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Capital Flows and Exchange Rate Volatility: Singapore's Experience

In: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences

  • Basant K. Kapur

Singapore%u2019s experience with international capital flows over the past two decades or so has been a rather %u2013 although not completely %u2013 benign one, owing to strong fundamentals and generally well-conceived macro-economic policies. We begin by briefly discussing the experience in 1998 of Hong Kong, another city-state with a well-developed banking system and equities market, and operating on a Currency Board (CB) system (although with some differences from Singapore%u2019s CB system). The discussion serves to identify some %u2018areas of vulnerability%u2019 in the Hong Kong set-up at that time. We next discuss Singapore%u2019s policy background and early experience, and in the light of Hong Kong%u2019s experience are better able to appreciate how Singapore%u2019s policy framework served to circumvent or minimize important vulnerabilities. Particular attention is paid to Singapore%u2019s exchange-rate policy and its policy of non-internationalization of the Singapore dollar. Equity- and currency- market interactions are also considered. We next show how Singapore emerged relatively unscathed from the 1997 Asian Crisis. Lastly, we discuss Singapore%u2019s debt markets, and show how under the imperative of promoting the development of its bond markets the non-internationalization policy has been progressively relaxed, while retaining key safeguards.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa06-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0161.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0161
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. William N. Goetzmann & Ning Zhu & Arturo Bris, 2003. "Efficiency and the Bear: Short Sales and Markets around the World," NBER Working Papers 9466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 2002. "The Role of Large Players in Currency Crises," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 197-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kenneth S. Chan & Kee-Jin Ngiam, 1996. "Currency speculation and the optimum control of bank lending in Singapore dollar: a case of partial liberalization," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 96-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    4. Sujit Chakravorti & Subir Lall, 2000. "The double play: simultaneous speculative attacks on currency and equity markets," Working Paper Series WP-00-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Kenneth S. Chan & Kee-Jin Ngiam, 1996. "Currency Speculation and the Optimum Control of Bank Lending in Singapore Dollar: A Case for Partial Liberalisation," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 321, McMaster University.
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