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Asian cross-border funds on the way

ASIAN fund managers are another step nearer to being able to offer funds across the region.

ASIAN fund managers are another step nearer to being able to offer funds across the region.

A working group from Singapore, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines and Thailand on Friday released a joint consultation paper on the proposed rules that will govern the operation of the Asia Region Funds Passport (ARFP).

The working group also issued its responses to feedback on a public consultation published on April 16, 2014, on the same subject, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Finance.

Last year's consultation proposed that a fund manager have at least five years of experience and assets under management of at least US$500 million, which has been accepted.

The ARFP will allow operators of collective investment schemes based in member economies to offer their products to investors in other member economies, subject to a streamlined regulatory process. It represents a practical step towards better integrated financial markets in the Apec region.

The proposed rules cover areas such as the eligibility and operational criteria for passport fund managers and passport funds, as well as the authorisation process for passport funds.

The rules also set out common standards and expectations among regulators from passport member economies on the supervision of passport funds, including the protection of investor interests.

The ARFP, conceived under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Finance Ministers' meeting in September 2013, will offer fund managers a more direct and efficient way of distributing their funds in the region.

It will also deepen the region's financial markets, support greater liquidity and access to finance by providing an additional route for investors to invest in the region's debt and equity markets.

Following the latest consultation, countries that decide to participate will work towards the launch of the ARFP in 2016.