New Guidelines On Islamic Capital Market Products And Services
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) issued new Guidelines on Islamic Capital Market Products and Services (ICMPS Guidelines) on 28 November 2022. The ICMPS Guidelines will be the central source of reference on all the various offerings of Islamic Capital Market (ICM) products and services for sophisticated and retail investors.
The guidelines are effective as of 28 November 2022 except for some parts. The requirements in Chapter 34 relating to listed Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) took effect recently on 3 April 2023. Meanwhile, paragraph 14.01(d) relating to the requirement for a fund management company to ensure its compliance officer attend two courses on Islamic finance or Islamic capital market on annual basis became effective from 1 January 2023.
Consolidation Of Shariah Requirements
The ICMPS Guidelines consolidate the Shariah requirements set out under the following guidelines issued by the SC pertaining to the issuing and offering of ICM products and services:
(i) Guidelines on Unlisted Capital Market Products under the Lodge and Launch Framework.
(ii) Guidelines on Issuance of Corporate Bonds and Sukuk to Retail Investors.
(iii) Guidelines on Unit Trust Funds.
(iv) Guidelines on Listed Real Estate Investment Trusts.
(v) Guidelines on Real Estate Investment Trusts.
(vi) Guidelines on Exchange-Traded Funds.
(vii) Business Trusts Guidelines.
(viii) Guidelines on Private Retirement Schemes.
(ix) Guidelines on Recognized Markets.
(x) Guidelines on the Registration of Venture Capital and Private Equity Corporations and Management Corporations.
(xi) Guidelines on the Registration and Conduct of Capital Market Services Providers.
(xii) Licensing Handbook.
(xiii) Guidelines on Compliance Function for Fund Management Companies.
In addition, general amendments have been made remove the relevant Shariah requirements which are now provided under the ICMPS Guidelines. The ICMPS Guidelines also supersede and replace the Guidelines for Shariah Advisers and the Guidelines on Islamic Fund Management issued by the SC.
Applicability Of The ICMPS Guidelines
The ICMPS Guidelines are divided into two parts:
(1) Part A sets out the requirements in relation to the carrying out of an Islamic capital market activity.
(2) Part B sets out the additional requirements to be complied with for the purposes of making available, offering or issuing an ICM product.
The following persons are subject to the ICMPS Guidelines:
(a) A person who is a Shariah adviser or intending to apply to be registered as a Shariah adviser.
(b) An Islamic fund management company.
(c) A fund management company that carries on an Islamic fund management business under an Islamic ‘window’.
(d) An issuer seeking to make available, issue or offer an ICM product.
(e) A registered corporation undertaking Islamic venture capital or private equity activity.
(f) A recognised market operator seeking to facilitate the making available, issuance or offering of an ICM product through its platform.
Introduction Of New Requirements Under The ICMPS Guidelines
In addition to the existing framework, the ICMPS Guidelines has introduced the following requirements:
(a) Expanding the categories of fund under the waqf framework to include listed REITs and listed ETFs which are set out under Chapter 34. The expansion will provide product issuers and investors with more options to broaden investment choices in products that allocate all or part of their returns towards socially impactful activities via waqf.
(b) Introducing additional requirements relating to fund managers, venture capital and private equity corporations and management corporations and recognised market operator carrying on Islamic fund management business which are set out under Part A, Section II, Chapter 37 and Chapter 38 respectively.
Applicability Of Other Regulatory Requirements
The issuer is still required to comply with the relevant regulatory requirements relating to the type of ICM products and services it is offering. However, in addition to those requirements, the issuer would need to refer to the ICMPS Guidelines for the specific Shariah requirements applicable to the ICM product or service. For example, if the issuer is offering an Islamic unit trust fund, the issuer would have to refer to both the Guidelines on Unit Trust Fund issued by the SC for the general requirements and the ICMPS Guidelines for the additional requirements specific to the Islamic unit trust fund.
The introduction of ICMPS Guidelines form part of the SC’s initiatives to further enhance the Shariah governance framework for the ICM and to solidify Malaysia’s role at the forefront of Shariah market-based advancements.
The ICMPS Guidelines can be accessed at (https://www.sc.com.my/api/documentms/download.ashx?id=7279989d-00f8-4ebc-8c18-fbf6c260ab1a).
Meanwhile, the Frequently Asked Questions issued by the SC on the ICMPS Guidelines can be accessed at (https://www.sc.com.my/api/documentms/download.ashx?id=64333e59-90d6-4e63-a27a-103b8ef904ca#:~:text=The%20ICMPS%20Guidelines%20consolidates%20all,(ICM)%20products%20and%20services.).
7 April 2023