How ASIFMA Has Advanced Asia’s Capital Markets
ASIFMA plays a key role in the development of the region’s financial markets.
Recent successes include:
Opening of China interbank bond market (CIBM)
- Enabled BCCL to resume the opening of Bond Connect accounts for clients of asset managers in time for the 1 April 2019 Bloomberg-Barclays index inclusion.
- Succeeded in getting T+3 settlement for bond trading in the CIBM for foreign institutional investors from August 2019, in addition to the previously available T+0, T+1 and T+2 settlement.
- Persuaded SAFE to approve more FX settlement banks that can be used under Bond Connect in November 2019.
- Persuaded CSRC, MOF, PBOC and CBRC to allow qualified commercial banks and insurance institutions with investment management capabilities to trade T-bond futures in the CFFEX for risk management but only five Chinese banks were approved as pilots to do so. This was announced on 14 February 2020
Mainland-Hong Kong Stock Connect
- Collaborated with MSCI on market advocacy to highlight areas of improvement for further A-shares weighting increases in the MSCI EM Index. It was announced that weighting would be quadrupled to 20% from 5% in 3 tranches on 28 February 2019.
- Convinced SSE to enhance their Level 2 market data to be in line with that of SZSE’s by publishing real-time tick by tick data. Subsequently convinced SSE to postpone their planned 25 November 2019 go-live by one week given its proximity to the 26 November MSCI Rebalance Event.
- Convinced HKEX in February 2020 to allow Exchange Participants to rent throttles on a monthly basis to help ensure that participants have sufficient throttles during periods with significant market activity.
- Partnered with HKEX develop a solution allowing Fund Managers to conduct trading at an omnibus level whilst maintaining Fund level SPSA account structures in order to reduce throttle usage during periods with significant market activity, with a target launch in May 2020.
- Convinced CSDC not to mandate the Broker Settlement Model for all new investors in Q2 2019.
- Succeeded in getting the investment quotas for QFIIs and RQFIIs schemes removed all together in September 2019.
- Convinced PBOC and SAFE to allow foreign institutional investors to do non-trade transfers of its CIBMbond holdings and cash between its QFII/RQFII and CIBM Direct accounts starting from 15 November 2019.
Operating in China
- Successfully advocated for wholly foreign-owned private fund management companies (PFM WFOEs) to be allowed to provide investment advisory services to third parties starting from April 2019.
- Convinced CSRC to allow in June 2019 PFM WFOEs to invest through southbound Stock Connect and to convert directly into an FMC without having to set up new FMC.
- Persuaded CSRC in June 2019 to apply the one control one participation policy to foreign-owned asset and/or fund management entities.
- Convinced CSRC to adopt ASIFMA suggestions on their final rules for shareholders of securities JVs in July 2019, including the removal of the RMB100 bn net asset requirement and provided a five-year grace period to any securities companies whose controlling or major shareholders fail to satisfy certain conditions.
- Persuaded HKEX to allow for a broader set of entitlement ratios for warrants/CBBCs and to no longer require the hard copy submission of Launch Announcements/Supplemental Listing Documents in March 2019.
- Succeeded in securing a three-month extension from the SFC of the effective date of the Implementation of the Guidelines on Online Distribution and Advisory Platforms and Offline Requirements for Complex Products from 6 April to 6 July 2019.
- Persuaded HKMA to delay the implementation of their Circular on Distribution of Debt Instruments with Loss Absorption Features and Related Products from 6 April to 31 December 2019 for in-scope collective investment scheme.
- Successfully secured clarification from the SFC in May 2019 that the rolling bad apples reporting obligations and associated FAQs are applicable to internal investigative actions relevant to fitness and properness.
- Convinced SFC in May 2019 that temporary surges in an authorized fund’s derivative exposure above 50% of its NAV will not automatically make the fund a derivatives fund.
- Successfully assisted HK listed structured products issuers with the negotiation and redesign of key product parameters, facilitating the launch of inline warrants in July 2019.
- Convinced HKMA to grant exemptions in July 2019 for PIs and exempt RIs dealing with Institutional PIs and Corporate PIs from the enhanced investor protection measures in the circular Distribution of Debt Instruments with Loss Absorption Features and Related Products.
- Persuaded SFC in July 2019 to adopt ASIFMA suggestions on their Data Standard for the Order Lifecycle (DS-Ol) and extend the implementation timeline from 9 months to 15 months.
- Persuaded HKEX to expand the Closing Auction Session to cover all equities and funds by October 2019.
- Persuaded HKEX to expand the list of eligible stocks for the Hong Kong Closing Auction to all equities and funds in the securities market; the list was expanded on 8 October 2019.
- Successfully advocated for the exclusion of foreign branches from any internal and external loss- absorbing capacity (LAC) requirements, adoption of a staggered approach for LAC issuance and to allow an AI’s holdings of other LAC liabilities issued by another resolution group within the same banking group (except for reciprocal cross-holdings) to be deducted from the AI’s other LAC resources.
- Requested HKEX to update their FAQ to extend the dispensation from the look-through requirement to ensure that the underlying investors of ChiNext shares are institutional professional investors for asset managers not only with Type 9 license in Hong Kong but also those regulated under the law of any place outside Hong Kong. The update was made on 15 November 2019
- Secured flexibility from HKEX on short selling order flagging requirements at the parent or child order level.
- Persuaded HKEX in March 2020 to introduce OCG Prod-Lite, allowing Exchange Participants to conduct production-like testing for 100% of HKEX’s stock and Exchange Participant database. HKEX also extended the hours of the end to end testing environment to 11:00pm HKT to allow coverage for EMEA testing.
- Successfully secured a series of clarifications which enabled member firms to implement the product advertisement rules, including the March 2019 issuance of FAQs on Fair and Balanced Advertising and Other Advertising Restrictions.
- Recommended SGX to introduce the ability to Trade at Close (TAC) on 3 June 2019 without impacting current trading hours. TAC will provision for 10-minute continuous trading session post-regular market hours.
- Convinced SGX to add an additional settlement run for market participants, which SGX is now finalizing details on with priority.
- Successfully advocated for SGX to introduce an intraday batch run in order to address teething issues from the implementation of PTS2 in 2018, which SGX is now finalizing the details on and intends to implement within the next 21 months.
- Convinced SEBI Board to adopt in August 2019 most of the ASIFMA suggestions made to the Khan Committee report to make it easier for FPIs to invest in India, in particular the removal of the broad- based requirement for Category II FPIs and the removal of Category III FPI entirely
- Persuaded SEBI in July 2019 to make changes/clarifications ASIFMA had requested on the Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) Regulations.
- Successfully advocated SEBI/MOF/NCL to uphold, in August 2019, settlement obligations for the Allied Financial / ISSL F&O transactions frozen by the courts due to allegations of fraud, and not allowing for the annulment of the trades.
- Convinced MOF to roll back in September 2019 the increased surcharge rate for non-corporate FPIs on capital gains from sales of securities, including debt instruments and derivatives
- Convinced RBI to relax the concentration norms applicable to FPI’s short-term debt investments in January 2020
- Persuaded SEBI to announce in February 2020 that FPI registrants can use a new common application form for FPI registration, PAN (tax ID) application and KYC for opening of bank & Demat account.
- Successfully collaborated with Bursa Malaysia on the move from T+3 to T+2 including; Postponement of the go-live date to April 2019; Postponement of the T+2 batch processing cut-off time from 11am to 11:30am; Reinstating the Manual Buy-In Process for T+2.
- Convinced FSB and IOSCO, together with GFMA, in June 2019, to take steps to ensure fragmentation issues continue to be addressed.
(As of 24 March 2020)