Vickers is at it again

Vickers Ballas'' search for a new partner continues, as competitive forces eat into the once sanctified world of Singaporean stockbroking.

The news that Vickers Ballas, the venerable old Singaporean stockbroker, is in talks to merge or be acquired by another financial institution, should come as no surprise to anyone. Since the government announced and then deregulated stockbroking commissions in October last year, the mollycoddled world of Singapore stockbroking has been set for a shake up.

No firm recognized this more clearly than Vickers. Before the deregulation of commissions had come into effect, the stockbroker had concluded merger talks with another fine old Singaporean institution, GK Goh stockbrokers. That deal was eventually scuppered when shareholders controversially did not approve the plan.

Since then, Vickers has been on...

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