Kuala Lumpur, 7 December 2006

Malaysia leads initiative on infrastructure bond financing – SC and MOF Japan co-host bond market workshop

Malaysia shared its experience with regional policymakers in tapping the domestic bond market for infrastructure financing at the Asian Bond Market Initiative (ABMI) Technical Assistance Workshop that was held in Kuala Lumpur today. The workshop was co-hosted by the Securities Commission (SC) and the Ministry of Finance Japan .

The closed-door workshop, themed “Infrastructure Financing: Catalyst for Cross-Border Bond Issuance”, was opened by the Minister of Finance II, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

The SC Chairman, Dato’ Zarinah Anwar in her welcome remarks highlighted that the objective of this year’s workshop is to promote the ABMI agenda on developing cross-border bond issuances for regional infrastructure financing. The SC is the co-chair of the Technical Assistance Coordination Team (TACT), one of the five working groups endorsed by ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers to promote the objectives of ABMI.

The two-day workshop, which presented speakers from the public and private sectors of the region, was attended by over 40 senior government officials from the ASEAN+3 countries, and representatives from the Asian Development Bank and major investment banks in the region.

Among others, participants shared their relevant experiences in developing infrastructure bond markets and explored a wide range of viable mechanisms for cross-border issuance of infrastructure bonds, in particular where long-term funds could be raised in the region’s more developed bond markets to meet investment needs of other member countries.

Malaysia , for instance, has liberalised its regulatory framework to facilitate issuance of bonds in Malaysia by foreign governments, agencies of foreign governments and multinational companies.

The workshop, held under the auspices of ABMI, formed part of the efforts undertaken by ASEAN+3 countr ies to enhance regional co-operation in mobilising Asian savings for Asian investments.