KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 4, 2013): The Securities Commission (SC) aims to position Malaysia as an Islamic wealth management centre, a target that is highly feasible because of the country's high savings rate.
Chairman Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh said to this end, steps were being taken to create a certain number of intermediaries in the area.
"This is the effort that we are collectively pursuing now. The strategy is that we are getting some firms to come in," he said at a public lecture today.
The lecture, titled "Positioning Malaysia as an Islamic Wealth Management Marketplace -- A Regulator's Perspective", is organised by BNP Paribas Malaysia Bhd and the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance.
Ranjit said this in response to a question on how Malaysia could be an Islamic wealth management centre.
As of July 2013, there were 19 licensed Islamic fund management companies in Malaysia, according to the SC's website.
Ranjit said currently, the Islamic fund management companies enjoyed tax incentives.
He said players should look into innovative solutions that could be offered to their clients.
Earlier, in his lecture, Ranjit said Malaysia's assets under management of Islamic funds were expected to hit RM322 billion by 2020 from RM80 billion end-2012.
He said the RM80 billion represented about 16% of total industry assets, thus there was strong demand for the local Islamic funds.
"As a result, Malaysia has emerged as the world's largest sukuk market, accounting for almost 70% of global sukuk outstanding.
"Malaysia is also home to the world's largest unit trust industry with 169 syariah-compliant funds," he said.
Following this, he said, there was a significant scope for Malaysia to continue innovating and expanding the Islamic market place by generating broader approach with regional countries.