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Singapore’s central bank says there are no ‘significant’ fund flows from Hong Kong

Hong Kong Police raise the blue flag warning protesters, press and pedestrians to disperse during demonstrations against the national security law proposed by Beijing in the Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong.

Tommy Walker | NurPhoto via Getty Images

There has not been any “significant” flows of money and business activity from Hong Kong into Singapore, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s financial regulator and central bank.

“As we’ve said before, we’ve seen increased flows into Singapore from a variety of destinations, of sources, and that includes Hong Kong. But the amounts are not large,” Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, said on Thursday.

“There are more enquiries as you would expect when there is greater uncertainty, but actual fund flows are not very large. Flow of activity of businesses also not significant,” he added.

Menon was speaking at a media conference to release the central bank’s annual report. He was responding to a question on whether Singapore has seen any moves of financial activity from Hong Kong.

China introduced a new national security law in Hong Kong last month. The move sparked concerns about the uncertainties surrounding the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, and some say it could impact Hong Kong ‘s status as a business and financial hub in Asia.

Hong Kong is a formidable financial center, it has a range of attractions and people want to be there and it has its own advantages.

Ravi Menon

managing director, Monetary Authority of Singapore

With regard to financial institutions moving from Hong Kong to Singapore, Menon pointed out that most industry players have operations in both cities. He said issues such as the new national security law in Hong Kong may lead financial institutions to think harder about which of the two cities to base their “incremental investments” — but the companies wouldn’t uproot from one in favor of the other, he said.

“Hong Kong is a formidable financial center, it has a range of attractions and people want to be there and it has its own advantages,” said Menon.

“So, I think we should not overemphasize outflows from Hong Kong. In fact, from Singapore’s perspective, we’d rather see a successful Hong Kong,” he added. “If things go very badly wrong in Hong Kong, that’s not good for the region, that will not be good for Singapore.”

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