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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  22 October  2015  

AMBD: Financial sector to contribute more towards GDP

THE financial sector’s contribution towards Brunei’s gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted to rise by up to eight per cent, a senior official from Brunei’s central bank said the day before yesterday.

“Under Wawasan 2035 (National Vision 2035), I believe the financial services sector plays an integral role where we envisage a rise to eight per cent in the sector’s contribution to Brunei’s GDP within the next 20 years,” said Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Othman, Deputy Chairman of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD).

In his speech at the 11th Annual Brunei Darussalam Roundtable 2015, YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi, who is also the minister of development, noted the enactment of the Securities Market Order in 2013 and the Securities Markets Regulations as achievements for Brunei’s vision to develop its own capital market.

He added that with the future establishment of a stock exchange, it is expected to also enhance the contribution of the financial sector to local GDP.

Apart from that, there has also been progress in boosting the level of financial literacy in the country and improving protection for investors, he said.

On a regional level, YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said that ASEAN continues to make “great strides” to develop its capital markets with regulatory frameworks being strengthened for the development of the bond market.

“There have also been ongoing efforts to promote the region as an asset class which undoubtedly will provide positive spillovers to Brunei, particularly for our own bond market development,” he said at the Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday.

Globally, he noted that the market for sukuk or Islamic bonds is still on an “upward trajectory” despite reductions in issuances caused by volatility in the financial, commodities and exchange markets.

He said that the global financial market faces “unprecedented turmoil and volatility” across many asset classes as commodity prices tumble and exchange rates fluctuate, resulting in impact for the sukuk market.

Recent estimates point towards a reduction below US$100 billion in total sukuk issuances this year, having been affected by global financial volatility.

“Despite that, experts still believe that the future of the market will still be on an upward trajectory based on current interests to issue sukuk from sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns and some corporate sectors.”

AMBD Managing Director Yusof Hj Abd Rahman, said that the event’s theme of ‘Generating and Sustaining Growth’ signifies the increasing need to address market volatilities and for policymakers to play their role in sustaining growth in the financial markets.

He said that long-term policy directions are needed to feed through the economy and then to financial markets.

In a press release, AMBD said that 150 local and foreign participants including government officials, industry players and financial regulators attended the event.

The seminar provides an avenue for local and regional financial regulators and industry players to share ideas and information on investment strategies in Asia, financial market infrastructure and prospects in ASEAN. It also covered sessions on topics such as hedge funds, emergence of Chinese asset class and global markets.

The event was jointly organised by trade publication Asia Asset Management Hong Kong and the Centre for Islamic Banking, Finance and Management (CIBFM) and supported by AMBD.

Also present was Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office together with other members of the AMBD Board of Directors, Permanent Secretaries and other senior officials from government and financial institutions.

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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.

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