Sunday, May 28th, 2017


Major Hong Kong banks raise mortgage rates following HKMA

HONG KONG, May 27 — Some of Hong Kong’s largest commercial banks in the mortgage loans market said they would raise interest rates following the latest round of mortgage tightening measures by the city’s de facto central bank. Banks have…

Higher pay in May, or some other day? (VIDEO)

LONDON, May 28 — Through the global economy’s recovery over most of the past decade from a debilitating financial crisis, one thing that has not turned higher in any meaningful way is workers’ pay. This matters for those hoping for higher…

Online traders under e-commerce must register with CCM


MALACCA: The Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) will require all online traders who carry out businesses via marketplace or e-commerce companies such as Lazada to register with the commission within the next six months.

CCM Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Zahrah Abd Wahab Fenner said the move was aimed at protecting consumers from being cheated, give confidence to buyers, besides being in line with the Registration of Businesses Act 1956.

“Initially, it will involve online traders who sell products through platforms like Lazada, and will be broadened to other market places including Fashion Valet and others.

“This initiative will be undertaken via a memoranda of understanding with e-commerce companies in the country in stages,” she told the media after CCM's corporate zakat distribution presentation here, last night.

Also present were Tangga Batu Member of Parliament who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister, Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah and Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Secretary-General, Datuk Seri Jamil Salleh who is also CCM Chairman.

Elaborating further, Zahrah said CCM would give a 30-day period for the traders to register with it after their businesses on the e-commerce platform were profitable.

She said this would be monitored by the e-commerce firms involved and traders who failed to register their businesses would be dropped from participating in the online platform.

“Action will be taken under the Act on traders who did not register, and if convicted, may face a two-year jail term or fined RM50,000, or both,” she said. — Bernama

It’s time for Islamic banks to consider merger, says banker

KUALA LUMPUR: The merger of Islamic banking units in Malaysia is crucial as the market is becoming overcrowded with the players hungry for growth, outgoing BIMB Holdings Bhd Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Zukri Samat (pix) proposed.

He said the creation of a couple of mega Islamic banks could rival not only other Islamic banks in the country, but also the 'big boys' from the conventional side such as Maybank and CIMB.

On a larger scale, mega Islamic banks will have huge potential to spread their wings off the Malaysian shores into Indonesia, Cambodia and Singapore to become a regional champion, he said.

“All together, we have 16 banks offering Islamic financial products. For a small country like Malaysia, it's a bit overcrowded. So long as we are small and fragmented, it is difficult to grow.

“Probably there could be some form of merger among Islamic banks, just like the conventional banks did during the 1997 financial crisis. The time is right for a merger,” he told Bernama.

In the aftermath of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, Bank Negara Malaysia took stronger measures by calling a massive consolidation of 58 financial institutions, comprising 21 domestic commercial banks, 25 finance companies and 12 merchant banks, into 10 anchor banking groups.

The anchor banks comprised Malayan Banking Bhd, Bumiputra-Commerce Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Arab-Malaysian Bank Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Perwira Affin Bank Bhd, Multi-Purpose Bank Bhd, Southern Bank Bhd and EON Bank Bhd.

The intervention, which concluded by end of 2000, helped improve Malaysia's banking sector in terms of market position, efficiency and capital.

Similarly, Zukri believes that the consolidation of Islamic banks through a merger exercise could boost industry growth and help achieve the country's aspiration to become a global hub for Islamic banking.

Zukri said the intense competition has slowed the average growth rate of Islamic banks in Malaysia from 15% to 20% about 10 to 15 years ago to only five per cent in the past five years.

Even foreign Islamic banks such as Kuwait Finance House, Asian Finance Bank and Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia are feeling the pinch from the stiff market.

“If you look at the numbers today and 10 years ago, they have not moved very much. They are merely inching their way,” he explained.

In 2014, three of Malaysia's largest financial institutions – CIMB Group, RHB Capital and Malaysia Building Society Bhd – were in talks to combine their business and create a mega Islamic bank, that could potentially be one of Southeast Asia's biggest lenders by assets.

The three-way merger will not only leapfrog Maybank, the country's largest bank by assets, but is large enough to compete with global giant financial instutions such as HSBC and Standard Chartered.

However, the plan was scrapped and abandoned amid tumbling oil prices in 2015.

Efforts to create a mega Islamic bank in the region in Malaysia faltered. Likewise, Indonesia was also considering forming a mega Islamic bank in 2015.

Nevertheless, the plan to create a US$8 billion (RM34 billion) worth giant entity involving Syariah-compliant units – Bank Negara Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Tabungan Negara and Bank Rakyat Indonesia – was put on hold due to legal and regulatory issues pertinent to capital requirements.

Zukri said the aspirations to create a mega Islamic bank would not become a reality if market players were to remain silent, with no effort put it.

“It should be market driven, rather than forced by the authority,” he pointed out.

As at end of 2016, Islamic banking assets accounted for 27% of Malaysia's total banking system worth of RM2.44 trillion.

The government has called for 40% of all banking assets nationwide to be Syariah-compliant by 2020. — Bernama

TNB wins Asia Pacific Risk Management Team of the Year award 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) emerged as the “Team of the Year” at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Risk Management Awards 2017 held in Singapore recently.

The award was presented to honour the national utility corporation for its strong commitment towards risk management amid its global expansion, TNB said in its statement today.

Chief Risk Officer Datuk Ir Lim Tong Kang who represented TNB at the event said the award was also in recognition of efforts in risk identification, assessment and mitigation as a value added proposition for the company.

The event, Asia Pacific risk management industry's most prestigious, honoured the best risk community in the region.

It was organised by StrategicRISK, a leading provider of news and insight on risk and corporate governance to corporations across Europe, Middle East and Asia.

TNB was also accorded a special mention for Enterprise Risk Programme of the Year at the same event. — Bernama

[Latest] Sudirman Cup 2017 Finals Result [Korea 3 : China 2]


Great Wall’s down, Korea won Sudirman Cup 2017! Korea beats the favourite and defending champion China 3-2 in Gold Coast Sudirman Cup 2017 finals. It broke the great China 6 years title winning record. Once again China was disappointed in badminton after the failure in the recent Thomas Cup’s loss to Japan. It is also the first for Korea to win this badminton world’s biggest mixed team championship. Gold Coast Sudirman Cup 2017 finals result: Tags: badminton, china, gold, korea, sudirman cup

HK Financial Secretary questions Moody’s over debt downgrade

HONG KONG, May 28 — Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to downgrade Hong Kong’s debt rating last week was based on “shallow” evidence, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan wrote in a blog today. “The evidence on which the…

Proton set to prosper in mega cross-border deal

KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd’s switching from a single-country sole ownership to a cross-border international joint venture with  China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co, in a mega deal signed on Wednesday, is certainly Malaysia’s corporate News of the Year. The question everyone’s asking is: “Will it work?” What the deal means is that in one stroke, […]

Beijing bling: Hyundai plots China branding reboot after missile row

SEOUL/BEIJING, May 28 — Bruised by anti-Korean sentiment in its biggest market and losing ground to local automakers, Hyundai Motor will open its first Chinese brand store, and may locally assemble its premium Genesis cars and accelerate the…

Time for Islamic banks to consider merger, says banker

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28  — The merger of Islamic banking units in Malaysia is crucial as the market is becoming overcrowded with the players hungry for growth, outgoing BIMB Holdings Bhd Group Chief Executive…