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FDI: Entry and ownership rule
In April 2009, the Malay government has implemented the follwing steps to liberalise its foreign direct investment framework.
On 22 April 2009, the government abolished conditional local equity ownership of 30 percent for 27 service sub-sectors. These sub-sectors include computer services, health and social services, tourism, transport as well as business and rental services. Also, the government promised "to allow up to five top international law firms with expertise in international Islamic finance to practice in Malaysia".
On 27 April 2009, the central bank lifted investment restrictions in the financial services sector. Foreign ownership limits for local insurers, Islamic and investment banks as well as providers of Sharia-compliant insurance were raised from 49 percent to 70 percent. Also,foreign-owned enterprises in these sectors were given the oppotunity to open up additionalbranches and hiring restrictions on foreign expertise were eased.
Further, the central bank announced the issuance of up to two new licences in Islamic banking, Family Takaful (life insurance) as well as commercial banking. While the former two come with the restriction of a maximum foreign owned stake of 70 percent, the candidates for the two commercial banking licenses may be fully foreign owned.
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