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New Zealand launches ‘investment passport’

Kiwi investors and managed funds will now be able to do business more easily with Australia, Japan and Thailand, after New Zealand’s implementation of the Asia Region Funds Passport.

The ARFP, signed by New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Thailand and Korea in 2016, facilitates the offering of liquid and well diversified managed funds among the signatory economies.

The Financial Markets Authority officially announced to the ARFP Joint Committee that New Zealand had completed preparations for the agreement.

Local schemes can now apply to be registered as a passport fund and foreign passport funds can apply for permission to offer their funds in New Zealand. This means that fund managers from New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Thailand can offer eligible products to investors in each other’s economies, bringing more choice and competition to managed fund markets in the Asia/Pacific region.

Japan, Thailand and Australia launched the passport in February. Korea continues to make progress with legal and regulatory requirements.

In preparation for the multilateral arrangement, the FMA, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 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.

Fund managers wanting to offer passport funds in New Zealand – and New Zealand fund managers wanting to offer funds offshore – need to apply to the FMA for approval.

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