Singapore's ACRA compiles register of company controllers

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Singapore's ACRA compiles register of company controllers

The Singapore government's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has confirmed plans for a centralised register of company controllers.

The new legislation will stipulate that nominators of nominee shareholders are also included on the register. 

The system, which ACRA says should be operating by mid-May, will compel companies, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) already registered in Singapore to maintain and update their registers of controllers to ACRA. 

ACRA says the information will not be made publicly available.

The 2017 Singapore Companies Act grants ACRA the power to maintain a central register of controllers of companies and foreign companies operating in Singapore.

As part of the new requirements, ACRA will require a "nominee shareholder" - someone who legally holds shares in the company on behalf of another person. 

The move comes as Singapore steps up efforts to maintain its status in the vanguard of international regulation, particularly for financial services. 

Earlier this year ACRA, in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched a scheme to give fund managers more flexibiity for share issuance and dividend payouts. The scheme is to be launched as part of the Variable Capital Companies (VCC) framework.

The move in January was hailed byBenny Chey, MAS assistant managing director, Development and International, as "[a] significant chapter in the development of Singapore as a full-service international fund management and domiciliation hub."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.