1. Thank you for joining us today.
Recap of major global developments since 2019
2. Much has happened since this forum was last convened in 2019. I will just touch on three global developments that have significantly influenced our work in the past 18 to 24 months.
3. The pandemic is of course top of mind. For more than a year now, we have had to change how we work and interact. Global supply chains were fractured. All forms of travel ground to a halt – both domestically and internationally. Business activity, especially in aviation, tourism and hospitality, suffered tremendously.
4. Unsurprisingly, markets worldwide experienced massive uncertainty and volatility. Regulators, listed companies, brokers and investors alike grappled with the rapidly changing environment, and adapting to the constraints imposed by the pandemic. In some markets, measures were taken to curb short-selling or even to halt trading during periods of great volatility.
5. Another wave sweeping across major markets is the growing emphasis on having sustainable mindsets and behaviour. The newfound commitment in staying the course for the long term has come amid growing preference for sustainable solutions in a plethora of contexts including financial reporting, transport, food and lifestyle in general. We have also seen a much sharper interest in climate change and its impact on the world, with an urgency for action to be taken.
6. A third development I want to highlight is the marked increase in retail interest in financial markets. It is no coincidence that the reemergence of SPACs listings and digital assets have surfaced around this period. At the same time, trust in institutions such as the auditing fraternity has been eroded by scandals involving fairly large companies in developed jurisdictions.
What has SGX RegCo done amid these developments?
7. With all these unfolding around us, our first priority has always been to ensure that the proper functioning of the market remains unimpeded. Safeguards we had put in before the pandemic, such as our circuit breakers and the review of our opening and closing auction routine trades should there be a price dislocation, stood us in good stead during this period. They helped us assure the continued orderliness of trading, amidst the heightened volatility and uncertainty d...