SC: Regional enforcement action necessary to address cross-border illegal activities

Kuala Lumpur, 4 July 2001

The need for co-operation in enforcement actions for activities which are illegal under the securities laws of regional jurisdictions is particularly urgent with the globalisation of capital markets and the increase in cross-border activities, the Chairman of Securities Commission (SC), Malaysia, Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir said in his capacity as the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Regional Committee (APRC), which met last week in Stockholm, Sweden.

The APRC meeting was held in conjunction with the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Annual Conference that took place between 23-29 June 2001. The APRC is one of the regional committees of IOSCO and brings together 23 securities regulatory organisations from 19 jurisdictions within the Asia-Pacific region.

The APRC is giving particular attention to the need for detection of illegal activities and enforcement of securities laws to ensure efficient and orderly markets within the region. In this regard, APRC jurisdictions have committed to increase co-operation in several critical areas.

One of the critical areas being focused upon by the APRC is the eradication of unlicensed organisations which conduct unprompted telephone calls to investors, purporting to offer advice and other services such as sales of securities to investors of stocks traded in overseas exchanges.

This activity is growing within the region and is also known as 'cold calling' or 'boiler room operations'. The APRC will seek to increase investor awareness on the issue as well as initiate necessary enforcement actions for such illegal activities.

The APRC will also look at developmental issues affecting regional capital markets. Among others, the APRC seeks to identify the various approaches taken by different jurisdictions in dealing with the advent of technology. Developments in technology require all market participants, including regulators, to study the changing dynamics governing markets operators and market infrastructure, such as the ability for markets to link with each other through remote access terminals and other methods. The APRC will also deliberate over corollary regulatory issues arising from technological progress such as investor protection, risk management and co-operation.

During the meetings, the SC also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Co-operation and Information Sharing with the Polish Securities Commission on 26 June 2001. This is the fourteenth MOU that the SC has signed with its counterparts. Other market regulators that have signed MOUs with the SC are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, France, South Africa, Taiwan and Thailand.

IOSCO is a world-wide forum for securities regulators that addresses issues and demands related to the regulation of securities and futures markets. IOSCO's ordinary membership consists of 101 national securities regulators. In addition, there are 64 affiliate members and seven associate members. The SC also chairs the IOSCO's working group on the regulation of secondary markets.


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