New Light-Touch Singapore Regs. Attract New Hedge Funds

Aug 2 2010 | 1:14pm ET

Singapore last year launched a review of its hedge fund regulations with an eye towards attracting more of the Asian industry to its shores. So far, the plan is working.

Seven hedge funds opened their doors in the city-state in May and June, Bloomberg News report. The boomlet in a country that boasts only 230 hedge fund managers comes after the Monetary Authority of Singapore decided in April to exempt hedge funds with less than S$250 million in assets and 30 clients from a licensing requirement. The measure was designed to ease the burden on start-up hedge fund managers.

The Singapore MAS made the move amid fears that its regulation review—and its attendant uncertainty—was scaring off new hedge funds. The number of funds debuting in Singapore last year fell by half to just 13, the smallest number to open in the country in six years.

Instead of obtaining a license, as Singaporean mutual fund managers must, smaller hedge funds must now only submit a notification to the country’s central bank. They are still required to have at least two directors and have base capital of at least S$250,000.

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