Minister of Home Affairs and Deputy Chairman of AMBD, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr.) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong (R) delivering his keynote address as Managing Director of AMBD and Chairman of CIBFM, Yusof bin Haji Abd Rahman (L) looks on during BICAM 2018 at The Rizqun International Hotel yesterday. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Brunei is edging closer to having a strong capital market capable of providing alternative funding channels to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), home affairs minister suggested.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong, who is also the deputy chairman of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), hinted this in his keynote speech at the Brunei Islamic Capital Market (BICAM) Conference yesterday.

While outlining latest developments in the financial sector, the minister also noted the surge in the number of locals developing Fintech solutions that assist small businesses and startups raise their capitals.

These solutions include peer-to-peer crowdfunding platform, with some designed to match businesses with investors, giving chances to elaborate their trades and increase the likelihood of getting funds.

“These methods of raising funds unlock investments from the community to those in need of financing and thus support overall community growth while reducing inequality,” he said.

AMBD last year issued a notice to these platform operators to apply for a license, which purpose was to impose additional requirements and vary existing prerequisites in the Securities Market Order and Securities Market Regulations.

The minister further said that the issuance of notice is expected to facilitate the development of equity crowd-funding industry in Brunei, providing startups and small businesses an alternative source of funding.

YB Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar was also pleased to see a surge in the number of locals responding to the notice.

“This goes to show that market players and participants are ready to take on bigger roles to develop the capital market and the finance industry,” he said.

Despite Brunei’s capital market still at its infancy, the minister hoped that the country would see a mature capital market in the long run that drives sustainable economic development, through the efficient mobilisation of funds.

“To get there, we will need a vibrant network of talented individuals; a close public-private partnership; market players who can serve all society’s needs; proactive institutional investors; and an increase in product diversity and innovation,” he said.

The home affairs minister also said that the Islamic Capital Market should support Impact Investing – that is investments made into companies, organisations, and funds generating social and environmental impact as well as financial return,

“This way, we can leverage on the Islamic Capital Market to invest in a better, cleaner and greener tomorrow for our children and grandchildren,” he concluded.



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