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The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) has introduced guidelines on the disclosure of beneficial ownership.
The SSM issued the Guideline for the Reporting Framework for Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons which came into effect on 1 March 2020.
The guidelines require that all companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) must:
The beneficial ownership reporting framework applies to all companies except companies that are regulated or licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia, the Securities Commission or are listed on local or foreign stock exchanges.
The beneficial owner (BO) is, as defined by the Companies Act 2016, the ultimate owner of the shares and does not include a nominee of any description. The ultimate owner is a natural person who has interest, directly or indirectly, in not less than 20% of the company shares, or holds directly or indirectly not less than 20% of the company’s voting shares.
Failure to meet the requirements may result in imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a fine not more than RM 3 million or both.