Malaysia’s financial markets are growing in size, liquidity and sophistication. The country’s equity market has drawn the attention of domestic and offshore investors in recent years and growth and returns have been significant. The fixed income market is among the most advanced of those in Southeast Asia and features a diverse array of government and private sector securities; primary issuance and secondary trading continue to increase and the market has become an important and legitimate source of financing for both the government and local companies. Although Malaysia’s currency market has been subject to temporary restrictions in the past the local currency is freely convertible and actively traded (primarily offshore). In addition to financial instruments, Malaysia’s role as a key regional commodity producer (e.g. crude palm oil, rubber, tin, cocoa, coffee) has resulted in the development of liquid physical cash markets for such products. The rapidly developing cash markets have resulted in the creation of a reasonably broad, and growing, range of domestic derivatives.
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