MANILA, PHILIPPINES (1 February 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today released the first officially recognized bond market guides for Cambodia and Myanmar.

The publications, titled the ASEAN+3 Bond Market Guide for each country, provide practical and detailed information on the investment climate, rules, laws, opportunities, and characteristics of the bond markets of the two Southeast Asian countries.

The new guides are part of a series on Asia’s local currency bond markets that aim to help potential bond market issuers, investors, and financial intermediaries understand the local context and encourage their participation in the region’s rapidly developing bond markets.

Guides are already available for Brunei Darussalam; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR); Malaysia; the Philippines; Singapore; and Thailand. Each guide is produced in close consultation with local policymakers and market players.

“Strong domestic bond markets are critical for a country’s growth and development,” said Yasuyuki Sawada, ADB’s Chief Economist. “The bond markets in Cambodia and Myanmar are still in the early developing stages, but as they evolve, they will help to fund much-needed infrastructure development and make businesses resilient against global financial shocks.”

Following the introduction of a new regulatory framework in August 2017, a new bond market in Cambodia will soon be established. In Myanmar, meanwhile, a corporate bond market is planned for development after the recent issuance of government securities.

Asia’s bond market expansion has accelerated in recent decades, with the bond markets in ASEAN plus the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of Korea up from $2.5 trillion in 2005 to $11.6 trillion at the end of September 2017.

Local debt markets help make bank-dominated financial systems more balanced, reduce heavy reliance on foreign debts, and mobilize the region’s excess savings more effectively for development finance.

They also provide an attractive investment option for institutional investors with long-term liabilities—such as pension funds and insurers—seeking to take advantage of currently low interest rates to expand their infrastructure investments.

ADB estimates the cost of the region’s huge infrastructure needs at around $1.7 trillion per year until 2030.

The guides are published by the ASEAN+3 Bond Market Forum (ABMF) in collaboration with ADB as its secretariat. ABMF is an ASEAN+3 initiative designed to promote bond market development in the region. ASEAN+3 consists of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, the PRC, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The Bond Market Guides are available for download from Print copies are available for sale from ADB’s commercial distributors, listed here.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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