YBhg Dato’ Zarinah Anwar
Deputy Chief Executive, Securities Commission
Emerging Markets Programme 2005
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
Good morning and a warm welcome to Malaysia and to the Securities Commission.
It also gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the 6 th Emerging Markets Programme organised by the Securities Commission. As with the previous years’ programmes, the EMP aims to provide a forum for regulators to share learning and experiences so as to equip participants with practical knowledge of regulatory issues affecting emerging capital markets.
The capital market landscape worldwide is changing rapidly. The pervasive impact of innovation in information technology on economic and financial activities has resulted in far reaching consequences throughput the whole value chain for capital market services. New business models such as e-broking and internet distribution of IPOs and collective investment schemes have emerged to challenge the traditional modes of doing business. Changes are therefore occurring on the one end, in the manufacture and distribution of products and services by financial service providers, while on the other end, investors are choosing increasingly to rely on the electronic medium as their preferred mode of receiving financial advice and services and execution of financial transactions.
In addition, dramatic change is also sweeping through the market place itself with boundaries and forms undergoing restructuring. In the past, exchanges were member-owned and self-regulating entities.
Today many exchanges have transformed themselves through de-mutualisation, consolidation across borders and reorganising their business activities such as de-coupling clearing and settlement activities from trading. The range of products traded on exchanges have also expanded considerably.
These new developments have not only broadened investment choices for investors and offered new modes of execution in financial services transactions, linking assets, markets and currencies in new ways, but they have also created new risks, thus posing new and different challenges to the regulator. Investor expectations have been re-shaped, making trust and t ransparency and trust acutely critical to the operation of corporations and economies.
For the market to continue to function fairly and efficiently, regulators need therefore to adopt pro-active responses to the dynamic market environment. A strong and robust regulatory framework is essential if there is to be a high degree of confidence in the market. Rules are only as good as their enforcement and active market supervision is essential to ensure market integrity and investor protection.
In this context, enforcement is central to building investor confidence and the reputation of the market. Globalization of financial markets means that financial fraud can be easily conducted across borders to take advantage of information and regulatory arbitrage. The only way to combat financial fraud is to cooperate, not only domestically with fellow enforcement agencies, but also with regulators across jurisdictions through a robust and effective information sharing and enforcement cooperation mechanism to counter securities laws violations. A forum such as this EMP is a substantive means of enhancing understanding of the different ways in which different markets operate, facilitates learning from different experiences and the application of new practices to issues and challenges.
In this context, I should mention IOSCO’s work on developing an efficient and effective cooperative framework for mutual assistance and information exchange.
At this year’s IOSCO annual conference, members confirmed the absolute importance of the IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation and the need for implementation as widely as possible to ensure a high standard of regulatory harmonization among securities regulators.
Equally significant, members affirmed the importance of another document – the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMOU) which aims to create a network for cooperation among regulators – and set a deadline of 1 January 2010 for all IOSCO members to become signatories to the MMOU.
These initiatives underscore the increasing interdependence between regulators in enforcing securities laws.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to note that this year this programme is being attended by 45 participants from 28 countries. We have designed an interactive programme that follows a discussive format to facilitate a greater exchange of ideas.
I hope the experiences and knowledge shared in this programme will enable you to apply effective and speedy regulatory responses to the strategic and operational issues you face at home.
I would like to thank all facilitators and resource persons who have come from many jurisdictions to share their knowledge and experiences. Indeed this is one of the hallmarks of the Emerging Markets Programme – that so many experienced regulators from developed and emerged markets have been extremely forthcoming in sharing their expertise. Let me wish all of you a productive programme, and a memorable stay in Kuala Lumpur.