Asian Investment Conference and Exhibition (AICE), Year 2009 – SIAS President/CEO

Date: July 18, 2009


Delivered at the Opening Ceremony of Asian Investment Conference and Exhibition (AICE) on 18 July 2009 at Suntec City Convention Centre

Guest-of-Honour, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua
Minister, Prime Minister”s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport

Your Excellencies

Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, CEO, Singapore Exchange

Mr Shane Tregillis, MD, MAS

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning.

First and foremost, thank you Minister for kindly gracing this occasion. This is a milestone event for SIAS and the local investment community, and your presence underscores the importance of investor education.

The ongoing financial turmoil of 2008 has created a new mindset in investors, that “Investing is dangerous”. Before 2008, no one would have believed that a giant like Lehman Brothers could actually collapse. Today, for many investors, the primary worry is whether the financial institution can be trusted with their hard-earned money. Indeed, investors’ decisions are now governed by fear instead of confidence.

But the reality is that people must invest to grow their nest eggs and investment inevitably entails risks. Why then are some investors so fearful of undertaking risk? Because some do not understand risk which then leads them to adopt poor investment strategies and make bad investment decisions. Diversification is far from their minds.

To bring back investor confidence, SIAS has rolled out several meaningful programmes to educate and inform retail investors. Together with MoneySense, the national investor education programme and the Association of Banks, Singapore, SIAS introduced the My Money series in English and Chinese to educate investors on how to manage their investments and the attendant risks. SIAS has also embarked on numerous investor education initiatives on listed products in collaboration with the Singapore Exchange.

This inaugural financial literacy event, AICE, was conceived as a timely initiative to restore market confidence and help investors overcome their fear of complex investment products. At the same time, it aims to allow financial institutions to regain investors’ trust through face-to-face interaction.

This two-day event encompasses over 50 investment seminars, including panel discussions led by market experts and corporate leaders. The seminars range from financial planning to investment strategies such as strategic and tactical asset allocation. Investors need to learn about different instruments and how to combine them to their advantage. For the elderly, there is also a programme on avoiding financial abuse.

In addition, investors can meet numerous corporate leaders from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and China under one roof. They can also check their financial health or play investment-related games to sharpen their skills.

We are expecting some 20,000 attendees at AICE. This will be an important annual congregation for investors across Asia to get economic and market updates, as well as to learn new investment strategies.

Since its founding in 1999, SIAS has been educating the investing community through various means. Over the years, we have launched over 500 investor education programmes attended by about 50,000 Singaporeans in total. We will continue to enhance our offerings over time, based on market realities and investors’ needs.

Our grateful thanks to SGX for their strong support, without which, this event would not have been a success.

SIAS is pleased to have the important endorsements by all the key professional Institutions, and is also grateful to our gold sponsors, CapitaLand and Citibank; our silver sponsors, SMRT, and sponsors SingTel, Singapore Airlines, and UOB Kay Hian for supporting this event not forgetting the 35 exhibitors and 46 companies participating in this event.

Thank you all for gracing this occasion.