Wednesday September 19, 2012
Asean Exchanges launched
By THOMAS HUONG
It will create more investment opportunities across the region
KUALA LUMPUR: The Asean Exchanges trading link, which connects the local bourse with Singapore Exchange (SGX), will benefit retail investors and brokers, said Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Tajuddin Atan.
“Trading in Asean just got easier. It aims to create more investment opportunities across the region and spur greater liquidity in Asean capital markets.
“Also, it is a business-to-business gateway for brokers to offer their clients the full range of investment opportunities provided by the connected Asean Exchanges,” he said at the roll-out of the trading link that went “live”.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand is due to be connected to the Asean trading link by mid-October.
Tajuddin said the three markets Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand jointly offer nearly 3,000 listed companies with a market capitalisation of US$1.4 trillion (RM4.3 trillion).
“Together they account for some 70% of the total market capitalisation of Asean,” he said.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand president Charamporn Jotikasthira said “there are 16 brokers from Thailand waiting to come online next month.”
Another 15 brokers from across Malaysia and Singapore have joined the Asean trading link. They are A. A. Anthony Securities Sdn Bhd, Affin Investment Bank Bhd, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, HwangDBS Investment Bank Bhd, Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd.
The others are OSK Investment Bank Bhd, RHB Investment Bank Bhd, CIMB Securities (S) Pte Ltd, DMG & Partners Securities Pte Ltd, Lim & Tan Securities Pte Ltd, Maybank Kim Eng Securities Pte Ltd, Phillip Securities Pte Ltd and UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd.
Asean Exchanges is a collaboration between seven bourses from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
SGX chief executive officer Magnus Bocker said the roll-out of the trading link was successful, with trading going both ways (between Malaysia and Singapore) as soon as the markets opened.
Bocker said the participation of individual Asean markets through the trading link would help the region compete with bigger markets and economies.
“As capital flows to and within this region increases, companies benefit from deeper liquidity pools to finance business expansion. Investors will also gain from access to more investment opportunities. In short, this is a win-win situation for all market participants.”
On the remaining Asean exchanges that are not in the trading link, Bocker said there was no specific timeframe for them to join.
“They want to participate but it is a question of not only bringing technology together we also need to have investor and regulatory readiness. There are many things that need to come together. We cannot tell you which will be the next market to be connected but rest assured, they will come,” he said.
Bocker also said the connected exchanges would need to start looking at “how we can make it much easier and better for our brokers when it comes to clearing, settlement and depository of the stocks.”
Mercury Securities managing director Chew Sing Guan said the roll-out of the trading link opened possibilities for brokers to grow and tap into Asean opportunities.
“Asean is still very much a growth story where the action is and we want to be able to tap into the abundant growth opportunities.
“The trading link provides brokerages such as ours the much-desired ease of market access to grow our foreign clientele base without the hassle and cost of expansion into other markets,” said Chew in a statement.
The roll-out of the trading link was officiated by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai. Also present were Bursa Malaysia chairman Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah and Malaysian ambassador to Vietnam Datuk Azmil Zabidi.