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Malaysia to review PSPC rules to take advantage of blockbusters


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(Bloomberg) – Malaysia is revising its framework for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, or SPAC, amid an increase in demand for such fundraising vehicles globally, according to the regulator of country markets.

The popularity of blank check companies, which raise funds from investors intending to acquire another company, has exploded over the past year as they provide businesses with a quick way to access a business. listing. In Asia, the Malaysian group AirAsia Group Bhd. is exploring the possibility of registering their AirAsia Digital or AirAsia SuperApp in the United States this year.

The review is part of the Securities Commission’s five-year plan, which aims to make Malaysian markets more relevant and efficient. The move comes weeks after Singapore and Hong Kong introduced rules allowing blank check companies to register in major financial centers in Asia.

The review is being conducted “amid developments in other markets,” according to a technical briefing conducted by the SC on Monday. Nonetheless, the commission said it would take a cautious approach to PSPCs, as the framework defined by other market regulators may not be “directly transferable” to the Malaysian market.

While 524 companies worldwide have raised $ 133 billion this year through PSPCs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, the pace of registrations has slowed with the tightening of disclosure standards by the U.S. market regulator. Asian PSPCs have raised $ 4.33 billion this year, surpassing the tally of those deals in 2020, the data shows.

Malaysia launched its first SPAC in 2011, listing Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd. Shares of the oil and gas company are up about 8% this year, compared to a 6% drop in the country’s main stock index.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the Dana Penjana Nasional program has invested in another Xendit unicorn. The fintech start-up plans to relocate its financial center to Malaysia, he said on Tuesday during the launch of the capital market master plan.

The Dana Penjana Nasional program is a matching fund of funds scheme under Malaysia’s short-term economic recovery plan. He has already invested in Carsome Group, which operates an online platform for buying and selling used cars.

Other highlights of the master plan:

  • The regulator will streamline the listing process, expand the pool of senior advisers to meet the needs of small and mid-cap companies
  • Explore alternatives for small and medium enterprises and mid-size companies to exploit public procurement
  • Consider introducing mechanisms allowing credit enhancements for mid-size companies or credit coverage for investors

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