Is Singapore The Next Big Financial Hub?

There have been numerous discussions surrounding the growth of Florida and Latin America, but they aren’t the only financial hubs of the future.

Singapore is another one with a lot of promise — and it could prove to be the next big financial community.

“We moved our Chief Operating Officer in Chicago to Singapore in the fall,” Chris Hehmeyer, CEO of HTG Capital Partners, told StreetID. “That was back in October, ’cause we want to try and grow HTG’s Asian office.

“Singapore is known as ‘Asia Lite.’ There’s some truth to that. China is big but it’s difficult. Japan has opportunities but there are definitely expenses and language are barriers there. Singapore… All of those places compete in Asia, but for us there’s a good-sized exchange community and a favorable business climate. It seems that a number of participants and the exchanges like CME, Eurex, and ICE, are trying to expand their operations in Singapore. So, for a proprietary trading company, it’s a good environment.”

Hehmeyer said that Signapore has “a lot of advantages” for companies in the financial sector. He believes that it will be a strong competitor in attracting various financial services-type companies.

“It’s a business-friendly environment but it’s certainly heavily scrutinized by the Singapore Monetary Authority,” Hehmeyer explained. “The tax situation, for the most part, is friendly.”

American companies must pay American taxes no matter what — if they bring the money back home. Most other countries do not have that restriction. Thus, an Australian company could open an office in Singapore and only pay taxes in that nation.

“For a lot of participants, it’s a very advantageous tax location,” Hehmeyer added. “Singapore does not harbor secret bank accounts like some other countries. [The] Singaporean Monetary Authority is very strict and very much above board.”

Singapore is also good for job seekers.

“There’s a lot of growth in Asia,” said Hehmeyer. “Singapore is very friendly from an immigration standpoint, so people can get visas and go there and work.”

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