By James A. Loyola
The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), together with its counterpart in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as the Monetary Authority of Singapore are allowing investment advisers easier access across borders.
In a statement, the SEC said they are among the first of the ASEAN securities regulators to participate in the ASEAN-led initiative to facilitate cross-border movement of investment advisers, which will allow ASEAN investors greater access to professional services.
This is one of two initiatives the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) launched in Singapore aimed at driving a more connected and sustainable ASEAN capital market.
“These initiatives complement the measures introduced by the ACMF on collective investment schemes, corporate governance, disclosure standards and capacity-building,” said the SEC.
The first phase of the ACMF Professional Mobility Framework is the introduction of the “ACMF Pass” which will allow licensed professionals to provide advisory services within participating ASEAN jurisdictions, with fast-track registration and no additional licensing requirements.
Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand are the first countries to participate in this initiative, to be followed by other countries in due course.
The four regulators signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday, at the 2nd ASEAN Capital Market Conference, an ACMF initiative hosted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The ACMF also continues to place emphasis on sustainable finance and launched the ASEAN Social Bond Standards (ASEAN SBS) and the ASEAN Sustainability Bond Standards (ASEAN SUS).
The introduction of the ASEAN SBS and ASEAN SUS follows from the ASEAN Green Bond Standards launched in November 2017. The ASEAN region now has a complete suite of standards to accelerate the development of sustainable finance in the region.
The standards are intended to enhance transparency, consistency and uniformity of ASEAN green, social and sustainability bonds, which will reduce due diligence cost and assist global investors to make informed investment decisions.
The ASEAN SBS were developed based on the International Capital Market Association (ICMA)’s Social Bond Principles while the ASEAN SUS were developed based on ICMA’s Sustainability Bond Guidelines.
The proceeds from social bonds are for financing projects that are socially beneficial, while the proceeds from sustainability bonds will be used to finance a combination of both green and social projects that respectively offer environmental and social benefits.