SINGAPORE: Following news of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s passing early Monday morning (Mar 23), the Republic’s stock market closed slightly lower after remaining in positive territory for the large part of the day.

The STI ended 0.07 per cent lower.

Most analysts say any stock market impact will be limited, as investors have been bracing for the worst. Mr Lee had been in hospital since Feb 5, 2015. 

But many also said the muted impact is testament to the strength of Mr Lee’s market-friendly policies.

DBS Banking Group CEO Piyush Gupta said the country’s financial markets are on solid ground – and that is something unique to Singapore.

“Markets are deep and liquid. Our regulations and regulators are well respected. No wonder then, that what in a normal country might cause tidal waves of alarm will go through in the context of Singapore quite smoothly,” he said.

“There is recognition of the talent depth of this country, there is recognition of the transparency on the non-corrupt nature of the government. There is a recognition of the fact that this country has tenacity and the financial system has endurance. We will go on, we will build on the legacy and there is no doubt in my mind that Singapore will continue to be one of the great global financial centres of the century,” Mr Gupta added.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Exchange has released a statement on Mr Lee’s passing.

SGX said it joins the nation in mourning and expressed its condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, its Board member Lee Hsien Yang and their families. The bourse said it is thankful to the former prime minister for turning Singapore into a leading international financial hub.