KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Capital market regulators should enhance their investor education efforts to increase financial literacy and informed participation in the capital market, said Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, chairman of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

He said despite rapid economic growth, significant gaps remain between emerging markets and advanced economies.

“The nominal gross domestic product per capita in advanced economies is almost nine times higher than that of developing economies.

“For emerging markets to catch up with income levels in advanced economies, households must participate in wealth creation channels such as the capital market,” he said in a statement today.  

Syed Zaid said effective investor education provides awareness to the public on available investment opportunities and equips investors with the right knowledge and tools to participate in a confident and informed manner.

“In other words, investor education in emerging markets is not only a form of investor protection, but also a tool to attract market participants,” he said.

Syed Zaid said this at the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Growth and Emerging Markets (GEM) Conference 2019 in St Petersburg, Russia, held on Sept 19.  

He spoke at the conference as the vice-chair of the GEM Committee, the largest grouping within the IOSCO, which represents close to 80 percent of IOSCO membership, including 11 of the G20 members.  

During the conference, he also shared Malaysia’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy, a holistic five-year roadmap aimed at raising financial literacy levels and the overall financial well-being of Malaysians.

He said the National Strategy also recognises that digitisation is reshaping the economy, market and regulatory strategy, making financial literacy even more pertinent.  

“The SC has embraced digitisation to make the capital market more accessible and inclusive for Malaysians.

“Financial technology has led to the emergence of alternative financial services including robo-advisors, equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer financing, which have reduced transaction times and investment cost,” said Syed Zaid.

He added that investor education efforts has also been adapted to respond to emerging digital trends to ensure that investors are aware of the associated risks, including cyber risks.

— BERNAMA

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