ASEAN Exchanges, a collaboration of the seven stock exchanges of ASEAN, announced Sep 18 the rollout of the much-awaited ASEAN Trading Link that went ‘live’ connecting Bursa Malaysia and Singapore Exchange.
The launch was officiated by YB Senator Dato’ Ir. Donald Lim, Deputy Finance Minister of Malaysia together with YBhg Tun Mohammed Dzaiddin Hj Abdullah, Chairman of Bursa Malaysia, Dato’ Tajuddin Atan, Chief Executive Officer of Bursa Malaysia and Mr. Magnus Bocker, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Exchange.
In his speech, Dato’ Tajuddin Atan expressed the significance of the ASEAN Trading Link in promoting the growth of the ASEAN capital market:
“The ASEAN Trading Link marks the first key milestone for ASEAN Exchanges towards breaking down the barriers to cross-border trade in ASEAN. The ASEAN Trading Link is an excellent conduit to tap the region’s growth opportunities as it allows investors an easy access to a wider investment selection across the connected markets.”
Malaysia and Singapore are the first two connected markets in ASEAN while it was confirmed at the launch that Thailand will be next when The Stock Exchange of Thailand connects on the ASEAN Trading Link next month.
Dato’ Tajuddin also said, “The three markets, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, serve as the foundation of the ASEAN Trading Link providing a single entry-point access to three of the largest stock markets of the ASEAN Exchanges collaboration. Jointly these three markets offer nearly 3,000 listed companies with a market capitalisation of USD1.4 trillion. Together they account for some 70% of the total market capitalisation of ASEAN.”
Mr Magnus Bocker, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Exchange, said: “The participation of individual ASEAN markets through the ASEAN Trading Link will 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.”
“Over the longer term, with the ASEAN Trading Link in place beginning with Bursa Malaysia and SGX, more international investors can leverage the easier access to ASEAN and its many opportunities.”
To date, 31 Brokers from across Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, have already joined the ASEAN Trading Link signalling a positive start to the rollout. The Pioneer Broker Partners from Malaysia and Singapore were unveiled at the launch: 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, Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd, OSK Investment Bank Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd, CIMB Securities
(Singapore) 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.
“Importantly, we are pleased to have the commitment of two of ASEAN’s leading investment banks, namely CIMB Investment Bank and Maybank Investment Bank, as this sends out a strong message that the large market players are certainly on board and view the ASEAN Trading Link as a veritable tool to grow their business across ASEAN and ultimately, bring greater liquidity in to the ASEAN capital market. Inevitably, our listed companies would also benefit from greater international exposure to regional investors and increased liquidity”, explained Dato’ Tajuddin.
With the launch of the ASEAN Trading Link, Brokers of participating exchanges will now seamlessly be able to trade shares on other participating markets. What this means is that investors will now be able to buy and sell shares across the connected ASEAN markets of Malaysia, Singapore and soon Thailand through their broker as easily as investing in their home-country stock exchange.
Mr. Chew Sing Guan, Managing Director, Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd, applauded the rollout of the ASEAN Trading Link as opening up the possibility 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 from the various ASEAN markets. ASEAN Trading Link provides Brokerage firms such as ours the much desired ease of market access to grow our foreign clients base without the hassle and cost of expansion into other markets”, said Mr. Chew.
The ASEAN Trading Link runs on SunGard’s trading technology, which is aimed at reducing business cost and improving trading connectivity. Nasser Khodri, Managing Director of SunGard’s capital markets business in Asia Pacific, said, “The ASEAN Trading Link will help address increasing demand for cross-border investment. SunGard’s proven solutions and deep knowledge of the ASEAN region is helping both ASEAN and international investors to easily trade on the connected exchanges.”
Dato’ Tajuddin also shared other efforts by ASEAN Exchanges to promote ASEAN as an asset class, stating, “The emergence of ASEAN as a recognised asset class is already happening. Currently there are two indices developed by FTSE that track the performance of ASEAN’s leading companies. These two indices are the FTSE/ASEAN Index and the more concentrated FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index and the number of such ASEAN-focused investment products is only likely to grow.”
The FTSE indices provide an important benchmark for the creation of ASEAN-centric investment products. The first such product, the Global X FTSE/ASEAN 40 exchange traded fund (ETF) was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in February 2011.
ASEAN Exchanges provides an easily identifiable reference for investors in the form of the ASEAN Stars. The ASEAN Stars comprise 180 ASEAN blue-chip stocks representing the 30 most exciting companies of each ASEAN country, as ranked by investability in terms of market capitalisation and liquidity.
The ASEAN Exchanges website – www.aseanexchanges.org is also being enhanced with new features to allow investors to view ASEAN capital market as an asset class. The enhanced website to be launched soon will showcase unique and dynamic aggregated content on
ASEAN investment opportunities which allows investors to view market performance of the seven different ASEAN exchanges including FTSE/ASEAN40, Heat Map on the Top 30 ASEAN Stars and a one-click access to ASEAN Stars company analysis, market research, commentary, FTSE analytics weekly round-up of markets as well as news updates.