Bonding Asia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today launched AsianBondsOnline, a one-stop clearing house of information on the rapidly growing sovereign and corporate bond markets in the region.rnrn
The ABMI aims to enable private as well as public sectors to raise and invest long-term capital while effectively managing maturity and currency risks. rn

rnDeep, liquid bond markets mitigate over-reliance on bank lending for corporate financing requirements, a situation that exacerbated the Asian financial crisis in 1997. They also help governments and businesses manage their own debt portfolios and reserves.rn

rnIn its first phase of development, AsianBondsOnline will focus on providing links to publicly available information on the Internet. As the site develops, it will expand coverage with more in-depth information, commentary, and analysis. rn

rn”We expect the site to be very useful to both existing market participants and to those potential users who may be unfamiliar with the region,” says Yoshihiro Iwasaki, Head of ADBs Regional Economic Monitoring Unit, which developed and maintains AsianBondsOnline. rn

rn”Importantly, it is a part of a growing effort among the regions governments to share information and integrate with each other.”rn

rnThe launch was held following the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers Meeting, which took place in parallel with ADBs 37th Annual Meeting in Jeju in Korea.rn

rnSupported by ADB and financed by the Government of Japan, AsianBondsOnline is part of the ASEAN+3 Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI), a cooperative effort to help develop mature bond markets in the region. rn

rnThe web site provides a common format for accessing information on market infrastructure, rules and regulations, market activities, market data, and new policies and initiatives for each market as well as the region as a whole. It also provides news and commentary on regional bond markets, and recent economic releases, research, and analysis. rn

rnThe site “offers investors easy and centralized access to information about a segment of the global financial market that is growing in size and importance,” ADB President Tadao Chino said at the launch. rn

rn”For the first time, concrete steps are being taken at the regional level, by the ASEAN+3 and other groups, to complement individual country efforts in developing bond markets,” he added. rn

rnASEAN+3 comprises the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam – plus Peoples Republic of China, Japan, and Republic of Korea.