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Eur to SGD - Funds transfer, FX

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Post by rajumatix » Wed, 14 Apr 2010 6:36 pm

The last time i flew in and out of Sg, i went to Mustafa Centre (not sure why) & converted Euros to SGD. Supposedly they have very 'competitive' rates.. and i think i did get a good deal - got 1.92 SGD to the €uro. Just got a bit lucky - now its 1.863

The Aussie $ rate is 1.2740 on their link too, above.
BaD SpellerS of thE worLd - Untie !

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Post by aster » Thu, 15 Apr 2010 12:19 am

You should find at least equally good rates at Raffle's Place. Might be closer to some.

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Post by Peynacker » Wed, 19 May 2010 11:15 am

aster wrote:Speaking of conversion rates, one thing that really irritated me was DBS' option to charge the card in its "home currency" when making an ATM withdrawal using a foreign card.

Whereas back in the day the tourist was better off by letting DBS charge the cash withdrawal in the currency of the account instead of SGD, the last few times I checked out this option I ended up being worse off... frigging incredible. :roll:
This is exactly what I was wondering yesterday. I arrived two days ago in Singapore as an exchange student from the Netherlands. When getting cash out of the ATM I get the question about the banks (in euro) or MasterCard rate (not only DBS, other's ATM's also). Does anyone know what's the best option for me? Tried to google it, but couldn't find it. Need to get a lot of cash for my rent and since the euro just got the lowest level since April 2006 (see graph), I'd like to make sure I get the best rates.


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Post by NBB2 » Wed, 19 May 2010 1:49 pm

Ja. Go inside and ask them for a better rate. Tell them you'll be here for a while and that you'll have repeated transfers made out to your account.

It worked for me; they gaven me a better rate.

The best thing though, for smaller amounts anyways, is to bring in your Euros in cash and change it at a money-changer. They give you waaay better rates than banks.

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Post by Grumpy77 » Wed, 19 May 2010 9:08 pm

The banks will hit you on rate and fees if you look to convert and wire the funds over. If you go into a local EUR acct, every time you touch the funds you'll be hit by a commission charge.

Moneychangers are good but only are licensed to deal in cash and limited amounts.

In the interest of full disclosure, I manage the local branch for a global non-bank fx company here but won't advertise. Just to say, there are other alternatives if you want to save on rate and fees. Just do some googling and you'll find us and our competitors. I'm not interested in the business as we deal 95% with corporates and do seek out individuals so unless you are bringing 100k or more it really isn't of too much importance to us (I know it is of great importance to you, thus my reply). For smaller amounts, moneychangers are the best as their rate is relatively good, and it is very convenient.

As for EUR, in the short term it could see a relief rally but smart money is calling a long-term secular bear market, ie: the downward trend will continue. My gut call is it will go to par vs. USD however I will not put a time-frame on it. Direction and magnitude are fairly easy to forecast, time-line is not. It could be a year or it could be three, but it will most likely happen.

With SGD managed against a basket of currencies that is adjusted on the fly, you can't say for certain what it will do, but it will surely not be hit as hard as EUR since USD (also heavily weighted in the basket) will be 'rising' against EUR.

It makes for a facinating play. If you want to maintain value and don't need the funds to live on, you may consider hedging by getting into gold, or better yet silver, and saying to hell with paper money all together. That is the real smart bet, and where I've been hiding for the past several years! Again, gold is almost certain to have a counter trend rally as it has gone almost parabolic, but it will be short term and should be bought, not sold. Do not use exchange traded vehicles, they don't work very well. Better to dollar cost average over time into physical asset and build up your holding that way, looking for a good opportunity if it comes around.

The world has entered a long-term bear market in governments so paper currencies of many western governments are in a race to the bottom. The era of competitive devaluations is just starting as that is the only way for them to deflate away the huge debt they are taking on.

Not to be doom and gloom, but its the truth. Hope that helps.

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Post by stiwi » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 1:09 am

One of the cheapest method that I have found out regarding transferring money between countries is MoneyBookers. I have used them a lot of times and they never failed. All you have to do is to sign up and ask them to provide you with their banking details in your home country. Once you send them a wire, it will take 2 working days to have them credited in your MoneyBookers account. Then you can withdraw them to any bank you want at a nominal fee of €1.80 or €3.50 (if your MB home country is the same as the bank you are withdrawing money to - 1.80, if different - 3.50).

Bank wire is sent in EUR but maybe if one have USD currency there, it will be sent in USD (there will be a note on this). Maximum withdrawal limit per transaction is €10.000. There were no further intermediary bank charges.

The only charge is $10 in case of Standard Chartered Bank for the inward telegraphic transfer. This charge is waived if your currency account is different then the bank wire account... Yes, it is not mistake, normally in Europe it would be the other way :) All banks here have pretty much the same charges and rules for inward transfers.

Question remains however on what's the best way to exchange the foreign currency once you have it in SG. Best as mentioned before by some of you, would be to withdraw money and go to one of the money changer here. But there is small catch. Banks are charging the processing fee when you withdraw the foreign currency in cash. It ranges from 1% to 1.5% with min. fee of $10.

So let's say I want to take €10.000 in cash and go to one of those money changer. I will loose €150 straight at the counter which means the money changer idea is pointless and it is better to exchange in the bank. Banks have 4 cents spread, they will exchange the currency for free & with larger amounts you can negotiate slightly better rate.

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Post by happygal74 » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 12:14 am

Splatted wrote:
revhappy wrote:
aster wrote: There's a money changer at Raffle's Place where the spread is so tiny I don't think any bank can get anywhere close to their rates.

Can you give some example buy/sell rates?
But how do local money changers come into picture in the OP's case. Unless he physically carries the large amount of foreign currency into Singapore and then convert it?
Most countries restrict the amount of cash that can be carried on airlines. I can only presume it has something to do with money-laundering laws.

Australia, I think, has a cap of $10,000. Though I wonder whether you can carry more if you declare it... anyone know the ins-and-outs of this?

Does Singapore have similar restrictions, as well?
you may bring in more than AUD10K after declaring. As long you able to explain what those money for will do. Like my case, I had AUD15K for my uni tuition, all i need is to fill up a form and i was cleared from immigration.

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 31 Jan 2011 12:43 am

I think the best way is to withdraw in your home currency and bring it to SG in cash, and then change at a money changer in 'The Arcade'.

I did that last time I quit Europe. I was packing something like £7k in my jacket. Yes they stopped me at customs and were interested in why I was doing that. They made me go and see a customs guy and fill out a form (despite being under the statutory limit of e10k).

They asked why I was carrying it. Reply:
- I'm quitting the UK
- I need to set up a new home
- Look outside your office, Travelex has a 30 cent spread for the S$, in Singapore I can change on under a 1/4 cent spread.

No more questions!

p.s. Mustafa are good, but The Arcade at Raffles Place are better. I have even exchanged money there (circa US$2000 worth) at a rate better than the money market rate; trust me, I had a Reuters pager in my hand with the rates feed coming through. The guy apparently 'had a Friday pm view' and wanted to offload a position, but it demonstrates how razor thin the margins can be there...

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Post by stiwi » Wed, 09 Feb 2011 12:02 am

Some update on this matter and the Moneybookers route suggested before. Apparently, some banks have certain status level on which they will waive you certain fees. For instance in SCB once you have at least $20k (in T&C it is written that $50k but I was told $20k by consultant) or equivalent in other currency, you can ask to be upgraded to World Partner status. Benefits are not clearly listed, but this is what I was told:

- 0.125% (min. US$ 20) is waived for outward telegraphic transfer
- 0.125% (min. US$ 10) is waived in lie of exchange. What does it mean? So Singapore is quite specific and when you send a bank wire in the same currency (other than SGD) as your bank account and there is no exchange rate applicable, you will be charged this fee.
- Foreign currency cash withdrawal fees are waived (normally 1.5% applies) - it is not stated in T&C but I hope the banking consultant knows what he says (I asked twice)
- 1 worldwide ATM withdrawal free of charge

If the foreign currency cash withdrawals are waived, then the idea with money changer might be worth considering.

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