Singaporean Business Groups: The Role of the State and Capital in Singapore Inc.
This chapter on Singaporean business groups illustrates a fine example of a situation where business groups are run by the state. The government created large government-linked corporate groups to spearhead development in many sectors. Government-linked corporations have generally been managed effectively and run like private businesses, with a focus on financial performance. Private businesses run by the ethnic Chinese were left alone, and have competed with the government-linked corporations in many areas. When the Asian Crisis occurred, the government realized that it needed to restructure its financial sector and strengthen its corporate laws and accountancy practices. It pressured government-linked corporations and private banks to globalize, divest their non-core assets, and professionalize their governance. It also began monitoring banks’ performance more vigorously. Yet, the pace of divestment by both government-linked groups and banking groups has been thus far gradual.
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