New Straits Times
‘INFO HUB WILL DEEPEN ASEAN CAPITAL MARKETS’
Comprehensive research point needed to enable investors to find information, says SC chairman
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.”