SC auditing asset management firms


BY SABRY TAHIR

THE Securities Commission will audit the accounts of all asset management companies nationwide to check breaches of securities law by industry players, said chairman Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir. 

He said the SC had embarked on the auditing programme, which was not only aimed at curbing malpractices in the asset management industry but also at restoring good corporate governance practices, and ensuring that asset management companies improved their internal control and management.  

The SC had also sent its field team to study fund management environment abroad to ensure that such controls existed, he said. 

“We are keeping an eye on the fund management industry. So far, we are confident that the majority of the players are doing their work well,'' Ali said after launching Rating Malaysia Agency Bhd's (RAM) Islamic Finance Bulletin in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

Recently, the asset management industry was rocked by a case of possible breaches of securities law by certain directors of Metrowangsa Asset Management Sdn Bhd and another involving a director of Oasis Asset Management Sdn Bhd. 

(From left)RAM executive director Wong Fook Wah,RAM chairman Tan Sri DrAbdul Khalid Sahan,Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir,Datuk C.Rajandram and IBFIM chiefexecutive officer Mustapha Hamat going through the bulletin.

On SC’s response to the cases, Ali said the commission had taken immediate action on the directors involved and had called all fund managers for a meeting. 

“The companies involved have been investigated and audited and SC has all the information pertaining to their wrongdoings,'' he added. 

On allegations that SC had not been reacting to “whistle blowing” by investors and industry informers, Ali said SC had “promptly charged and prosecuted most of the wrongdoers.’’ 

“With the legal indemnity provisions in place, we hope there will be more whistle blowing, although we don't expect there will be a rush for it,” he added. 

Ali also commended RAM for issuing the Islamic Finance Bulletin, aimed at enhancing the dissemination of information on Islamic private debt securities (IPDS) to local and overseas markets.  

To facilitate the bulletin's launch, RAM has signed a service agreement with the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM). 

RAM executive deputy chairman Datuk C. Rajandram said total PDS issues for 2003 had surpassed the agency's forecast of RM25bil to RM32bil in August, with Islamic PDS issues accounting for 22% of total PDS issued. 

RAM, which ventured into the IPDS market in 1994, has to date rated 108 Islamic bond issues worth RM51.3bil. It has, since 1991, rated 769 bond issues amounting to RM218.6bil. 

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