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FY2002 Budget Will Be Announced While Financial Markets Are Open

18 Apr 2002

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, will deliver the entire Budget Statement for FY2002 on 3 May 2002 while the financial markets are still open. The statement will begin at 2.30 pm and is expected to be completed by about 4.30 pm, half an hour before the official market closing time.

2 The Budget Statement comprises three parts. Part I on the review of the economy, Part II on the expenditure estimates, and Part III on the tax changes and other special provisions. Traditionally, Parts I and II used to be covered during trading hours, while Part III came after trading hours. At a time when the Budget Statement was not easily accessible to the public, this gave time for the Statement to be widely disseminated, so that all investors in the stock market, as well as those wishing to transact foreign exchange or interest rate instruments, had equal opportunities to trade with full knowledge of the measures announced when markets reopened the next day.

3 As the Budget Statement is now broadcast live over television, radio and the internet, there is no longer any need for Part III to be delivered only after trading hours in Singapore. Moreover, delivering Part III after the local stock market closes would force investors wishing to trade on the budget news to channel their business to offshore and OTC markets, where the thinner liquidity could cause greater price volatility and unrealistic price levels until the main market opens the next day.

4 Delivering Part III during Singapore business hours will allow market participants implementing any investment strategies in reaction to the budget measures to trade with customary liquidity in Singapore.

5 The Singapore Exchange and the industry were consulted. They felt that it was better for the whole of the Budget Statement to be delivered during trading hours. This change brings the practice in Singapore in line with that in leading financial centres, including in the US, UK and Hong Kong.