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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                   19  September 2011

Philippines to join Asean stock link

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The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the participation of the Philippine Stock Exchange in a Southeast Asian cross-border trading platform.

The approval would pave the way for the regional trading of Philippine stocks as well as the entry of foreign-issued stocks into the local market.

SEC Secretary Gerard Lukban said in an interview that the corporate watchdog reviewed the implications of the upcoming regional trading scheme on regulatory functions and clarified certain issues.

"Since you would be dealing with foreign securities, one is the question of whether they would have to go through the same registration procedures as local issues. The Commission decided that they may be requested for exemption if PSE would file for exemptive relief in favor the shares of the participating companies," Lukban said.

The stock markets of four Southeast Asian nations-the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand-have made plans to integrate their stock markets to groom the regional bloc into a stronger magnet for global portfolio investment starting early next year.

The PSE, Bursa Malaysia (BM), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) are set to electronically interconnect the participating markets and facilitate cross border trading.

Based on the emerging framework for Asean trading, selected stocks representing each market's 30 biggest and most liquid issues would initially be brought for cross-border trading.

Lukban said it would thus be up to PSE to seek clearance for the foreign stocks to be brought to local shores on a case-by-case basis. "It should be based on the evaluation to be done by PSE," he said.

Another issue taken up by the SEC was whether it would require the regional trading link to be registered as an exchange. "The decision after evaluating it is that it's not an exchange. It's merely a platform that will facilitate trading on issues that are already registered and traded in other markets," Lukban said.



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