The financial sector is is Singapore's single most important economic sector, accounting for nearly 40% of the country's GDP, the sector encompasses over 500 financial institutions, ranging from banks to insurance companies, and finally to the stock brokerages, things used to be pretty cosy for these multi-million dollar organisations, particularly for local institutions, but much has changed in recent years. And the reason for the changes can be summed up in one word-liberalization. As far as the governement is concerned, there was no other choice, globalization and technological advances have allowed international capital to flow wherever there are greater efficiencies and better returns. Singapore's financial sector had to be opened up to fiercer competition, in order to allow market forces create those efficiencies. Singapore's stock market was not spared from these reforms. The reforms to the stock market had 3 key objectives: 1)to create open access, 2)to liberize brokerages, and 3)to broaden the business scope of stock brokerages.
By John Yip