The Central Depository System (CDS)

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What is CDS?

The CDS or Central Depository System is an account which is needed if you want to transfer ownership and trade shares using electronic means. It is basically the medium that anyone would need for the movement and ownership of securities where it can be opened by any individual above 18 years of age. This is also the minimum age required for anyone to trade shares in Malaysia under Bursa Malaysia. The CDS account can also be opened by any company or corporation which is registered under the Section 4 of the Companies Act 1965.

Apart from that, other parties who can apply for a CDS account include any society under any written law and registered under the Societies Act 1966, a trustee of trust corporation, any statutory body incorporated under any Act of Parliament as well as any corporate party incorporated in Malaysia which is a public authority under the government or its states. Basically, the Bursa Malaysia will acknowledge the CDS account if it is opened by any individual who could either be the beneficial owner or an authorised nominee of someone else.

The CDS account is necessary and is a pre-requisite if you want to buy or sell shares or any other CDS transactions on the counters that encompass both equity and non-equity elements which include loan sticks, warrants, bonds and others. To open a CDS account, you can do so with any of the listed ADAs or Authorised Depository agents. To be sure, all the stock-broking companies sanctioned under Bursa Malaysia are ADAs which you can choose any of them.

How to apply for CDS?

What you need is to submit the completed registration forms and provide 2 Specimen Signature Cards. If you are a Malaysian, you will need to provide 2 certified true copies of your MyKad while others will have to submit 2 certified true copies of your passport documents. This also applies to any permanent residents of Malaysia.

For corporate applications, you will need to provide the completed registration form to open the account and 2 Specimen Signature Cards as well as 2 certified true copies of all the supporting documents and proof of the company’s existence. This will include documents like the Certificate of Incorporation, the Board Resolution and others. Apart from that, you will also have to attach the fee to open the account.

Once that is done, the ADA will be able to issue you with the CDS account number while your account opening confirmation notice will be delivered to you by mail by Bursa Malaysia Depository Sdn Bhd. Before December 2003, you will automatically be issued with a CDS account and a number if you have successfully applied for IPO (Initial Public Offering). You will have to first obtain a CDS account prior to applying for IPO if it is after December 2003. If you fall under the former category, Bursa Malaysia Depository would inform you of the existence of the account and you will then need to formalise it by sending in your relevant documents and pay for the fee. Closing the CDS account can be done after you have submitted the Application for Closing of Account form and an official letter stating your intention to your ADA.

Under all circumstances, you will be required to be physically present when applying for the CDS account and only under certain cases and situations will you be able to do so without being physically present. However, this will be subject to meeting all the requirements as stipulated by Bursa Malaysia Depository.

The CDS account

Individual investors are not allowed to open more than 1 CDS account while corporate investors are allowed to do so. In a situation where you change your personal details like addresses and contact information, you will be required to complete a form which is called the Application for Updating of Account Particulars form and then your ADA will be able to proceed with the next processes.

As with any accounts, your signature is the main medium of proof of your identity and if you want to update or modify your signature, you will have to submit an official letter to your ADA. This is applicable for both individual and corporate investors. For individual investors, it is essential that you appear in person with the letter to change your signature where the letter must include important information like your CDS account number, the effective date of use of the new signature and both the ‘old’ and ‘new’ signatures respectively.

If Bursa Malaysia Depository finds that the registered and correspondence addresses are different, the letter of notice of successful update or particulars in your CDS account will be sent to both the addresses.

Once the CDS account is opened and is active, you will be receiving a monthly statement when there are activities in your account of the current ending month. If there are no activities but there are shares in your account, then Bursa Malaysia Depository will issue you 6 month notices which will be disseminated in June and December. In this context, a Statement Cycle is a system generated period which is used to issue your statement of account and they are usually assigned on either the 7th, 14th or 21st of every month.

Your account will be deemed dormant if there are no outstanding shares with nil balance and no active trading for 36 months from this date onwards. Once your account is declared dormant, you will no longer be able to carry out at any CDS transactions and no account statement will be issued until you reactivate your account. However, you can still apply for IPO. A notice will be sent to you 1 month before it will be converted to dormant status. To reactivate your account, you will have to write in officially or fill up the Application for Reactivation of CDS Account and then provide all the supporting documentations before you can use the account for trading again.

Statement of account

Take note that only shares that you bought or sold after the date of the statement cycle will be reflected on the current statement of account where you can always check with your ADA if some are missing. Ensure that your correspondence address is updated with your ADA or you could risk not receiving your account statement. In certain cases, if your CDS account is not yet formalized, it you result in such an instance as well.