The new Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) sold poorly in its first issue this year. At only S$413 million, the money raised is only 34.4% of the S$1.2 billion capacity set. Singapore. To give a better perspective, Singapore’s household savings deposits in the bank is S$200 billion. The new SSB has taken only 0.2% of the market, reflecting how unpopular it actually is as compared to the government’s expectation of maximum 2% for this year.
According to the Singapore government, the main reason behind for issuing SSBs is to offer more long-term savings instruments compared to CPF, which pays only 2.5% for its Ordinary Account. However, speculations are rife that the Singapore government is running out of cash in its reserves which is why it will need to raise more cash deposits from the open investment market. These speculations are built on the lack of accountability and transparency in Singapore government’s handling of the national reserves.
Between July 2014 and May 2015, the Singapore government spent S$45.6 billion from the national reserves to prop up the Singapore dollar currency. Throughout the year, there was no press release or accountability to the Singapore public.
For the Budget 2015, Singapore government actually went into a deficit of S$6 billion but the government-controlled media covered the news up by reporting the “good news” where they collected highest amount of taxes in Singapore history. Singapore’s media is recently ranked 153th in press freedom and its reporting has very little credibility, often quoting anonymous sources and biased government-related individuals as “academia”.
According to independent statistics, the Singapore government is heavily in debt and comes in the 5th most indebted country in the world with a debt-to-GDP of 105.5%. This is however dismissed by the Singapore government who claim that the debt is largely domestic.
As a result of the biased media with the lack of transparency, speculations of Singapore government going bankrupt are still believable and popular in common market talk.