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Retail investor allotment for Singapore Treasury Bills (T-bills) increased to 46% in 2024: DPM Lawrence Wong

Retail investor demand for Singapore T-bills have grown, DPM Lawrence Wong said.

Singapore fifty dollar notes on white background, illustrating a story on T-bills.
Demand for Singapore Treasury Bills (T-bills) has strengthened among retail investors, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong. (PHOTO: Getty) (MJ_Prototype via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Retail investor demand for Singapore Treasury Bills (T-bills) has strengthened as yields increased, said Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong.

T-bills allotments to retail investors have grown from around 13 per cent of each issuance in 2022 to around 46 per cent in 2024, said Wong in a written reply to parliamentary questions by Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai.

Leong had asked the minister to explain the main reasons causing six-month and one-year T-bills issued by the government to bear higher interest rates than fixed deposits of the same maturity offered by commercial banks.

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In response, Wong clarified that the yields on T-bills are determined through competitive auctions in a market that comprises individuals and institutions from Singapore and overseas. As such, they reflect the general level and direction of interest rates in global markets.

He further added that in the past two years, yields on T-bills have increased alongside comparable instruments, such as US Treasuries, as central banks globally raised interest rates to combat inflationary pressures. The rise in yields for T-bills, in turn, led to increased demand from retail investors.

On the other hand, Wong said that fixed deposit interest rates are determined by the funding needs of banks, competition in the market, and deposit growth relative to loan demand. He said the current fixed deposit interest rates for six-month and one-year tenors of 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent from major retail banks were comparable to the 3.66 per cent and 3.45 per cent yield from the most recent auction of T-bills of similar tenors.

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