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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     August 26,  2016  

Local banks prepare for establishment of capital markets

BRUNEI has seen some new developments with regards to capital markets since the implementation of guidelines for the Securities Market Order (SMO) by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) in February this year.

In a 2015 statement to global news agency Reuters, AMBD said it is planning to have a stock market operational as early as 2017.

Even as work is underway by regulators to establish a local securities exchange, the banking sector has launched initiatives to help in building the sultanate’s capital markets.

Standard Chartered Bank recently opened its investment subsidiary Standard Chartered Securities (B) Sdn Bhd (SC Securities), boosting its investment offerings to local clients.

Nirukt Sapru, Standard Chartered’s CEO for Vietnam, ASEAN and South Asia Cluster Markets, said the bank has invested $2.2 million for the subsidiary’s establishment in Brunei.

The subsidiary’s opening is also in line with the the bank’s plan to expand its wealth management business and to conform to the SMO which was implemented in July 2013.

Rino Donosepoetro, outgoing CEO of SCB Brunei and Executive Director of SC Securities, said the subsidiary’s launch signifies how important the Brunei market is to the banking group.

“We will continue to invest in the country as we believe that there is further room for growth,” he said during the launch of the subsidiary.

Baiduri Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Baiduri Bank Bhd, launched its online trading platform in June 2015, giving clients the opportunity to invest in the Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong exchanges. A few monthslater, Baiduri Capital has offered a platform that will allow local investors to trade in the US stock markets, namely the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the NYSE MKT.

Baiduri Bank CEO Pierre Imhof said the US stock markets are the largest in the world in terms of market capitalisation and are sizeable in terms of their accessibility, transparency and liquidity.

The increased breadth of offerings will also attract more new clients to the trading platform and give investors more room to diversify their portfolio.

Baiduri Capital’s online stock trading platform seeks to familiarise Bruneians with securities investment ahead the establishment of a stock exchange. Imhof said the trading platform has received a lot of interest from younger customers who are internet-savvy and keen to explore other forms of investment.

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