The MARC Malaysian Bond and Sukuk 2022 (MMBS 2022) virtual conference opened yesterday morning and is being held over two half-days on July 27-28, 2022. Held annually, the conference is aimed at fostering dialogue among financial market professionals on developments in the bond and sukuk market amid the post-pandemic era.
Securities Commission Malaysia's Executive Chairman YBhg Dato' Seri Dr Awang Adek Haji Hussin officiated the event and delivered the keynote address. In his speech, YBhg Dato' Seri Dr Awang Adek said that the domestic bond and sukuk market has demonstrated its resilience in the face of past challenges and was a source of stability for Malaysia's broader financial system.
"Even during the pandemic, large defaults did not occur. In fact, gross issuance of corporate bonds and sukuk has steadily increased post-pandemic. We expect gross issuance of corporate bonds and sukuk to remain healthy with RM110 billion to RM120 billion to be raised in 2022. The growth of this market segment will be underpinned by Malaysia's strong sovereign ratings, well-developed corporate bond structure, experienced market professionals and a conducive regulatory environment."
"Despite the current climate, I believe there are opportunities in the Malaysian bond and sukuk market," he added.
The welcoming remarks were delivered by MARC Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jamaludin Nasir, who stated that for 2022, MARC expects to see more issuances in the Malaysian bond and sukuk market by the corporate sector and the government, underpinned by the country's transition into the endemic phase and heightened lending rates.
"Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) decision to raise the Overnight Policy Rate in May is perceived as managing inflationary pressures, apart from being a defence against significant capital outflows and ringgit depreciation amid the higher interest rates in the US."
"This hawkish pivot implies BNM's growing confidence in the domestic economy's near-term prospect. Nevertheless, we expect that the eventual normalisation of monetary policy will be gradual to ensure sustainable economic recovery," he said.
Day 1 of the virtual conference began with a Special Presentation by MARC Ratings' Chief Economist, Firdaos Rosli. In his presentation, Firdaos illustrated the current strengthening of the US dollar against other currencies, and its effects to the bond and sukuk markets and the global economy as a whole.
The second session of the virtual conference featured a group of panellists who discussed how the bond and sukuk market will fare and adapt during Malaysia's transition into COVID-19 endemicity. During the panel discussion, it was observed that the debt capital market will continue to be a viable financing option for governments and corporates moving forward, thus leading to multiplier effects to the economy including providing wealth creation opportunities for investors.
The speakers featured in this session were:
- Ms. Nor Masliza Sulaiman – Deputy Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Investment Bank Berhad
- Mr. Nishad Majmudar – Assistant Vice President - Analyst, Sovereign Risk Group/ Credit Strategy & Research, Moody's Investors Service
- Mr. Raja Amir Shah Raja Azwa – Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad
- Mr. Meor Amri Meor Ayob – Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Director, Bond Pricing Agency Malaysia
- Mr. Ahmad Feizal Sulaiman Khan, Chief Business Officer, MARC (as moderator)