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Singapore, Chongqing explore new frontiers for financial connectivity, innovation

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Three MOUs were also signed between financial institutions and corporates in Singapore and Chongqing, to deepen collaborative efforts between the two cities.

FINANCIAL regulators and private-sector participants from Singapore and Chongqing took discussions on financial collaboration between the two cities to a higher level on Monday at the second Singapore-China (Chongqing) Financial Conference (SCFC) in Chongqing.

Three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were also signed between financial institutions and corporates in Singapore and Chongqing, to deepen collaborative efforts between the two cities.

DBS Bank (China) Ltd signed an MOU with Southwest Securities Co Ltd, charting collaboration between a Singapore commercial bank and an onshore securities firm in China.

OCBC Bank Limited inked an MOU with Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank (CRCB) to deepen cooperation in cross-border financing for small-and-medium enterprises.

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China Chongqing International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group Corp Ltd (CICET), the first Chongqing-based state-owned enterprise to establish operations in Singapore, inked an MOU to partner Singapore's UOB in its "going out" efforts to South-east Asia.

More than 400 financial sector professionals and corporate leaders from Singapore and Chongqing participated in the second SCFC. Jointly organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Chongqing Financial Affairs Office and the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative Administrative Bureau, the SCFC is the signature event under the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) Financial Services pillar.

The key areas discussed include financing infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, promoting cross-border asset securitisation, and developing insurance and risk management solutions to support investment.

Giving his keynote speech in the morning, MAS managing director Ravi Menon said Singapore can play a useful role in financing and advancing Belt and Road projects, particularly in South-east Asia.

Singapore is well-placed to partner China to help securitise or list Chinese assets in the Singapore market, being the largest hub in Asia ex-Japan for real estate investment trusts and business trusts.

By securitising China's public-private partnership (PPP) assets, capital can be freed up and funding sources diversified. "We can make these securitised assets available to long-term investors such as insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds, or even retail investors through a listing," Mr Menon said.

"Third, we can work together to develop risk management solutions to support CCI investments. Infrastructure projects are often exposed to large risks like natural catastrophes... Financial markets can play an important role in mitigating such risks."