Stock exchanges in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore said Thursday they have teamed up to develop an ASEAN Interconnected ASEAN Interconnected Sustainability Ecosystem (ASEAN-ISE), to advance Asean’s sustainable development through the implementation of common environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics in their respective data infrastructures.

In a joint statement, Bursa Malaysia, the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) said that Bursa Malaysia will serve as the ASEAN-ISE Secretariat to facilitate the successful execution of its objectives.

The ASEAN-ISE initiative was formalized at a recent meeting between the partner exchanges, marking an agreement on the foundational governance structure and operational blueprint for building the inter-connected sustainability ecosystem.

The intended outcomes of the ASEAN-ISE initiative include creating an integrated ESG ecosystem to promote the progress of sustainable development in ASEAN; enabling participating exchanges to achieve economies of scale through cost efficiency and faster time-to-market with fit-for-purpose solutions.

They also include empowering participating exchanges to proactively assist ESG-compliant corporates in maximising business value through quality disclosures. This involves developing infrastructure solutions to facilitate cross-border trade flows, connecting corporates’ supply chains to ESG-oriented investment capital, and providing suppliers with good ESG practices and disclosures to secure more competitive financing rates.

“The addition of Singapore Exchange to the Interconnected Sustainability Ecosystem initiative reflects strong collaboration of stock exchanges in ASEAN to bolster the sustainable finance ecosystem in the ASEAN capital markets,

“This is a step forward in promoting the implementation of the recently announced ASEAN Common ESG Core Metrics and encouraging responsible business practices among listed companies in ASEAN stock exchanges” said Iman Rachman, President Director of Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Loh Boon Chye, Chief Executive Officer of SGX Group, said as they witness the profound impact of climate change in this region, collaboration has become increasingly important for members in ASEAN Exchanges.

He said SGX Group acknowledges the urgency for timely action and two years ago, launched ESGenome, the online data portal for public listed companies to facilitate sustainability and climate-related reporting,

“As such, we look forward to working together with the members to standardize data to create interoperable datasets that will reinforce our collective efforts to drive capital towards sustainability efforts and address climate change in the region,

“By sharing our expertise and coordinating efforts, we can mobilize capital for sustainable financing, contributing to a more economically and climate resilient ASEAN community,” he added.

Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President of SET stated that the inclusion of SGX Group strengthens their alliance, uniting key players in the region.

“Together, we set new standards for responsible business practices, encouraging corporates to integrate the ASEAN Exchanges Common ESG metrics,” he said.

According to him, the exchanges’ collective commitment reflects a shared vision for a sustainable and resilient financial ecosystem that positively impacts their societies, economies, and the world at large.

Muhamad Umar Swift, Chief Executive Officer of Bursa Malaysia, said that this most recent development aligns with their intent to broaden participation from exchanges in the ASEAN region and beyond.

“Together, we envisage an open and inclusive ecosystem in which Participating Exchanges in ASEAN operate a trusted, and fundamentally aligned data infrastructure,

“This will be supported by comprehensive sets of modular-based, fit-forpurpose and cost-efficient solutions that can be deployed in response to the Participating Exchanges’ specific market needs and conditions,” he added.

As part of the ASEAN-ISE implementation, the participating exchanges have agreed upon outcome-driven collaboration deliverables that take into account local considerations and maturity level of their respective markets.

Significantly, the participating exchanges will commit to adopting and implementing the “ASEAN Exchanges Common ESG Metrics” in their ESG reporting platforms.

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