Malaysia fails to attract global fund managers

Even as it announces five new brokerage licenses, the government struggles to leave out the welcome mat for fund houses.

Last September, Abdullah Badawi, prime minister of Malaysia, announced that the government would hand out five new licenses for foreign brokers to enter the Malaysian market, and five new licenses to global fund managers to operate there as well. This week, half of that vision came true Abdullah announced five new brokerage licenses, awarded to CLSA, CSFB, JPMorgan, Macquarie Bank and UBS.

But only one foreign fund house, Aberdeen Asset Management, was also announced as winning a new license. Fund executives in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore say only one, or perhaps two other firms had bothered to apply.

The new rules, announced in...

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