The government will be announcing two new regulatory frameworks on property crowdfunding and cryptocurrency in the first quarter of next year. (NSTP Archive)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will be announcing two new regulatory frameworks on property crowdfunding and cryptocurrency in the first quarter of 2019.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the new framework will be jointly developed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission to streamline the framework coordinated by the Finance Ministry.

"The government is exploring new technology-enabled and innovative mechanisms to further our national agenda. The first of which will include Property Crowdfunding platforms as an alternative source of financing for first time home buyers, which is the first in the world.

"I know everyone is waiting with bated breath to observe whether these models will be successful. As previously announced, we are on track to have regulations in place by early 2019," he said during his keynote address at the 2018 Fintech Conference today.

The SC, said Lim, had given his ministry an update that regulations for digital asset or cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) would also come into force by first quarter of 2019, as part of the SC’s efforts to facilitate alternative fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes.

Further, appropriate regulations will be put in place and enforced to safeguard the interest of investors and that interested parties must work within the framework set up by Bank Negara and the SC.

"Both Bank Negara and the SC, in terms of formulating this framework, will be under the auspices of the Finance Ministry.

"The ministry will lead the committee comprising Bank Negara, the SC and the MOF itself.

"So for those who are interested, please liaise with this coordinating body headed by MOF and ensure that you are in full compliance. While we want to encourage, we also want to comply with the law to ensure that the investors know what they are getting into," he said.

On November 15, the SC confirmed that it was developing a regulatory framework for both ICOs and digital asset exchanges which will come into effect in the first quarter of 2019.

The regulator also acknowledged ICOs as one the methods to broaden retail participation and could potentially stimulate more innovative market-based financing options.

The regulator also emphasised that one of the key goals of the framework was ensure a fair and orderly development for this nascent market.

Currently, the only regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Malaysia are centered around anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism.

On whether the government would consider the recalibration of the 2019 Budget due to the declining oil prices, Lim said at the moment, the difference in prices was stil very small for the budget to be revised.

"The previous budget was on the oil price assumption of US$52 a barrel and 2019 Budget was on US$72 a barrel.

"The difference can still be absorbed and there is no recalibration. What happens when the oil price goes up also applies when the prices go down. So we will adopt the same measure and will not be doing any budget recalibration," he said.

Brent oil price today dropped 27 sen to US$60.21 after dropping steadily since the last one month from US$78 a barrel with analysts’ estimates remaining subdued throughout 2019.

Oil prices are expected to remain on the downtrend next year, hovering between US$60 and US$70 a barrel.