An Asia regional funds passport – will it knock UCITS off its perch?

Thu Oct 11, 2012

A cross-border initiative has been proposed by Southeast Asian countries to create a funds passport similar to UCITS. In the second of a two part series, Joy Dunbar, editor of Absolute UCITS, explores the development of a fund structure to rival the hegemony of the European UCITS industry.

UCITS in Asia are at a crossroad. For many investors, they are currently the preferred fund structure of choice in the region. But certain countries in the region are also developing a proposed cross-border initiative to stem the dominance of the European structure, which is at a preliminary stage.

Asian UCITS funds: an aspiration?

There is an aspiration to develop a pan-Asian fund structure with an Asia-wide passport, according to Anne-Marie Godfrey, a lawyer for Hong Kong-based law firm Bingham McCutchen.

She explains: "The Monetary Authority of Singapore (the regulator in the financial country) issued a proposal earlier this year to develop a mutual recognition framework for Asian retail collective investment schemes."

Michael Ferguson, asset management leader for Luxembourg-based Ernst & Young, says the development of a European Union UCITS type of fund product in Asia will take time, and will depend on the success of bilateral arrangements between different...

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H

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