Release 4400-00

For Release May 16, 2000



WASHINGTON -- The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) jointly announced the signing today of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning consultation, cooperation, and the exchange of information. The MOU establishes a framework for information sharing, thereby facilitating cooperation in cross-border investigations of potential violations of securities and futures laws. Recent Singapore legislation (issued March 2000) has granted the MAS the authority to cooperate with foreign securities and futures authorities.

CFTC Chairman William Rainer, SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, and MAS Deputy Managing Director Tharman Shanmugaratnam signed the MOU on behalf of their respective Commissions.

In commenting on the CFTC's latest MOU, CFTC Chairman Rainer stated:

"This MOU continues the CFTC's long tradition of cooperative arrangements with our foreign counterparts. As globalization continues to define world markets, particularly in light of technological advances, we view our partnerships with MAS and the SEC as critical to our ability to protect investors from cross border fraud and abuse. Indeed, cooperative arrangements, such as the one undertaken today, have become cornerstones in ensuring market integrity and customer protection."

At the signing, SEC Chairman Levitt issued the following statement:

"The MOU signed today marks another significant step toward protecting investors and the integrity of international financial markets. Markets are becoming increasingly linked, and the advent of a global marketplace makes a close partnership among the SEC, CFTC and the MAS ever more important. We are pleased that recent legislation in Singapore enables the MAS to further its commitment to international cooperation, as symbolized by this MOU. We look forward to confronting along with the MAS, the cross-border enforcement challenges presented by the Internet and the global economy."

Said MAS Deputy Managing Director Shanmugaratnam,

"We are happy to participate in the tripartite MOU with the US SEC and CFTC. As markets become more globalised, regulators face an increasing challenge to protect investors' interest and uphold the integrity of the markets. The signing of the MOU signifies an important step in that direction."

Notes to Editors:

The MOU follows recent changes in Singapore law that permit the MAS to conduct investigations on behalf of foreign securities and futures authorities. Similar authority was granted to the CFTC in 1992 and the SEC in 1988. The MOU signed today provides the "fullest mutual assistance" permitted by U.S. and Singapore law in response to any request concerning securities and futures matters, including providing information in the files of the authorities, taking statements and obtaining information and documents.

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