Posted inRegulation

Five funds approved ASEAN passporting initiative

Regulators have approved five funds for participation in the cross-border ASEAN fund passport initiative.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Securities Commission in Malaysia have approved the funds while the Securities and Exchange Commission in Thailand is still reviewing one fund application, the regulators said.

The Securities Commission of Malaysia told FSA that the CIMB-Principal ASEAN Total Return Fund and Maybank Bosera Greater China ASEAN Equity-I Fund were approved.

FSA contacted the MAS for the names of the other three products, but they did not respond in time for publication.

By receiving a passport, the funds are permitted to be offered to retail investors in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the regulators said at the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum yesterday.

The ASEAN cross-border framework went live in August. 

Nikko Asset Management in October said it has received the permission from the Singapore regulator to offer its Singapore Dividend Equity Fund in Malaysia with Affin Hwang Asset Management, subject to regulatory approval from the host country.

In a separate cross-border fund initiative, the working group of the Asia Region Funds Passport earlier this week announced that they had developed a set of draft rules.

Efficient fundraising

The approval for the five funds was announced along with a new initiative, which is aimed at enhancing ASEAN’s attractiveness as a fund-raising centre. 

The Streamlined Review Framework initiative is expected to be implemented by the third quarter of 2015.

Issuers planning to offer or list equity or plain debt securities can now expect a shorter time-to-market and faster access to capital across signatory countries through this process.

The framework requires both home and host authorities to complete the review process at the same time, which is within three-to-four months from the date of submission. 

“This will enhance market efficiency as the time taken for the issuer to obtain approval to offer its securities in multiple jurisdictions would be shortened, providing more certainty to the issuer in terms of the time-to-market,” the MAS said.

Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are the first three jurisdictions to sign the pact, whereas securities regulators in other ASEAN jurisdictions will participate when they are ready, the MAS added.  

“The MOU represents another progressive step towards regional capital markets integration. ASEAN issuers will benefit from the streamlined review process that will make it easier to raise capital across ASEAN countries,” said Lee Boon Ngiap, assistant managing director (capital markets) at MAS.


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