Two announcements relating to economic integration of the region were made today by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) following recent meetings and forums of various member bodies of the organization. The member states of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam.
The heads of the ASEAN trading venues gathered at the “21st ASEAN Exchanges CEOs Meeting” to discuss new collaborative actions to promote ASEAN as an asset class for investors. The ASEAN Exchanges’ website provides information about each markets and an integrated view of the ASEAN market as a whole. The aim of the website is to allow investors to gain access to aggregated ASEAN market data and analytics, market performance of the seven ASEAN exchanges individually, broker research reports and Indices Weekly Report. The seven ASEAN Exchanges have a combined market capitalization of approximately $2.9 trillion and more than 3,600 companies listed on their exchanges.
Magnus Bocker, CEO of Singapore Exchange, commented: “The collaborative action amongst the ASEAN Exchanges has been a vital force in moving things forward to achieve our goals and this is most evident in the significant progress we have made over a relatively short period of time. Since the formalisation of ASEAN Exchanges in April 2011 by officially introducing ASEAN Exchanges website and until now, we have put in place the ASEAN Trading Link to connect our markets and, are able to also now provide streamlined, cost-effective post-trade procedures for cross-border transaction conducted via the ASEAN Trading Link. Each of the Exchange members has embarked on their own in-market engaging activities with the market players to market and create greater visibility of ASEAN products to investors.”
Cross-Border Investment Schemes
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The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (“ACMF”) also announced today that the ASEAN CIS Framework for cross-border offering of collective investment schemes (“CIS”) is now operational in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. This means that from now on retail investors in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia can buy and sell mutual funds issued in any of the three countries.
Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman of the Securities Commission Malaysia, said: “This is a step towards integration of ASEAN capital markets in line with the objectives of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015. ASEAN has one of the highest savings rates in the world which can be re-invested in the region to generate returns and contribute to the region’s future growth prospects. Under this initiative, investors and fund managers can benefit and leverage off one of the most dynamic regions of the world, with a combined GDP in excess of USD2.4 trillion.”
Mr. Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, commented: “Retail investors in ASEAN will benefit from an increase in the choice of funds for investment with the launch of the ASEAN CIS Framework. Fund managers in an ASEAN country will have a direct and efficient route to offer their funds to retail investors in other ASEAN countries. We look forward to the participation of more ASEAN jurisdictions in this framework over the coming years.”
Mr. Vorapol Socatiyanurak, SEC Thailand’s Secretary-General, said: “The implementation of the ASEAN CIS Framework will make a complete set of both the offering of ASEAN CIS to retail and non-retail investors, thereby opening the door for more business opportunities by the private sector and offer new range of products for investors to diversify their portfolios. This concrete outcome is another step towards achieving the vision of ASEAN Economic Community under the ACMF Implementation Plan”