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Asean Affairs   5 April 2011

Asean bourse integration proceeds at rapid pace

By  David Swartzentruber

AseanAffairs     5 April 2011

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Although international cooperation is difficult in many areas, most notably in the climate change sector, the world of capital market integration is moving rapidly.

The latest venture to be reported is the possibility of Malaysia’s stock exchange, Bursa Malaysia, developing a platform with the London Stock Exchange for cross-trading shares listed on both exchanges.

At the end of last year it was announced that a preliminary agreement had been reached for the linkage of the exchanges of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to develop a common platform by the end of the year. The Philippines exchange may also sign on in this arrangement.

The force behind this integration is, of course, the high-speed electronic trading that now drives capital markets. More trades can be done faster and lumping bourses together just expedites the trades.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has its fingers in many pies as it continues to show dynamic leadership. Its Australian Stock Exchange merger is still in the works. The only obstacle would be the necessary approval from the Australian authorities.

In the West all eyes are on the possible takeover of the New York Stock Exchange. Nasdaq OMX and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) said April 1 that they would pay US$11.3 billion in cash and stock for the 219-year-old exchange operator. That bid follows up on an earlier bid by NYSE Euronext (NYX) win over the bid from Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1), which agreed in February to a merger valued at $9.26 billion.

Nasdaq has been pushing for a totally electronic trading exchange but observers say that the New York trading floor might be retained due to its historic and symbolic value. The New York Stock Exchange dates back to 1792.

The governments of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam will decide about the construction of the Xayaburi Dam on April 21. Will they give in to the short-term interests of a well-connected Thai corporation? Or will they listen to the voices of local communities and scientific experts?

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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