THE creation of fully-fledged investment banks is being actively pursued now that the banking industry has undergone the consolidation process.
And the merchant banking industry has taken various steps to enhance its position and involvement in the development of the capital market, said Association of Merchant Banks in Malaysia (AMBM) chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim.
We're confident the transition to the final phase of the disclosure regime would help further improve efficiency and result in a lower cost of fund raising, he told the Inter-Merchant Banks Annual Dinner in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
While we are more competitive, investor protection remains our priority.
This naturally demands enhanced disclosure, increased due diligence as well as corporate governance and self-regulation.
We will continue to play an active role in the development of the capital market and establishing Malaysia as a preferred fund-raising centre, he added.
The AMBM lauded the Budget 2004 as another comprehensive, balanced and pragmatic budget that would help the country meet its short and long-term economic and social objectives.
Azman thanked the government for extending its further support to the domestic capital market, especially the granting of similar tax treatments on both the asset backed securities (ABS) and Islamic securities as those of the conventional securities.
The association also welcomes the government's decision to grant tax deduction on expenses incurred in the issuance of both the ABS and Islamic Securities for five years, which would undoubtedly help increase usage of these products, he said.
Azman said the decision to list Felda on the KLSE in the 2004 budget was also an appropriate move by the government as it would add breath and liquidity to the equity market and at the same time enhance the government's financial position.
Similarly, the association welcomes and supports the setting up of a second unit trust fund or Dana Harapan, the Real Estate Investment Trust Fund and the Property Trust Fund, as these initiatives will further expand investment opportunities for bumiputra and small investors, he added.
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