Swiss Central Bank Names New Singapore Head

Swiss National Bank, SNB, Singapore, Martin Schlegel, Roman Baumann

Martin Schlegel, incoming SNB Singapore office head

Switzerland's central bank has appointed a foreign exchange and gold specialist as the new head of its Singapore trading floor, finews.asia has learned.

The Swiss National Bank, or SNB, has named Martin Schlegel as its head of Singapore, part of the central bank's department led by governing board member Andrea Maechler which is tasked with the Swiss franc's exchange rate policy.

Schlegel, formerly head of foreign exchange and gold at the SNB, replaces Roman Baumann, who returned to Switzerland earlier this month as head of money market operations.

A spokesman for the SNB confirmed Schlegel's appointment, which is effective in autumn. The Asian office is a key part of the central bank's campaign to fight the Swiss franc's strength.

FX Interventions

The Swiss central bank opened a Singapore branch in 2013, the first non-Asian bank to do so. The move came against the backdrop of currency interventions by the central bank to weaken the franc, then still pegged to the euro.

The Swiss National Bank has spent billions in recent years trying to weaken the franc by buying euros. The SNB's Singapore office of eight employees enables the central bank to intervene in currency markets during Asian hours.

The central bank has also sought to diversify into Asian currencies, including Japanese yen, Korean won and Singapore and Australian dollars. 

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