New Zealand has completed preparations for enabling the Asia Region Funds Passport arrangements (ARFP), which intends to combine the fund markets of the participating economies.

Fund managers in New Zealand seeking to offer funds offshore and vice versa are required to submit applications to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

Other ARFP signatories include Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.

Of these countries, Japan, Thailand, and Australia already implemented the passport this February.

Meanwhile, Korea is working on legal and regulatory requirements necessary for the passport’s implementation.

All these countries signed a memorandum of co-operation on the implementation of the ARFP in June 2016.

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The move was initiated to support the cross-border offering of managed funds to retail investors in the participating markets while maintaining investor protections.

The aim is to boost competition in the Asia Pacific fund markets.

The ARFP joint committee is chaired by the FMA.

Commenting on the development, FMA said: “In preparation for the multilateral arrangement, the FMA, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and Companies Office – with input from various industry participants – have introduced changes to the country’s Disclose register and developed new forms, systems, processes and guidance.

“New regulations have also been developed under the Financial Markets Conduct Act.”