President ratifies second amendment to Securities Act

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih | Photo: President's Office

Male’, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the second amendment bill to the Maldives Securities Act (Act No. 2/2006) on Wednesday.

The amendment was passed by the Parliament on December 6, during its 27th sitting of the third session. The second amendment mandates conducting research on new products to development and expand the capital market as well as supervising the securities market and creating a regulatory framework to introduce feasible and promising products.

In addition to this, the amendment also includes provisions which demands the timely disclosure of information related to security issuers and buyers, initiation of efforts to increase market awareness, regulation and analysis of financial markets. The ratification of the amendment has come amid the government’s efforts to boost economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similar to several other countries’ response to COVID-19, Maldives also closed its air and sea borders to tourist arrivals from March 27 till July 15. The restrictions on international travel left heavily tourism reliant economy of Maldives in an extremely vulnerable state. Maldives was also projected as the worst-hit economy in the South Asian region due to the pandemic by the World Bank in mid-April.

According to the Ministry of Finance, national debt is projected to reach MVR 70.3 billion by the end of 2020 while this figure would rise to MVR 82.8 billion by the end of 2021. A total of MVR 37.5 billion out of this figure is expected to be external debt. The Maldivian government estimates a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency and a state deficit of MVR 13 billion in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the tourism industry.