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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        2  April 2011

Malaysia bourse to become competitive

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Bursa Malaysia's new CEO, Datuk Tajuddin Atan, will have a mandate to make the local exchange more competitive and to “enhance the Malaysian capital market's position as a destination of choice for listings and investments regionally,” the stock exchange said in statement yesterday.

Tajuddin started at his new job yesterday, taking over from Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff, who had served the exchange as CEO since 2004.

Bursa chairman Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, said in the statement: “Given the highly competitive operating landscape, the exchange needs to continuously innovate and adapt to meet challenges and thrive. Tajuddin's track record and expertise in the finance and investment sector will be an advantage.”

Dzaiddin added that Tajuddin's experience as a director of Bursa over the last two years would “undoubtedly make this a smooth transition”.

Meanwhile, industry players said Tajuddin had his job cut out for him, considering the increasing competition coming from regional exchanges.

Said a fund manager: “Singapore Exchange is trying to merge with the Australian Exchange (ASX). If that deal goes through, the merged exchange could prove to be a serious threat to all exchanges in the region, including Bursa Malaysia.”

He explained that such a merged exchange would tend to attract more investors and issuers as it would be able to offer “a depth and breadth of products that smaller exchanges can't match.”

SGX is also investing S$195mil to adopt what is touted as the world's fastest trading platform. Along with Hong Kong, SGX has also eliminated lunch breaks to have continuous trading during office hours.

Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) chief executive officer Rita Benoy Bushon stressed that the new CEO of Bursa should also focus on ensuring the exchange played its regulatory role well.

“As Malaysia has been upgraded by FTSE to advanced emerging market status in the Global Equity Index Series, as well as the Chinese recognition of Malaysia as an approved destination, we hope to see the new CEO bringing the exchange to greater heights, attracting more foreign funds into Malaysia and without compromising on standards and quality of the capital market as a front-line regulator.”

In the media statement yesterday, Tajuddin said: “The success of Bursa not only impacts our country's capital markets but also Malaysia's continued economic growth and prosperity. Moving forward, I believe that it is imperative we continue to tap the competitive advantages inherent in our capital market.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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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