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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        15  April 2011

Malaysian exchange looking for partners

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Bursa Malaysia is open to collaborations with other stock exchanges given the changing landscape and more competitive environment in the market.
Chief executive officer Datuk Tajuddin Atan said Bursa was looking at options to step up its business under the current environment.
He also confirmed that he had a discussion with the London Stock Exchange but nothing conclusive had come out of it yet.

“I need to work on that a little more and I will let you know,” he told reporters after its AGM and EGM yesterday.
Media reported on April 5 that Bursa was believed to be in preliminary talks with the LSE to collaborate on the trading of each other's shares.
Tajuddin said he had attended the Asean exchange collaboration meeting in Bali early this month.
“The intention is to project and profile the six Asean countries' stock exchanges to be an asset class by itself and we discussed on what we can sell to the rest of the world,” he said.
The competition among exchanges globally has recently become more intense when in February Deutsche Bourse launched a US$10.2bil takeover for NYSE Euronext to form the world's largest exchange operator.
Following that, Nasdaq OMX and Intercontinental Exchange rivaled that bid with an offer of US$11.3bil in cash and stock.
On October 25, the SGX offered to buy ASX in a cash-and-share transaction then valued at A$8.4bil but the bid was rejected.
Bursa Malaysia also received shareholders' nod on its share grant plan (SGP) up to 10 percent of the issued and paid-up capital of Bursa to replace the employees share option scheme that has expired on March 8, 2010.
Allocation for the CEO under the prosposed SGP was 2.8 million shares where 1.5 million shares from restricted share plan award provided that RSP conditions were fulfilled.
On the Capital Market Master Plan 2 (CMP 2) that was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier this week, Tajuddin said it was a good effort to make the exchange more vibrant and competitive.
“The question now is that how we put CMP 2, New Economic Model and Bursa's role together. This is where strategy needs to be developed,” he said.
Tajuddin stressed that the securities market had performed relatively well over the years and these changes were to step up Bursa competitiveness going forward.
He highlighted that despite the environment changes and volatility last year, the country's index performance was among the best in Asean last year.
“The FBM KLCI hits an all-time high at 1,574.49 on January 17 this year and indicators for the rest of this year remained positive and strong.
“For financial year ended Dec. 31, 2010, the exchange market capital has increased by 28 percent to RM1.3 trillion from a year ago.
“Velocity was quite flat last year with 2.9 percent decrease to 33 percent but I plan to increase it to 50 percent may be in two years time where the strategies were already in place.
“Derivatives performance was also quite flat last year due to the narrow spread between the futures and physical markets but there is an increasing interest currently,” he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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