Terming India as an important market player in the region, Malaysia has expressed keen interest in strengthening financial ties with the country as the momentum of global business and growth shifts to Asia.
A high-profile 40-member delegation left for Mumbai on Wednesday to attend the first ever India-Malaysia Capital Market Forum, set up to develop capital market investment opportunities and partnerships between India and Malaysia.
The forum, to begin on Thursday, has been organised by India's SEBI and Malaysia's Securities Commission (SC).
"With realignment of global business and growth shifting momentum to Asia, there is now increased opportunity for both countries to strengthen our partnership in the financial market," Zarinah Anwar, Chairperson of the Securities Commission told PTI before leaving for India.
Noting that Malaysia saw India as an important market player in the region, Zarinah said the Forum will enable the two sides to explore opportunities and work further on strengthening the linkages between the two markets.
With global financial uncertainty looming large, Zarinah said the forum would "draw out windows of opportunities that are still available in the midst of this crisis".
Another senior executive Ranjit Singh, CEO of SC said that Malaysia was "looking closely at mutual funds industry, processing companies and portfolio investment.
"India is important to Asean," he said, adding that Malaysia looks at it as an 'important voice' in the international capital market.
"It is a very significant market given its role in broader economic landscape and Malaysia backs India's leadership in global economic field," he said.
The forum, whose objective is to raise awareness of the regulatory structures, market development and investment opportunities in both capital markets, will feature speakers from both sides namely regulators and exchanges, investment banks, fund and asset managers, and other market players.
On a regulatory level, the SC and SEBI have worked closely and Malaysia signed an MOU in 2001 in the areas of exchange of information and cooperation.
"We are encouraging our capital market intermediaries to explore the Indian markets in much greater detail to understand the opportunities," she said.
Zarinah was optimistic that the Forum would open up opportunities to promote greater two-way flow of investments between the two markets in the long term.
The Malaysian delegation includes members from the Securities Commission, Central Bank of Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia, Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia), Nomura Malaysia, Credit Suisse (M), Aseambankers Malaysia, and Nomura International (Hong Kong) Limited.
Referring to Islamic finance, the Securities Commission chairperson said Malaysia had one of the largest and comprehensive Islamic capital markets in the world, with about 85 per cent of the listed companies and 38 per cent of outstanding bonds Shariah-compliant.
"This is complemented with an array of innovative Shariah-compliant products and derivatives. We are now working hard to expand the international dimension of our Islamic capital market, which has been widely recognised as Malaysia's key value proposition," she added.
Zarinah said several leading financial institutions had set up global and regional Islamic fund management operations in Malaysia including India's leading fund management company, Reliance Capital Asset Management.