Monday, March 1

SC’s priority is continuing market ops during MCO

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A screengrab shows Syed Zaid during SC’s live video announcing SC’s Annual Report 2019 on Thursday.

KUCHING: The Securities Commission Malaysia’s (SC) immediate priority is continued market operations during the movement control order (MCO) period and will focus on four key prioriity areas to ensure this.

According to chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, SC will focus on four key priorities areas that includes stable market operations, enabling immediate opportunities, facilitating regulatory relief and maintaining market integrity and conduct.

“The immeditate priority is continued market operations during the duration of the MCO,” Syed Zaid said.

“We have taken steps to ensure that capital market intermediaries continue to operate as usual.

“Moving forward, social distancing, split operations and online transactions will be a way of life for the foreseeable future.

“Our businesses will need to adjust on how they operate to ensure continued access to investors.”

The SC’s Consumer and Investor office remains operational to handle investor enquiries and can be reached through Aduan channels listed on its website.

“We’ve also been actively monitoring the market and intermediary positions, as well as anticipating risks that may arise. Where necessary, we have taken action to protect the integrity of the market, for example the suspension of short selling.

“We will continue to pursue developmental efforts, in particular, to enable opportunities in areas pertinent to support the market. We strongly encourage intermediaries to step up their initiatives on product and service innovation as we bring in more traditional intermediation service online.

“Service providers are also urged to take note of upcoming guidelines that will provide flexibility for the use of digital means to advertise and promote capital market products and services.”

SC is also committed to ensuring continued access to fund raising. This includes raising ECF issuance limits as well as facilitating secondary trading on these digital platforms.

“We are also exploring alternative fund raising channels to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including the issuance of debt instruments.

“In addition, we intend to announce further measures to ease fund raising for listed companies.”

Expanding investment solutions will be another key focus area for the SC. This includes Islamic offerings, alternative investments and financial planning services.

In terms of policy tools, the SC has also facilitated immediate regulatory relief for investors, listed companies and issuers as well as intermediaries.

“For investors, the intention is to provide immediate relief of short term cash flow, allowing businessmen and owners to conserve as much needed cash for their businesses.

“Immediate relief was given to market intermediaries through extension of regulatory filings and waver of licensing fees amongst others.”

In addition to measures already announced, SC will provide further relief on corporate obligations , post-MCO. This includes extension for periodic reporting and regularisation of PN17 and GN3 companies.

“We will also be looking at means to provide interim relief of the classification of PN17 and GN3 companies. The lodgement of prospectuses for rights issues and structured warrants have been afforded relief.”

The SC will also facilitate virtual AGMs, given the new normal, as well as facilitate alternatives to meet takeover requirements.

“Amidst the current challenging circumstances, we remain steadfast in our core mandate to maintain fair, efficient, secure and transparent markets. Our focus is on raising investor awareness on scams as scammers tend to target people during the times of uncertainty. Since the MCO , we have increased the frequency of our social media outreach to a daily basis.

“In terms of monitoring market misconduct and corporate fraud, I would like to remind our intermediaries to remain vigilant and for public listed companies (PLCs) to remember their obligations to shareholders and to make timely disclosures.

“During the MCO, we have taken the opportunity to review enforcement processes, to enhance outcomes and transparency and we intend to take targeted enforcement action to protect vulnerable investors and minority shareholders and encourage greater self discipline and self reporting by industry.

“Mid-to-longer term regulatory reforms will continue, particularly measures which will strengthen market integrity as well as digitisation.”