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Asean collective schemes for Thai retail investors

The Thai regulator has paved the way for cross-border ASEAN collective investment schemes to be sold to retail investors later this year, with the publication of a set of draft regulations.

Publication of the draft regulations by the Securities and Exchange Commission follows a recent agreement signed by the regulators of Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, to allow the sale of collective investment schemes (CIS) across borders.

The SEC said the ASEAN CIS to be offered to retail investors in Thailand must be approved by capital market regulators and should also be available to retail investors in other ASEAN member countries.

In addition, the SEC said schemes offered must adhere to the “common standards” set for qualifying CIS in terms of the eligibility requirements of CIS operators and fund supervisors, as well as investment requirements.  

Vorapol Socatiyanurak, SEC secretary-general said: “The SEC in 2012 issued regulations on the offering of ASEAN CIS to non-retail investors. This new regulation will be a codified set of new and existing regulations to accommodate both offerings to retail and non- retail investors.

“The greater extent of offering to retail investors will not only widen investment alternatives, but also expand business opportunities for the mutual fund operators and propel integrated regional capital markets.”

The initiative is expected to create a linkage among ASEAN capital markets and facilitate cross-border securities offerings, which “will boost the Thai and ASEAN capital markets’ competitive edge in the international arena”.

The ASEAN CIS will be offered through securities companies in Thailand and will have to comply with disclosure requirements on prospectuses, fact sheets and annual reports.

The Thailand regulator also said a local representative or representative office will be required for the purpose of general administration and cooperation such as publishing unit pricing, distributing reports to unitholders, and managing dispute resolutions.

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