Kuala Lumpur, 25 August 2014
ASEAN capital market regulators launch framework for the cross-border offering of CIS

The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) announced today that the ASEAN Framework for cross-border offering of collective investment schemes (CIS) is now operational in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (member jurisdictions).

This Framework allows fund managers operating in a member jurisdiction to offer CIS, such as unit trust funds, constituted and authorised in that jurisdiction to retail investors in other member jurisdictions under a streamlined authorisation process.

Within this Framework, qualified fund managers in Malaysia now have the opportunity to offer their products directly to investors in Singapore and Thailand. Correspondingly, Malaysian investors would benefit from a wider range of investment products that will be made available following the operationalisation of the Framework.

The announcement follows the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the ASEAN CIS Framework by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand (SEC Thailand) in October 2013.

Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman of the Securities Commission Malaysia, said “This is a step towards the 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.” he added.

Mr. Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), MAS, said “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.”

The member jurisdictions have also published the Handbook for CIS Operators of ASEAN CISs, which provides guidance to fund managers on various administrative and procedural matters including application procedures, the use of local distributors in the offering process, and the procedures for remittance of funds. The Handbook is available for download at http://www.theacmf.org/ACMF/upload/asean_cis_handbook.pdf.

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; http://www.asean.org/archive/5187-10.pdf.