SC to issue new licences for boutique fund managers

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The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) will introduce new categories of licences for boutique fund management companies and shorten the turnaround time for the approval of funds, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today at the 2015 Invest Malaysia Conference.

“The SC is committed to further expansion and will introduce new categories of licences for boutique fund management companies, and the range of permissible activities for fund management companies will be broadened to allow them to provide investment advice to clients via advisory mandates,” he said.

Najib said in his keynote address that the SC is focused on widening the people’s investment choices and promoting greater inclusivity. “In line with this, the turnaround time for the approval of funds is being shortened and the passporting of Asean unit trust funds is being offered.”

Six funds have been authorised to date. The signatory countries include Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, Najib said.

He also said the SC is developing a comprehensive blueprint for Malaysia’s Islamic fund and wealth management industry by the end of this year. The blueprint will chart the medium- and long-term strategic direction for the industry as well as map out strategies and recommendations to strengthen the country's competitive edge.

The prime minister noted that growth in the local fund management industry has deepened the capital markets, with RM630 billion under management at end-2014. He also noted that Malaysia has a well-developed Islamic fund management industry, holding 22% of the world’s US$73 billion of Islamic assets under management in 2014.

Malaysia currently has 20 companies operating under the Islamic fund management licence, in addition to 21 fund management companies that operate “Islamic windows” alongside their conventional business.