Opening Address by Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh
Executive Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia
at the World Capital Markets Symposium

in Kuala Lumpur on 6 February 2018

Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia;
Excellencies, esteemed speakers, distinguished guests;
Members of the media, ladies and gentlemen.

1. A very good morning and a warm welcome to the Securities Commission Malaysia’s World Capital Markets Symposium 2018. I am absolutely delighted to be able to welcome you to the Symposium, which is the fifth in the series and which takes on an added significance as we are holding it in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the SC.
2. I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Honourable Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak for making time to be here this morning and kindly agreeing to deliver the Keynote Address. The Prime Minister has been directly associated with the WCMS since its debut in 2009 and has been highly supportive of the SC’s efforts to promote and develop the Malaysian capital market.
3. I would also like to record my deep appreciation to Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Nazrin Shah, Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan and Royal Patron for Malaysia’s Islamic Finance Initiative who will grace us with his presence later today during the afternoon address by Fareed Zakaria.
4. I would also like to thank all of you for joining us at this milestone event and a special welcome to all of our international guests. Many of you have come from afar, and I am extremely pleased that you are able to join us at the Symposium.
Ladies and gentlemen,
5. A major impetus behind the creation of the World Capital Markets Symposium series is to allow for much greater engagement and understanding of new and emerging themes, thereby allowing for greater reflection and opportunity to shape global and domestic agendas.
6. Over the years, the Symposium has attracted a highly impressive set of speakers, and this year is no exception. I am deeply honoured that shortly we will have an address by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, whom I have had the privilege of discussing issues on sustainable finance, including The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project which led to the development of the Integrated Reporting framework to provide for more comprehensive corporate reporting.
7. Our featured global keynote speakers will address the theme of sustainable capitalism from a variety of angles. Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand and the first woman to head United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will share her views on the global sustainability agenda. From an Asian perspective, we are also delighted to have His Excellency Jin Liqun, President and Chairman of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) who will speak to us about AIIB’s efforts to improve social and economic outcomes in the region.
8. Recognising that geopolitical developments, particularly developments in the US continue to have a bearing globally, we will have a special address later in the day by Fareed Zakaria. Fareed, an award-winning journalist and CNN host, was with us here at the Symposium five years ago at. And tomorrow morning, the former Finance Minister of Greece and economist, Yanis Varoufakis will no doubt provide some very interesting insights on European politics, institutions and socio-economic dynamics.
Ladies and gentlemen,
9. The world today is however at a vital inflection point. While capitalism has been hailed as one of the biggest drivers of economic progress, there are aspects of capitalism that has created major discord and has not fully met the needs of society today. Whether these relate to climate change or gender inclusivity, wealth disparities or displacement of labour – these global issues are having a profound impact on our lives.  There are also growing concerns that capitalism has spawned a myopic short-term view often adopted at the expense of long-term interests. This has contributed to a tangible and growing disconnect between finance and the real economy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
10. The drivers of growth need to change in order to meet the demands of a newequilibrium. There is a need to re-adjust mindsets and focus not just on the quantity of growth, but the quality of growth1. Further, as developments have recast the structure of financial markets and reshaped consumer expectations, business-as-usual is simply no longer tenable.
11. Standing on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is important to not only assess how far we have come, but decide where we go from here. How we square the rapid digitisation of the global economy with broader societal concerns, such as infrastructure development, wealth inequality and climate change will come to define not only who we are, but generations after us. The imperative before us therefore is to ensure that new innovations unfold with humanity’s needs and aspirations firmly at its core.
Ladies and gentlemen,
12. Capital markets play an indispensable role in connecting finance to the real economy. Rightly harnessed, markets are one of the most powerful channels for delivering long-term economic growth and generating positive externalities for society as a whole.
13. An optimally-functioning capital market is capable of mobilising finance to productive sectors of the economy (particularly long-term, large scale financing), providing inclusive opportunities for wealth creation and preservation, and meeting consumer appetite for socially responsible investments. In doing so, markets must be anchored on principles of responsible leadership, good governance and market conduct.
Ladies and gentlemen,
14. Over the past 25 years since the SC’s establishment, the Malaysian capital market has witnessed a tremendous period of growth. Today, we have one of the largest capital markets in the region. The capital market has played a key role in financing the economy, enabling capital formation for corporates and as well as for infrastructure financing. In 2018, we expect up to RM120 billion (US$29.6 billion) worth of financing to be raised through various market segments including the bond market which is the 3rd largest in Asia.
15. Sustainability remains high on the SC’s agenda, dovetailing closely with the country’s commitment towards the implementation of global policies and efforts. The SC is committed towards creating a facilitative ecosystem to develop sustainable finance, including the release of the SRI Sukuk Framework that led to the issuance of the world’s first green Sukuk in Malaysia and which were followed by three other issuances bringing the total amount raised to RM2.185 billion (US$540 million) for the four green Sukuk issued to date. The SC recently issued the Guidelines for SRI Funds to widen the range of SRI products in this segment, reinforcing the country’s regional leadership in the SRI market.
Ladies and gentlemen,
16. As global capital markets continue to evolve in a rapidly changing landscape, it is important to ensure that efforts to spur the growth of domestic capital markets consider both regional and global trends. In view of this, it was announced in the Federal Budget 2017 by the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, for the SC to establish a dedicated research institute, the Institute of Capital Market Research Malaysia (ICMR) to conduct studies on thematic issues to provide innovative solutions to further augment the growth in the capital market.
17. The ICMR is an important platform for the sharing of knowledge and ideas through for policy makers, regulators, the academia and industry. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that ICMR is already committed to work with strategic research partners on various areas of the capital market. This includes The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania through their Alternative Investments Initiative for research on Venture Capital and Private Equity financing. We also welcome the presence of the other research partners, the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research, Japan and the Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development. arehonoured to have the Honourable Prime Minister officially launch the ICMR this morning.
Ladies and gentlemen,
18. In keeping with the essence of the Symposium – the Renaissance of Capitalism: Markets for Growth – the time has come for a resurgence in the way we view  capitalism as we know it today.
19. We are all major stakeholders in the paradigms of capitalism. This is a shared responsibility, and we need to play a collective role to develop a new approach to capitalism – one where growth is not just more inclusive, but imbued with a sense of responsibility to the environment and to current and future generations. Where gender diversity and the youth are embraced and all segments of society are empowered. And one which is underpinned by good governance and high standards of conduct.
20. Only with these attributes at its core, I would say, are we able to have a financial system that optimally serves the needs of the real economy and the future prosperity of our society.
21. Thank you for your attention.

1Klaus Shwabb, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum at the World Economic Forum, Davos, January 2018