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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

(The Star) SC: Malaysia welcomes foreign companies to list on local bourse

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will continue to welcome foreign-origin companies to list on the country’s stock exchange, said Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh.

However, Ranjit said listings by foreign companies are contingent on the proper fulfilment of prerequisites for them to be listed either on the Main Market or Ace Market of Bursa Malaysia.

“We have always allowed foreign listings to occur in Malaysia. The guidelines and approaches are there.

“Having said that, we take the view that any company that wishes to be listed on Bursa Malaysia must be able to fulfil all the relevant listing requirements,” he told reporters at the Islamic Finance and Public-Private Partnership for Infrastructure Development conference.

The one-day conference, jointly organised by SC and the World Bank Group, aims to bring together development practitioners, policy makers, regulators as well as stakeholders involved in Islamic finance and infrastructure to discuss policy, regulatory and institutional interventions that can offer solutions for global infrastructure development needs.

Speaking on the importance of Islamic finance, Ranjit noted that Malaysia, which leads the world with regard to the sukuk or Islamic bond market, provides a good ecosystem for the issuance of sukuk.

As at end-2016, approximately 53% of outstanding sukuk globally originated from Malaysia. In addition, the Malaysian sukuk market accounts for 46.4% of the world’s sukuk issuances.

“Malaysia is a global leader in the Islamic sukuk space.

“The size and depth of Malaysia’s sukuk market has allowed it to carve a further niche, as about 61% of the world’s infrastructure sukuk for the period of 2012 until the third quarter of 2015, was issued in Malaysia.

“Here in Malaysia, we have strong regulatory framework, a very efficient approval process and also tax incentives to facilitate prospective sukuk issuances.

“On top of that, we also have our institutional investors who are very familiar and expert in structuring such products,” he said, adding that the SC hopes Malaysia’s exposure in the Islamic capital market will be strengthened moving forward.

Ranjit said it is imperative for institutions to leverage on existing large pools of savings which are available both in Malaysia as well as regionally.

“The primary challenge is to encourage further public-private partnerships to leverage on these very large pools of savings to finance the arising large infrastructure financing needs going forward.

“In that process, we wish to see more issuances to occur out of Malaysia as well,” he stated.

Moving forward, the demand for infrastructure financing will be particularly acute in Asia, according to projections by the International Finance Corp.

It is estimated that approximately US$26 trillion worth of infrastructure investment will be required from 2016 to 2030.