World Capital Markets Symposium


About Malaysia


Area 329,847 sq. km. (127, 315 sq. mi.)
Capital Kuala Lumpur (Area: 2,793 sq km)
Timezone GMT +8
People Population 31.6 million (2016)
Ethnic Groups Bumiputra 68.8%, Chinese 23.2%Indian 7%, Others 1% (2016 census)
Language Bahasa Melayu (Official), English, Chinese (various dialects), Tamil and indigenous
Religions Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, others
Employment Labour Force 14.8 mil (2016)
Unemployment Rate 3.4 % (2016)
Economic Indicators  
GDP US$ 296.4 bil (2016) constant 2010 price
GDP Growth 4.2% (2016) constant 2010 price
GDP Per Capital US$ 11028.20 (2016) current  price
Inflation Rate 3.7% (2016)
Total Export (f.o.b) US$ 189.4 billion (2016)
Total Import (c.i.f) US$ 168.4 billion (2016)
Mobile Penetration Rate 144.8 per 100 population (2016)
Broadband Penetration Rate 72.2 per 100 household (2016)



Quick Notes on Malaysia

Strategically located in the heart of Asia, Malaysia has a long history as a trading nation. It has a modern, open economy, welcomes foreign investment and has forged close trade and investment ties with its traditional trading partners, such as members of ASEAN, the US, UK, Japan and over the last two decades, the Middle East, China and India. Malaysia is also a gateway to ASEAN, offering easy access to the ten-country geo-economic alliance with a total population of 625 million and a combined GDP of US$2.57 trillion (in 2016). Its location on one of the world's busiest sea lanes as well as its first class infrastructure, have further strengthened Malaysia's position in the global supply chain.

Malaysia is home to a multicultural society which has attracted businesses and tourists alike with strong levels of service and hospitality as well as fascinating cuisines. A significant exporter of commodities and commodity-based products, including oil and gas, the country also possess a well-diversified manufacturing industry alongside a strong services sector, particularly in tourism, business services and financial services.

The Malaysian capital market is today recognised as a leading emerging market. In 2016, the size of the equity market was RM1.7 trillion with an established RM1.12 trillion bond market or nearly 40% of the total capital market value of RM2.82 trillion, with equities accounting for the remaining 60%., the third largest in Asia. The RM1.12 trillion amounted to 94% of GDP, indicating the depth and width of the market relative to the size of the economy. As at end-2016, AUM in Malaysia amounted to RM668 billion, with unit trusts accounting for 52%, or nearly RM350 billion, while Islamic assets accounted for a fifth, or RM134 billion, increasing from a share of 13% five years ago. The Malaysian unit trust industry is ranked sixth in Asia.

The bond market continues to be a very important source of primary financing. In 2016, primary market issuances amounted to RM90.4 billion, of which RM86.4 billion (or almost 96%) was raised in the corporate bond market, and the remaining RM3.91 billion raised via Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

The Islamic capital market (ICM), a critical component of the Malaysian capital market, has tripled since 2000 to RM1.6 trillion in 2014 with strengths in sukuk (world's largest market) and Islamic fund management (largest number of Islamic funds in the world).

Malaysia's capital market provides diversified fundraising sources from equity, conventional corporate bonds, sukuk to innovative structures such as special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) with efforts' being directed at further widening financing avenues for SMEs and high growth ventures. As a testament to the depth of the capital market's financing ability, capital raising in 2016 exceeded RM80 billion for the third consecutive year, illustrating the capital market's deepened capacity to meet Malaysia's real economy financing needs. The scale of capital market-based financing has deepened significantly over the last decade and this sustained capital raising activity has enabled the capital market to weather external headwinds and grow to RM2.82 trillion by end-2016. Moving forward, Malaysia's push for greater internationalization and economic resilience will augur well for the further growth and expansion of the capital market.

Equity crowdfunding is another component of Malaysia's broad capital market. Innovations in financial technology such as equity crowdfunding aim to give small and medium enterprises and start-ups wider access to financing and promote an inclusive capital market. Malaysia, the first in the region to facilitate the introduction of equity crowdfunding, has recently announced its first six equity crowdfunding platform operators.