KUALA LUMPUR: Fund managers should help develop a capital market that also caters to the financial needs of small and medium enterprises, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said.
He said lowering of capital costs for such firms would go a long way towards supporting longer-term improvement in national competitiveness.
The Second Finance Minister said this in his keynote address at The Star/Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Investment Funds Award 2004 at the JW Marriott hotel here yesterday.
Stressing on the need to create a bond market for smaller and mid-sized issuers, he said the development of a local bond market was essential to facilitate long-term financing since the duration of bank loans was relatively short term.
“We want to stretch the bond tenure to 20 years, so that people will be able to borrow long-term funds,” he said.
He urged the local fund management industry to provide better market efficiency for both bond issuers and investors at the mid and small-capital range, where the presence of foreign funds was scarce.
S&P Investment Service managing director, Asia Pacific, William J. Reidy said among the stock markets in Asia, his agency had the most bullish view on Malaysia.
He anticipates more than 10% growth in the local stock market.
Given the high degree of optimism in the country, the US-based rating agency is planning to set up an equity research office in Kuala Lumpur to expand its coverage of Malaysian stocks.
Star Publications (M) Bhd group managing director and CEO Datuk Steven Tan congratulated the 19 award-winning funds, which had been the top performers in the local unit fund industry under various categories.
He said The Star placed importance on its role to inform and educate readers on financial planning and the need for quality investments.
He noted that the company’s efforts towards this end were recognised when its weekly business magazine Bizweek received the “Partners in Investors’ Education” award from the Securities Industry Development Centre – the education and training arm of the Securities Commission.