggest economies in Asia. For instance, Japan had a market cap of nearly US$5 trillion. The Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges had market caps of more than US$4 trillion and US$3.2 trillion respectively. Hong Kong had a market cap of nearly US$3.2 trillion and Australia had a market cap of almost US$1.3 trillion.

To make matters worse, in 2016, close to $16 billion of market capitalisation on the local exchange was erased because of the delisting of a few prominent companies. And, the pace of new listings has been less than inspiring. According to a PwC report, some $454 million was raised through IPOs in the first half of 2017. In 2016, $2.3 billion was raised from 16 IPOs on the SGX, the bulk of which came from the listing of three real estate investment trusts. Meanwhile, turnover in the local stock market has declined since the start of the decade. Total securities market turnover in 2016 was $271.91 billion, some 32% less than the corresponding figure of $401.95 billion for 2010.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Related Stories

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook