MAS Sets Up Steering Committee to Drive the Interest Rate Benchmark Transition from SGD Swap Offer Rate (SOR) to Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA)

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MAS Sets Up Steering Committee to Drive the Interest Rate Benchmark Transition from SGD Swap Offer Rate (SOR) to Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA)

September 4, 2019

MASSingapore, 30 August 2019… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today the establishment of the Steering Committee for SOR Transition to SORA (SC-STS). This committee will oversee an industry-wide interest rate benchmark transition from SOR to SORA. [1]

2 SOR is a key interest rate benchmark in Singapore that is used in the pricing of SGD interest rate derivatives, commercial and retail loans, and other financial products. As the likely discontinuation of USD LIBOR [2] will impact the sustainability of SOR, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the Singapore Foreign Exchange Market Committee (ABS-SFEMC) have concluded that financial contracts that reference SOR, particularly SGD interest rate derivatives, should transition to reference SORA. SORA has been published since 2005, and is based on transactions in a deep and liquid overnight funding market. ABS-SFEMC have released a consultation report today detailing the roadmap.

3 As the transition involves many industry participants, as well as commercial and retail customers, it is critical to have adequate stakeholder engagement and a well-managed transition. MAS has thus established an industry-led steering committee, chaired by Mr Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of OCBC Bank and ABS Chairman, to oversee the transition. The committee will be responsible for providing strategic direction on industry proposals to develop new products and markets based on SORA. The SC-STS will also engage with stakeholders to seek feedback and raise awareness on issues related to the transition from SOR to SORA. The committee will comprise senior representatives from key banks in Singapore, relevant industry associations, and MAS. The list of SC-STS members is in Annex A.

[1] SOR is the Singapore Dollar (SGD) Swap Offer Rate published by the ABS Benchmarks Administration Co Pte Ltd. SORA is the Singapore Overnight Rate Average published by MAS, and reflects the volume-weighted average rate of all SGD overnight cash transactions brokered in Singapore between 9:00 am to 6:15 pm.
[2] USD LIBOR, which is used in the computation of SOR, would likely be discontinued following the announcement by the UK authorities that the benchmark will not be sustained by regulatory powers after end-2021.

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