The Malaysia financial market is governed and regulated by the Bursa Malaysia or the Malaysia stock exchange (MYX). Earlier known as Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, MYX is the barometer of Malaysia financial market.
The history of Bursa Malaysia dates back to 1930s. Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) is the main index for Bursa Malaysia. At the end of June, the market capitalization of Bursa Malaysia stood at US$307 billion. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index is generally termed as the local stock market barometer and is the true representative of the financial market trends in Malaysia.
Earlier, the Kuala Lumpur composite index used to be the main financial market index in Malaysia but is now considered among the major three indices while the rest of the two are – FMB30 and FMBEMAS. Malaysian Ringgit is the official currency of the Malaysia with the currency code MYR.
The exchange rate of Rinngit gives a clear idea of the financial condition of the country in different times.
From 1995 to 1997, is was being traded as a float currency at 2.50 per US dollar while it dropped to 3.80 per dollar at the end of 1997 due to East Asian financial crisis. The value of ringgit fluctuated from 3.80 to 4.40 per dollar in the beginning of 1998 and it lost 50% of its value in 1997-1998.
Bank Negara Malaysia is the central bank of Malaysia and is the sole authority in Malaysia to issue and distribute coins and bank notes.
CIMB Group is the one Universal Bank in Malaysia and the nine major commercial banks in Malaysia are:
- Affin Bank Berhad
- RHB Bank Berhad
- EON Bank Berhad
- CIMB Bank Berhad
- AmBank Berhad
- Hong Leong Bank Berhad
- Public Bank Berhad
- Alliance Bank Berhad
- Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)
The major foreign owned commercial banks that are investing in Malaysia are:
- ABN AMRO Bank
- Bank of America
- Bangkok Bank
- Bank of China
- Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
- Deutsche Bank
- Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
- HSBC Bank Malaysia
- The Standard Chartered Bank
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.Bank
- The Bank of Nova Scotia
- United Overseas Bank
As far as the economy of the country is concerned, Malaysia has a small and relatively open economy and according to purchasing power parity, Malaysia is the 34th largest economy in the world. The gross domestic product for 2005 in Malaysia was estimated to be $290 billion. The open and growing market of the country largely drives the financial scenario of Malaysia.