SC is best Islamic funds regulator

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 14 Nov 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission (SC) has been named “Best Regulator for Islamic Funds” at the inaugural Master of Islamic Funds Awards.  

The award was a recognition of the SC's pioneering efforts and leadership role in the development and promotion of a comprehensive Islamic capital market, said SC chairman Datuk Zarinah Anwar in her keynote address for the 12th Malaysian Capital Market Summit 2007 yesterday.  

Malaysia had much to offer investors in terms of an attractive range of conventional and Islamic investment opportunities, as well as the launch of the growth corridors for strategic investments, she said. 

Within the equity market, Muslim investors were spoilt for choices, as 86% of the listed companies accounting for 63% of market capitalisation on Bursa Malaysia were syariah-compliant companies, she said.  

Malaysia also offers the widest and largest selection of small and mid-cap companies within Asean. 

The domestic currency bond market, both public and private, was the fourth largest in Asia in absolute terms after Japan, South Korea and China, Zarinah said, adding that Malaysia was also home to several of the world's largest plantation companies.  

This year, the SC shifted its focus to restitution for investors by adopting pre-emptive measures to freeze assets and disgorge ill-gotten gains, she said.  

For example, the SC obtained a Mareva injunction to prevent disposal of assets and secured an order to compel the return of RM35mil from 14 bank accounts in Hong Kong and Singapore in the Swisscash case while it injuncted RM20mil in proceeds from Ayer Molek Rubber Co's sale of land.  

The regulator also reinstituted RM12.8mil to investors of Powerhouse Asset Management Co and filed a civil suit against the company and the fund manager for the shortfall of RM1.9mil.  

Recently, it filed a civil suit against the managing director of FTEC Resources Bhd for restitution of RM2.5mil that he was charged with utilising for his own benefit.  

“These four cases alone involved a sum of over RM73mil covered by this new approach,” Zarinah added.  

At the sidelines of the conference, she told reporters that listed companies should adopt a more robust investor relation programme.  

Companies needed to do a lot more than what they were doing today, particularly the smaller companies that were not widely covered by research houses, she said. 

She added that the Capital Market Development Fund-Bursa Malaysia Research Scheme was set up for this purpose.  

“The problem now is that these companies are not willing to sign up,” she said. 

Meanwhile, the SC is anticipated to set up the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board by early next year.  

Zarinah said the establishment required “a lot of work” as laws had to be amended and the structure developed. 

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