It has been announced that the Asean framework for cross-border collective investment schemes (CISs) is operational in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
The announcement, which was made at the Asean Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) yesterday, follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the CIS framework by the Securities Commission of Malaysia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last October.
The framework allows fund managers operating in a member jurisdiction to offer a CIS that is constituted and authorised in that jurisdiction to retail investors in other member jurisdictions under a streamlined authorisation process.
Qualified fund managers now have a direct and efficient channel for cross-border distribution of funds in these three markets.
The member jurisdictions have also published a handbook on Asean CISs that provides guidance to fund managers on various administrative and procedural matters including the application of procedures, the use of local distributors in the offering process, and the procedures for the remittance of funds.
The handbook is available for download at www.theacmf.org.
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 reinvested 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 US$2.4 trillion,” or nearly Bt77 trillion, he said.
Lee Boon Ngiap, the MAS’s assistant managing director for capital markets, 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.”
Vorapol Socatiyanurak, the SEC’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 offering a new range of products for investors to diversify their portfolios.
“This concrete outcome is another step towards achieving the vision of the Asean Economic Community under the ACMF implementation plan.”