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Singapore: Digital Innovation in Finance and Asset Management

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The IMAS Investment Conference 2024 commenced with an address by Mr Chia Der Jiun, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), centred on “Reshaping Tomorrow” amidst a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Joined by esteemed attendees, including Ms. Jenny Sofian, Chair of IMAS, Mr. Chia set the tone for discussions highlighting the pivotal role of technology and digital innovation in shaping the future of finance and asset management.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Chia emphasised the transformative power of technology in driving change across the financial ecosystem. He underscored the imperative for the investment community to embrace digital advancements and leverage innovative solutions to navigate the complexities of today’s dynamic financial markets.

The first key area of focus highlighted by Mr Chia concentrated on Singapore’s emergence as a technology-driven gateway to serve Asia’s burgeoning investment needs. Against the backdrop of Asia-Pacific’s rapid growth, he emphasised Singapore’s pivotal role as a hub for technological innovation and digital transformation in finance and asset management. With the region’s wealth and affluence on the rise, Mr. Chia outlined opportunities for asset managers to harness technology to meet evolving investment and retirement needs effectively.

Moreover, Mr Chia shed light on Singapore’s position as a catalyst for digital disruption in the private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) landscape. He highlighted the exponential growth of PE and VC assets under management (AUM) in Singapore, driven by technological advancements and digitalisation efforts. The city-state’s strategic initiatives, including the Variable Capital Companies (VCC) framework, have facilitated the rapid growth of digital-native investment vehicles, further positioning Singapore as a leading hub for digital asset management in the region.

Transitioning to sustainable investments, Mr Chia underscored the pivotal role of technology in driving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. He outlined MAS’s efforts to promote transparency and accountability in sustainable investing through digital solutions, including guidelines for ESG disclosure and a Code of Conduct for ESG rating agencies. By leveraging technology, asset managers can enhance ESG integration and facilitate informed investment decisions, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development and decarbonisation efforts in the region.

Lastly, Mr Chia explored the transformative potential of asset tokenisation in revolutionising traditional asset management practices. He elaborated on MAS’s collaborative initiatives to develop digital infrastructure and industry standards for tokenised assets, emphasising the role of blockchain technology in enhancing liquidity, efficiency, and transparency in asset management.

With the proliferation of tokenisation projects across the Asia-Pacific region, Mr Chia underscored the importance of embracing digital innovations to unlock new opportunities and drive value creation in the asset management industry.

Mr Chia reiterated the imperative for industry stakeholders to embrace technology-driven transformation, emphasising Singapore’s commitment to fostering a dynamic, digitally enabled ecosystem for finance and asset management.

As the industry continues to evolve amidst rapid digital disruption, Mr Chia affirmed MAS’s resolve to support innovation, collaboration, and digitalisation efforts, thereby shaping the future of finance in the digital age.

Singapore is actively pursuing digital transformation across all sectors and industries, encompassing both the private and public sectors, as part of its commitment to staying at the forefront of technological innovation, with a focus on sustainability.

At the SGFIN Sustainability Summit in Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat stressed the necessity for unified action against climate change. Leaders across sectors convened to discuss how innovation and digital transformation can drive sustainability.

Singapore, committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, leads in sustainability efforts with initiatives like expanding solar energy deployment and enhancing green infrastructure.


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