The Malaysian capital market has been a vibrant source of fundraising and investment as evident from the healthy RM978 billion raised through it over the past decade, Prime Minister Najib Razak said.
He said the capital market is supported by extensive market intermediaries and a sizeable fund management industry, while governed by a robust, conducive regulatory framework under the purview of the Securities Commission (SC).
“Malaysia’s development and many public and private initiatives, have been facilitated by the availability of ample financing,” he said in his keynote address at the International Investment Fund Forum 2017 here today.
The text of his speech was read by Second Finance Minister, Johari Abdul Ghani.
Najib said the well-developed bond and sukuk market in Malaysia, complemented by the equity market, enabled funding to be raised efficiently and competitively across different maturities and industries.
Najib said Malaysia’s overall bond market is among the largest in the region, while its world-leading sukuk market accounted for 54 per cent of total sukuk outstanding globally as at end-2015.
“Furthermore, the sukuk market facilities structures are based on a wide range of shariah principles, thus providing issuers with options that suit their respective asset profile and cash flow requirements.
“Malaysia’s Islamic capital market more than tripled between 2005 and 2015, reflecting a compounded annual growth rate of 12 per cent,” he added.
The Prime Minister said with a market size of RM1.7 trillion as of November last year, Malaysia’s Islamic capital market represents 60 per cent of the country’s total capital market and is a fully comprehensive ecosystem.
Apart from the development of the sukuk market, the SC has also put much effort into enhancing the area of Islamic funds. This has led to Malaysia becoming second largest in terms of assets under management of Islamic funds in the world.
On the overall Malaysian economy, Najib said the country’s gross national income increased nearly 50 per cent between 2009 and 2015, resulting from government reforms and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
He said 1.8 million jobs had also been created during the period.
Najib said implementation of the minimum wage legislation also lifted 2.9 million people immediately out of poverty, which has been reduced to less than 1%.
“I am pleased to say that the income of the bottom 40 per cent households has increased by a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent, even higher than the national average of eight per cent since 2009,” he added.
He added that unemployment has been kept consistently low at 3.5 per cent, while inflation stood at 1.3 per cent in the third quarter of last year.
The one-day forum, in conjunction with the launch of Malaysia’s Islamic Fund and Wealth Management Blueprint, discussed the future direction and outlook of the investment management industry, growth potential of Islamic funds and wealth management segment as well as the rising interest in sustainable and responsible investing.