Euromoney Country Risk (ECR) survey has concluded Singapore as the least risky country in the world for investments, overtaken Switzerland and Norway to become the global leader in Euromoney Country Risk’s rankings
On its report released on Thursday (9 March), the magazine stated that the country’s ascent, from 21st in the world as recently as 2007, reflects a changing and uncertain world order, where nothing seems reliable or assured.
ECR said that the survey reflects a complex methodology combining the views of a community of economic and political experts across 15 categories of economic, structural and political risk; a further survey of debt syndicate managers; IMF data on debt indicators; and Moody’s and Fitch credit ratings, which covers 186 countries.
According to ERC, it is not as if the country is without challenges, stating that Euromoney’s November edition even called for a reinvention of Singapore, as its stock market struggles to attract new listings and its private banking industry deals with the fallout of 1MDB.
It also noted that the banks in the country, though conservatively provisioned, have had to deal with bad debts in the offshore oil and gas services sector, albeit they are among the most technologically advanced and forward-looking banks in the world.
However, ERC said that in terms of sovereign strength, the country is now peerless.
“Singapore’s position in the ranking represents a confluence of a number of strengths in categories that have turned into weaknesses elsewhere. So, Singapore’s economy only grew by 2 percent in 2016, and the government forecasts only 1 percent to 3 percent for 2017, but it is considered good and sustainable growth in an unpredictable world – and GNP is strong, with national livelihood high,” it said.
ERC noted that Singapore’s ascent reflects the culmination of a mission that has taken half a century.
It said that the Republic built its name on efficiency, stability, education and ease of doing business, noting that it handled the wealth of its British legacy assets so deftly that today three separate top-order institutions – the Monetary Authority of Singapore, GIC and Temasek – manage or invest the nation’s hundreds of billions of dollars of reserves and sovereign assets. Today there are only 11 countries left rated AAA by Fitch – as recently as 2009 there were 16. Singapore breathes increasingly rarified air in having the reputation of being an impregnable economy and financial system. It might not last
According to the Magazine, there are only 11 countries left rated AAA by Fitch today– as recently as 2009 there were 16. Singapore breathes increasingly rarified air in having the reputation of being an impregnable economy and financial system. It might not last
“Singapore breathes increasingly rarified air in having the reputation of being an impregnable economy and financial system,” it said.
ERC then said that it might not last forever – a rising oil price is likely to push Norway back up to the top spot – and one can’t avoid the fact that Singapore has achieved its climb to the top with lesser electoral freedoms than any other countries to have held the top spot.
“However, Singapore should be proud of its time at the peak. And it should continue to remind its private banking industry that nothing in the country is more important than its safe and reliable reputation,” it said.
“Sometimes boring is good,” it added.