SINGAPORE is poised to be Asia's only truly global city, beating close contenders such as Tokyo and Hong Kong, says Deutsche Bank. And against the backdrop of such strong long-term prospects, it favoured government-linked companies such as DBS Group Holdings and CapitaLand.
The bank, in its latest research report, said that Singapore had the greatest potential - out of Asia - to attract talent from all over the world, while possessing the highest level of services and entertainment.
It ruled out Tokyo, saying it was more of a large Japanese city than a global one. It also said that Sydney was 'simply too far away from Asia to be a contender'. As for Hong Kong - seen as Singapore's greatest competitor in this arena - the bank said that its prospects would 'gradually diminish due to immigration from the mainland'.
Singapore, on the other hand, had its three main racial groups and a large number of expatriates living in relative harmony, making it 'naturally more multicultural, while immigrants are better educated and are more diverse than in Hong Kong'. The bank said that it believed multiculturalism was necessary for a global city.
Other factors in Singapore's favour are: a very low crime rate, cheap services and a host of good schools. Deutsche Bank added that safety in Singapore extended beyond personal safety, to low risks for businesses locating here, given the country's focus on intellectual property rights, and an efficient and transparent legal system.
Deutsche Bank said that Singapore had also begun to address an area it lagged Hong Kong in - the entrepreneurial mindset of its people. In this area, it said, Singapore's education curriculum has been revised 'to provide students with opportunities to reflect and explore', which it believed would 'produce more entrepreneurial Singaporeans as well as those interested in research'.
Benefiting from Singapore's push to be a global city would be DBS Group Holdings, CapitaLand, Keppel Corp and SingTel - which Deutsche Bank has as its long-term stock picks.
'All four are major regional or global players in their respective industries and have been aggressive in international expansion. A strong performance in recent years demonstrates that they are generally well-managed and have successfully regionalised.'
The bank said that it was 'bullish on GLCs in the long term because Singapore's AAA rating and implied sovereign support give a low cost of capital'.
It added that the four GLCs it favoured had high management quality, and 'Temasek is a wealthy shareholder that is committed to helping them grow'.
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