Regulatory update – Malaysia

The Companies (Amendment) Act 2024 (“Amendment Act”) came into force on April 1st 2024 with the aim of enhancing corporate transparency and strengthening the existing corporate rehabilitation framework in Malaysia.
A key provision relates to a new framework for Beneficial Owners (BO).
The definition of beneficial owner was expanded from “the ultimate owners of shares, excluding any nominees” to include “a natural person who ultimately owns or controls over a company and includes a person who exercises ultimate effective control over a company”.
Effective April 1st 2024, Malaysian incorporated company are required to obtain BO information from their shareholders. As such, companies are given the power to required disclosure of information if they know or reasonably believes information should be made available.
Companies are also required to maintain a register of BO. This register should be kept at the company’s registered office or any other place within the country, as notified to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM). The CCM should be notified of any changes to the register.
The BO provisions also apply to foreign companies.
Additional amendments pertain to existing corporate rescue mechanisms. Lastly, four provisions, including one focusing on changes to the content of a company’s annual returns, are due to come into force at a later date. 

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