Malaysia's capital market, which is now more inclusive and accessible than ever and valued at US$816 billion, has done
remarkably well in reinforcing the economy by invigorating the bond market, particularly Islamic bonds, boosting the unit trusts industry and contributing to national savings.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia's vibrant capital market was now equivalent to two-and-a-half times the country's current gross domestic product.
Besides this, the country's bond market worth US$314 billion has grown to become Asia's third largest relative to gross domestic product and the largest unit trust industry in Asean, with a combined net asset value of US$102 billion.
"Our sukuk market accounts for almost 70 per cent of the global total and home to the world's largest Islamic unit trust industry," he said in his keynote address at the World Capital Market Symposium 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the rise of a vibrant capital market over the last 20 years in line with the country's economy that is more open, competitive and better integrated with global markets, has enabled savings to be more efficiently mobilised and utilised for capital.
"We have one of the highest savings rates in the world," he said.
Najib said the market has enabled enterprises to raise capital for long term fixed investments, paving the way for broad-based development, by financing critical public and private infrastructure such as utilities, transportation and
He said corporate ownership has been increasingly democratised, helping Malaysians to play a bigger part in it and benefit from the country's growth, driven by special institutions and investment schemes to encourage and facilitate investment by lower-income households.
He also said that Malaysia's world-leading Islamic capital market that has met the demand for shariah-compliant investments and capital raising, has opened up economic participation to a wider range of stakeholders.
"Initiatives to address the financing needs of the entire spectrum of businesses across the public and private spheres, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large corporations, from start-ups to social enterprises, are complementing these efforts at building a more inclusive market," he added.
Najib said the capital market has been instrumental in enabling Malaysia's economic transformation for the past 20 years, resulting in broad-based development and a higher standard of living for the people.
"Our own regulatory framework meets best-in-class international standards and Malaysia is today acknowledged as a thought-leader and significant contributor to international regulatory reform efforts," he added.-- Bernama