ASEAN Capital Markets Forum
The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) was established under auspices of the ASEAN Finance Ministers in 2004 to act as a forum for the heads of securities regulators in the ASEAN region to discuss policy issues relating to capital market development. The SC plays a key role in the ACMF, including having chaired the forum for three years from February 2006 – August 2008.
ASEAN Disclosure Standards Scheme
Securities regulators in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand jointly announced on 1 April 2013 the implementation of the ASEAN Disclosure Standards Scheme (Scheme) to facilitate multi-jurisdiction offerings of equity and plain debt securities in ASEAN.
Under the Scheme, an issuer wishing to make a multi-jurisdiction offering in Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand needs to comply with only a single set of disclosure standards for prospectuses which can then be submitted for approval to be used in these jurisdictions.
The ASEAN Disclosure Standards Scheme is one of the capital market initiatives undertaken by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) as part of the regional capital market integration plan endorsed by the ASEAN Finance Ministers in April 2009. The implementation of the Scheme signifies the ACMF’s commitment in creating an enabling environment for regional integration, to achieve the objectives of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2015.
The SC has adopted the Scheme through its Prospectus Guidelines. Issuers undertaking a cross-border offering in Malaysia are required to comply with the requirements of the Prospectus Guidelines.
Further information on the ASEAN Disclosure Standards Scheme is available here. Details on the implementation of the Scheme can be found on the website of the ACMF at www.theacmf.org.
ACMF Implementation Plan to Promote the Development of an Integrated Capital Market
The ASEAN Finance Ministers endorsed the ACMF’s Implementation Plan to promote the development of an integrated capital market to achieve the objectives of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2015 (Implementation Plan) at its meeting in Thailand on 9 April 2009. The Implementation Plan seeks to achieve the goals of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2015 by offering a comprehensive set of strategic initiatives and formulating specific implementation actions and milestones. The initiatives cover three broad themes:
|a.||Creating an Enabling Environment for Regional Integration;|
|b.||Creating the Market Infrastructure and Regionally Focused Products and Intermediaries; and|
|c.||Strengthening the Implementation Process.|
Under each of the above themes, several strategic components have been identified and developed through a series of consultative meetings organised under the ADB regional technical assistance programme. The development of the Implementation Plan was guided and overseen by a Group of Experts appointed by the ACMF. Capital market experts from the private sector also provided technical input towards the development of the Plan.
The Implementation Plan envisages three distinct phases (2009-2010, 2011-2012, and 2013-2015). The core strategy of the Plan is a mutual recognition and harmonisation process of expanding scope and country coverage. The initial phases of the Plan focus on establishing bilateral arrangements, and subsequently moving towards multilateral arrangements as more ASEAN countries become ready to opt-in. Further, the Plan focuses on liberalisation initiatives for non-retail investors first, with subsequent opening up to retail investors, complemented by an enhanced investor protection regime. The Implementation Plan is available here (pdf format).
ASEAN Finance Ministers’ process
The SC plays significant role in supporting the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ process. The SC is a member of the various ASEAN Working Committees, namely the Working Committee on Capital Market Development (WC-CMD) and the Working Committee on Financial Services Liberalization (WC-FSL). The WC-CMD is tasked to achieve the overall objective of the Roadmap on ASEAN capital market development; that is to develop deep financial markets and achieve cross-border collaboration among ASEAN capital markets. The WC-FSL is mandated to facilitate the negotiations of financial services liberalization under the ASEAN Framework of Agreement on Services (AFAS), as well as providing facilitation of financial services liberalization by ASEAN with its dialogue partners.
The SC, together with Ministry of Finance Malaysia, currently chair the ASEAN Infrastructure Financing Mechanism (AIFM) taskforce. This taskforce is mandated to create a facilitative environment for infrastructure financing in the region, through promoting best practices in infrastructure development, creating an enabling framework, building regional private sector capacity and markets to enhance risk intermediation for infrastructure financing.
ASEAN + 3 Finance Ministers’ Process
The SC also plays a major role in the ASEAN + 3 Finance Ministers’ process, by participating actively in the Asian Bond Markets Initiatives (ABMI). The ABMI initiative, which was endorsed by the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers in August 2004, aimed at fostering the development of regional bond markets, to effectively channel regional savings fore regional investments, and prevent maturity and currency mismatches that contributed to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Towards furthering the development of liquid and well-functioning bond markets and the effective channelling of the region’s abundant savings for the increased investment needs, a new ABMI Roadmap was developed and endorsed by the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers in May 2008. Four taskforces were established to look into the following:
|I||Promoting the issuance of local currency-denominated bonds;|
|II||Facilitating the demand for local currency-denominated bonds;|
|III||Improving the regulatory framework; and|
|IV||Improving the related infrastructure for bond markets.|
The SC currently chairs the Taskforce III that looks into strengthening the regulatory and supervisory framework for bond markets, facilitating collaboration among securities dealers associations and SRO in the region, improving bankruptcy procedures related to bond transactions and promoting application of international accounting and auditing standards.