‘INFO HUB WILL DEEPEN ASEAN CAP­I­TAL MAR­KETS’

Com­pre­hen­sive re­search point needed to en­able in­vestors to find in­for­ma­tion, says SC chair­man

New Straits Times - - News / Business - LIDIANA ROSLI KUALA LUMPUR [email protected]

THE Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sion has called for the cre­ation of an Asean Mar­kets In­for­ma­tion Hub (AMIH) to deepen the re­gion’s cap­i­tal mar­kets.

Ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Tan Sri Ran­jit Ajit Singh said a num­ber of is­sues stood in the way of to­tal Asean cap­i­tal mar­ket in­te­gra­tion and the lack of in­for­ma­tion was a big por­tion of that.

“We need to bring to­gether AMIH, where reg­u­la­tors and the in­dus­try put to­gether re­search and in­for­ma­tion of their cap­i­tal mar­kets and big cor­po­rates,” he said at the CIMB Asean Re­search In­sti­tute Asean Roundtable Se­ries, here, yes­ter­day. “There should be in­for­ma­tion on on­go­ing tax­a­tion poli­cies so that in­vestors will have a com­pre­hen­sive re­search point to nav­i­gate from.”

The for­ma­tion of AMIH, said Ran­jit, could be spear­headed by a few key play­ers from Asean mem­bers, adding that CIMB Group could lead the way for Malaysia.

CIMB Group chair­man Datuk Seri Nazir Razak had ear­lier put for­ward the idea for the cre­ation of an Asean Cap­i­tal Mar­kets Vir­tual Board, which could out­line mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion and other in­for­ma­tion of the best-per­form­ing cor­po­rates in the re­gion.

“This Vir­tual Board would be able to give in­for­ma­tion on things like stock prices, cur­rent in­vestors and the ben­e­fits that could be gained in in­vest­ing in these com­pa­nies and coun­tries. It should also be able to give com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion on in­ter­bor­der tax­a­tion is­sues, which are a ma­jor hur­dle to in­vestors.”

“The Vir­tual Board would be use­ful to fur­ther pro­mote in­terAsean trad­ing, as well as be­yond it,” he said.

Nazir is also of the opin­ion that Asean as a whole needs to fo­cus more on sub­stan­tive real ob­sta­cles to in­tra-Asean cap­i­tal flows rather than the “lofty” dream of fully in­te­grated cap­i­tal mar­kets.

“Asean needs to step up its ef­forts to pro­mote in­tra-Asean in­vest­ment as most Asean in­vestors tend to in­stinc­tively look at devel­oped mar­kets for di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion,” he said.

“It is, there­fore, im­por­tant for Asean to fo­cus on sub­stan­tive real ob­sta­cles to in­tra-Asean cap­i­tal flows in debt and eq­uity mar­kets, such as with­hold­ing taxes and set­tle­ment pro­cesses and not just high-pro­file and eas­ier ini­tia­tives.”

PIC BY SAIRIEN NAFIS

(From left) Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sion ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Tan Sri Ran­jit Ajit Singh, CIMB Asean Re­search In­sti­tute (CARI) chair­man Tan Sri Mu­nir Ma­jid and CIMB Group chair­man Datuk Seri Nazir Razak at the CARI Asean Roundtable Se­ries in Kuala Lumpur...

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