Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Singapore to offer up to five digital bank licences

SINGAPORE (June 28): Singapore's central bank said on Friday it would offer up to five digital bank licences to suitable applicants, in a move that could deliver the biggest shake-up in two decades in a market dominated by local banks.

"The new digital bank licences mark the next chapter in Singapore's banking liberalisation journey," said Tharman Shanmugaratnam , senior minister and chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

MAS maintains monetary policy stance amid tough economic outlook; records $19.2 bil in earnings

SINGAPORE (July 1): The Monetary Authority of Singapore will keep its exchange rate-based monetary policy stance, signalling a status quo in line with that of the US Federal Reserve. This comes after two rounds of tightening by MAS last year, while keeping the status quo in April.

“MAS’ monetary policy stance remains appropriate against the backdrop of subdued inflation and weakening growth prospects,” said Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, at a press briefing on June 27 at the release of its 2018/19 annual report.

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MAS joins other regulators in giving Facebook’s Libra cool reception

SINGAPORE (July 1): The Monetary Authority of Singapore has raised questions about Facebook’s plan to launch its own digital currency, in particular about whose regulatory oversight it would fall under.

“We’ve just made provisions for the regulation of virtual currencies, electronic money and wallets and so on. Now, we need to figure out where Libra fits in in this,” says MAS managing director Ravi Menon at a media briefing on June 27. MAS is rolling out the Payments Services Act, which will be in force by year-end.

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MAS talks to Facebook over Libra

(June 27): The Monetary Authority of Singapore has held discussions with Facebook Inc. about its plans for a new cryptocurrency, though the regulator still sees significant obstacles in the way of the social media firm’s project.

Despite the potential benefits of Libra, concerns raised about the way it would function are “not trivial,” MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said Thursday at a media briefing.

“The key challenge is to figure out the nature of the beast,” Menon said. “What is it more like and which box we can put it into. At this point we are not sure yet.”

Facebook's Libra might have a hard time in Asia

SINGAPORE (June 24): Facebook is launching a digital currency that can be used seamlessly on mobile phones at near-zero fees. The social networking giant will also build its own mobile wallet, Calibra, which will act almost like a bank, hosting accounts, giving out loans and even having Calibra-branded ATMs.

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Mega innovation event in Nov with merger of FinTech Festival and SWITCH

SINGAPORE (June 13): Three government agencies are pooling resources to organise a mega multi-day event this November for an global audience tied by the common purpose of pushing innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Enterprise Singapore and the National Research Foundation (NRF) on Thursday announced that the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) will be merged as an event called SFF x SWITCH. 

Escalating global trade protectionism tops wall of worry again: MAS survey of forecasters

SINGAPORE (June 12): Concerns about escalating global trade protectionism continue to dominate the list of potential downside risks, reflecting recent developments in US-China relations.

The proportion of respondents who expect an escalation in trade frictions to present a downside risk also rose to 94.1%.

This according to the June survey of professional forecasters by the economic policy group of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) which was published on Wednesday.

Grab eyes Singapore banking licence as regulator studies virtual banks

(June 12): Grab, Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup, is exploring a move into Singapore banking as regulators in the Southeast Asian city-state consider allowing online-only banks, four people with knowledge of the process said.

Grab is close to hiring a consultancy to advise it on its banking potential and is gearing up to apply for a digital-only bank license in Singapore if the banking regulator decides to open up the sector, said the people, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Why we should hold on to quarterly reporting

SINGAPORE (June 10): One of the last things we used to do before closing each issue of The Edge Singapore in our early days was hammer out a little column called “Behind the Stories”. As its name suggests, its purpose was to explain why we had pursued the key stories in our pages in any given week, and provide some additional context and insight for which there might not have been room in the stories themselves.

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Financial institutions need to be a force for good: MAS Ravi Menon

SINGAPORE (June 3): In these times, Financial Institutions (FIs) like banks and brokerages need to be a positive force for good and merely being safer or doing no harm is not enough.

But for FIs to be a force for good, they must be trusted, inclusive and sustainable, says Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

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