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Mr Lim, who is also MAS deputy chairman, said the survey sounded an alarm of 'a heightened level of risk in the macroeconomic and financial environment'. 'Most respondents believed that asset prices were frothy and that a big shock could happen.'

Survey respondents - many of whom are based in Singapore - also pointed to 'shock events' such as a terrorist attack or geopolitical instability that could disrupt markets.

They raised the danger of 'speculative liquidity', or floods of cash in search of investments, that has led to historically unprecedented asset prices. They pointed to new players such as hedge funds and private equity outfits, who hold sway in financial markets. Respondents spoke of these players as being 'highly leveraged' and holding 'large speculative positions'.