UPDATE 1-Malaysian securities regulator reviews SPAC framework, citing demand

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s Securities Commission will review its framework for special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) amid growing demand for the vehicles as a cheaper and faster route to the market compared to initial public offerings, it said on Tuesday.

“Against growing demand for such vehicles for high-growth companies, the current SPAC framework is being reviewed for greater efficiency,” it said at the launch of its five-year capital market masterplan.

SPACs are shell corporations that list on stock exchanges raising money to then merge with an existing company to take it public, typically offering strong valuations and shorter listing time frames than IPOs.

Separately, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the government’s venture capital investment fund has also invested in an Indonesian startup Xendit, following an investment in used-car marketplace Carsome.

Xendit, a fintech unicorn, will relocate its financial hub to Malaysia, he said. No details of the investment amount were shared.

The investment fund, Penjana Kapital, was set up under the ministry to put into operation the government’s matching fund-of-funds programme. It raised 850 million ringgit ($202.96 million) for its first fund close at the end of May, a press statement in June showed.

($1=4.1880 ringgit)

Reporting by Liz Lee
Editing by Ed Davies

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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