Asean's capital idea is far from paying off

The bloc's Capital Markets Forum was intended to increase cross-border issuance in the region. So far, it's failing to deliver.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Asean Capital Markets Forum was created in 2004, and was quickly directed to increase cross-border issuance in the region.

Since then a variety of initiatives have been launched, including a trading link that makes it easier for brokers in one country to place orders on a foreign stock exchange, a set of common disclosure standards, and the introduction of a green bond framework in March.

But the level of development in Asean capital markets varies drastically and, as in many aspects of the now 50-year-old bloc, real integration remains a distant dream.

“The Asean bloc offers potential...

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