Malaysia’s bourse is managed through Bursa Malaysia which is managed and operated by Bursa Malaysia Berhad. Bursa Malaysia is one of the most active bourses in Asia where it houses the Main Market and ACE market respectively. Before it was known as Bursa Malaysia, the Malaysian bourse was formally referred to as the KLSE (Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange) when shares were traded through the Main and Second Board as well as MESDAQ (Malaysian Exchange of Securities Dealing and Automated Quotation).

The Malaysian bourse started in 1930 which was the year when the first formal securities business organisation was established in Malaysia when it was operated under the Singapore Stockbrokers’ Association. This was at a time when Malaysia (then known as Malaya) was still a unified establishment with Singapore. In 1937, the Singapore Stockbrokers’ Association was then re-registered as the Malayan Stockbrokers’ Association.

Trading was still through telephone lines

It would be until 1960 that the Malayan Stock Exchange was set up to facilitate public trading of shares activities where at that time; trading rooms were held in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. This is the era when telephone lines were the most important communication tools and share trading were done and carried out using this medium.

The Stock Exchange of Malaysia was then established in 1964. A year later (1965), Singapore broke away from Malaysia and as both the countries shared the same bourse, it was then renamed as the Stock Exchange of Malaysia and Singapore. When the interchangeability of currency between Malaysia and Singapore ceased in 1973, there was a need to break up share trading activities between the 2 countries and this was when it was divided into the Stock Exchange of Singapore and the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

By the end of 1976, the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange or KLSE was established. That was also the year that Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Berhad was set up to take over the operations of the bourse. KLSE would continue to grow under the company limited by guarantee. It was until 2004 when the company changed its name to Bursa Malaysia Berhad which was part of the demutualisation exercise which was carried out in order to reposition the bourse to remain more competitive and to enhance their focus to become more customer-drive and market-oriented.

New Board Structure after 2009

Bursa Malaysia then was listed on the Main Board of the bourse in March 2005 and a year later, it gained its ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System and ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System standards certifications. In 2009, Bursa Malaysia announced that they will be incorporating a new board structure to replace the former ones where shares were traded on the Main and Second Board and in the MESDAQ markets respectively.

Hence, in August that year, a new structure that consisted of the Main Market and ACE Market where the former is made up of the merger between the Main and Second Boards while the MESDAQ market was replaced with the ACE Market which stands for Access, Certainty and Efficiency. The latter which was originally meant for technology-based and high-growth companies will now be used for companies from all sizes and sectors which are emerging and high-growth potential.

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