Asia Risk, the region’s go to source for news and analysis on financial risk management, has named Bloomberg the 2013 Technology Vendor of the Year for our development of the ASEAN Bond Portal. This is testament to the rising influence and importance of ASEAN and the significance of the platform in opening up the region’s bond markets to regional and global investors.
By any number of macro-economic measures Southeast Asia or ASEAN is on the fast track. ASEAN regulators have developed a “road map” for integration of the region’s capital markets by 2015 – with the aim of providing new sources of cross-border investment. Bonds will be increasingly important in that mix.
A key part of the ASEAN road to financial integration is ensuring greater openness, transparency and liquidity in capital markets. While investor interest in the ASEAN bond market has been growing, accessing cross-border bond prices and availability has remained challenging.
We saw an opportunity to address this and make a difference to the ASEAN bond market by developing the Bloomberg ASEAN Bond Portal this year. We were not alone in tackling this – our portal is based on collaboration with leading banks in each of the five key ASEAN nations – Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Maybank in Malaysia, Security Bank of the Philippines, Kasikorn Bank of Thailand and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation in Singapore. The value of outstanding local currency bonds in these five countries, plus Vietnam, is over $1.1 trillion.
For the first time, our ASEAN Bond Portal now aggregates bond prices across Southeast Asia on a single, online platform, injecting transparency into the marketplace.
Prices are distributed through the Bloomberg Professional service, making it possible for regional banks and sell-side firms to generate trade ideas and find out which markets they should be investing in. They can carry out name and price discovery, communicate by chat with their chosen partner bank and negotiate the trade through a single, online platform.
And this is just the beginning. If, as I believe is inevitable, this new platform plays into regional bond trading then it will be a strong spur for ASEAN’s growth path and eventual capital markets integration.
For more information on the ASEAN bond portal visit http://www.bloomberg.com/professional/markets/fixed-income/ or go to ASEAN<go> on the Bloomberg Professional service.
Contributed by Nitin Jaiswal, Head of Sales for ASEAN and South Asia, Bloomberg