The Singapore Dollar (SGD) is a relatively easy currency to trade and there are few restrictions on sending money to Singapore or transferring money from Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulates foreign exchange operations under the Money-Changing and Remittances Business Act.
To receive MAS authorisation, money transfer businesses in Singapore must have specific systems in place, including mechanisms to report suspicious transactions in line with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing legislation. Money transfer businesses must record transactions and complete customer due diligence for all transfers equivalent to S$5,000 or more.
The list of licensed money-changing and remittance businesses can be found on the Financial Institutions Directory hosted by MAS. When sending money to and from Singapore, we strongly recommend using only licensed service providers.
The central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is responsible for setting monetary policy, stabilising the country’s foreign exchange reserves and monitoring the health of the banking, insurance and other financial service sectors.
The value of the Singapore dollar is determined by a weighted basket of currencies made up of country’s key trade partners and competitors. The dollar’s exchange rate is kept on a managed float system, where its value is allowed to fluctuate within a policy band set semi-annually by the central bank.
Many of the world’s largest banks are present in Singapore’s highly developed financial system, which simplifies the process of sending overseas money transfers. Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase and Standard Chartered are some of the most well-known international banks in Singapore. To open a local bank account, non-residents need a copy of their passport, a letter from their employer and a bank statement from their home country.
Singaporean law provides equal status and consideration to domestic and foreign investment, although exceptions apply to certain areas including telecommunications, news media, financial services, legal and other professional services. Foreign investors are not required to enter into partnership with domestic firms in most cases. Capital repatriation and transfers of profits and other investment income are unrestricted.
Foreigners are able to apply for an Employment Pass either to be employed or do business in Singapore. The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore provides the guidelines relating to eligibility. If you have an Employment Pass, you can apply for dependent passes for a spouse and for children under the age of 21. Once you have been granted an Employment Pass, you are eligible to apply after a certain period of time to become a Permanent Resident.
The tax year in Singapore runs from January 1st to December 31st. An expat who does not spend more than 60 days in a calendar year is exempt from Singapore income taxes. If you are a non-resident and are in Singapore for more than 60 days but less than 183 days your income from employment is taxed at the higher of either 15% or at the local resident rates which range from 2-28% depending on the tax bracket. Only the days when you are physically in Singapore are taken into account for these calculations.
Singapore’s economy is heavily reliant on foreign trade of goods and services. The authorities have established an open foreign exchange policy to facilitate trade, and the country is consistently ranked among the easiest environments to do business.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore issues the national currency, the Singapore dollar, which is abbreviated as S$. Banknotes are produced in values of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$50, S$100, S$1,000 and S$10,000. Coins are issued in values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and S$1.
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