Singapore Exchange (SGX) has rolled out a S$5 million care package to provide support and relief measures amid the COVID-19 outbreak, bolstering efforts by the financial community to reinforce the city-state’s resilience as a global marketplace.
To be given out over a period of 12 months, the SGX Care Package comprises a S$1.5 million contribution to national healthcare-support programmes including The Courage Fund facilitated by the National Council of Social Service and its fundraising arm, the Community Chest.
The remaining S$3.5 million will be used to support Singapore-listed companies as well as SGX employees and contract staff, in particular frontline staff such as cleaning and security crew. Concern over the long-term social and economic impact of COVID-19 have jolted international financial markets in recent weeks.
Loh Boon Chye, Chief Executive Officer of SGX, said, “As a key part of Singapore’s financial market infrastructure, we are committed to ensuring uninterrupted operations at all times – this means taking the lead to do more for those who are putting their lives and jobs at risk, as well as companies and individuals who keep businesses and markets running. We are all in this together and as a community, we can be confident about emerging stronger when the virus situation blows over.”
Since early February, SGX has been working with the wider capital markets industry to understand their practical difficulties. Its regulatory subsidiary, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), announced on 27 February that it would give issuers two more months to hold their Annual General Meetings (AGM). The SGX Care Package announced today will provide additional support to listed companies.
SGX, which has operations in 10 cities around the world, has also suspended all large-group events at its premises, with mandatory temperature screening and health and travel declarations for visitors. Its staff have been operating in split-sites to minimise contact, accelerating the use of digital tools to enhance their workflow.