Editor's note

Fund formation and FinTech: Singapore’s next battles - Roundtable

Singapore was rainforest, fringed by mangrove swamps, with about 150 people when the British acquired it as a colony in 1819. It soon thrived as a trading city because it lay sheltered from storms, right at the bottleneck where ships passed from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean.

In 1965, when it became independent, Singapore had almost 2 million people, crowded slums, negligible natural resources, and an economy dependent on shipping. But Singapore’s one-party government used this sense of crisis to build a wealthy, modern city by using strict controls. They lowered the birth rate, moved nine of ten Singaporeans into new high-rise condominiums, and developed new banking and manufacturing business while expanding shipping even more. By 2015, Singapore had about 5.6 million people and a high standard of living. Its GDP per capita is ranked 3rd in the world, only behind Qatar and Luxembourg. Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth. This excludes property, businesses, and luxury goods, which if included would increase the number of millionaires, especially as property in Singapore is among the world's most expensive.

Fund formation and FinTech: Singapore’s next battles

Singapore’s economy is diversified, with financial services, manufacturing, oil-refining as top contributors. For many years, Singapore was, from a cost and regulatory perspective, the perfect Asian hub for fund startups. However today, the traditional Singapore package of First World operating and living environment at 40% of London costs with a chance to keep a much bigger part of the top-line after tax, is not really the case anymore. Today, all the countries – including Singapore – are subject to the same regulatory and economic pressure, which means that cost of doing business increase and regulatory requirements are high.

This leads to a structural change in the industry... Download the new Opalesque Singapore Roundtable here:




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