The Edge Singapore: Market mover

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Magnus Böcker, CEO of Singapore Exchange, is trying to stave off a persistent decline in trading volumes. What are his plans to revitalise the market? Can SGX sustain its dividend?

Magnus Böcker harboured ambitions of becoming a race car driver when he was a boy.

After being hit by a car at the age of 11, however, he received an insurance payout amounting to the “equivalent of a couple of hundred dollars”, which he invested in shares of three companies: an investment firm, a company in the garment industry, and a manufacturer.

The stocks delivered a decent return, and Böcker found himself on his way to a career in financial markets.

“I don’t think, in all fairness, I was at all close to becoming a race car driver,” he says.
“But at a very early stage, when I was probably around 10, that’s when I got interested in stocks.

I learnt a lot about companies and how stocks worked.

And, I had my first job when I was 15, helping out at the bank.

I did extra time when I was off school. So I had an interest in the equity market that goes way back.”

Now, as CEO of Singapore Exchange, Böcker is trying to get local investors to share his enthusiasm for stocks.

Over the past year, SGX has organised seminars at its offices on Shenton Way, in the heartlands and at tertiary educational institutions to drum up interest in the stock market.

It hosts online training programmes for investors on its SGX Academy website.

It has launched an investor portal called My Gateway, which provides market updates and product guides.

Most recently, it has partnered with S&P Capital IQ to offer investors free access to fundamental information about locally-listed stocks.

StockFacts includes consensus recommendations for a stock, and how it ranks on measures such as capital efficiency, price momentum and earnings quality.

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