Bursa Malaysia posts record FY20 earnings


“As we go forward we would like to see the re-emergence of the foreign institutional investors as well. We would be engaging all parties on this, ” Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift (pic) told a press conference yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Retail investors drove trading volumes to record highs and that helped Bursa Malaysia to post a record year in its financial performance.

“As we go forward we would like to see the re-emergence of the foreign institutional investors as well. We would be engaging all parties on this, ” Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift (pic) told a press conference yesterday.

The stock exchange operator witnessed a record performance in the financial year 2020 ended Dec 31 (FY20), with its net profit doubling to RM377.7mil.

Earnings per share doubled to 46.7 sen while higher trading activity in the securities and derivatives market had boosted its FY20 revenue to RM798.97mil from RM502.49mil in FY19. It declared a final dividend of 26 sen per share and a special dividend of eight sen per share for FY20 for shareholders with entitlement and payment dates on Feb 22 and March 3,2021 respectively.

“With the convenience of online broking and the conducive low interest rate environment, the average daily trading value (ADV) of securities doubled from RM1.93bil in FY19 to RM4.21bil in FY20.

“Our ability to handle the significant increase in volume and achieve this exceptional financial performance is a testament to the steadfast and unwavering commitment we have made through continued investment in our growth initiatives, ” chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said.

Moving forward, Umar Swift said it would like to introduce more products in the year ahead to capitalise on the heightened investor interest in investing and market trading.

“We are embarking on the journey to become a multi-asset exchange.

“Besides expanding our core offerings such as expanding our derivative products and ensuring incoming initial public offerings (IPOs), we are exploring new products such as asset-backed securities and tokenised assets while offering more compelling environmental, social, and corporate governance products to better serve the emerging interest of our investors, ” Umar Swift said.

“In the derivatives space for new products, I am most excited about the FCPO (crude oil palm futures) contracts in east Malaysia which is an expansion for us.

“I am excited by the Wakaf ETF and we are also looking to introduce a hibah solution for our central depository system (CDS) accounts so it’s easier to invest while their long-term intentions are fulfilled, ” he added.

Its outline for the FY21 to FY23 strategic roadmap will encompass the following: product expansion, ecosystem development and to build its capacity as well as capabilities.

Umar Swift expected at least some 30 IPOs this year on the stock exchange.

“In fact, we are hoping for a figure that is north of this estimate, ” he said.

On whether it was planning to ban regulated short selling (RSS) again, Umar Swift said that it won’t be looking to do that.

“I’m all for the democratisation in investing. We have controls in place of 3% as the maximum level of RSS, with this in place, it is well-controlled and we will not be looking to ban RSS since it provides liquidity, ” he said.

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