The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Bursa Malaysia Berhad have jointly committed to an expedited three-month approval period for initial public offerings (IPO) on both the Main Market and the ACE Market.

The duo said in a statement on Monday that the commitment is applicable to new IPO applications received from March 1, 2024.

The commitment for a prompt decision on regulatory approval within three months will be premised on the principal advisers/sponsors satisfactorily addressing the regulators’ queries and comments on IPO applications within five market days.

This will augment the regulators’ current practice since 2021 of issuing queries and comments within ten market days following a complete IPO application, as well as issuing subsequent queries and comments within five market days to each response round.

According to the statement, the regulators will continue to maintain rigor in the assessment, without compromising investors’ protection and public interests.

With the aim to leverage a stronger collaboration between the regulators and industry players to offer a clearer timeline to listing for qualified IPO applicants, the regulators said they look forward to attract quality companies to list, particularly those in sectors that
support national growth policies, blueprints, and roadmaps.

“The Malaysian equity capital market has remained a cornerstone of funding for companies, with IPOs raising MYR 3.6 billion ($750,000) in 2023,

“We believe our approval timeframe is able to cater for the dynamic business needs of companies looking to raise funds in the capital market, as part of our ongoing efforts to remain competitive and relevant for both local and international investors,” the SC Chairman Dr. Awang Adek Hussin said.

According to him, this collaborative effort underscores the regulator’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for issuers, facilitating their access to capital markets with greater certainty and efficiency.

Muhamad Umar Swift, Bursa Malaysia Chief Executive Officer, said the more competitive time-to-market will enhance the exchange’s attractiveness to companies seeking to list in Malaysia.

“We aim to provide a holistic and customer-friendly facilitation by regulator(s) and principal advisers/ sponsors, to better support companies who intend to raise capital through IPOs and elevate their status as public
listed companies,

“Our equities market is ready to support the cycle of fundraising and investing, to grow businesses,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Investment Banking Association (MIBA) said it recognized the critical importance of seamless collaboration between regulators and advisers to ensure a smooth listing process.

“By working hand in hand, we can uphold the highest standards of due diligence, corporate governance, and compliance, ultimately facilitating a faster time-to-market
for IPO issuers,

“This will not only benefit businesses seeking to raise capital but also enhance the overall credibility and transparency of the capital market,” MIBA Chairman Lee Jim Leng said.

The SC and Bursa Malaysia said advisers and professionals should uphold due diligence standards to enable the highest quality IPO applications by adhering to guidelines and
requirements, ensuring quality disclosures, high standards of corporate governance, as well as timely and satisfactory responses to regulator queries and comments.

Further measures, including training modules will be developed to support market professionals towards meeting the unified objective of a smoother journey to IPOs, according to the duo.

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