Singapore has pushed ahead of regional rival Hong Kong in the race to emerge as Asia’s financial technology (fintech) hotspot.
State funding, light-touch regulation and a recent move to allow start-ups to test financial products in a controlled environment have helped Singapore take a lead, Reuters reported.
Singapore’s fintech drive comes as its role as an offshore private banking center is under threat from a money laundering scandal in neighboring Malaysia, and as Indonesia chases undeclared money parked in the low-tax city state, the report noted.
Also, Singapore’s traditional shipping and manufacturing growth drivers are faltering amid a global economic slowdown, prompting the city-state to reinvent itself as Asia’s fintech hub.
The efforts are likely to gather pace as some fintech firms in London may seek alternative locations after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
“We already have registered interest from UK-based companies to move to Asia as it’s getting very crowded there,” Reuters quoted Markus Gnirck, partner and co-founder of fintech consultancy tryb, as saying.
“Brexit will probably accelerate a few of these conversations.”
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