Capital Market Frequently Asked Questions Related to Covid-19
Last Updated: 30 March 2020
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), as the regulator of the capital market remains operational during the Movement Control Order (MCO) from 18 March until 9 June 2020.

Continuous trading and market operation are maintained, to facilitate issuers, market participants and investors to manage their risks and opportunities during this period. The SC will remain vigilant and will continue to monitor the ongoing developments to proactively manage risks in the marketplace and will introduce additional precautionary measures as appropriate, in order to maintain market integrity.

For feedback and information, please email to [email protected]
  • Part I: Market Trading and Operations
    1. Is the capital market open during the MCO?
    • Yes, the capital market, as an essential financial services, will operate as usual to support the economy, listed companies and investors, throughout the MCO.
    • The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and all capital market intermediaries including Bursa Malaysia Bhd (Bursa) will continue to operate as normal but all provision of services and movement of staff members will be adjusted to comply with the MCO.
    • Trading hours of the exchange remain the same, from 9:00am to 5:00pm (mid-day break 12.30pm to 2:30pm) from Monday to Friday.
    • The SC will closely monitor the exchanges, institutions and capital market intermediaries and their activities, to ensure they continue to effectively facilitate transparent, fair and orderly capital market activities.
    Useful link: Media release
    2. What measures are in place to ensure that the market continues to operate in a fair and orderly manner?
    • The SC and Bursa have business continuity measures in place, including backup sites, recovery facilities and alternative communications channels to operate the market in a crisis situation. 
    • Robust market management measures (e.g. circuit breakers, static and dynamic price limit) are in place to manage excessive volatility. 
    • Healthy clearing funds, margins and deposits levels are in place to ensure clearing and settlement risks are managed.
    • The SC and Bursa are monitoring ongoing developments to proactively manage risks in the marketplace and will introduce additional precautionary measures as appropriate.
    3. I work in one of the intermediaries. The MCO requires everyone to stay at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. How can this be achieved if the markets remain open and intermediaries have to operate?
    • All capital market intermediaries have in place business continuity frameworks to ensure the continuity of their business in times of crisis. As part of their pandemic response plan, intermediaries should implement social distancing measures.
    • Employees in non-critical functions are required to work from home. 
    • Only employees involved in providing essential financial services or critical operations necessary to support the provision of essential financial services may be required to be physically present within a place of business.
    • Employers can also consider split teams where some employees would work from the office while others work from home to minimise interaction. 
    • In accordance with MCO requirements, employees who are required to work at the office must be issued a verification letter or work travel pass by the employer.
    4. What is the scope of the short selling suspension?
    • The SC and Bursa have temporarily suspended short selling until 30 June 2020 
    • The suspension will apply to intraday short selling (IDSS) and regulated short selling (RSS), as well as intraday short selling by proprietary day traders. 
    • It does not apply to permitted short selling (PSS), which is short selling activities for Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). 
    5. What is the SOP for market participants to be able to operate in full capacity?
    • SC has issued a guidance on 8 May that aims to guide market participants in developing and communicating clear internal standard operating procedures (SOP) on health and safety measures, in addition to the SOPs and directives issued by Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) and various ministries to minimise the risk of Covid-19 at their workplaces, with regards to their dealings with their employees, agents and external parties.
    • It covers the minimum requirements and additional measures covering three key areas, namely the workplace, business operations, and dealing with external parties, to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 at the workplace.
  • Part II: Covid-19 Relief Measures
    1. What are the relief measures for capital market participants during this period?
    • 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)
    • 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.
      1. 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.
    • Waiver of the annual licensing fees for the Year 2020 for all individual CMSL holders and CMSRL holders.
      1. 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.
    • 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).
      1. 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.
      2. Licensed intermediaries and registered persons are expected to monitor and ensure that their representatives comply with the CPE requirement.
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • Waiver of all listing related fees for a period of 12 months for companies seeking to list on the LEAP and ACE Markets. 
    Please refer to the Circular entitled The Economic Stimulus Package 2020 - Waiver of Fees and Charges issued by Bursa Malaysia on 3 March 2020 for further details of these measures.
    For Audit Oversight Board
    • 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
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
    1 For entities licensed for more than one regulated activities, core activity means the activity that the intermediary is primarily licensed for.
    Subsequently, a series of relief measures were announced on 16 April 2020 that support public listed companies:
    • Bursa Malaysia (Bursa) will provide affected companies listed on the Main Market temporary relief from the Practice Note 17 (PN 17) classification in relation to the following criteria:
      1. the shareholders’ equity of the listed issuer on a consolidated basis is 25% or less of the share capital (excluding treasury shares) of the listed issuer and such shareholders’ equity is less than RM40 million.
      2. the auditors have highlighted a material uncertainty related to going concern or expressed a qualification on the listed issuer’s ability to continue as a going concern in the listed issuer’s latest audited financial statements and the shareholders’ equity of the listed issuer on a consolidated basis is 50% or less of share capital (excluding treasury shares) of the listed issuer.
      3. a default in payment by a listed issuer, its major subsidiary or major associated company, as the case may be, as announced by a listed issuer pursuant to paragraph 9.19A of the Listing Requirements and the listed issuer is unable to provide a solvency declaration to the Exchange.
    These measures will allow companies more time to regularise their financial positions. Similar temporary relief from Guidance Note 3 classification will also be provided by Bursa for companies listed on ACE Market. This PN17 relaxation will be effective from 17 April 2020 until 30 June 2021
    • Guidance Note on the Conduct of General Meetings for Listed Issuers (Guidance Note) that stated that listed issuers shall only conduct fully virtual general meetings during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
      • For fully virtual general meetings, there should not be more than eight essential individuals physically present at the broadcast venue, which includes the Chairperson of the general meeting, and may also be joined by the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the company secretary, the auditor and those providing audio-visual support. 
      • Companies can submit an application to the SC for a time-limited travel exemption for the essential individuals to travel to the broadcast venue for the fully virtual meetings.

    Additional measures to facilitate take-over offers digitally were also introduced: 
    • Allowing a hybrid method of serving takeover notices and documentation via electronic publication on dedicated pages at either the Bursa or the SC websites; and concurrently sending to all offeree shareholders a physical summary notification to inform them of the offer and the availability of the relevant notices and documents on the SC or Bursa website.
    • Shareholders can now opt to accept an offer either electronically or by the conventional method of responding by post.
    • Extending the time period for settlement of cash consideration from 10 days to 12 days to facilitate the settlement of consideration via e-payment or issuance of cheques by shareholders who have accepted a take-over offer.
    2. What other flexibilities are given to licence holders?
    • The SC have also accorded several regulatory reporting reliefs to licensed persons and other stakeholders which were communicated on 20 March 2020 and 16 April 2020.
    • Details of the various reliefs can be obtained at the link below. 
    3. Can PLCs hold their AGMs after the six-month period from the close of their financial year?
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    4. Can PLCs defer the announcement of quarterly or annual reports?
    • 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.
    • 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
  • Part III: Investors
    1. Can I still open an investment account during MCO?
    • Yes, but this is subject to the investor meeting all relevant eligibility criteria, and terms and conditions set by the brokers, trading participant or fund managers (Investment Service Providers). 
    • Certain Investment Service Providers may have in place arrangements that facilitate an account to be opened online.
    2. Will I be able to access my CDS, Unit Trust and investment account?
    • Yes, you can access your investment accounts as usual, through the online or digital channels provided by your investment service providers.
    • Please check the respective websites or call the Investment Service Provider’s customer service lines to obtain further information on your accounts. 
    3. Will I still be able to obtain regular updates / statements on my investment products i.e. unit trust, shares?
    • Unit trust management companies remain fully operational and are expected to provide their services as usual.
    • You are encouraged to contact your unit trust management company should there be any delay in receiving your statements. 
    4. Can I still trade my investment products as usual?
    • Yes, trading activities continue as usual during the MCO.
    • Please check the respective websites or call the Investment Service Providers’ customer service lines to obtain further information. 
    5. Can I continue to lodge enquiries or complaints to the SC regarding my investments in the capital market?
    • The SC’s walk-in complaints service has been suspended for the time being due to the MCO. However, members of the public can continue to email their enquiries or complaints to us at [email protected] The Consumer and Investor Office will continue to respond to your inquiries and attend to the complaints filed.
    • Alternatively, you can call our Aduan hotline at +603 6204 8999 (9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday).
    • General public enquiries can be emailed to [email protected].
    6. Is SIDREC still operational during this time?
    • Yes, SIDREC is still operational at this time although walk-in services have been suspended in view of the MCO
    • Investors are advised to contact SIDREC via telephone at +6016-620 5698 or email at [email protected]
    7. Where can I learn more about capital market products and services, and anti-scam awareness during this period?
    • The SC, through its InvestSmart®’s initiatives, continues to provide regular updates and information to ensure investors are informed and able to make investment decisions that are appropriate for them.
    • For more information, you may visit www.investsmartSC.my, download InvestSmart® mobile application or follow InvestSmart® on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
    • The public is advised to be extra cautious of scams and illegal schemes during this difficult time. There are unscrupulous parties who may be waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. Always deal only with licenced/ registered person before you part with your money to purchase any capital market products.
    Useful link: Licensing
    PRS Pre-Retirement Withdrawals that are Exempted from Tax Penalty
    1. Who is eligible to apply for pre-retirement withdrawal from sub-account B that is exempted from the tax penalty?
    • All PRS members below the age of 55 years old are eligible to apply for this withdrawal. 
    • There are no restrictions for members aged 55 years old and above to make withdrawals of any amount under any circumstances.
    2. When can I submit the application for the pre-retirement withdrawal from sub-account B that is exempted from the 8% tax penalty?
    • Members can submit applications starting from 30 April 2020 to their PRS Provider. The temporary tax penalty exemption is effective till 31 December 2020.
    3. What is the maximum withdrawal amount I can make for this temporary relief?
    • Members may request for withdrawal from one or more funds managed by each PRS Provider up to a maximum amount of RM1,500 per Provider. 
    • In order to assist PRS contributors, below is the list of PRS Providers and their contact details:
    PRS Provider Contact Details
    Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd

    Tel: 603 – 2116 6000
    Email: [email protected]
    WhatsApp: 012-6068685

    AIA Pension and Asset Management Sdn. Bhd Tel: 603-2056 1027 & 603-2056 1026
    Email: [email protected] 
    AmFunds Management Bhd Tel: 603 – 2032 2888
    Email: [email protected] 
    Kenanga Investors Bhd Tel: 1-800-88-3737
    Email: [email protected] 
    Web: www.kenangainvestors.com.my 
    Manulife Investment Management (M) Bhd
    (formerly known as Manulife Asset Management Services Bhd)
    Tel: 603-2719 9271
    Email: [email protected]
    Principal Asset Management Bhd
    (formerly known as CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd)
    Tel: 603 – 7718 3000
    Fax: 603 – 7718 3003
    Email: [email protected] 
    Web: www.principal.com.my 
    Customer care centre: 50,52 & 54 Jalan SS21/39 Damansara Utama
    47400 Petaling Jaya Selangor
    Public Mutual Bhd Hotline: 603 – 2022 5000
    Email: [email protected] 
    RHB Asset Management Sdn. Bhd Tel: 603 – 9205 8000
    Hotline: 1-800-88-3175
    Email: [email protected] 
    4. How long would it take for a pre-retirement withdrawal request to be processed?
    • Completed pre-retirement withdrawal request will be processed within 10 business days after the PRS Provider receives a completed request.
    5. How many times can withdrawals be made from each PRS Provider?
    • Members may withdraw once from each PRS Provider during the exemption period.
    6. Can I request to withdraw all the amount in sub-account B from one or more PRS Providers?
    • Yes, members may request to withdraw all amounts from sub-account B of more than one PRS Provider. However, for withdrawals above RM1500, the balance will attract an 8% tax penalty.
    Scenario
    Member has the following PRS accounts:

    PRS Provider

    Fund

    Amount member has in 
    sub-account B (RM) of the fund

    Month of pre-retirement
    withdrawal request

    Amount member may request
    to withdraw without penalty (RM)

    PRS Provider A

    Growth

    500

    May 2020

    500

    PRS Provider B

    Islamic

    2,000

    December 2020

    1,500

    Under this scenario, the member is allowed to withdraw the full amount from sub-account B of Provider A as it is below the RM1,500 limit. For withdrawal from Provider B, if a member withdraws RM1,500, no penalty will be imposed during the exemption period. The additional RM500 if withdrawn will attract the 8% tax penalty as it exceeds the RM1,500 limit from sub-account B.
    • If you have any further enquiries, please contact your PRS Provider or the Private Pension Administrator Malaysia at [email protected] or call 1300-131-772.
    7. Must I disclose a reason for withdrawal under this temporary relief?
    • No, there is no requirement for members to make any disclosure on the reasons for the pre-retirement withdrawal. 
    • While this temporary exemption from payment of the tax penalty is provided in the short run, members are encouraged in the long run to continue to save for their retirement.
  • Part IV: Capital Market Intermediaries
    1. How can issuers and principal advisers(PA) undertake the necessary filing of regulatory documents to the SC such as corporate proposals, information memorandum among others?
    • During the MCO period, all issuers and PA are advised to make online submissions to the SC.
    • Softcopy submissions to Equities Department can be filed via email to [email protected].
    • Hard copy of the submissions must be submitted to the SC within 5 market days after the MCO is lifted.
    • Applications submitted electronically to Managed Investment Schemes Department that are complete will be processed according to the existing time charter.
    2. What is the status of corporate and fund proposals? Is there any change to the time charter?
    • No, there is no change to the time charter. The SC continues to process all submitted corporate proposals and will respond to the principal advisers within the stipulated operating timeline.
    3. How can I get more information about matters relating to Managed Investment Schemes?
    Unit Trusts & PRS
    1. Can I still market and distribute Unit Trust / PRS?
    • Yes. Intermediaries are still allowed to market and distribute their products but they are required to adhere to the MCO, especially with regard to the restricted movement of individuals, and other related directives/advisories. 
    • Distributors should explore other non face-to-face avenues to engage with investors such as phone calls and online platforms, and to increase investors’ awareness on the availability of such alternative avenues. 
    Trainings and examinations
    1. What are the arrangements for courses, Familiarisation Programmes and SC Licensing Examinations conducted by SIDC during the MCO? Can I seek a refund?
    • Courses, familiarisation programmes and SC licensing examinations conducted by SIDC during the MCO period are currently put on hold.
    • SIDC is contacting those who have registered to inform them of the postponements and changes in schedules.
    • New dates will be published on www.sidc.com.my once the MCO is lifted.
    • Course participants and examination candidates will be allowed to roll-over fees paid to future dates without any penalty.
    • Course participant are also entitled to cancel their applications and SIDC will arrange for refunds upon request without any penalty.
    • For SC Licensing Examinations, affected candidates are allowed to defer the examinations without incurring any penalty. Similarly, refunds may be arranged upon request without penalty. The Secretariat will be in touch with affected candidates on new examination dates via email. 
    • Queries can be emailed to [email protected]
  • Part V: Others
    1. I am a witness in one of SC’s cases. Will I have to go to court in view of the MCO?
    • The Chief Registrar of the Federal Court has issued circulars to the effect that all hearing for civil and criminal trials from 18 March to 14 April 2020 will be adjourned to another date which will be notified. 
    • However, the circulars also explained that certain court proceedings or filing of cause papers may proceed subject to conditions determined by the court. For further details, please refer to related circulars below:
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