SGX signs regional pact for cross-border capital raising

The Singapore Exchange has joined market authorities in Malaysia and Thailand in signing an agreement to enable cross-border capital raising, part of a drive to develop economic linkages within Asean. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Singapore Exchange has joined market authorities in Malaysia and Thailand in signing an agreement to enable cross-border capital raising, part of a drive to develop economic linkages within Asean. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Securities market authorities from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand signed an agreement to enable cross-border capital raising, part of a drive to develop economic linkages within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

A joint statement issued on Tuesday by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) said offerings of equity securities or plain debt securities would be subject to a streamlined vetting process.

"Asean issuers will benefit from the streamlined review process that will make it easier to raise capital across Asean countries," Lee Boon Ngiap, assistant managing director of capital markets at MAS said in the statement.

Both the home and host authorities would have to complete the review process at the same time, within three to four months from the date of submission, and the prospectus for an offering should comply with Asean disclosure standards, it said.

Asean is notorious for its slow progress on joint initiatives, with critics calling for decision-making and institutional powers to be strengthened in order for the group of 10 members to better tap its potential.

Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are the first three jurisdictions to sign the agreement. Securities regulators elsewhere in Asean will participate when they are ready, the statement said.

In an interview with Reuters last month, SGX CEO Magnus Bocker had said he was looking to emulate the much-heralded Stock Connect link between Hong Kong and Shanghai by formally linking together Southeast Asian bourses, a move expected to provide an impetus to Singapore's beleaguered securities market.