ASIA PACIFIC SECURITIES LENDING MARKET USER GUIDE 2021
As we near the close of 2021, COVID-19 dominates our attention just as it did a year ago. As some countries with high vaccination rates look to return to normality, others – especially in our region – are still fighting to contain outbreaks while getting jabs into arms. The race between vaccines and variants looks set to define the later stages of the pandemic, which could be long and uneven. But while the post-pandemic world is still a little way off, we should start to see the outlines of a new reality emerging as the year winds down.
PASLA has had to postpone its landmark conferences and adapt, as we all have, to virtual meetings and conferences. Thanks to the hard work of so many individuals, we have been able to offer the market a forum for exchanging ideas and learning about the latest developments, even if we haven’t been able to interact in person. We all look forward to the return of in-person events – hopefully in the near future – but we will host these in a thoughtful way to protect attendees. Until then, we will continue to deliver virtual events that offer valuable, thought-provoking content.
In spite of changes enforced by COVID-19, our purpose and priorities remain the same. PASLA is dedicated to promoting open, transparent, and efficient securities lending in Asia Pacific. On behalf of our members, we champion the development of a more open market for securities lending in China, the integration of securities lending with ESG principles and the harmonisation of regional market standards around international best practice, whilst recognising that different Asian markets are at varying stages of development. I’m also very proud of the work we have been doing to promote a more inclusive industry in Asia through PIN – the PASLA Inclusion Network.
Over the last year, a number of short-selling bans around the region have impacted the growth of the market. These have now been brought to an end – or at least relaxed – and it is encouraging to see that we are moving on from that restrictive environment. However, these disruptions do mean that many of the new developments we looked forward to in the 2020 user guide have understandably taken a back seat, at least for the time being.
I would like to thank everyone involved in updating this user guide. We at PASLA, RMA, and EquiLend know that this would not be possible without all your input. To the casual eye, this may look like a simple set of updates but, in reality, it’s more like a complete rewrite every time. The feedback on the value of this has been very positive. We would welcome your comments on this latest iteration – and any additional contributions for the next. Ongoing dialogue with industry professionals, regulators, and exchanges is critical to its value and we look forward to continuing to broaden those relationships.
Stuart Jones, Chairman, PASLA