Foreign divestments in Malaysia at advanced stage

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The activities of foreign insurers to divest stakes in their local partners in Malaysia in an effort to comply with the nation’s regulations on ownership have already reached an advanced stage, according to a statement released by the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia.

Last year, the central bank released a directive announcing its intention to enforce its 2009 rule that sets a 70% cap on foreign ownership of local insurance businesses.

Foreign insurance companies technically had until June 30 to comply with the directive.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, Bank Negara said Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, who was scheduled to take over as governor on July 1, will be briefed on the situation, although it remains unclear what sanctions will await insurers that don’t comply with the directive.

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