Is Philippines ready for the ASEAN bourses link?

Michelle Ong, ANC

Posted at Oct 07 2015 11:51 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2015 07:51 AM

MANILA - SharePhil president Francis Lim, who helped conceptualize the ASEAN link-up back in 2009, said the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can fast-track the integration of the Philippine stock market with other ASEAN bourses.

Lim said the SEC just needs to take a more liberal attitude about certain requirements, like securities registration.

"SEC can take a liberal attitude, for example, not requiring securities already registered in other exchanges to be registered here in the Philippines. I think it's doable, and we can do it as early as possible," Lim told ANC's "Market Edge" on Wednesday.

"It will give minority investors access to more investment products, rather than these local investors going into investment scams, at least they will have more investment products to put their money in. I think that’s one of the advantages of the ASEAN trading linkage. Instead of being limited to Philippine companies, they can easily buy [for instance] Singtel using their local brokers, and that gives them more investment options," Lim added.

Lim also said differences in certain policies, like the bank secrecy law, should not stop the Philippines from joining the link-up.

"I think when we envision this ASEAN trading linkage, what we thought was it would operate even within the existing legal framework of each and every ASEAN country. All that is needed is for the participating countries to recognize what we call mutual recognition of each other's legal system," he said.