MAS reviewing venture capital regime to anchor more funds in Singapore

By Siow Li Sen for The Business Times

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore is reviewing its regulatory regime for venture capital (VC) managers to get more of them in Singapore as part of the nationwide innovation drive.

The MAS is working with the VC industry to grow the funding landscape for start-ups in Singapore and the region, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Thursday.

The role VCs play in stimulating economic dynamism has been a recurring theme in discussions of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), said Mr Tharman who is also MAS chairman.

The CFE has been been tasked with charting a blueprint for Singapore’s economic future, and will release its report early next year.

“MAS is reviewing its regulatory regime for VC managers,” said Mr Tharman who was speaking at the launch of Lattice80, a FinTech hub.

Specifically, MAS is looking to significantly simplify and shorten the authorisation process for new VC managers, he said.

Further, to the extent that there are contractual safeguards to provide sufficient protection to a VC’s sophisticated investor base, MAS is also looking to exempt VC managers from business conduct requirements that are currently applied to asset managers in general.

MAS is also studying whether existing incentives for funds and fund managers, which have been successful in attracting traditional asset managers to set up in Singapore and to grow over time, are suitable to anchor VC funds and fund managers here too.

“We recognise that VC funds and fund managers are typically smaller in size and headcount than traditional asset managers,” said Mr Tharman.

“But they contribute in a different way, by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore and the region.

“We will take this into account in assessing the requirements for VC funds and fund managers to qualify for our incentives.”

MAS will be doing a public consultation on its proposals in January next year, and targets to introduce changes by July 2017.

First appeared at TBT