Over the years, there has been a great deal of foreign investment in many southeast Asian countries, even during the recent pandemic era. Moreover, certain economies show strong indicators for growth and opportunity as we look into the next five years. So with this being known, what are the best investment opportunities in South East Asia?
Today’s article will be focusing on the investment options and not the financial system of each country. Still, it’s recommended to investigate the current economy of Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, and others for the latest information.
As today’s article is not financial advice, we recommend investors seek independent financial advice before investing in any markets across Asia. In addition, you may wish to seek legal assistance depending on the country and investment type.
Investment Opportunities In Southeast Asia
1. Asia’s Stock Exchange
The most common and well-known investment opportunity in South East Asia is in the form of the Stock Exchange. There are many ways international investors can invest in the stock market, and it’s also possible to invest in the stock market through a third-party agency. For example, Filipino wealth has an excellent article for foreigners wanting to invest in the Philippine stock market.
The Vietnam stock exchange is also rising in popularity due to its rapid expansion from early 2020 until the present. Based on the latest data from today, a one-year return of investment is just under 50%.
|Cambodia Securities Exchange||Phnom Penh|
|Indonesia Stock Exchange||Jakarta|
|Jakarta Futures Exchange||Jakarta|
|Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange||Jakarta|
|Lao Securities Exchange||Vientiane|
|Bursa Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|Malaysia Derivatives Exchange||Kuala Lumpur|
|Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre||Yangon|
|Yangon Stock Exchange||Yangon|
|Philippine Dealing Exchange||Metro Manila|
|Philippine Stock Exchange||Metro Manila|
|Manila Commodity Exchange||Metro Manila|
|Stock Exchange of Thailand||Bangkok|
|Market for Alternative Investment||Bangkok|
|Bond Electronic Exchange||Bangkok|
|Thailand Futures Exchange||Bangkok|
|Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Hanoi Securities Trading Center||Hanoi|
Each country in Southeast Asia has different rules and regulations regarding foreign investment. The most common type of regulation is that foreigners cannot own more than 49% of the business, but this percentage does fluctuate depending on the country and type of market.
2. Investing In Real Estate In Southeast Asia
Real estate is a fascinating topic as it can take many forms. Most investment opportunities in Southeast Asia are based around real estate. Similar to the Stock Exchange, international investors often need to be made aware of specific rules and regulations.
Many countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, only allow investors to legally own condominiums. There are many technicalities and grey areas around this topic, but condominiums are the only option for most situations.
If you wish to invest in other property types, such as commercial properties, then some of the legal loopholes would be – setting up a business in your chosen country and placing the investment under the business name rather than your individual name. Even though this has its pros and cons, other methods are used to buy real estate in Southeast Asia.
3. Invest In Bank Products
Banking products are very popular with the local community, similar to the West but unfortunately, just like other countries banking products do not offer the highest return of investment. Nonetheless, there are certain benefits of investing with a bank, especially if you wish to obtain a bank account in your chosen country.
Bank investments can take many different forms, but typically they are unit investment trust funds or something very similar. There are often fees involved that are low; however, it’s critical to spend some time finding out any costs and withdrawal fees that may apply to a banking product.
4. Angel Investing In Southeast Asia
Fundamentally angel investing is an investment process where investors will invest in a start-up business or private business. There are several different websites to find angel investment opportunities in certain countries or Asia in general.
When investing, it’s often a great idea to look at the economic factors and ongoing developments in your chosen southeast Asian country, as this will impact business success, especially in the early days.
One of the great things about investing in Southeast Asia is that there are plenty of southeast Asian investment opportunities in the current market. This is because many industries across Asia are still in the development stages compared to the West. Many believe that the Asian market will be highly robust in the near future.
Naturally, as you’re investing in a start-up business, the return of investment and the level of risk may not be balanced; therefore, you may find other investment opportunities in Asia more suitable for your needs.
5. Starting Your Own Business In Asia
The 5th investment opportunity in Southeast Asia is through your own business. As mentioned when we explored angel investing, there are indeed many opportunities across Asia, but can you start your very own business in Southeast Asia and be profitable?
Each country has its requirements. For example, many countries do not allow foreigners to start a business without heavy involvement from local citizens and/or a significant financial investment. In addition to this, many southeast Asian countries will have secondary requirements such as the foreign business must hire a certain number of local staff.
The benefit of starting your own business in Southeast Asia is that, unlike other investment types, you can steer your business in the direction you choose best. Of course, this will take up a large amount of your time, but you do have more control over finances and day-to-day management of your business.
Therefore when deciding if starting your own business in Asia is suitable for you or not, it’s always a good idea to look at your lifestyle priorities, available capital, and availability.
Tips For Investing In Southeast Asia
When investing in Southeast Asia, some grey areas may make investing in Asia much more accessible from the investor’s point of view. But, there are some fundamental regulations across many countries in Asia that can not be avoided; thus, whatever type of investment opportunity in Southeast Asia you are investigating, it is best to analyze the legal policies and regulations first
If you live in Southeast Asia or plan to live in Southeast Asia in the future, then it may be best to first invest in a banking product. Not only is this a great way to build credibility with a bank you may also be able to open up a bank account or saving account, which can be very valuable in your future investments. But this is, of course, optional.
Regarding the various investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, you may wish to contact a local third-party investment firm to help invest on your behalf. This will cost you more In fees, but it can save a great deal of time. It’s recommended to work only with registered and trusted organizations if you wish to follow this route.
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