YBhg Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh
Securities Commission Malaysia
Malaysian Financial Planning Council’s 2010 Graduation Ceremony
16 January 2010
Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Mr Kee Wah Soong, President of the Malaysian Financial Planning Council,
Y Bhg Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah, CEO of PNB,
Y Bhg Datuk Syed Othman, Chairman of MFPC Syariah Advisory Board,
Members of the MFPC Council,
Members of the press,
Ladies and gentlemen
Good evening. I am pleased and honoured to be here this evening for the 2010 Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC) graduation ceremony and I would like to thank the MFPC for the kind invitation. This ceremony gives recognition to practitioners who demonstrate acumen and professional knowledge in financial planning. The event not only promotes professional excellence among financial planners in Malaysia, but also showcases the rich pool of financial professionals in our country. I would also like to extend my warmest congratulations to the 250 registered financial planners (RFPs), Shariah RFPs and Affiliate RFPs who are graduating today.
Over the past decade, Malaysia has come a long way in the development of its financial market, with the establishment of a broad based capital market that has made us an important player within the regional and in some segments global landscape. We have made significant strides in developing a sound regulatory infrastructure which is internationally benchmarked and is able to support growth in all segments of our capital market. We have also developed markedly in our product market and we now have the third largest bond market in Asia after Japan and Korea and the largest unit trust industry in ASEAN as well as a fund management industry that is the fastest growing segment of our capital market.
The mounting sophistication of our capital market leads to a growing need for financial professionals in our country. Financial planners play a more and more important role as individuals become wealthier and demand for professional advice in managing their finances effectively grows more significant.
The GFC which triggered the failure of major financial firms and affected thousands of retail investors globally impacting their lifelong savings highlights the importance of having financial professionals who are well trained and highly competent. The growing complexity in the investment world and the types of investment products available to investors also emphasises the need for top quality financial advice. As such, the role played by institutions like the MFPC is crucial in promoting and supporting the development of the financial planning profession in Malaysia through making available professional education such as the Registered Financial Planner (RFP) Programme.
In addition, the introduction of the Shariah RFP programme is commendable and will complement our concerted efforts at deepening and broadening the Malaysian Islamic capital market.
As we are all aware, Malaysia has developed a globally recognised and broad-based Islamic financial system with leading Islamic banks and fund managers. As a result, we have gained a competitive advantage in the arena, with the world’s largest number of Islamic funds and sukuk issuances. We have a diversified array of products. The recent liberalization initiatives announced including the development of the Islamic fund management business have led to global names establishing their global Islamic fund management hubs in Malaysia. The government’s tax and other incentives have led to 10 Islamic fund management companies being approved by the SC to operate in Malaysia.
Therefore, we can expect to see continued growth in the number and variety of Islamic funds and Islamic products available in the market. As such, it is an encouraging sign to see such certification programmes in Islamic financial planning being offered, which will help build a bigger pool of well-trained and highly competent professionals who are well versed in Islamic products and are able to structure financial plans to fulfil the increasing demands for Islamic forms of investment.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our capital market is fortunate to have been able to withstand the worst financial crisis in 70 years in 2007-08, and in fact performed quite well in 2009. The year saw the country’s biggest capital-raising exercise ever, the RM11.2 billion Maxis IPO, while several top global firms have received approval to set up shop in Malaysia. Our market intermediaries have shown a great degree of resilience during the recent financial crisis given their strong balance sheets and high standards of risk management and compliance.
Despite this, we are conscious of the need to continue to strengthen our regulatory framework in line with global developments taking place. And we will look at key areas that need to be addressed. Similarly we will continue to look at areas within the capital market that will allow us to further deepen and broaden the capital market.
We will also continuously work towards improving financial literacy in our country. To this end, we provide and support numerous investor education programmes to improve investor knowledge of how to build wealth, save for education and prepare for retirement.
The financial planning industry will be vital a component of the investment management industry. A well-developed and thriving financial planning industry is critical in ensuring that Malaysians have easy and efficient access to the high value-add services that well-trained financial planners can offer. As such, we are pleased to see the work by MFPC to assist in fulfilling the growing need of Malaysian investors for high quality financial advice from certified and knowledgeable financial planners.
I wish to once again congratulate all the graduates and I wish all of you the best in your professional growth and the future and look forward to your contribution and participation in the Malaysian capital market.