KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd has enhanced its listing requirements on the Main Market to facilitate the offering of listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with waqf feature.
The amendments will become effective on April 3, 2023, according to a statement on Monday (March 27).
The regulator said that the waqf amendment is part of an initiative to expand the waqf-featured fund framework (WQ-FF Framework) to listed Islamic funds such as REITs and ETFs.
The waqf amendment was recently issued by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) on Nov 28, 2022 to complement the Guidelines on Islamic Capital Market Products and Services (ICMPS Guidelines).
Introduced in November 2020, the WQ-FF Framework was initially applicable only for unit trust and wholesale funds, to enable the growth of the Islamic social finance segment and to develop waqf.
“Under the waqf amendments, the exchange has enhanced the post-listing disclosure framework of Islamic REITs and ETFs to provide transparency on the waqf arrangement.
“Among others, an Islamic REIT or ETF must immediately announce any changes to the waqf arrangement disclosed earlier in the prospectus, information memorandum or product highlight sheet, together with reasons for the changes, and provide interim updates on the income distributions channelled for waqf purposes, in the quarterly report of the Islamic REIT or semi-annual report of the Islamic ETF,” it said.
Moreover, the Islamic REIT or ETF must also disclose how investors can obtain more information on the waqf recipient(s) and the progress of the waqf initiatives, in the annual report.
Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said with the expansion of the WQ-FF Framework, investors will soon have more opportunities to access a diversified suite of Shariah-compliant listed products.
“Bursa Malaysia is particularly pleased to be part of the ecosystem providing an effective instrument to support our nation’s socio-economic development.
“The enhancements will also promote the growth of waqf and sustainable and responsible investment assets, further cementing the exchange’s position as a leading global Islamic finance marketplace,” he said.
Further information in relation to the waqf amendments can be accessed here.