The Edge

Malaysia selected as IOSCO’s first hub outside Spain

The new hub represents IOSCO’s first-ever presence outside its headquarters in Madrid, Spain

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 2:36pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 2:36pm

By Syahirah Syed Jaafar

Malaysia has been selected as the location for the first Asia-Pacific hub by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) — the leading global body of capital market regulators from both developed and emerging economies that regulate over 95% of markets worldwide.

The IOSCO Asia-Pacific Hub will be located at the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) building in Kuala Lumpur. The new hub represents IOSCO’s first-ever presence outside its headquarters in Madrid, Spain. IOSCO has members from over 115 jurisdictions worldwide.

“The hub in Malaysia will foster greater connectivity and inclusiveness within the Asia-Pacific region, and is a reflection of the SC’s commitment in facilitating greater cross-border collaboration,” said SC chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh in his speech yesterday at the launch of the hub in conjunction with the Global Emerging Markets Regulatory Conference 2017.

“We’re excited by the prospects and potential this offers. It also allows the industry to be able to leverage on the presence of the hub here and navigate capital market opportunities around the region.”

Ranjit said the hub will be running capacity-building programmes, and provide technical assistance and specific regulatory-focused initiatives. It is anticipated to be operational by mid-2017.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who officiated at the launch with the accompaniment of IOSCO board chairman Ashley Alder, said IOSCO’s choice in Malaysia reflects not only the strength and quality of Malaysia’s capital market as well as its regulatory architecture, but also recognises Malaysia’s international leadership role in building sound global capital markets.

“The establishment of IOSCO’s Asia-Pacific regional hub is timely, for Asia-Pacific is a major player in the new emerging global order,” added Najib.

Prospects for the region remain good, said Najib, though there is a need to ensure economies achieve sustainable and equitable development while remaining resilient in the face of internal and external volatilities.

In the case of Malaysia, there was a need to diversify the structure of the economy from commodity exports to manufacturing and services, as well as strengthen the stability of institutions, he said.

“We reduced government reliance on oil and gas revenue from 41% in 2009 to just 14% today. And we introduced a goods and services tax to widen the tax base. These were not always popular measures to take. But we are not a populist government,” said Najib.

Malaysia selected as IOSCO’s first hub outside Spain