Guest of Honour Address by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in The Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and National Development, at The IVAS-IVSC Business Valuation Conference 2023 on 3 Oct 2023, at Raffles City Convention Centre03 Oct 2023
Mr Lie Kok Keong, Chairman of Institute of Valuers and Appraisers Singapore (IVAS),
Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustee, International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC),
Mr Ong Khiaw Hong, Chief Executive of ACRA
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. It is my pleasure to meet all of you here today at the IVAS-IVSC Business Valuation Conference 2023 as we commemorate IVAS’ 10th anniversary. Since its establishment in 2013, IVAS has conferred the Chartered Valuer and Appraiser (CVA) Charter to over 250 professionals and there are more than 300 CVAs in the making today.
2. The theme for this year’s conference – “The Future of Business Valuation: Embracing Shifts and Innovation” speaks of opportunities against the backdrop of major global uncertainties such as persistent inflationary pressures, climate change and geopolitical tensions. Despite the challenges though, opportunities abound in the realm of ESG, Intangible Assets (IA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and our future success will lie in our ability to embrace shifts and seize these opportunities.
Challenging Macroeconomic Environment
3. The past two to three years have provided a stark reminder of how the macroeconomic environment can present multiple challenges at the same time, or what some would call it, ‘polycrisis’.
a. When economies were reopening in 2021 and 2022, many were optimistic about the post-COVID-19 rebound in global growth. Then, we were hit by persistent inflationary pressures and restrictive monetary policies globally, as well as the Russia-Ukraine war which affected energy and food markets as well as impacted global supply chains.
4. It is imperative therefore, for CVA Charter holders and various stakeholders to be kept well abreast of the ever-changing economic landscape and how it affects business value and investors’ return on investment. Those who are in deal advisory can further support your clients in diversifying and mitigating their financial risk exposure through revision of capital allocation.
ESG for innovation and growth
5. Beyond the challenges, there are many growth opportunities in the longer run. At last year’s Business Valuation Conference, I spoke about how ESG can translate to higher business value. This year, let me elaborate on transition finance and the implications for valuation.
6. McKinsey estimates that the gap between the current global capital spending on physical assets for energy and land-use systems and that required in the net-zero transition between 2021 and 2050, is about $4.8 trillion per year. This amounts to almost half of global corporate profits in 2020 and this is a significant financing gap.
7. To narrow this gap, Financial Institutions in Singapore are providing capital flows to fund sustainable projects and influencing changes via financial incentives. The Government also recently released the Singapore Green Bond Report which talks about the allocation of proceeds from Singapore’s inaugural sovereign green bond and the expected impact from Eligible Green Expenditures financed by the green bond.
8. As professional valuers, it is crucial for you to be able to assess the impact of these investments. I am happy to hear that IVAS is working with like-minded International Valuation Professional organisations such as the American Society of Appraisers, Chartered Business Valuator Institute and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to issue a guidance in 2024 that valuers can use to assess the impact of ESG factors when undertaking a valuation exercise. I strongly encourage CVA Charter holders to continually seek professional development opportunities to upskill in this area so that you will be better equipped to leverage on the guidance to support your clients when the time comes.
Improving disclosure and valuation of IA
9. Besides ESG, Singapore saw the rising global investment in IA as an opportunity to foster innovation and strengthen our position as a global hub for IA.
a. We launched the Singapore IP Strategy (SIPS) 2030 initiative in 2021, and recently launched the Intangibles Disclosure Framework (IDF) to help businesses better disclose and communicate their IA such as brand value, patents, or registered designs in a systematic and consistent manner.
b. With better disclosure of businesses’ IA, potential investors and business partners will have a better understanding of firms’ financial and business prospects and thus be more willing to invest in or extend loans to them, and businesses which actively pursue innovation are better rewarded and incentivised to continue doing so.
c. Under the SIPS 2030 initiative, IVAS is also working closely with like-minded stakeholders and external consultant to identify gaps and issues in the IA valuation process across jurisdictions, and to develop a set of first-in-the-world IA valuation guidelines.
10. The success in our implementation of the SIPS 2030 initiative is highly dependent on the strong cohesive efforts and contributions from various stakeholders. With the rising prominence of generative AI, valuation of intangible assets such as computer software and data are even more important than before. I do hope the CVA Charter holders and various stakeholders here can continue to contribute to building a credible and trusted IA and IP valuation ecosystem for Singapore.
11. In conclusion, economic shifts and innovation have the potential to provide growth opportunities in the years to come, even amidst the constantly changing and uncertain macroeconomic environment. I urge everyone, please keep pace with developments in business valuation in connection with ESG and IA space to maximise the growth opportunities.
12. As with past years, I am sure that the conference will provide you with great insights. Happy 10th anniversary, IVAS, and I wish you a continuous growth journey in the years to come.
13. Thank you all very much and I wish all of you a fruitful conference ahead.