Understanding Singapore Government’s Borrowing and its Purposes
Singapore Government’s borrowing is fiscally sustainable. This can be partly attributed to the following features:
- Borrowings* are not for spending. Securities are issued for reasons unrelated to the Government’s fiscal needs. Singapore Government Securities (SGS) are issued to develop the domestic debt market, Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) are issued specifically to meet the investment needs of the Central Provident Fund Board and Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB) are issued to provide individual investors with a long term saving option.
- Borrowing* proceeds are invested and the investment returns are more than sufficient to cover the debt serving costs.
- The Singapore Government has a strong balance sheet that has assets well in excess of its liabilities. Singapore has consistently achieved the top credit ratings of AAA from the 3 main credit rating agencies. Additionally in the Q12016 BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index report, Singapore ranked 2nd in terms of credit worthiness as they recognize our net asset position, rather than gross debt levels.
- In Budget 2019, the Government announced that it will study the option of using government debt as part of the financing mix for long-term infrastructure projects that the Government will be taking on directly.
Read about the unique nature of the borrowing of the Singapore Government ( 611kb)
*Refers to borrowings through the Government Securities Act.