What is the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme?

The ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme was developed as part of a harmonisation initiative by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) to facilitate cross-border offerings of securities within the ASEAN region.

The Scheme introduces two levels of standards, comprising a set of common ASEAN Standards, and a set of limited additional standards known as the Plus Standards. The ASEAN Standards are a set of common standards governing disclosures for plain1 equity and debt offerings and are based on standards on cross-border offerings set by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The Plus Standards are the respective additional standards that may be prescribed by the individual ASEAN jurisdictions where harmonisation is not yet possible due to their individual market practices, laws or regulations.

Further details of the Scheme are available on:



What is the purpose of having the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme?

The Scheme will benefit ASEAN and non-ASEAN issuers who make multi-jurisdiction offerings of plain equity and debt securities within ASEAN by increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Under the Scheme, when an issuer wishes to make a multi-jurisdiction offer of securities, the issuer needs to provide only a common set of disclosure documents based on the ASEAN Standards, together with the appropriate wrap-around for the Plus Standards, to investors in each jurisdiction.

For example, Malaysian issuers who undertake cross-border offerings in Singapore and Thailand would be required to provide a set of disclosure documents based on the ASEAN Standards to the investors in Singapore and Thailand, along with the wrap-around based on the Plus Standards of Singapore and Thailand.


Have all member countries of ASEAN implemented the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme?

The timeframe for the implementation of the Scheme depends on the readiness of each ASEAN member on an opt-in basis. As at 12 June 2009, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia have announced the implementation of the Scheme under their respective jurisdictions.


I would like to undertake a cross-border offering of securities in two jurisdictions that have implemented the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme. Is it sufficient that my prospectus comply with the disclosure requirements of the ASEAN Standards?

In addition to complying with the ASEAN Standards, which are the same set of rules applied to jurisdictions who adopted the Scheme (at present Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand), the issuer must also comply with the Plus Standards of the respective jurisdictions, and the prospectus registration procedures of these jurisdictions.

The issuance of securities may also be subject to other requirements from each jurisdiction. In this regard, the issuer would need to refer to the regulations and guidelines from the respective jurisdictions concerned.


The requirements of the Plus Standards in Country A are different from those in Country B. With which should my prospectus for a cross-border offering of securities comply?

Your prospectus must comply with all the disclosure requirements stipulated by each member country. If the standards differ on a particular item, the general rule is that the stricter requirement should apply. If different requirements apply on the same issue, the prospectus should comply with both requirements.


Will ACMF members eventually reduce the number of their respective Plus Standards?

Members of the ACMF have agreed to work towards reducing the number of Plus Standards over time so as to maximise the benefits of the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme to issuers. As such, it is envisaged that the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme will evolve and progress towards greater overall convergence of the disclosure standards in participating ASEAN jurisdictions.

Additional FAQs for Malaysia


How will the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme be operationalised in Malaysia?

The SC has incorporated the requirements of the ASEAN Standards as well as Malaysia’s Plus Standards in its new Prospectus Guidelines which was issued on 8 May 2009. An issuer wishing to publish an offering document in Malaysia should comply with the requirements of the Prospectus Guidelines. For ease of reference for issuers undertaking a multi-jurisdictional offering in Malaysia and other countries that have adopted the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme, a table identifying the corresponding requirements of the Prospectus Guidelines vis-à-vis the ASEAN Standards, as well as Malaysia’s Plus Standards, has been included in Practice Note 2 of the Prospectus Guidelines.


The Prospectus Guidelines will only be effective on 3 August 2009. I wish to issue my multi-jurisdictional prospectus, which complied with the ASEAN Standards, before then. How should I proceed?

Although the new Prospectus Guidelines are not yet effective, the SC would be willing to consider registering an offering document which incorporates the additional disclosure requirements imposed by the ASEAN Standards (via the requirements of the new Prospectus Guidelines). If, however, the issuer wishes to take advantage of any flexibility accorded by the new Prospectus Guidelines, a waiver application will have to be made, which will be considered by the SC on a case-to-case basis.


Is the ASEAN Standards for Debt Offerings also incorporated in the Prospectus Guidelines?

The ASEAN Standards for Debt Offerings have been incorporated in the Prospectus Guidelines. Currently, there is no existing Prospectus Guidelines dedicated solely for the offering and listing of debt securities.

It is important to note that the issuer is still required to fully comply with the disclosure requirements set out in the Prospectus Guidelines issued by the SC for registration in Malaysia. Should there be a variation between disclosure requirements set by the Prospectus Guidelines as compared to the ASEAN Debt Securities Disclosure Standards the SC is willing to consider waiver application by the issuer from complying with such disclosure requirements as prescribed under the Prospectus Guidelines.

1 The Scheme will apply to offers of shares and plain-vanilla debt securities only. It will not apply to:

(i) Options, warrants or any other rights or interests in shares or debt securities; or

(ii) Debt securities that are not plain-vanilla.