The Malaysian economy is on the move, having transformed itself from merely an exporter of raw materials some four decades back to one of the major emerging market economies in Asia. Oil and gas are still its primary exports, supplying more than 40% of government revenues, but it has moved dramatically into the regional value-added   production chain. By virtue of this transformation, it continues to attract new investment capital in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology, and services.

With these dramatic advances in hand, many local investors have become active in all manner of investment vehicles, including retail forex trading. The Malaysian Ringgit (“MYR”) has appreciated since the global recession in 2009 by 26% before pulling back to lower levels after commodity prices cooled down and the price for a barrel of oil pulled back to a more reasonable price point below $100. In the meantime, the evolution of currency trading in this country has not been an easy one. Malaysia is reported to be an attractive target for forex crooks in a way similar to the situation in many Middle Eastern Muslim nations enriched through commodity exports.

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    The Bank Negara Malaysia is the central bank of the country and manages the Ringgit. Regulatory responsibilities are left to the Securities Commission Malaysia, which is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. The Securities Commission oversees exchange-traded products, as well as commodity and forex futures and the activities of brokers in the country. Regulations, however, have not been updated to accommodate retail forex trading, and in some cases, pronouncements from government officials have suggested that some forms of trading may be illegal.

    Finding a legal pathway often involves sticking with local banks that do not support leverage to any extent. Central bankers are notorious for discouraging speculation in any form, but trading currency pairs that do not involve the Ringgit tend to be acceptable, an interpretation designed to restrict Malaysian currency flows and retain audit trails for tax collections.

    Islam is also the official religion of Malaysia, and 16.5 million Muslims account form nearly 60% of the nation’s total population. Local forex brokers are obliged to offer special Islamic law accounts, as appropriate, to attract this larger sector of potential traders, but the local Fatwa Council has ruled that trading in currency spot markets violates their principles.

    The Fatwa, however, does not have the power to enforce their rulings, and it should be said that Islamic jurists in other parts of the world have disagreed with this local ruling. If you are a Muslim considering retail forex trading, then be sure to review the many materials on the Internet and reach your own personal assessment before acting as your conscience guides you.

    Once past these “hurdles”, an aspiring trader must select a business partner from a host of possible forex brokers. To protect yourself from fraud, it is highly recommended that you invest the time it takes to complete a detailed review before making your final decision. Safety and security should be uppermost on your priorities. Check credentials with authorities, verify that there truly is a local office to support your needs, and validate the quality of your short list with other traders in the area. Be careful to avoid offshore firms. Pressing your legal rights in a foreign jurisdiction can be a nightmare waiting to happen.

    Choosing the best forex broker among the many available offers may be a difficult task, but with our help, we hope that you will find it easier. We have prepared the above list of some of the most reputable and competent forex brokers in the market, and since you will lose nothing by taking a look, it is a good idea to check it out before you make a final decision about your forex broker!