Singapore Exchange (SGX) has unveiled initiatives to enhance the listing, trading and distribution of fixed income products to build a vibrant bond market in Asia.

The initiatives include drawing more Singapore-listed companies and other organisations to issue bonds for listing and trading on SGX. The listing and trading of fixed income securities such as preference shares and convertible bonds will also be encouraged.

SGX also plans to halve the time taken to approve bond listings by streamlining the processes involved.

By the first quarter of 2011, SGX expects to offer an on-exchange secondary market for individual and institutional investors to trade Singapore Government Securities (SGS). SGX’s Central Depository has been a custodian of individual investors’ SGS holdings since 1 April 2010.

Gan Seow Ann, president of SGX, said: “As the Asian Gateway, SGX offers an unparalleled value proposition to issuers and investors of bonds. Issuers can leverage on our international distribution platform while market participants will have access to one of the world’s leading trading venues. We believe that our experience in developing successful stock and derivative markets will serve us well in our bond market efforts.”

SGX has appointed Tng Kwee Lian as senior vice president and head of fixed income. Ms Tng comes from UOB Asset Management where she was head of Asian fixed income. With over 15 years’ experience in the financial industry particularly in fixed income trading and investment, Ms Tng will be responsible for driving SGX’s initiatives including the promotion of bond trading to high-net worth and individual investors.