Although forecasters were expecting global growth to rebound in 2020-: the IMF by 3.4 percent and the World Bank by 2.7 percent, the year is already spicing up to be a challenging year for Markets with so many events happening in the last few weeks. One big reason for the dose of optimism is the generally looser approach to the money supply taken by central banks around the world last year, which helped offset some of the pain of trade wars and falling investment in 2019.
With a possible war brewing in the Middle East, US-China trade tensions, the ongoing Brexit saga, China’s economic transformation, worries about a sharp market correction, central banks with few bullets left to fire are left with a historically massive piles of debts and the usual geopolitical risks, all this could upend the best of projections. There is no denying that there are still headwinds. On a positive note, we who are in the financial markets have thrive in turmoil times. May the year ahead be full of opportunities for all of us to thrive in these turmoil times.
What is ultimately important for ACI Singapore and our members is that we must remain relevant and sustain the momentum. Just as the industry is evolving due to digital disruption we too must resolve to evolve.
At our ACI Singapore’s Strategy workshop held last August, the EXCO were challenged to carefully explored several key areas in our industry which we believe there are needs and gaps that ACI Singapore may fill and meaningfully contribute. These are:
1. Organising an Asia Financial Markets Forum
Most of you would have already heard of our plans announce for ACI Singapore to organised a Singapore based Forum in the view of bringing in our Asia Financial Markets Leaders and Practitioners together for a forum to be held here in Singapore in August at Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands.
This Forum has the blessing and endorsement of MAS. The organising committee Chaired by our Vice President, Mr Samuel Koh and helped by various members of our own Singapore Financial Markets’ Leadership. They have been busy in planning for this Forum for the last 4 months and are in the midst of putting this event together. It is be held at Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands on 20th and 21st of Aug. The details and marketing will be out by February. We need ALL your support to make this event a success. This is an event originated in Singapore, based in Singapore and organised by the Singapore Branch of ACI and not the world body. We will still be inviting all our ACI ASIA leadership and council members together for an ACI Asia council meeting on the side-lines of this forum with the aim of pushing the Asia Financial Markets Agenda.
I would like to thank Samuel and the Asia Financial Markets Forum Committee for the time and commitment in putting this forum together.
2. Refining our Charity Golf to be more efficient in the spirit of giving
Last year ACI Singapore Charity Golf manage to raise a nett SGD 719,000, an increase of 10% from the previous year. I would like to thank Mr Leng Hoe Lon and the CG19 committee for all the effort put in. We are looking to refine the ACI Singapore charity golf 2020 which would allow it to be more effective in fund raising. This would be announced at a later stage by Hoe Lon and CG20 committee. Truly this is Hoe Lon’s pet project, having heart for Fund Raising. Also, I am pleased to announce that this year, we will be having Mr Ravi Menon, MD of MAS to honour us as our Guest of Honour at our ACI Singapore Charity Golf & Gala Dinner 2020. I understand from Hoe Lon that instead of the usual speeches, he has requested to do a Fireside chat and hence an opportunity to be more candid. DO JOIN US and get your tables early please.
3. On Seminars &Networking
ACI Singapore will try to focus more on the organizing of more education seminars. Seminars organised last year attracted good feedback and response from members. Look out for the upcoming markets-related topics to areas such as SORA & IBOR issues. We seek your support and we will continue to seek new and related topics throughout the year. The networking drinks segment after the seminars also remain as a very useful platform for engagement between our members. These Education and Networking events were also responsible for attracting new members to ACI Singapore with 88 new members joining us on the back of these events.
Financially, FY2019 was another difficult year for ACI Singapore. We, in the EXCO, are clear that is not sustainable in the long run and hence this was one of the key factors in pushing ahead for the Asia Financial Markets Forum, in expectation that we will be able to generate income from organising the Forum. We trust that we will be able to get our operating cost back into the black by this year end. We will continue to actively manage our overheads and expenses, but as one of the most active ACI national associations in Asia in terms of the number of events and members activities, we have to rely on other sources of income as we have deliberately kept ACIS membership fees low in order to encourage more industry participants to join ACIS and participate in our activities. Currently all our regular networking events are free of charge to ACIS members.
It is the belief of the ACI Singapore EXCO that ACI Singapore plays an important role within the 3 key parties, comprising the Regulators, the Institutions & the industry participants, whose engagement and cooperation are necessary to promote a vibrant industry.
The year ahead will see us implementing this mission, and we value your feedback and participation.
It leaves me to thank all my fellow members of the ACI Singapore Executive Committee, our Honorary Advisors and the Staff for their support, commitment and dedication.
I wish all of you a successful 2020.