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11/23/2005

lky wants singaporeans to take more risk

who would risk losing $100k to make a commission of $120 without collateral? who would take an order for $500k without collateral? who would take such risk based on trust, personal assessment and calculated risk? the remisiers are the most misunderstood and abused professionals in the finance industry. during the 1990s bull run, many people begrudged the remisiers for making huge commissions without a clear understanding of what were actually involved. people only saw one side of the coin, the enviable side. no one knew that for every $1 a remisier made, he stands to lose $100. a remisier who made $100k in commission stands to lose $10 mil in losses when the market turns against his clients. after the market crashed, many remisiers ended with huge bad debts and had to pay for them when their clients ran away. many went bankrupt or were unable to continue with their business. the job of remisiers is not merely offering professional advices to their clients. the job of remisiers is not simply keying an order and collect commission like a toll collector or key punch operator. a remisier is a risk taker. he stood as guarantor for his clients and will have to make good the losses if clients defaulted. a more important role that many people could not understand is that of a multiplier. our market is too small and did not have the critical mass of investors to provide a decent trading volume. without the remisiers, the banks or broking houses will not extend the kind of limits a remisier will extend to the clients without collaterals. the remisiers as the middle men are in a better position to assess the risk profiles of their clients. this requires intimate contact with the clients and knowing the clients. many clients were relatives, friends or friends of friends. the banks will not be able to do this effectively without a large pool of credit officers. even if the banks are willing to employ them, the reliability of these officers will always be questionable. it is not their money. remisiers are risking their own money. the benefit of remisiers in this role is to multiply the trading volumes by 10 to 100 times which otherwise will not be achieveable. we will not be able to have a healthy and active stockmarket without the remisiers. remove the remisiers and our market will collapse. we can kiss goodbye to our stockmarket or our dream of being a financial centre to rival hongkong. a remisier is a risk taker, a big risk taker that is most misunderstood. we are not like america or some big countries. we are very small but with a huge ambition and a huge appetite to be a regional financial centre. the remisiers play a very unique role to complement our disadvantage in size.

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