COVID 19: Securities Commission Malaysia announces Relief Measures for Capital Market Participants

To ease the cost burden of capital market participants, the SC announced several relief measures on 24 March 2020 that will immediately benefit 231 licensed entities, 30 registered audit firms and 9663 licensed individuals. These measures complement the wider relief effort under the Economic Stimulus Package 2020 (ESP 2020) announced by the Government on 27 February 2020. 

For holders of Capital Markets Services Licence (CMSL) and Capital Markets Services Representatives Licence (CMSRL)

  1.  Waiver of the SC’s annual licensing fees for 2020 on the core regulated activity1 of all CMSL entities with Profit Before Tax of RM5 million or less during Financial Year 2019.
    • A qualified CMSL entity which has already made the payment prior to the announcement on 24 March will be offered a credit to offset against next year’s licensing fees. This amount will be credited into their respective accounts in the Electronic Licensing Application (ELA) system but processing fee remains applicable and chargeable

  2. Waiver of the annual licensing fees for the Year 2020 for all individual CMSL holders and CMSRL holders.
    • Individual CMSL holders and CMSRL holders (including Trading Representatives) who have made the payment prior to the announcement on 24 March will be offered a credit to offset next year’s licensing fee. This amount will be credited into their respective accounts in the Electronic Licensing Application (ELA) system but processing fee remains applicable and chargeable

  3. Reduction of the minimum Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements from the current 20 CPE points to 10 CPE points effective 1 July 2020 for a period of 12 months for all CMSRL holders and Employees of Registered Persons (ERPs)
    • This will ease the burden of CMSRL holders and ERPs whose licence anniversary date or cycle period falls between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021. Individuals who have collected more than 10 CPE points prior to their licence anniversary date in the second half of 2020, may carry forward their excess points to the next anniversary period
    • For example, Person A and Person B shares the same anniversary date of 15 August 2020. To date, Person A has collected 5 CPE points, while Person B has fulfilled the 20 CPE points. Person A will be required to collect the remaining 5 CPE points by the anniversary date of his licence. Person B will be allowed to carry forward the excess of his 10 CPE points to the next anniversary or cycle period
    • Licensed intermediaries and registered persons are expected to monitor and ensure that their representatives comply with the CPE requirement

  4. Reduction of the minimum training requirements to three days from the current five days, effective 1 July 2020 for a period of 12 months for Trading Representatives and Marketing Representatives.

For Public-Listed Companies (PLCs)

  1. Waiver of all listing related fees for a period of 12 months for companies with market capitalisation of less than RM500 million seeking to list on the Main Market.

  2. Waiver of all listing related fees for a period of 12 months for companies seeking to list on the LEAP and ACE Markets.

  3. Please refer to the Circular entitled The Economic Stimulus Package 2020 – Waiver of Fees and Chargesissued by Bursa Malaysia on 3 March 2020 for further details of these measures.

For Audit Oversight Board

  1. One-off training subsidy for existing registered firms of Audit Oversight Board (AOB) with less than 10 audit partners, up to RM30,000 per firm for Approved Training Programmes conducted by the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA).

For Participating Organisations / Brokers

Margin financing flexibilities for brokers and investors

  • Effective 27 May until 30 September 2020, brokers may, at their discretion, not make margin calls or impose haircuts on any collateral and securities purchased and carried in margin accounts
  • Previously, brokers were required to automatically liquidate clients’ margin accounts if the equity in those accounts falls below 130% of the outstanding balance. Brokers may avail themselves of this flexibility and modification provided they can comply with their own capital adequacy ratio and shareholder funds as required by Bursa Malaysia
  • Brokers can now accept other collaterals, such as bonds, unit trusts, gold and immovable properties to maintain their clients’ margin accounts, and value these collaterals accordingly
  • Brokers, trading participants, clearing participants and authorised depository agents are encouraged to operate shorter counter service hours for their clients

Other flexibilities are given to licence holders

  1. The SC have also accorded several regulatory reporting reliefs to licensed persons and other stakeholders which were communicated on 20 March 2020.

  2. Details of the various reliefs can be obtained at the link below.
  1. https://www.sc.com.my/resources/media-releases-and-announcements/sc-grants-regulatory-flexibilities-for-market-participants

Can PLCs hold their AGMs after the six-month period from the close of their financial year?

  1. Pursuant to a statement issued by Companies Commission Malaysia (SSM) on 16 March 2020, PLCs may apply to defer their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) with the SSM, beyond the prescribed 6-month period as stipulated under the Companies Act 2016. 

  2. In addition, the SC has granted a 2-month extension for Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) managers of listed REITs with financial year end of 31 December 2019 to hold their AGMs by 30 June 2020.

  3. Listed issuers are reminded to comply with their continuing disclosure obligations under the Listing Requirements including the obligation to make immediate announcements of any material information to ensure that shareholders and investors continue to receive information in a timely manner.

Can PLCs defer the announcement of quarterly or annual reports?

  1. Listed issuers are granted an automatic one-month extension for issuance of quarterly and annual reports for the Main and ACE Markets, as well as semi-annual and annual audited financial statements for the LEAP Market, that are due on 31 March 2020 and 30 April 2020.
  1. More information on the extension of time can be found in Bursa’s announcements dated 17 March 2020 and 26 March 2020 at www.bursamalaysia.com