KUALA LUMPUR: Capital markets regulators from Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore have jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a streamlined review framework for the Asean common prospectus, which plans to expedite the listing process and access to capital between the three countries.
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) signed the MoU with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Thailand and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) yesterday.
At the ceremony, SC chairman Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh said the signing of the MoU marks another milestone for the Asean Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) in promoting greater connectivity between member countries.
“This paves the way for greater cross-border fundraising opportunities for Asean issuers and signifies our continued commitment in the journey towards achieving more deeply connected capital markets in Asean,” he said.
With the signing of the MoU, the review of offer or listing applications and the registration of prospectuses will be synchronised among the signatory countries, with approvals for offers or listings and registration of prospectuses to be granted simultaneously.
The framework is expected to be implemented by the third quarter of 2015, together with the issuance of a handbook to provide guidance on various administrative and procedural matters.
Currently, five funds have already been approved as qualifying collective investment schemes (CIS), whereby two were approved by the SC and the remaining three by MAS. Ranjit added that one more fund is under review by the SEC.
These funds will be offered to retail investors in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Meanwhile, the Asean Capital Market Development Programme has also been endorsed by the ACMF, which aims to provide assistance for the individual and regional development of markets in Asean.
Ranjit said the other Asean member countries were also eager to participate, with two more countries expected to join as signatories of the framework by the end of this year, noting that Indonesia and the Philippines are already prepared to come onboard.
Looking ahead, the ACMF has approved the proposal for the ACMF Action Plan 2016-2020, focusing on the integration of markets in the region. This will be launched by the end of the year.
“Our focus will be in ensuring seamless access to capital and investments within a highly connected regional market,” said Ranjit.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on March 4, 2015.