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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        23  February 2011

Asean 40 ETF fund targets Asean

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Global X Funds, a New York-based provider of exchange traded funds, has launched the Global X FTSE Asean 40 ETF, the first fund listed in the United States to target Asean.

"We are pleased to provide access to the Asean market for US investors," chief executive officer Bruno del Ama said.

"This is one of the most dynamic regions in the world with accelerating consumer demand that should develop a middle class of about 300 million people by 2015," he said.

Southeast Asian nations have profited from considerable growth and a combined market capitalisation of US$1.75 trillion (Bt53.6 trillion) in 2010, larger than that of both India and Brazil.

The fund allows investors to tap into the economic integration in the region, which has contributed to the 111percent rise in merger and acquisition deals between Asean companies to $53.7 billion.

To aid integration, there is a planned cross-border trading platform scheduled for this year, which includes the stock exchanges in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. The region enjoys a stronger relationship with China, as the Asian giant seeks to develop the China-Asean Free Trade Area, as well as an increase in imports from Asean, which increased by nearly 45 per cent last year.

The Global X FTSE Asean 40 ETF seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the FTSE/Asean 40 Index.

The FTSE/Asean 40 Index tracks the performance of the 40 largest companies in five of the 10 Asean countries - Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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