Malaysia is rolling out key measures to boost market vibrancy and enhance investor access to the country’s capital market, the Securities Commission Malaysia Chairman, Dato’ Seri Dr Awang Adek Hussin said.
Speaking at Invest Malaysia New York 2023, he said the capital market, already one of the biggest in ASEAN, will be enhanced to help drive greater economic growth, inclusion and sustainability. This in line with the aspirations of Malaysia MADANI Economy Framework and the New Industrial Master Plan.
To that end, several capital market initiatives have been announced to boost market vibrancy and enhance investor access.
These include automatic promotion of eligible PLCs from the ACE to the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, reduction of stamp duty, enabling fractional share trading by investors through stockbrokers and introducing the Foreign Exempt Scheme framework.
The latter provides high net worth entities and institutional investors greater onshore access to foreign investment funds. Plans were also underway to facilitate and attract the setting up of family offices in Malaysia, widening the definition of sophisticated investors to include angel investors and reducing board lot size for share trading on Bursa Malaysia.
Dato’ Seri Dr Awang Adek was speaking at a panel session entitled ‘Macro Resilience and Market Insights’ held on 21 September 2023 in New York.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had earlier given a keynote address at the Invest Malaysia New York 2023 forum organised by Bursa Malaysia. The forum was attended by 200 delegates in the financial and investment community including foreign fixed income, equity and private equity investors with combined Asset Under Management (AUM) of over USD40 trillion (approximately RM188 trillion).
Dato’ Seri Dr Awang Adek said Malaysia would further facilitate companies to list on Bursa Malaysia and attract more investors. The SC is working to speed up the IPO process and reduce time-to-market to ensure Malaysia’s competitiveness and attractiveness.
He also said the Malaysian IPO pipeline remained healthy and that the SC expects to see 35-40 new IPOs this year.
In a clear message to the foreign fund managers, he said the Malaysian capital market remained resilient with total funds raised hitting a 10-year high of RM179.4 billion (USD40.8 billion) in 2022 despite tough global challenges.
Dato’ Seri Dr. Awang Adek said total funds raised in the equity and corporate bond market reached RM58.9 billion (USD13.1 billion) for the first six months of this year. “This signals that the equity and bond market have remained a significant source of financing for the private sector,” he said.
“The market resiliency is attributed to various factors namely diversity, ample liquidity, and strong infrastructure and governance, contributing to the market’s ability to withstand external shocks and attract both domestic and international investors,” he said.
He said market fundamentals remained strong. “Malaysia has a strong value proposition for foreign companies, with solid infrastructure and talent base,” he added.
Domestic liquidity remained well supported, with local retail and foreign participation staying healthy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Foreign investors returned as net buyers in 2022 for the first time since 2017, while foreign investors have been net buyers in the bond market in 2023 year-to-date, recording an inflow of RM27.4 billion (USD6.1 billion) as of August 2023.
Bank Negara Malaysia Governor, Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour and Bursa Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift, were the other panellists on the same panel session.