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Yesterday     2005     2004     2003     2002     2001     2000     1999

Securities & Futures (Amendment) Bill 2005 passed

Source: www.mas.gov.sg

Second Reading Speech By Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister For Education and Deputy Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore

Mr Speaker Sir, on behalf of the Senior Minister, I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a second time".
The Securities and Futures Act (SFA) was enacted in October 2001. It sought to provide a legislative framework for a market and disclosure-based approach to regulating our capital markets.
It also provided a single comprehensive rulebook, reflecting trends towards industry consolidation and the blurring of boundaries between capital market products, for example between unit trusts, investment-linked insurance policies and structured products.
When the SFA was passed, we noted that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) would review the Act in the following few years to keep pace with developments in the capital markets. MAS embarked on a two-phase set of amendment to the SFA in 2003.
The Securities and Futures (Amendment) Act 2003, which marked the first phase of amendments, implemented 12 recommendations of the industry-led Company Legislation and Regulatory Framework Committee (CLRFC).
The CLRFC had been tasked to review and modernise the company law and regulatory framework in Singapore. It suggested rationalising some of the rules in the SFA for offers of investments to make our capital markets more globally competitive.
The first round of amendments also incorporated various technical amendments, in light of industry developments and feedback received since the implementation of the SFA in 2001.
The second phase of amendments, represented by the current Bill, implements the remaining recommendations of the CLRFC. We are also making other substantive policy changes to the SFA.
MAS invited feedback from the industry and the public on the proposed policy refinements in September 2003, and on the draft Bill in April 2004.
Many respondents gave detailed comments. MAS has incorporated the feedback received into the Bill, where practicable and where it is in line with its regulatory objectives. MAS has posted detailed responses to the comments received during these consultations on its website.
Sir, let me first set out the basic thinking behind the amendments. The Bill aims to strengthen the foundations underpinning our market and disclosure-based regulatory regime. It aims at sound standards without excessive costs.
First, we seek to ensure high standards of transparency and fair dealing. These standards are prerequisites for the continued growth and development of the markets.
While they impose obligations on issuers of capital, market intermediaries and professionals, they ultimately benefit all participants in the capital markets. They enhance investor confidence, leading to more liquid and vibrant markets, which in turn lowers the cost of capital.
A market-driven, disclosure-based approach also allows reputable market players to raise the bar over time, as they see competitive advantage in improving their standards of disclosure and fair dealing above the minimum standards prescribed.
The second objective of the Bill is to make our rules as clear and market-friendly as possible to support the development of our markets. The Bill provides greater regulatory certainty to the industry in some key areas such as offers of investments. The approval process and ongoing requirements for markets and clearing facilities have also been further streamlined for new entrants.
The Bill introduces amendments to rules across a range of capital market activities - capital raising, the conduct of intermediaries, and the provision of clearing and settlement infrastructures.
On capital-raising, the amendments redefine the scope of provisions concerning investment offers, refine the liabilities of professionals involved in capital raising and simplify some prospectus rules. The Bill fine-tunes the regulation of intermediaries in light of industry experience to date under the SFA.
On markets and clearing facilities, the Bill calibrates the level of regulation to better match the different levels of systemic risk posed by different entities.
More.....

Source: Monetary Authority of Singapore Press Release 25 Jan 2005

 

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11 February 2005