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NEWS UPDATES 21 August 2010

Asean exchanges to start cross-border trading

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Cross-border trading between the major exchanges in Asean could happen by the end of 2011, with infrastructure soon to be put in place.

This was confirmed by heads of Bursa Malaysia and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) at an industry conference in Singapore.

The Thai exchange added that it would also be launching an information board of the top 30 equities in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in the coming months to boost investor interest ahead of the launch.

Last year, stock exchange operators in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam) agreed to explore the possibility of enabling investors to trade stocks on each other's exchanges.

For a start, Bursa and SET told Channel NewsAsia they will begin putting the infrastructure in place for the Asean e-trading link.

The first link will be between Bursa and SET, followed by the Singapore Exchange.

Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are also expected to come onboard, but the time frame is unclear.

With the integration, investors will have access to an ASEAN bulletin board, where each of the countries will list their top 30 stocks on a cross-border trading platform.

The exchanges say the demand for such a system is strong.

Charamporn Jotikasthira, President, Stock Exchange of Thailand, said: "A couple of weeks ago we had a meeting with 20 Thai brokers and the Malaysian brokers and there's been quite a strong interest. The fact is that there's some compliments between the assets between each country.

Thailand has a lot of plantation, but unfortunately we don't have listed firms with plantations like Malaysia has, but on the other hand 25 percent of our market cap is in energy, whereas in Malaysia it's not, so if anyone wants to have any energy play or plantation play they have to go through cross-border and this would help."

The alliance was formed after Asean regulators agreed last year to create a road map to fully integrate the region's capital markets by 2015.

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