Kuala Lumpur, 12 June 2009

Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand First to Implement ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), together with securities regulators in Singapore and Thailand, announced today that it has implemented the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme (the Scheme) for the cross-border offering of securities within ASEAN. Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are the first three ASEAN countries to put the Scheme into effect.

The Scheme, which was developed by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum, will facilitate multi-jurisdictional offerings of equity and debt securities in the region. Multi-jurisdictional offerings are the offering of securities by an issuer (who is either based in ASEAN or outside ASEAN) to more than one country within ASEAN.

The Scheme now enables issuers in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to comply with just one set of common disclosure standards (ASEAN Standards), with limited additional requirements prescribed by the respective jurisdictions (Plus Standards). Prior to this, issuers have to comply with different disclosure standards in the three markets.

The Scheme will further promote the integration of the ASEAN capital markets, facilitate greater efficiency in cross-border capital raising and provide cost savings to issuers making securities offerings beyond their domestic markets.

“The implementation of the Scheme is an important step towards creating a more efficient environment for access to capital across ASEAN. By allowing consistency of information in multi-jurisdictional offering documents, the Scheme will aid investors in making informed decisions and provide them with greater investment choices”, SC Chairman, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar said.

The ASEAN Standards are based on the standards on cross-border offerings developed by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The Standards also fully adopt the accounting and auditing standards of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Standards on Auditing (ISA).

The SC has adopted the ASEAN Standards through its Prospectus Guidelines – Equity and Debt (Prospectus Guidelines) published in May 2009. Issuers undertaking a cross-border offering to Malaysians are required to comply with the requirements of the Prospectus Guidelines.

A set of FAQs to facilitate the understanding of the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme is now available here .