Kenanga Investment Bank has been awarded a digital investment management (DIM) licence from Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC), according to local media reports.
The licence, which the regulator introduced in 2017, allows qualified firms to offer automated discretionary portfolio management or robo-advisory services to investors.
Kenanga revealed last year that it has already received approval in principal from the SC to operate as a digital investment manager, according to a Fintechnews report in Malaysia. At the time, the firm said that it expects to roll out a robo-advisory platform this year and will be named Kenanga Digital Investing.
FSA sought more information from Kenanga, but the firm did not provide more details in time for publication, such as whether it will be making use of Kenanga Investors’s ETFs for the digital wealth platform.
The digital investment licence comes after Kenanga made several moves to enter the country’s ETF market.
In January last year, Kenanga IB’s wholly-owned fund management subsidiary, Kenanga Investors, made its foray into the ETF industry with the launch of its “OneETF”-branded leveraged and inverse (L&I) products, which were among the first L&I ETFs in Malaysia.
Last month, it acquired i-Vcap Management, which manages Shariah-compliant ETFs. I-Vcap has five ETFs listed in Malaysia, three of which provide exposure to offshore markets.
The robo-advisory landscape in Malaysia is getting more competitive. Currently, there are seven other firms in Malaysia that hold the DIM licence. They are Singapore-headquartered Stashaway, which also launched in the Middle East and also expects to roll out in Hong Kong, Autralia’s Raiz Invest, UOB Asset Management, Wahed Invest, Akru, BH Global Fintech and GAX MD, according to Fintechnews.