Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s new Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) Market will help take the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the next level, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The Prime Minister officially launched the programme at the Invest Malaysia 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. He said, through LEAP, wealthy investors can lend money via the capital market to the SMEs.

He said LEAP is a new qualified market which offers an alternative for SMEs to raise funds and grow their business to the next level. “SMEs make up 97 per cent of businesses in Malaysia, and one of the hallmarks of my administration has been its support and encouragement for this backbone of our economy.

“It is in line with the SME Masterplan which aims to raise the share of gross domestic product (GDP) contribution by SMEs, their number of employees and volume of exports. “It is also another of the many initiatives put in place in pursuit of transformation, and prove our trustworthiness as a business-friendly government of a vibrant economy,” Najib said in a keynote address at the Invest Malaysia 2017 opening, prior to LEAP’s launch.

The new market aims to provide SMEs with an alternative and efficient fund raising platform and visibility through the capital market where wealthy investors can lend money via the capital market to the SMEs.

Bursa Malaysia Bhd Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan said LEAP is designed to address the funding gap for SMEs and provides investors with a new investable asset class. “The availability of such a platform will further aid the development of SMEs and support broader economic activities. “Trading on the LEAP market is limited to sophisticated investors, according them an opportunity to broaden their investment options in a transparent and regulated environment,” he added.

During the launch of LEAP, the prime minister also witnessed the exchange of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between Bursa Malaysia and its four strategic partners, namely the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), SME Corporation and the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (TERAJU).

The strategic partners will support in the identification of potential SMEs to be listed on the LEAP market and also collaborate to jointly develop the SME financing eco-system and capacity building.

To date, eleven SMEs have engaged LEAP’s approved advisors to assist them with the listing process.

Potential issuers, according to Bursa’s circular at the launch include, Cloudaron Pte Ltd, Agrofresh International Group Sdn Bhd, Red Ideas Holdings Sdn Bhd and Polymer Link Sdn Bhd.

Source: Bernama