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Retail, individual investor participation continue to increase

6th October, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the ongoing challenging environment, retail and individual investors’ participation in the Malaysian capital markets have increased, proving their continued confidence in the market, said Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) chairman, Datuk Syed Zaid Albar.

He said the rise can be seen by digital investment managers, equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platforms, digital asset exchanges (DAX) and online brokers.

“The SC has been a strong and consistent advocate of digital innovation. We have been working closely with the industry (players) during this pandemic to roll-out numerous digital initiatives to meet immediate market needs.

“We are encouraging partnerships between our intermediaries and e-services providers, such as e-commerce platforms and e-wallets, to widen the distribution of capital market products,” he said in his opening remarks during the virtual SC x SC Fintech Conference (SCxSC) on Monday.

He noted that the awareness on online products and services and their availability have increased during the lockdowns – a silver lining to the pandemic cloud; adding that the SC and the industry are working closely to leverage the unexpected but positive outcomes to advance the digital agenda for the capital markets.

Syed Zaid also reminded investors to exercise common sense by verifying that the individuals or companies offering capital market products or services are on SC’s public register, and urged them to help the SC by reporting any suspicious activities.

Meanwhile, he said the SC has issued three more digital investment management licences this year, bringing the total to seven, to-date.

“These digital investment managers have attracted many first-time investors, with close to 90,000 new accounts opened this year.

“The number of new account openings through online-only brokers have increased, and grew by over 270 per cent this year compared to last year; an almost fourfold increase. Their average trading volume have also tripled this year,” he said.

Syed Zaid also said that three DAXes that were approved by the SC last year has gone live with four digital assets permitted for trading on the platforms.

“Collectively, more than 400,000 accounts have been opened across these three DAXes, and the value of trades surpassed RM100 million in August,” he said.

On alternative fundraising, including via the ECF and P2P platforms, Syed Zaid said total funds raised have breached the RM1 billion mark this year, and benefitted over 2,500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Supporting this growth are investors under the age of 35, who account for 60 per cent of individual investors.

“The presence of retail investors – constituting 84 per cent of participating individual investors – further underscores the appeal of these platforms,” he added.

The SCxSC is held virtually from Oct 5-7, and members of the public may visit scxsc.my for more information or to tune in to the livestream. –Bernama

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