Sabah-based Corporations and MSMEs to Benefit from the Malaysian Capital Market’s Wide Investment and Financing Opportunities
Capital Markets Malaysia, an affiliate of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), hosted the inaugural Invest Borneo Forum in Kota Kinabalu today to generate greater awareness of capital raising and investment opportunities in the Malaysian capital market within the Sabahan business community. Targeting corporations; micro, small-and-medium enterprises (MSMEs); and entrepreneurs, the half-day forum focused on how Malaysian businesses can tap into the full spectrum of capital market funding solutions from IPOs and bonds to alternative market-based financing, namely equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-topeer (P2P) financing to fund and expand their business operations.
The forum was held on the sidelines of the SC’s inaugural investor education event, ‘Bersama InvestSmart® @ Borneo Sabah’, taking place this weekend at the Imago Mall, Kota Kinabalu. The InvestSmart® Borneo event aims to promote financial and investment literacy as well as enhance investor empowerment amongst Sabahans.
SC Deputy Chief Executive, Datuk Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin said, “Our priority is to broaden access to investing and financing opportunities, particularly for segments which traditionally have been under-served, and encourage greater participation with the aim of building an inclusive capital market.”
While traditionally, companies have looked to banks for financing, the funding landscape has rapidly evolved in recent years. The capital market plays a significant role in financing the real economy, with total funds raised through bond, sukuk and equity issuances amounting to RM114.6 billion in 2018. The Malaysian capital market, with its diverse range of funding options, is also well positioned to cater to SMEs and entrepreneurs at varying stages of financing needs. A key focus of the SC’s developmental agenda this year includes the broadening of access to financing for MSMEs. Malaysia’s SMEs contributed 37.1% of GDP in 2017, with over 900,000 SMEs established as of 2017. While they make a substantial contribution to the economy, the SMEs and micro enterprise sector remain largely underserved.
The SC continues to support digitisation to meet the financing needs of MSMEs and attract a new generation of investors. The ECF and P2P financing platforms have thus far helped over 900 SMEs collectively raise close to RM350 million for their business expansion in the past three years. More than 100 Sabah-based business owners attended the forum to engage with speakers and panellists from the capital market including investment banks, ECF and P2P operators, digital investment platforms and rating agencies.