Malaysia has on Monday announced several measures to boost capital market vibrancy and competitiveness.

The capital market regulators said in a statement that they commit to explore ways to reduce market friction and shorten time-to-market for initial public offerings.

To widen the pool of investors, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) will also look at policies to facilitate and attract the setting up of family offices in Malaysia; to promote corporate venturing to drive greater domestic direct investment through more facilitative tax and incentive policies; and to widen the definition of sophisticated investors to include angel investors.

The measures announced including a reduction of the stamp duty rate for the trading of listed shares on Bursa Malaysia from 0.15 percent to 0.10 percent, while the stamp duty cap is maintained at MYR 1,000 ($216) for each contract.

This change, which take effect in July, will directly lower the cost of transactions, especially for retail investors, who are particularly sensitive to costs.

According to the statement, the short-term and medium-term measures address three key pillars essential to the growth and development of the capital market in Malaysia: creating market vibrancy with greater participation opportunities for the Malaysians; attracting larger pool of investors to support financing for small, medium enterprises and new economy companies; and enhancing Malaysia’s competitiveness to strengthen market confidence.

“The SC’s commitment to maintain the capital market’s resilience and competitiveness is of the utmost priority,” said SC Chairman Awang Adek Hussin.

According to him, the capital market initiatives announced will boost greater trading participation and access to financing in the market, encouraging the growth of innovative companies and fostering greater diversity and inclusivity in the industry.

“We aim to empower issuers and investors by creating a business-friendly environment through relevant support and incentives,

“The SC is optimistic that these efforts will create a more vibrant capital market to drive economic growth in the country,” he added.

Bursa Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Muhamad Umar Swift also said the stock exchange is confident that the proposed measures, along with the existing development initiatives, will stimulate market activity and create a more dynamic and liquid market environment.

“A liquid and strong performing capital market has tremendous benefits to numerous stakeholders, and the economy as a whole,

More importantly, the measures will widen affordable investment choices for the Malaysians, and deepen investor interest in our market, leading to Bursa Malaysia being a destination of choice for fundraising,” he said.

According to him, the multi-pronged measures by the Malaysian government and market regulators reflect the intent to create a conducive environment for a thriving capital market, recognizing the pivotal role played by a well-functioning capital market in fostering robust economic growth.

“The capital market regulators reinforced their commitment to ensure that the capital market is competitive and vibrant, while supporting the economic needs of Malaysia,” he added.

The SC and Bursa Malaysia said they will continue to work closely with the the MOF, industry partners and other relevant bodies to explore further holistic measures towards ensuring an inclusive and sustainable capital market.

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