KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia is aiming for increased participation from retail investors in the local stock market with the launch of its “Bursa Anywhere” mobile app today.
Its CEO Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said that Bursa Malaysia’s long-term goal is for retail investors to make up 30% of its participants.
“Year on year, we’ve seen greater retail participation on Bursa. At the end of last year, individual investors accounted for 22% of average daily volume and for the first quarter of this year, retail investors took up 25%,” he said at the launch today.
Bursa Anywhere is aimed at increasing the ease of accessibility. Currently, it allows for consolidated statement of multiple Central Depository System (CDS) accounts and tracking of market-to-market portfolios, and for investors to receive corporate announcements.
Going forward, it will allow investors to subscribe to initial public offerings (IPOs) on the app and open a CDS account on their mobile device.
Bursa Malaysia is turning its focus towards bringing in “new modern” companies to the local bourse.
“If you look at the stock market, it is very traditional; we would like to have companies with industrial revolution 4.0. We want to see new offerings that will actually excite (the market), stocks that can actually bring new opportunities,” said Muhamad Umar.
Speaking of the market outlook, he said he is optimistic about Malaysia’s prospects despite the volatility stemming from the trade tension between the US and China.
Notwithstanding such external headwinds, Muhamad Umar said, the country has a sound fundamentals and the economy is well placed.
“Malaysia is well placed to benefit from that in the medium term. However, the externalities also provide a degree of uncertainty, and investors do not like uncertainty, but domestically we’re robust.”
Weighing Malaysia’s prospects against other emerging markets, he said Malaysia is still attractive, driven by strong gross domestic product growth, a stable government and a strong banking system.
Muhamad Umar expects more initial public offerings (IPOs) on Bursa Malaysia this year compared to the previous year.
So far, there have been 10 IPOs on the local bourse, with one Main Market listing, two ACE Market listings and the rest on the LEAP Market. Last year, Bursa Malaysia saw 22 listings raising RM633.12 million, compared with 14 listings that raised RM7.38 billion in 2017.