Introduction
The ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme was developed by the ASEAN Capital Market Forum (ACMF) to facilitate cross–border offerings of securities within the ASEAN region. The Scheme brings ease and cost savings to issuers who make offerings of securities across borders within ASEAN. 
The Scheme therefore enhances the attractiveness of ASEAN as a combined capital market for fund-raising, as well as underlines the combined ASEAN securities as an attractive asset class by raising the disclosure standards among ASEAN members to international level.

Scope of the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme
The ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme will apply:

  1. To multi-jurisdiction offerings within ASEAN of plain equity and debt securities that require the registration of prospectuses or registration statements.
  2. To all issuers, ASEAN and non-ASEAN alike, making such offerings within ASEAN.

The ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme (the Scheme)
The Scheme introduces two levels of Standards, comprising a set of common ASEAN Standards, and a set of limited additional standards known as the Plus Standards.

  1. The ASEAN Standards are based on the standards on cross-border offerings set by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). However, the ASEAN Standards do exceed some of the dated IOSCO standards where appropriate. They also fully adopt the accounting and auditing standards of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Standards on Auditing (ISA).
  2. The Plus Standards contain additional standards that are required by some ASEAN jurisdictions due to their individual market practices, laws or regulations.

Distribution Rules and Time lines
In addition to the introduction of the Scheme, the ACMF also agreed upon more closely harmonized distribution rules for offeringsand time lines for approval of registration of the offering documents. When implemented, the approval time for registration of offering documents in many ASEAN jurisdictions will be shortened substantially. It also ensures that investors in all jurisdictions where the offerings are made will have access to the same information at the same point in time.

The ASEAN and Plus Standards’ Documents
The following documents are details of the ASEAN and Plus Standards as well as the details of the distribution timelines.

Equity Securities

Debt Securities

  1. ASEAN Equity Securities Disclosure Standards
  1. ASEAN Debt Securities Disclosure Standards
  1. Equity securities distribution timeline of each jurisdiction
  1. Debt securities distribution timeline of each jurisdiction
  1. Supporting documents required to submit to the regulator in each jurisdiction

Questions and answers regarding the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme can be found in the FAQs.

The Implementation of the Scheme
Since the development of the Scheme, the ACMF agreed that the timeframe for the adoption of the ASEAN Standards by ACMF members would depend on the readiness of each member on an opt-in basis.

On June 12, 2009, the Securities Commission, Malaysia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand, announced, through a press release, that they have implemented the ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme. The joint press release and the FAQs can be found here.

For general information of the Scheme or the information relating to the ACMF, please contact Mr. Pariya Techamuanvivit, the ACMF Secretariat (the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand) at strategy@sec.or.th” style=”color: rgb(255, 51, 0); text-decoration: none; “>strategy@sec.or.th.

For details on the Plus Standards, please contact the staff of each respective jurisdiction as per details provided below:

Jurisdiction

Plus Standards

Contact Person

Website 

Equity

Debt

Malaysia

X

X

Name: Khairul Ridzwan Abd Kuddus
Email: //www.aseansec.org/khairulr@seccom.com.my” style=”color: rgb(255, 51, 0); text-decoration: none; “>khairulr@seccom.com.my
Tel: +603 6204 8687

Name: Selina Yong
Email: selina@seccom.com.my” style=”color: rgb(255, 51, 0); text-decoration: none; “>selina@seccom.com.my
Tel: +603 6204 8620

Singapore

X

X

Name: Pauline Sim
Email: paulinesim@mas.gov.sg” style=”color: rgb(255, 51, 0); text-decoration: none; “>paulinesim@mas.gov.sg 
Tel: +65 6229 9905

Name: Alex Lee
Email: alexlee@mas.gov.sg” style=”color: rgb(255, 51, 0); text-decoration: none; “>alexlee@mas.gov.sg 
Tel: +65 6229 8944

Thailand

X

X

Name: Nataya Niyamanusorn
Email: nataya@sec.or.th” style=”color: rgb(255, 51, 0); text-decoration: none; “>nataya@sec.or.th 
Tel: +662 695-9598

Name: Pariya Techamuanvivit
Email: pariya@sec.or.th” style=”color: rgb(255, 51, 0); text-decoration: none; “>pariya@sec.or.th 
Tel: +662 695-9507

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NOTES

  1. The ASEAN and Plus Standards are based on:
    1. IOSCO’s International Disclosure Standards for Cross-Border Offerings and Initial Listings by Foreign Issuers (1998), on which the ASEAN Standards for the offerings of equity securities are based, and
    2. IOSCO International Disclosure Standards for Cross-border Offerings and Listings of Debt Securities by Foreign Issuers (2007) on which the ASEAN Standards for the offerings of debt securities are based.
  2. The scheme does not apply to the following securities:
    1. Options, warrants or any other rights or interests in shares or debt securities; or
    2. Debt securities that are not plain-vanilla.

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FAQs

1. Who will benefit from this ASEAN and Plus Standards Scheme?

The Scheme will benefit both ASEAN and non-ASEAN issuers who make multi-jurisdiction offerings of plain equity and debt securities within ASEAN which require the registration of disclosure documents. It will be easier for these issuers as they can comply with one common set of ASEAN Standards in their preparations of disclosure documents, together with some additional requirements set forth in the Plus Standards. This is in contrast to the current practices where issuers have to separately comply with each jurisdiction’s disclosure requirements if they seek to do multi-jurisdiction offerings.

2. Do issuers have to comply with other requirements in order to make multi-jurisdiction offerings of securities in ASEAN?

This will depend on each individual ASEAN members’ regulatory framework because the cross-border offerings under this Scheme are still subject to regulatory approval of the host jurisdictions where the securities are offered. However, having this Scheme in place, the issuers will benefit from the ability to issue one set of disclosure documents together with some wrap-around for additional requirements (prescribed under the Plus Standards) to investors. Issuers who are interested in this Scheme are encouraged to consult with respective securities regulators or the ACMF Secretariat at strategy@sec.or.th

3. Why is it necessary to have the Plus Standards?

The Plus Standards are in place to comply with specific requirements in the market practices, laws or regulations of each jurisdiction. However, the ACMF has agreed to reduce the number of Plus Standards, in periodic reviews, to achieve greater harmonization in order to provide maximum benefits to issuers.

4. Which IOSCO Disclosure Standards are the ASEAN Standards benchmarked against?

The ASEAN Standards are benchmarked against the following IOSCO Standards:
1) IOSCO International Disclosure Standards for Cross-Border Offerings and Initial Listings by Foreign Issuers (1998) on which the ASEAN Standards for the offerings of equity securities are based, and 
2) IOSCO International Disclosure Standards for Cross-border Offerings and Listings of Debt Securities by Foreign Issuers (2007) on which the ASEAN Standards for the offerings of debt securities are based.

Both documents are available on the IOSCO’s web site www.iosco.org