Bursa Malaysia enhances Main Market listing requirements

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd has announced enhancements to the Main Market listing requirements to facilitate the offering of listed real estate investment trusts (REIT) and exchange-traded funds (ETS) with waqf feature.

In a statement, the stock exchange operator said the amendments will take effect on April 3, 2023.

The Waqf Amendments, which complement the Guidelines on Islamic Capital Market Products and Services (ICMPS Guidelines) issued by the Securities Commission (SC) on Nov 28, 2022, is part of the initiative to expand the Waqf-Featured Fund Framework (WQ-FF Framework) to listed Islamic funds such as REITs and ETFs.

The WQFF Framework was introduced in November 2020, initially applicable only for unit trust and wholesale funds, to enable the growth of the Islamic social finance segment and to develop waqf.

Under the Waqf Amendments, the Exchange has enhanced the post-listing disclosure framework of Islamic REITs and ETFs to provide transparency on the waqf arrangement.

Among others, an Islamic REIT or ETF must immediately announce any changes to the waqf arrangement disclosed earlier in the prospectus, information memorandum or product highlight sheet, together with reasons for the changes, and provide interim updates on the income distributions chanelled for waqf purposes, in the quarterly report of the Islamic REIT or semi-annual report of the Islamic ETF.

The Islamic REIT or ETF must also disclose how investors can obtain more information on the waqf recipients and progress of the waqf initiatives, in the annual report.

“The expansion of the WQ-FF Framework is a welcome development in the listed fund space of the Islamic capital market.

"Investors will soon have more opportunities to access a diversified suite of Shariah-compliant listed products,” said Bursa Malaysia CEO, Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift.

“Bursa Malaysia is particularly pleased to be part of the ecosystem providing an effective instrument to support our nation’s socio-economic development."

He added that the enhancements will promote the growth of waqf and Sustainable and Responsible Investment assets, further cementing the Exchange’s position as a leading global Islamic finance marketplace.

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