Asean capital market regulators endorse roadmap to promote assets for sustainable investment

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 18): The Roadmap on Asean Sustainable Capital Markets to promote Asean asset classes for sustainable investment has been endorsed by the Asean Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) that met in Bangkok today.

The roadmap will now be proposed to the Asean Finance Ministers' Meeting in Chiang Rai for acknowledgment in April, the ACMF said in a statement today.

In line with Asean's theme on 'Advancing Partnership for Sustainability', the roadmap outlines key strategies and mechanisms to strengthen capital markets as a driving force for sustainable development. "It provides clear and concrete direction for moving the whole ecosystem involving issuers, investors, disclosure of information, development of indices, capacity building, and enhanced inter-agency coordination," said the ACMF.

The ACMF is a high-level grouping of capital market regulators from all 10 Asean jurisdictions, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The ACMF is currently chaired by Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission.

“The roadmap will reiterate the ACMF’s efforts to develop sustainable finance in the region which commenced with the Asean Green Bond Standards launched in 2017 followed by the Asean Social Bond Standards and Asean Sustainability Bond Standards launched in 2018,” it said.

So far, there have been nine ASEAN issuances under the standards from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, according to the ACMF.

At the meeting, the ACMF also launched a framework on cross-border publication of research reports to facilitate better information flow of Asean capital market products as part of its ongoing efforts to promote professional mobility and wider investor participation in Asean capital market products and services.

"Regulators from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand has signed today the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cross-border publication of research reports. Other ACMF members are expected to participate in due course.

“This MoU complements the cross-border movement of investment advisers under the 'ACMF Pass' initiative launched in 2018, allowing ASEAN investors greater access to professional services,” it said.

Meanwhile, a revised MoU on the Streamlined Review Framework for Asean Common Prospectus was also signed by Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to cover issuances of plain debt securities under a debt issuance programme.

"This is an extension of the existing streamlined review process, which caters for equities and one-off issuance of plain debt securities to allow issuers making cross-border offerings to achieve faster time to market and lower cost," ACMF said.

In addition, the ACMF has agreed to strengthen regional collaboration in the space of digital assets in view of growing interest and adoption, with a view towards addressing potential risks and ensuring market resilience.

“The ACMF commended significant progress made by the Philippines to join the ASEAN Collective Investment Scheme (ASEAN CIS) framework aimed at driving cross-border offerings of CIS across the region.

The ACMF members remain committed to collectively continue these efforts to build a holistic ecosystem for sustainable growth and create connectivity, inclusiveness and resilience of ASEAN capital markets,” the ACMF added.