SINGAPORE — The Singapore central bank recorded a net loss of S$7.4 billion for the financial year ended 31 March 2022 – its first loss in nine years.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the loss reflected lower investment gains, a large negative foreign exchange translation effect, and higher interest expenses, according to the 2021-22 annual review released on Tuesday (19 July).
In its annual report published 26 June 2013, MAS posted a net loss of S$10.61 billion for the 2012/2013 financial year.
As of end-March, Singapore's official foreign reserves recorded a net loss of S$4.7 billion as investment gains of S$4 billion were outweighed by the strengthening of the Singapore dollar which led to a negative foreign exchange translation effect of S$8.7 billion.
During the last financial year, the Singapore dollar strengthened 4 per cent against the pound sterling, 5 per cent against the euro, and 9 per cent against the Japanese yen.
Total expenditure increased to S$2.8 billion, due mainly to higher interest expenses on domestic money market operations, the MAS said.
As such, there was no contribution to the Consolidated Fund, nor return of profits to the government.
As at 31 March 2022, total capital and reserves of MAS was S$40.1 billion.
Globally, economic growth is slowing but remains intact and the outlook for a gentle easing of inflationary pressures globally is also premised on strong monetary policy actions by central banks.
Rising inflation has no doubt dented business and consumer confidence, but not yet to a degree that would lead to a severe downturn this year, Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS said in a speech at a press conference on Tuesday.
"Taming inflation is like trying to slow down a speeding car on a gentle slope. It takes a combination of forcefulness and calibration," he said.
"This is why central banks all over the world tighten monetary policy in a series of well calibrated steps and closely monitor the impact of their actions before deciding on the next step," he said, adding that is exactly what the MAS too is doing.
Economic growth in Singapore is expected to moderate further in 2023 in tandem with the slowdown in our major trading partners, Menon said. The extent of the growth moderation will depend in part on how the scenarios for the global economy will pan out.
"As of now, we expect neither a recession nor a stagflation in Singapore next year," he added.
Singapore's growth momentum has slowed this year but the economy remains on track to come in within the lower half of the 3 per cent to 5 per cent GDP growth forecast, the MAS said.
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