Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

 

Marriott set to woo Chinese tourists with Alibaba deal (VIDEO)

SHANGHAI, Aug 8 — Marriott International Inc said yesterday it would partner with China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to tap into the growing number of Chinese citizens who travel abroad. The world’s biggest hotel chain said the joint venture…


Bursa opens higher amid positive market sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Bursa Malaysia opened higher today as demand recovered amid positive market sentiment, dealers said. At 9.03 am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 1.04 points higher at 1,778.95 against Monday’s close of…


Construction industry on track to achieve 50% IBS adoption by 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian construction industry is on track to achieve the target of 50% Industrialised Building System (IBS) adoption in projects by 2018, said IJM Corp Bhd CEO and managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon.

“By 2018, all development orders (DO) from Klang Valley and Greater Klang Valley must have an IBS score of 50 for projects that are more than 50,000 sqm. Other states are by 2020,” he said at a panel session on construction and property at the NCCIM Economic Forum 2017 yesterday.

Soam, who was involved in the five-year Construction Industry Transformation Plan (CITP) working group, said the IBS adoption is already at 35% now and the 50% can easily be achieved by next year.

However, he said the adoption must be done gradually and some persuasive compulsion is needed to get rid of cheap labour and waste, and to have cleaner roads and sites.

“The second step is, from 50% onwards, that is where the entire value chain needs to be looked at; whether we have enough workers, whether our factories are producing enough IBS components and professionals who are competent in designing IBS,” he added.

First Nationwide Group director Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok however is of view that IBS adoption must be done in tandem with the shortening of processes in the property development industry.

“Our industry is fast in adopting mechanisation and the likes but what’s the point now? There is no cost savings at the moment…what’s the point of having speed, if approval takes two years and CCC takes one year?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar said there are many issues related to IBS adoption, including the high cost of machinery due to low economies of scale, negative perception on the quality of IBS and educating workers in preparation for the adoption.


Construction industry on track to achieve 50% IBS adoption

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian construction industry is on track to achieve the target of 50% Industrialised Building System (IBS) adoption in projects by 2018, said IJM Corp Bhd CEO and managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon.

“By 2018, all development orders (DO) from Klang Valley and Greater Klang Valley must have an IBS score of 50 for projects that are more than 50,000 sqm. Other states are by 2020,” he said at a panel session on construction and property at the NCCIM Economic Forum 2017 yesterday.

Soam, who was involved in the five-year Construction Industry Transformation Plan (CITP) working group, said the IBS adoption is already at 35% now and the 50% can easily be achieved by next year.

However, he said the adoption must be done gradually and some persuasive compulsion is needed to get rid of cheap labour and waste, and to have cleaner roads and sites.

“The second step is, from 50% onwards, that is where the entire value chain needs to be looked at; whether we have enough workers, whether our factories are producing enough IBS components and professionals who are competent in designing IBS,” he added.

First Nationwide Group director Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok however is of view that IBS adoption must be done in tandem with the shortening of processes in the property development industry.

“Our industry is fast in adopting mechanisation and the likes but what’s the point now? There is no cost savings at the moment…what’s the point of having speed, if approval takes two years and CCC takes one year?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar said there are many issues related to IBS adoption, including the high cost of machinery due to low economies of scale, negative perception on the quality of IBS and educating workers in preparation for the adoption.


Construction industry on track to achieve 50% pre-fabrication target by 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian construction industry is on track to achieve the target of 50% pre-fabrication in projects by 2018, said IJM Corp Bhd CEO and managing director Datuk Soam Heng Choon.

“By 2018, all development orders (DO) from Kuala Lumpur and the Greater KL area must have an IBS (industrialised building system) score of 50 for projects that are more than 50,000 square metres,” he said at a panel session on construction and property at the NCCIM Economic Forum 2017 today.

Soam, who was involved in the five-year Construction Industry Transformation Plan (CITP) launched last year, said that the IBS adoption is already at 35% now and the 50% can easily be achieved by next year.

However, the adoption must be done gradually with consideration for the entire value chain including adequate supply of workers and factories to supply the pre-fabricated components.


IPIC: 1MDB has to pay at least US$310m by Saturday

PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Bhd has to pay at least US$310 million (RM1.3 billion) to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) by Saturday, and has until Aug 31, 2017 to pay the balance of US$292.73 million.

IPIC said in a filing with the London Stock Exchange that it had granted the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia (MoF Inc) and 1MDB until Aug 31 to complete the payment obligations that were due by July 31.

“This extension is subject to MoF Inc and 1MDB making payment of not less than US$310 million of the full amount due on or before August 12, 2017,” it said.

The payment is part of a US$602.73 million bond payment and US$26.02 million due under a consent award and settlement to IPIC from MoF Inc and 1MDB. Another tranche of RM2.6 billion is due by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that 1MDB chairman and Finance Ministry Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said 1MDB would sign another agreement for the extension of time for payment to IPIC.

He was speaking to reporters after the launch of the Home Price Checking System for Civil Servants yesterday.

Irwan explained that payment was delayed because the sale of units involved some regulatory requirements.

“We need to comply with all these. It will take time which we didn’t foresee. So all this thing will be settled,” he was quoted as saying.

Last week, 1MDB said it would make the payment by this month upon receipt of proceeds from its rationalisation plan.

1MDB’s rationalisation plan involves, among others, a “debt for asset swap” with IPIC, sale of Edra Global Energy Bhd to China General Nuclear Power Corp for RM9.83 billion, master-planned land development in Tun Razak Exchange and disposal of non-core assets.


IPIC: 1MDB has to pay at least US$310 million by August 12

PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which has been granted an extension until August 31 by Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) for the US$602.73 million (RM2.6 billion) bond payment, needs to pay not less than US$310 million (RM1.33 billion) by August 12.

IPIC said in a filing with the London stock exchange that it had granted the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia (MoF Inc) and 1MDB until August 31 to complete the performance of the payment obligations that were due to be performed by July 31.

“This extension is subject to MoF Inc and 1MDB making payment of not less than US$310 million of the full amount due on or before August 12, 2017,” it noted.

IPIC is claiming US$602.73 million bond payment as well as US$26.02 million that were due under the consent award and settlement from MoF Inc and 1MDB.


Malaysia urged to adapt to knowledge economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to adapt to the knowledge economy in order to succeed in a digital future where technology is transforming our business model.

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow of Asia Global Institute, The University of Hong Kong, said Malaysia needs to re-tool its education and skills, and experiment across the spectrum, in positioning itself in the new economy.

“Formal education is outdated because of the speed of new knowledge. Companies do not spend on 'on the job' training, because of cost cuts and staff turnover,” he said during his presentation at the NCCIM Economic Forum 2017 today.

Between 2007 and 2015, the loss of unskilled jobs was 55% relative to other jobs while demand for data analysts over the last five years has increased 372%.

Although Malaysia cannot compete in terms of scale and speed especially against giants such as China, it can compete in terms of scope with strength in diversity, soft skills and adaptability.

“We are winners…but have we got the mindset?” Sheng questioned.

He said Malaysia has successfully moved quietly into education services, medical tourism, higher quality foods, all through upgrading skills, branding and marketing.

“But formal education has become bureaucratised, whereas we are not spending enough on upgrading our labour force, prefering to hire imported labour,” he added.


Alleged British pyramid scheme goes into liquidation

LONDON, Aug 8 — An alleged million-dollar pyramid scheme which is registered in Britain has gone into liquidation, the first step in the process of recovering its assets and distributing them to creditors. Reuters reported last year how the…


Hong Kong shares buoyed by strong earnings, shrug off weak China trade data

SHANGHAI, Aug 8 — Hong Kong shares rose today as strong company earnings and surging prices for steel and other building materials convinced investors that China’s economy remains solid despite weaker-than-expected trade data. The Hang Seng…