Opening Keynote at the IPO Roundtable Dialogue
1 April 2022 |  By Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, Executive Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia

Opening Keynote
Datuk Syed Zaid Albar
Executive Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia

IPO Roundtable Dialogue

1 APRIL 2022 | 9.30AM – 11.30AM

Assalamualaikum and a very good morning everyone.

En. Mahadzir Aziz, Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Gopi Ganesalingam, Chief Digital Industry Officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and team.

Mr. Chow Sang Hoe, Managing Partner of EY and his team

The Bursa team

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen


Welcome to the Securities Commission, and thank you for taking part in today’s IPO RoundTable Dialogue. It’s definitely a nice change to be able to see and speak to everyone in person rather than virtually through a screen.


Ladies and Gentlemen, the topic of today’s discussion is important to the nation building agenda. Startups that are driven by innovation and anchored on the future economic landscape are key pillars of Malaysia’s future. To catalyse such enterprises, the Malaysian capital market plays an important role – both in the private and public space.


The Capital Market Masterplan 3 launched last year, demonstrates the SC’s commitment to facilitate a capital market that is more relevant and inclusive to businesses, at various growth stages.


Nonetheless, to incubate, grow and scale homegrown entrepreneurs to new heights, requires a whole-of-nation approach. This involves bringing all the stakeholders together - the incubators, accelerators, entrepreneurs, investors, intermediaries and market operators - to remove bureaucracy and forge the way forward. Collaboration is not only critical but is also the key to success.


And this is amply illustrated in today’s event; an example of a cross-agency collaboration aimed to better support startups navigate the challenges faced onshore. For this, I would like to thank our co-organiser, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (or MDEC), and facilitator, EY, for coordinating today’s discussion. I would also like to thank Cradle and Penjana Kapital, who have been great partners along this journey.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


The recent string of ASEAN Tech IPOs led by Grab, Bukalapak and GoTo proves that there is demand for growth companies, and that more funding will be made available for ASEAN tech investments.


The list of ASEAN unicorns are still growing. In 2021 alone, 19 ASEAN startups achieved unicorn status – and some of which are Malaysian. Our stock-take reveals that there are more centaurs and ponies in our backyard; some with unicorn ambitions, some are IPO-ready, with plans to chart the way forward on being dual-listed in Malaysia.


In order to better serve our homegrown “mythical” creatures, we have focused on enabling greater fundraising access. Early-stage startups can now raise up to RM20 million on ECF platforms, while late-stage companies can raise funds faster on the ACE Market. High growth companies now have more fundraising flexibilities through SPACs, as well as the option to fundraise via registered Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) operators.


In addition to Dana Penjana and MyCIF, more co-investment structures have emerged. This is expected to draw greater investor participation into our growing startup scene.


However, more can be done. We need to aim for more. These sessions are essential for us to get feedback and practical information for policy making. It is important to hear from entrepreneurs and advisers about their experiences when considering IPOs in the near or medium term.  


We at the SC constantly review our regulatory framework to take into account the ever evolving changes in the market. With that in mind we want to hear your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t? For example, is the current listing or dual-listing process restrictive and onerous and is there anything which can be done to make it more accessible? Are there any dual-listing destinations that we can facilitate better?


In the past, we have amended our regulations, such as the IPO/RTO and SPAC frameworks, to be in line with the global trend. We also welcome feedback on what regulatory changes can promote greater access? What else can we do to become more cost-competitive? Is there a need for a new paradigm in Malaysia’s listing landscape?


I hope that this forum would provide a platform for us to learn about successful models in other countries. I am certain there are significant knowledge and insights that can be gained from the experience of the experts who are here with us today. I look forward to receiving your full support and input as we embark on this effort.


SC also takes note that as startups, there would be many potential issues and hurdles surrounding the company which may not meet, amongst others, the SC’s requirements. If that is the case, do come and see us to discuss these issues. We will facilitate such discussions and endeavour to consider a solution.

15. Here at the SC, we try not to miss the stories and chatter on the ground. I am therefore, very interested to hear how today’s participants have navigated the various paths to access capital.
 16. Thank you once again for taking the time to take part in this discussion, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback.
Thank you

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