Singapore (VNA) – The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF), which met in Singapore on October 11, launched two key initiatives to drive 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.

The ACMF launched a framework to facilitate cross-border movement of investment advisers, which will allow ASEAN investors greater access to professional services. The ACMF Professional Mobility Framework will introduce “ACMF Pass”, allowing 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 join this initiative, to be followed by other countries in due course.

The ACMF continued to place emphasis on sustainable finance by launching 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 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.

According to ACMF Chairman Ranjit Ajit Singh, 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 in making informed investment decisions.

The ASEAN SBS were developed based on the International Capital Market Association (ICMA)’s Social Bond Principles while the ASEAN SUS based on ICMA’s Sustainability Bond Guidelines. The proceeds from social bonds are for financing projects that are socially beneficial, while those from sustainability bonds will be used to finance a combination of both green and social projects that respectively offer environmental and social benefits.

As an ACMF member, Vietnam has been making efforts to amend and harmonize rules and regulations to achieve greater integration into the regional capital market. The State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SCC) will soon review legal provisions related to capital market and green bonds to create a local market uniformed and connected with others in the region, said SCC Vice Chairman Pham Hong Son.

The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) is a forum which comprises capital market regulators from 10 ASEAN jurisdictions, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The ACMF conference delivers a platform for capital market regulators to exchange ideas, share insights, and collaborate amongst themselves and with industry experts to formulate action plans to drive the region’s agenda for deeper and more connected capital markets.

The 2nd conference was held in Singapore under the theme “Sustainability and Connectivity”. It was attended by over 300 participants from the region, ranging from asset owners, fund managers, market analysts and other stakeholders in the financial industry. In keeping with the Conference’s theme, panel sessions discussed sustainable financing, ASEAN capital markets connectivity, infrastructure financing as well as financing ASEAN SMEs and start-ups. –VNA