Covid-19: Bursa Malaysia announces further relief and flexibility measures

Bursa Malaysia Berhad (“Exchange”) announced on 26 March 2020, a set of measures to lessen the financial burden and provide greater flexibility for certain capital market participants in light of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The main relief measures are as follows –
  1. Rebate of 50% of the annual listing fees for the year 2020 for listed issuers that satisfy the following requirements -
  1. have a market capitalisation of less than RM500 million as at 31 December 2019; and
  1. report after-tax losses on a group basis in their quarterly report for a quarter ended on any date between 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.
  1. Extension of time to submit regularisation plan for PN17/GN3 and 8.03A Listed Issuers
For listed issuers that are in financial distress according to Practice Note 17/Guidance Note 3 (“PN17/GN3 Listed Issuers”) or do not have an adequate level of operations as set out in paragraph/Rule 8.03A of the Listing Requirements (“8.03A Listed Issuers”), the Exchange will extend the timeframe for submission of their regularisation plans from the existing 12 months to 24 months from the date they first announce that they are PN17/GN3 Listed Issuers or 8.03A Listed Issuers. This applies to listed issuers that trigger the criteria in 2019 and 2020.
  1. Automatic 1-month extension to submit financial statements
Listed issuers are granted an automatic 1-month extension for issuance of quarterly and annual reports for the Main and ACE Markets, as well as semi-annual and annual audited financial statements for the LEAP Market, that are due on 31 March 2020 and 30 April 2020.
  1. Greater flexibility for brokers to manage margin accounts
The Exchange will give more flexibility and discretion to brokers by removing the requirement to automatically liquidate their client’s margin account if the value of the equity in the margin account falls below 130% of the outstanding balance. Brokers will also not be required to make additional margin calls or impose haircuts on any collateral and securities in margin accounts.
  1. Expanding the list of collaterals for purposes of margin financing
The Exchange will allow brokers to accept other forms of collaterals, such as bonds, collective investment schemes, unit trusts, gold and immovable properties for purposes of maintaining their clients’ margin if such collaterals are valued according to the broker’s credit policy.
Details of the changes to the Rules and Directives of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad to implement the measures set out in paragraphs 4 and 5 above are available here.
  1. Extension of time for submission of physical CDS transaction forms to the Exchange
Authorised Depository Agents are given an extension of time for the submission of specified physical CDS transaction forms to Bursa Malaysia Depository Sdn. Bhd as follows–
  1. for transactions performed between 2 March 2020 to 31 March 2020, the submission deadline is extended to 30 April 2020; and
  1. for transactions performed between 1 April 2020 to 30 April 2020, the submission deadline is extended to 29 May 2020.
The measures announced yesterday by the Exchange are in addition to the relevant measures announced by the Government on 27 February 2020 under the Economic Stimulus Package 2020, where the Securities Commission Malaysia and the Exchange agreed to waive all listing-related fees for twelve months for companies seeking a listing on the ACE and LEAP Markets, and for companies on the Main Market, with a market capitalisation of less than RM500 million.
The full text of the media release issued by the Exchange is available here.