J.P. Morgan says offshore exchange deposits in Singapore’s banks have increased “very sharply” in the last couple of months. It comes in the middle of increasing unrest in Hong Kong that has seemingly driven stockholders and firms to move their investments elsewhere. Singapore has been stated to be a direct recipient of the protests in Hong Kong, with some wealth managers and bankers stating that they have gained more queries from customers to move funds to Singapore. In the new projection, Goldman Sachs stated that in October, Hong Kong may have lost around $4 Billion in deposits to Singapore, which is repeatedly considered as its competitor for the role of Asia’s leading financial hub.
Months of demonstrations in Hong Kong are showing no indications of a let-up. What began as passive protests over a—currently, withdrawn—extradition bill have transformed into a broader call for democracy. On asking if he sees deposits flowing in Singapore, Harsh Modi—Co-Head of Asia for Financials Research (ex-Japan) at J.P. Morgan—said to CNBC, “We cannot be determined that there is a move from Hong Kong to Singapore. But certainly, Singapore’s banking system—such as FX deposits—has been developing extremely sharp in the past 2–3 Months.”
Speaking of the Singapore economy, recently, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) reported that the economy might stay moderate in 2020. Singapore’s central bank said the economy is likely to continue experiencing tailwinds throughout 2020, seeing dull activity in the next 18 months. The development will be jagged across industries, with “major uncertainties” for the trade-relevant cluster, the central bank stated in its yearly macroeconomic review. Some part of this stems from greater instability in the electronics-associated industries. For example, semiconductor manufacturers have been considered to draw down inventories to attain new orders rather than stepping up manufacture considering uncertain demand.