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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     September 2,  2016  

ASEAN exchanges offer more investment options

THE establishment of linkages with the incoming Brunei stock exchange and other exchanges in the region will give more investment options to Bruneians.

In an interview, Ajay Kanwal, Standard Chartered Bank’s (SCB) Regional CEO for ASEAN and South Asia, said Brunei may want to look at forming these linkages in the medium or long term.

“Giving Bruneian businesses access to the markets is very positive,” he told The Brunei Times at the bank’s branch in Gadong.

With such linkages in place, he said businesses will be able to raise capital in other countries and not be limited in their own markets.

“Stock markets are important indicators of developing businesses. Businesses need equity and risk capital because not everything has to start up with a bank loan which is not the right answer to everything,” he said.

Although stocks are riskier than bank deposits, investors can expect higher returns while businesses benefit from having raised capital.

“So businesses need that capital and investors need that return but not every business will succeed and not every investor will get that return and that is the nature of the market,” he said.

A growing stock exchange will also bring other benefits by attracting international companies to be listed in the exchange.

Kanwal said that will expand investment opportunity, increase the capital base and pull in large companies into the region.

He said Asia has seen strong growth in terms of per capita gross domestic product.

“If you think about our part of the world, people are getting richer so there is a need for yield when it comes to investments,” he said.

As for the bank’s newly established investment subsidiary in Brunei, SC Securities (B) Sdn Bhd, he said the bank gives the latest investment advice to its clients through its established network and investment advisors.

SC Securities, which was launched last month, cements the global bank’s commitment to Brunei by providing more investment products to its local clients.

Brenda Low, CEO and managing director of SC Securities, said during the launch that financial planning, portfolio management and advisory services provided by the subsidiary will allow customers to spread their investment risks.

“Regular client investment profiling is carried out to ensure that changes, if any, in their risk appetite is taken note of to provide tailored solutions on their portfolios,” she said.

Low said the bank offers several investment products including unit trusts, bonds and notes, allowing clients to diversify their portfolio and manage their risk.

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By David Swartzentruber      

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