KUALA LUMPUR: Two more robo-advisors, Raiz and Robo Wealth, have received approval-in-principle and are expected to be fully operational by next year, said Securities Commission (SC) executive chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar.

“Today, Malaysia has three licensed and full operational robo-advisors namely StashAway, MyTHEO, and Wahed. We continue to see strong interest in this space and will pursue to facilitate its growth,“ he said during his opening address at the SCxSC Fintech Conference 2019 today.

Robo-advisors are a class of financial adviser that provides financial advice or investment management (based on mathematical rules or algorithms) online with moderate to minimal human intervention.

Meanwhile, he said he expected the latest allocation under Budget 2020 to further the growth of alternative market-based financing platforms.

“We expect this injection of funds to further spur the growth of our equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing industry, which in turn could catalyse growth in Malaysian SMEs by providing access to alternative sources of financing,“ he said.

The government allocated RM50 million to the Malaysia Co-Investment Fund (MyCIF) to help finance start ups and SMEs by co-investing on a one-to-four basis in campaigns listed on ECF and P2P financing platforms.

Syed Zaid said he believed the current digital financial landscape in Malaysia showed great potential for growth.

“Looking at where we started from, to where we are now, I think this is an area that will continue to grow and we will continue to push for the sector to grow so that our MSMEs (micro, small & medium enterprises) will be there to develop our economy.

“It’s difficult to talk about an outlook because it’s generally market driven and it depends on how much demand there is, but looking at global trends, we expect there will be more,” he said.

There are currently 21 ECF and P2P platforms registered with the SC, which have collectively raised RM587 million for more than 1,600 MSMEs.

To further diversify Malaysia’s digital capital market space, the SC introduced the regulatory framework for a Digital Asset Exchange (DAX).

Three operators, namely Luno Malaysia, SINEGY Technologies and Tokenize Technology, were registered in June this year.

“We expect them to be operational by next year, as targeted. We are always facilitative and are open to more operators coming on board, but it will be based on applications,” said Syed Zaid.

Meanwhile, during a fireside chat session, Betterment co-founder Eli Broverman said he saw a number of opportunities in the financial tech-nology market in Malaysia.

“Fintech infrastructure is critically important. We are seeing things in the US that have improved such as crowdfunding, account verification security measures, back-end trading and we would love to see companies working on those kinds of initiatives here in Malaysia and across the region,” he said.

SCxSC Fintech Conference 2019 is the sixth edition of the conference, and this year, more than 800 participants attended. The con-ference is supported by Rakuten Trade, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and Permodalan Nasional Bhd.