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MALAYSIA: Relaxation of Regulatory Regime Said to Offer Easier Access to Bond Markets

The regulations governing the issue of bonds in Malaysia are to be relaxed as of early 2018, with more liberal disclosure requirements set to be introduced at the same time. The changes, introduced by the Securities Commission of Malaysia (SCM), the country’s market regulator, are intended to give retail investors easier access to the corporate bond and Sukuk (Islamic bonds) market.  In the first instance, however, any such investors are likely to be restricted to the more highly-rated bonds as the government looks to minimise risk in the sector.

At present, access to the Malaysian bond market is largely limited to qualified institutional investors and to certain high net worth individuals. As part of its commitment to widening access, the SCM is looking to give retail investors unrestricted access to the trading of existing bonds on the secondary market. In a related move, on 6 November this year, the SCM launched the Bond and Sukuk Information Exchange (BIX), a one-stop platform for bond and Sukuk data and pricing, as well as for all relevant credit information.

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