Nazir: Fair tax treatment in the Asean capital market is pivotal

Malaysia’s CIMB chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, and brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, attends an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 31, 2015. — Reuters pic
Malaysia’s CIMB chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, and brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, attends an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 31, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — A fair tax treatment in the Asean capital market is pivotal to spur intra-Asean capital flow, said CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

For example, in accessing government Bhat and corporate bonds in Thailand’s capital market, Malaysian investors would be imposed capital gains tax while Singaporean and South Korean investors were exempted, he said, adding that Singaporean investors were also exempted from taxes on Indonesian Rupiah government bonds, while Malaysian and South Korean investors were slapped with the tax.

“Shouldn’t we have a rule where all Asean investors are subject to the minimum level of taxation that will be applied by each country?

“Asean countries should receive the best in class tax treatment in all capital market across Asean,” he said on the sidelines of the ‘’Asean Roundtable Series, Deepening Capital Markets In Asean: Opportunities and Challenges’’ here today.

Nazir stressed that rules and regulation of each country should be equal and fair and, this could be achieved under the Asean framework.

“As we come closer together, the framework would be able to provide us that fairly simple initiative – to treat all Asean investors equally,” he added.

He also suggested the establishment of a virtual board which would act as an information hub to help investors obtain valuable knowledge and insights on share of companies from foreign stock exchanges within Asean. 

Nazir said increasing the people’s understanding and awareness of investment opportunities across the region by providing easy access to information on how to do it would help to promote the value of intra-Asean economic cooperation.

“There is a marked lack of consolidated source of information on this (interesting shares in the Asean capital market).

“That is why I am suggesting the formation of a virtual information hub where we consolidate all the main companies in the various exchanges, where people can easily access information on how to invest in it,” he added. — Bernama