SINGAPORE: Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) Executive Vice President Chew Sutat on Thursday (Feb 6) debunked claims of issues plaguing the industry.

In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, Mr Chew said SGX has performed better than its counterparts in Hong Kong and Japan in the last 10 years.

More than a thousand remisiers and investors had written a letter to Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in January, asking for help in resolving the alleged issues. They pointed out that annual trading volume on SGX had fallen 26 per cent over the past five years, saying that it was due to a loss of investor confidence in the bourse.

In response, Mr Chew said: “On the performance of the market, the STI index delivered a 9.5 per cent return last year, which is fantastic. Over the last 10 years, it is an average of 8.7 per cent – better than Hang Seng at 6.6 per cent, the US markets at 5 per cent and Tokyo at 2.5 per cent.

“If we look at market volumes, the last three months we have seen 20 per cent year-on-year growth. So I think the market is starting to find its feet, it is doing well in terms of investor returns and in terms of participation for all segments of the market.”

One way to boost trading volume in SGX is perhaps to attract the billion-dollar IPO listings, and Mr Chew said the exchange would love to see more of such listings – but this has to be seen in the right perspective.

“The market capitalisation in Singapore has grown six per cent year-on-year to almost S$ 1 trillion. I think that is a pretty good measure on the performance of the capital market here. Over and above that, we had 42 listings last year, not just local SMEs… We have had some very strong international listings that have come to Singapore as well,” he said.

Mr Chew added that SGX “would love to have” some of Singapore’s large GLCs (Government-linked companies), who are private right now, come in to the market.

Another concern for investors was the two major outages that affected the bourse last year. Mr Chew said that while it did not affect investor confidence in the bourse, the outages “should not have happened”.

“We have taken steps to address the matter and of course, we hope that it does not repeat itself again,” he added.