ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
SET named “Best Sustainable Securities Exchange Southeast Asia Emerging Markets 2017”
Bangkok, June 29, 2017 – The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) affirms its leading role in sustainable development in the region with the “Best Sustainable Securities Exchange SoutheastAsia Emerging Markets 2017” award by the London-based magazine Capital Finance International (CFI.co). This affirms the outstanding performance in sustainable development in the region and reflects SET’s determination in propelling the growth of the capital market, economy, society and entire nation sustainably.
SET President Kesara Manchusree emphasized that coupling with its outstanding quantitative performance, under ‘To Make the Capital Market Work for Everyone’ vision, SET has also implemented sustainability development in all aspects of operation to create positive impact on the economy, society and the environment at every turn. Sustainability is key to SET which has been the first exchange in ASEAN joining the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative. SET has launched initiatives to boost financial literacy, savings and investment planning among investors, students and general public; undertaking of environmental, social and governance or ESG practices among listed companies; as well as various projects on community and social development towards sustainability.
“SET’s sustainability projects have rendered concrete results. Fourteen listed companies are included in DJSI, the highest number in ASEAN. In corporate governance, SET has continuously received the highest ASEAN CG Scorecard. As many as 30 listed companies are among the 78 companies constituting the FTSE4Good ASEAN5 Index. In addition, 14 awards, out of 24 awards, for outstanding investor relations or IR awards have been granted to Thai listed companies. We will treasure this prestigious CFI.co’s ‘Best Sustainable Securities Exchange Southeast Asia Emerging Markets 2017’ Award as a motivation to keep on moving and synergize with all parties in the capital market. Most importantly, the award reflects the Thai capital market’s quality and potential, with performance that shines at regional and international levels,” added Kesara.
CFI.co is a print journal and online resource reporting on business, economics and finance. Headquartered in London, the journal addresses economic, political and business factors affecting emerging markets and helps to identify regions, industry sectors and companies that will succeed. To inspire others to further improve their own performance, the awards are based on opinion surveys of readers and a distinguished judging panel.
MAS Streamlines Framework for Banks Carrying On Permissible Non-financial Businesses
Singapore, 27 June 2017… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it will streamline the regulatory requirements for banks seeking to conduct or invest in permissible non-financial businesses. In a speech at the 44th Annual Dinner of The Association of Banks in Singapore, Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance, said that these will be businesses that are related or complementary to banks’ core financial businesses.
2. The regulatory framework separating banks’ financial and non-financial businesses (“anti-commingling framework”) was introduced in 2001 to ensure that banks remained focused on their core businesses and competencies. The banking landscape has evolved considerably since then. Technological advancements have created opportunities for banks to provide customers with integrated financial and related non-financial services through digital platforms. The proposed measures by MAS will give banks more flexibility to serve the needs of their customers while ensuring they remain focused on their core financial businesses.
Adjustments to Anti-commingling Framework
3. MAS will refine the anti-commingling framework for banks in two key aspects.
4. First, MAS will make it easier for banks to conduct or invest in non-financial businesses that are related or complementary to their core financial businesses.
(a) Banks need not seek prior regulatory approval before conducting or acquiring major equity stakes in permissible non-financial businesses. Banks will instead be required to notify MAS prior to doing so. MAS will continue to require banks to put in place appropriate risk management and governance arrangements to deal with the risks arising from these businesses.
(b) To limit exposure and ensure that banks continue to focus on their core businesses, MAS will cap such permissible non-financial businesses to 10% of the bank’s capital funds.
5. Second, MAS will allow banks to engage in the operation of digital platforms that match buyers and sellers of consumer goods or services as well as the online sale of such goods or services, if such activities are related or complementary to their core financial businesses. This recognises that online purchases of goods and services and the use of e-payment services are becoming increasingly integrated. MAS’ proposed refinement will allow
banks to broaden their ability to provide a fuller suite of services to their retail customers. Beyond digital platforms, banks will need to seek case-by-case approval, as they should not be engaging in the sale of consumer goods or services as a business in its own right.
6. Notwithstanding the revision of the anti-commingling framework, banks will continue to be prohibited from entering certain businesses such as property development and the provision of hotel and resort facilities.
7. MAS will consult on the operational details of these policy changes by end of September 2017.
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