Bangkok, 1 October 2013
The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (“ACMF”) announced today that the Securities Commission of Malaysia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to establish the ASEAN CIS Framework for cross-border offering of collective investment schemes (“CIS”).
The ASEAN CIS Framework is one of the initiatives undertaken by the ACMF as part of the regional capital market integration plan endorsed by the ASEAN Finance Ministers in 2009.
The Framework enables fund managers operating in a member jurisdiction to offer CIS constituted and authorised in that jurisdiction (“ASEAN CIS”) to retail investors in other member jurisdictions under a streamlined authorization process. The signatories to the MOU (the “Signatories”) are targeting to implement the Framework in the first half of 2014.
The Signatories have also agreed to adopt a set of common standards to govern the cross-border offering of ASEAN CIS. The common standards are designed to ensure that the fund managers who tap on the Framework have the necessary expertise and experience, and schemes offered under the Framework are managed based on industry best practices. More details on the common standards are found in the Annex.
The adoption of the common standards by the Signatories allows fund managers to establish a suite of CIS that can potentially be offered in all three jurisdictions, which is currently not possible. In addition, the Signatories are also committed to reviewing applications made under the Framework in streamlined manner. This means that fund managers will now have a direct and efficient channel to offer their schemes in member jurisdictions.
To facilitate the smooth operation of the Framework, the Signatories will issue a handbook in due course to provide guidance to fund managers on various administrative and procedural matters including the application procedures, the use of local distributors in the offering process, and the procedures for remittance of funds.
Separately, the signatories have also agreed to an arrangement to provide mutual assistance in relation to the supervision of cross-border offering of collective investment schemes to non-retail investors.
Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman of the Securities Commission Malaysia, said “The ACMF has achieved another significant milestone with the signing of the MoU, which is in line with the goal of promoting greater regional cross-border flows and to build brand recognition of ASEAN as an asset class. The Framework aims to create a more efficient environment to facilitate cross-border offerings of investment funds and brings us a step closer towards achieving an ASEAN passporting regime”.
Mr. Lee Chuan Teck, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets Group), MAS, said “The ASEAN CIS framework is a testament of ACMF’s commitment to achieve the vision of ASEAN Economic Community 2015. Singapore is pleased to participate in this exciting and important initiative which will further integrate ASEAN capital markets and improve the flow of funds products amongst the participating economies.”
Mr. Vorapol Socatiyanurak, SEC Thailand’s Secretary-General, said “the ACMF has made yet another big progress today. The SEC Thailand is delighted to be able to be among the first three jurisdictions that sign this MOU. This indicates our determination to bring efficiency to our market by enlarging investment opportunities for the investors while expanding business opportunities for the mutual fund operators.”
More information on the ACMF Implementation Plan and the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2015 can be found at http://www.theacmf.org/ACMF/webcontent.php?content_id=00014 and http://www.asean.org/5187-10.pdf.