Keynote Address By Mr Peter Ong, Chairman (ACRA) At The Open Analytics Launch Seminar14 Jan 2010
Ladies and Gentleman
Good afternoon and my good wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy and successful 2010.
2. Welcome to ACRA’s launch of Open Analytics. Open Analytics is a pioneering financial analysis application developed through a public private partnership between ACRA and WHK Horwath. Open Analytics provides the business and investment communities with interactive web-based access to the rich national corporate registry administered by ACRA.
3. ACRA is the first corporate registry globally to introduce such an application for users of financial information. A prototype of the Open Analytics was earlier showcased at an international conference held in the United States in October last year. The prototype attracted good reviews from the international community at the conference and was regarded as being one of the first to be developed globally.
Value proposition of Open Analytics
4. As you will see in the presentation later, Open Analytics will be potentially useful to companies, banks, investors and analysts.
5. Directors, management and shareholders can compare the performance of their companies against their peers to identify improvement opportunities. For banks, Open Analytics provides the financial information of the companies they extend credit to for regular credit risk assessments against the respective industries, particularly for small and medium entities. Entrepreneurs and investors can identify untapped niche areas and hidden gems in the Singapore corporate space. Analysts can use Open Analytics to monitor and analyse trend performance of companies or any specific industry sector.
6. With the advent of Open Analytics, resources traditionally deployed to compile data can be better utilised to perform higher value-added tasks such as business analysis.
7. ACRA welcomes many more such private sector collaboration to augment the offering of our existing content as they ultimately benefit a wide community of users. Going forward, in addition to data available from the financial statements, WHK Horwath will also make available certain ratios such as the price-to-earnings ratio using specific data fields provided by the Singapore Exchange through an agreement.
What makes Open Analytics Possible?
8. Open Analytics provides a glimmer of the strategic transformation that ACRA is spearheading under its Business Financials in XBRL (BizFinx) initiative that aims to fundamentally transform the financial information processing value-chain in the Singapore marketplace. XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language and is the globally accepted business reporting language. The strategic objective of BizFinx is to streamline and transform how public corporate financial data can be collected, processed, accessed and used in a timely and dynamic manner to facilitate the decision making process of the different stakeholders in the business community.
9. Under its BizFinx initiative, ACRA implemented the filing of corporate financial statements by companies in XBRL format in November 2007.
10. Today, ACRA has close to 100,000 corporate financial statement filings that are XBRL-enabled in our national corporate registry. This is amongst the highest rate of XBRL-enabled corporate financial statement filings achieved globally amongst national corporate registries. It is with such a rich corporate database that ACRA can now disseminate financial information seamlessly, facilitating comparability of large volumes of data. Before XBRL, corporate financial information was available only in a static manner at ACRA. Information had to be manually extracted and compiled before any analysis could take place.
Future Initiatives on BizFinx
11. Open Analytics is the launch pad to what ACRA intends to achieve through BizFinx. As XBRL implementation gains traction globally, one can easily witness the ready availability of cross-border analysis of companies and industries. With Singapore corporate financials available interactively, this will lead to greater prominence of our companies on the global stage and they will have the ability to tap onto global capital for expansion. Having corporate financials across global financial markets being available interactively may not be too farfetched an idea.
12. ACRA will continue to enhance the taxonomy of financial information it requires of companies. In doing so, ACRA will listen to and work with the business community to revise the content of the XBRL financial statement filings it collects and enhance the functionalities of Open Analytics. One example would be to explore how data required for the credit risk assessment of small and medium entities by the banks can be incorporated into the XBRL financial statement filings made by these companies to ACRA so that the relevant information can then be disseminated seamlessly to the banks.
13. Ultimately, the value of information lies not in what it contains but what it can be used for. In its role as a corporate registry, ACRA sees itself as a content provider of Singapore corporate financials, continuously facilitating an informed business eco-system.
14. ACRA has partnered 5 professional bodies namely the Association of Banks in Singapore, the Investment Management Association of Singapore, the Singapore Business Federation, the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, for the launch of Open Analytics. Let me take this opportunity to express my appreciation for their support.
15. I foresee more changes ahead in the information supply chain in Singapore and globally. Market forces would ultimately drive the evolution of data collection according to the information needs of the various stakeholders.
16. I congratulate ACRA and WHK Horwath on this first, but important, step in introducing Open Analytics. Although it is on the right track, I am confident that ACRA will continue to reinvent itself and will not stay constant especially in a dynamically evolving world where demands will increase for instantaneous and interactive data. We will hear more from ACRA and WHK Horwath in their presentations later.
17. With that, I wish you all an enjoyable lunch and a pleasant day ahead.
18. Thank you.