Business trusts are business enterprises set up as a trust structure, managed by a trustee-manager which holds the assets on trust for unit holders of the business trust. It has hybrid structures with elements of both a company and a trust. Business enterprises with stable growth and cash flow may now consider business trusts as an alternative structure to raise capital through initial public offerings in Malaysia.
Bursa Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Tajuddin Atan said, "The introduction of a business trust framework on the Exchange will create a new asset class for investors and broaden their choice of investments. This will in turn add more depth and sophistication to Malaysian’s capital markets."
Pursuant to the amendments made to the Main Market Listing Requirements, the provisions applicable to a corporate listed issuer are generally also applicable to a business trust, subject to the necessary modifications in light of its trust structure. These provisions include requirements on admission, public spread, composition of independent directors, and post listing obligations such as the requirements for disclosure including immediate announcement of specific events, quarterly reports and annual reports, requirements on related party transactions and financial condition. The Exchange is committed to ensure that investors in business trusts are accorded the same level of investor protection comparable to that available vis-à-vis a corporate issuer. Consequential amendments have also been made to the Rules of Bursa Depository.
Further to the above, in line with the legal framework for business trust which allows the listing of a business trust established outside Malaysia, the Exchange has also reviewed Chapter 4A of the Main Market Listing Requirements holistically, to extend the framework to listings of all eligible foreign collective investment schemes on the Exchange. Under the amendments, any foreign collective investment schemes which meet the SC’s Guidelines for the Offering, Marketing and Distribution of Foreign Funds can now seek listing on the Exchange. Previously, only foreign corporations are allowed to be listed on the Main Market of the Exchange.