KUALA LUMPUR (June 19): Reducing stamp duty rate for shares traded on Bursa Malaysia Securities, promoting corporate ventures and easing the listing process were among the measures announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today to beef up the capital market and create more wealth for the rakyat.
In the immediate term, the stamp duty rate for shares traded on Bursa Malaysia Securities will be reduced to 0.10 per cent of contract value effective July from the current 0.15 per cent, subject to a maximum cap of RM1,000 per contract.
“(This is) as the capital market looks to widen affordable investment choices for the rakyat, coupled with the intent to deepen investor interest in our market,” he said at the launch of the Capital Market Graduate Programme (CMGP) at the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) here today.
Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said this change will directly reduce the cost of securities transactions and make the Malaysian stock market more competitive.
“I am confident that this step will stimulate the market and enhance its attractiveness,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the increase in market liquidity will attract more domestic and foreign funds into the Malaysian stock market, thereby encouraging the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to pursue initial public offerings (IPOs) and facilitating public listed companies in raising funds to expand their businesses and create more job opportunities, Anwar said.
Widening investor pool, structural reforms to boost listings
To attract larger pool of investors to support financing for SMEs and the new economy, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and SC will look at policies to facilitate and attract the setting up of family offices in Malaysia.
It will also look into promoting corporate venturing to drive greater domestic direct investment through more facilitative tax and incentive policies, including “enabling tax losses from corporate venturing to be utilised by the parent company to set off other sustainable investments in the group,” said Anwar.
The MoF and SC will also work on to widen the definition of sophisticated investors to include angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity firms.
“Finally, I recognise that the longer-term market and structural reforms would be required for Malaysia’s capital market and economic transformation,” he said.
However, as a start, in order to encourage more companies to be listed on Bursa Malaysia, the SC and Bursa Malaysia will implement reforms this year to make it easier and faster to list on the exchange by expediting the IPO process and reducing time to market to ensure Malaysia’s competitiveness and attractiveness, he said.
Anwar said all measures to enable higher level of market vibrancy and increase the attractiveness of the Malaysian capital market were worked out by the MoF and SC, with feedback from Bursa Malaysia and the capital market industry.
He said this was based on three pillars to enable higher level of market vibrancy and increase the attractiveness of the Malaysian capital market, namely widening investment and wealth creation opportunities for the rakyat, attracting larger pool of investors to support financing for SMEs and the new economy, and implementing market and structural reforms to restore confidence in Malaysia’s dynamism and competitiveness.
“Any reform requires discipline and patience. It also requires confidence and courage to do new things and make difficult decisions for the benefit of the people and the nation,” said the Prime Minister. – Bernama