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Stocks

Philippines seeks linkup with ASEAN bourses next year

MANILA -- The Philippine Stock Exchange aims to join a cross-border stock trading platform in Southeast Asia as early as next year, CEO Hans Sicat said Tuesday.

Hans Sicat

     Exchanges in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand launched the so-called ASEAN Trading Link in 2012. The platform is designed to allow investors to use a bourse in their home country to trade stocks listed in other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but it has struggled to increase membership.

     The Philippine bourse will hitch onto the platform as early as 2016, Sicat said.

     If such countries as the Philippines and Indonesia join, the combined market capitalization of the trading link could top $2 trillion, close to the Hong Kong market's $3 trillion.

     Sicat expressed hope that the platform will play an increasing role in energizing the region's market.

     Still, the Philippines has some hurdles to clear. Sicat highlighted the need for deregulation through cooperation with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other parties in the country, citing the fact that investors are not currently allowed to buy stocks abroad through brokerage accounts at home. In addition, putting trading infrastructure in place, such as software, can be costly, he said.

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