13 Mar 2000

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Estimated population of Singapore citizens and permanent residents - 3,163,500 as at June 1998.

Chinese                     77%

Malays                      14%

Indians                     7.6%

Other ethnic groups 1.4%

Working Language: English

Other official languages: Mandarin, Malay & Tamil.

The weather TODAY: Showers with thunder expected in the late afternoon and early evening affecting most areas.  High tide 2.13 am 2.7m  2.15 pm  2.9m    Sunrise 7.16 am Sunset 7.21 pm   Moonrise  11.17 pm  Moonset 10.52 am   PSI: 41 (good) Temp: 23-32  degrees Celsius    

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   Currency Converter      Singapore Currency Notes      My E-mail

    Get For Me: Mid-Week Banking

       Opening of current account (foreign currency)

     *A checking account in Singapore is known as a current account.

      Some of us may not be happy having just a Singapore Dollar current account (checking account). It may be because we need to make payments in foreign currencies to individuals or companies domiciled outside Singapore.

     Whatever the reason, a foreign currency current account does come in handy. However, we first need to know the finer points:

     1. Having a foreign currency current account protects us from any fluctuations in the exchange rates which would occur if, say we are holding Singapore dollars and need to exchange these for a foreign currency, such as the US dollar in order to pay someone using US dollars. In such a situation, if the US dollar strengthens against the Singapore dollar in the forex market, we would need to use more Singapore dollars to exchange for US dollars. In short, it will cost us more to exchange our Singapore dollars for US dollars.

         Having a US dollar current account saves us this worry. All we need to do is make out a cheque in US dollars, sign it and then post it. There is no need to go to the bank, observe the exchange rates and then proceed to buy a bank draft (which would necessitate us paying the bank a commission of no less than S$20 on the draft). 

     2. The minus factor in having a foreign currency current account is that when we need to cash a cheque, there is a commission in lieu of exchange charged by the bank. Let's say we hold a US dollar current account and we need to withdraw some US dollars in cash over the counter. The bank will allow us to withdraw US dollars on payment of a commission of one percent of the amount we wish to withdraw. So if we wish to withdraw US$ 2000, the commission payable is US$20. It may not look large, but I have seen customers who need to withdraw US$ 50 000 and have to foot out US$500 on commission for the transaction. 

         It is the same with deposits. Every deposit in the form of foreign currency into the respective foreign currency current account attracts commission in lieu of exchange. Of course if we pay Singapore dollars into our foreign currency current account, there is no commission charge. This is because the bank earns from the conversion of our Singapore dollars into the respective foreign currency which we need to deposit into our account. Therefore, even if our foreign currency current account does pay out interest on our balances, the commission and other charges outweigh the interest earned on the account.

         So, before you go ahead and open a foreign currency account, ask yourself these questions:

                i.  Do I need to make frequent cash withdrawals on the current account?

                ii. Are the cheques I issue to pay individuals or companies actually small amounts, say US200 or less?

         If you say YES to both questions, then a foreign currency current account is not suitable for you. You are better off using Singapore dollars to buy drafts over the counter at the prevailing exchange rate.

     Those of you who have decided to open a foreign currency current account will find DBS Bank's offer reasonable. You can choose from any of 17 different currencies, and earn interest on your balances* in the account. You need to deposit a minimum amount according to the schedule below to open the account:

Australian Dollar          AUD             1 500     Japanese Yen            JPY         200 000

Canadian Dollar            CAD             1 500     Netherland Guilder   NLG            2 000

Deutsche Mark            DEM             1 600     New Zealand Dollar   NZD            1 500

European Union Euro  EUR              1 000    Norwegian Kroner     NOK            7 500

French Franc                FRF               6 500    Sterling Pound           GBP               800

Hong Kong Dollar         HKD              8 000    Swedish Kroner        SEK             8 000

Indonesian Rupiah       IDR        2 500 000    Swiss Franc               CHF            2 200

Italian Lira                      ITL        2 000 000    Thai Baht                    THB           28 000

                                                                          United States Dollar USD             1 000

Please note there is a monthly service charge if the average daily balance falls below the minimum initial deposit for account opening.

*To attract interest on your balance, the daily average balance in your account must be at least:

Australian Dollar          AUD           70 000     Japanese Yen            JPY       5 000 000

Canadian Dollar            CAD           70 000     Netherland Guilder   NLG         100 000

Deutsche Mark            DEM           80 000     New Zealand Dollar   NZD           70 000

European Union Euro  EUR            50 000    Norwegian Kroner     NOK         350 000

French Franc                FRF           300 000    Sterling Pound           GBP          30 000

Hong Kong Dollar         HKD          400 000    Swedish Kroner        SEK         400 000

Indonesian Rupiah       IDR    120 000 000    Swiss Franc               CHF           80 000

Italian Lira                      ITL      85 000 000    Thai Baht                    THB       1 200 000

                                                                          United States Dollar USD              5 000

Eligibility:  21 years and above

                   Call at any branch (except MRT stations) and bring along your passport/identity documents together with the minimum initial deposit.

getforme their website: DBS BANK

NEW LAUNCH: G.K. Goh has announced the launch of their online stock trading site. Click GOHDIRECT.

COMING SOON: A new website which has an auction mall, shopping plaza and more. Click i-mall21.com for a preview.

COMING SOON: A new website IP3000.com which claims to have over 7 000 000 websites indexed, including Europe and Asia. It says it is the largest information and media search engine on the web. Click Internet Portal 3000 to get a preview now. 

POLL:  Do you like our new RED colour? Tell us. Click HERE.

NEW: New M1 shop opens at #B1-19/20 Paragon Shopping Centre. Other branches are at #B1-18-19 Tampines Mall and #01-16-17 West Mall.

NATIONAL SERVICE: Central Manpower Base (CMPB)  National service registration starts on Monday 31 Jan 2000 for all male Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) born on or between 14 Jun 1982 and 12 Sep 1982, and ends on 10 Mar 2000. 

GET FOR ME:  Save the ACS (Anglo Chinese School) clock tower  An appeal for support.

BOOKS:  Top Ten KINOKUNIYA Bestsellers   Top Ten MPH Bestsellers   Top Ten BORDERS Bestsellers   Top Ten TIMES Bestsellers  Shows the top ten fiction and non-fiction titles sold at these bookstores last week.

SHOWS: Top Ten Shows  Features the current popular movies screened in local cinemas.  Movies  Lists the current movies showing in local cinemas.

GOVERNMENT: Singapore Government Website  Ministry Of Education  Police 

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:  Low Lying Areas In Singapore  Lists the flood-prone areas in Singapore. Things you should know  Tells you things you need to be aware of. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS: We are now hosted with WEBVISIONS.COM.

EXPATRIATES: EscapeArtist.Com  The website on overseas living for international job seekers and expatriates.  ExpatSingapore  For expatriates planning to relocate to Singapore. Provides excellent information on Singapore.  ContactSingapore  Step-by-step guide to applying for a job, getting an employment pass, remuneration structure and corporate culture.

TOURISTS: Tourism Board  Tourist Arrival Statistics

USEFUL WEBSITES: AtoZasia.com  For jobs, properties, shopping, food and auctions. Catcha.com.sg  A Singapore search engine.

GET FOR ME: New Books

ON SALE NOW AT LEADING BOOKSTORES

Singapore: A Pictorial History 1819-2000

By Gretchen Liu

Price: S$61.70  (excludes shipping)

You may place your order with us at support@getforme.com.

The road shown on the front cover was Holloway Lane. It has recently gone the way of the Dodo and in its place is an open ground awaiting redevelopment. In the background is St Joseph's Church in Queen's Street.

The picture of the front cover of the book has been posted here with the kind permission of the publisher, Editions Didier Millet Singapore.

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News Flash        

Today Thursday 24 Feb  2000

In Singapore

From April 1, contractors with poor safety records will be barred from hiring foreign workers under a new demerit-point system being introduced by the Manpower Ministry (MOM).

Monday's fire, probably the worst in a Housing Board flat in at least a decade, claimed its fifth victim on Tuesday night. Mr Steven Teo, 50, died at the Singapore General Hospital.

A youth was yesterday charged with cruelty to animals, after six kittens were found dead at a Bendemeer Road Housing Board block on Monday. Two were apparently flung off the 12th storey while the mangled bodies of four others were found in two drain-pipe cabinets near staircase landings. 

Asia 

Jakarta: Police fired warning shots and at least 12 people were injured in a clash here yesterday with Indonesian student protestors who smashed down a tall iron gate in front of the Attorney General's Office.

Hongkong: Singapore is making a pitch for Hongkong students to study in the Republic by having a strong presence at an educational trade fair which begins here today.

Around the world

Independence, Missouri: A child who became tangled in a seat belt outside his mother's car when it was stolen, was killed after being dragged for 8 km at speeds of up to 128 kmh. 

Courtesy of The Straits Times

News updated by 8.00 am daily.

Singapore's water is clean and safe to drink from the tap. There is no need to boil it.

 

The Editor

Raymond Han

You can e-mail him at editor@getforme.com