Angara files bill to amend old law on investments

Published by rudy Date posted on July 4, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker stressed yesterday the need for Congress to approve the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) measure, saying that this would unify different laws and regulations on unit investments trust funds and investment companies.

Sen. Edgardo Angara said the CIS, which he filed recently, would amend the Investment Company Act of 1960.

He noted that in the Philippines, mutual funds and unit investment trust funds — investment products available in the market — are governed by different laws and regulations.

The CIS proposes to balance the interests of investors through mechanisms that would safeguard the public interest and at the same time recognize the interests of investors.

“This bill seeks to balance the interests of investors through mechanisms that would safeguard the public interest and at the same time recognize the interests of the other parties involved in the CIS industry, by giving them flexibility to expand their CIS businesses,” said Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on finance.

Angara filed recently Senate Bill 1181 which seeks to promote investor protection; assist in the development of the capital markets; encourage participation by the best qualified asset management companies, investment advisers and broaden participation by Filipinos in securities ownership.

The bill will not be limited to regulating open and close ended investment companies, the lawmaker said.

”It will also cover other collective investment schemes including companies, unit investment trust funds, and other similar indirect or collective investment schemes. With this bill, even middle to low income individuals will explore more investment opportunities in CIS, thereby gaining access to the capital markets,” added Angara.

Angara, former banks, financial institutions and currencies committee chairman, noted that countries such as United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Korea and Singapore have already adopted this kind of approach and has found it effective in encouraging investors.

“That’s why it is time to adopt this strategy to help in assisting the growth of industries in the country, currently lagging in regulating investment funds. We can promote investor protection by applying high governance standards in the establishment, sale, management and operation of collective investment schemes in order to prevent abuse and protect the interests of the investing public,” he said. –Iris C. Gonzales, Philippine Star

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