LAST Tuesday, Bursa Malaysia introduced the much-anticipated Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) Market, a new complementary marketplace for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
In a nutshell, the LEAP Market is an alternative and efficient capital-raising platform for underserved SMEs. It also provides a new investable asset class for sophisticated investors. With its addition to the existing ACE Market and Main Market, Bursa Malaysia can now provide a complete range of investment opportunities, ensuring that there is something for everyone on the local bourse.
SME Corp Malaysia CEO Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim points out that Malaysia is the first Asean country to have an exchange platform for SMEs.
“The world is watching us. Although Singapore and Thailand had their soft launch, in our case, we went through the mill. We tested it again and again, making sure that there was no loophole,” she tells The Edge when met after the launch of the LEAP Market at the Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 2017 conference last week.
Hafsah explains that SME Corp had been working on the conceptualisation of the LEAP Market with the Securities Commission Malaysia and Bursa Malaysia over the past two years.
“This isn’t something we thought of yesterday. The introduction of the LEAP Market signifies the beginning of a new journey for our SMEs,” she says, adding that the market is a strategic avenue for SMEs to raise their corporate profile and attract new capital to accelerate their growth.
“These companies should find it easier to migrate to the ACE Market in the future because they would have already gone halfway. All they need is a little push.”