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Quick takes: Singapore can maintain market, economic stability, say economists

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Singapore has solid fundamentals to ensure that its economy and markets will not be shaken by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's hospitalisation, said economists and traders The Business Times spoke to.

SINGAPORE has solid fundamentals to ensure that its economy and markets will not be shaken by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's hospitalisation, said economists and traders The Business Times spoke to.

Mr Heng, 54, suffered a stroke and collapsed at a weekly Cabinet meeting on Thursday afternoon. He is now undergoing treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Here are some comments from economists and traders:

Ng Weiwen, ANZ economist:
This unfortunate incident would not materially change the direction of economic policy. There is certainly depth in the bench especially with DPM Tharman - who helmed the Ministry of Finance for eight years prev - now serving as Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies. 

Bernard Aw, IG market strategist and economist:
The Singapore government has built quite an efficient civil service that people have confidence in the functioning of the ministry or broader government in such an event. Instead, the STI (Straits Times Index) will be greater influenced by performance in Wall Street, although the wind in the recent global stock rally has waned of late.

Manoj Chamanlal, CIMB remisier:
I don't think the market's reaction will be great - there's not been much activity in it anyway. But Minister Heng being hospitalised certainly is an unfortunate event, and I have my well-wishes for him.

Song Seng Wun, CIMB economist:
It'll not quite be business as usual at the Ministry of Finance, but it's in capable hands, because we always plan for back-ups so that things will function as normal.

READ MORE: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat collapsed during Cabinet meeting on Thursday