Sunday, October 1st, 2017


Local authorities need to make adjustments on food truck business, says Ahmad Shabery

SERDANG, Oct 1 — The local authorities need to make adjustments on the existing ruling to allow food truck operators to carry out their businesses. Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said such…

IRB: No plans to amend Act to allow filing of returns with unaudited accounts

PETALING JAYA: The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will not be making amendments to the Income Tax Act 1967 to allow companies exempted from audit by Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) to file returns using unaudited accounts.

The Companies Act 2016, effective this year, allows for dormant companies, zero-revenue companies and threshold-qualified companies (those earning less than RM100,000 revenue and holding at most RM300,000 worth of assets) to be exempted from having to audit their accounts.

“As for now, no amendment will be made (to Income Tax Act 1967 – Section 77A) following the enforcement of the Companies Act 2016,” IRB told SunBiz.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) had called on the IRB to amend its rules in line with SSM’s exemption, allowing for companies eligible for exemption to file returns without auditing their accounts.

FMM, when asked to comment on IRB’s stand, said that while there may not be a need to amend Section 77A of the Income Tax Act, it opined that there is a need for IRB to amend its administrative practice to allow for the filing of unaudited accounts by companies given audit exemptions by the SSM.

It said although not specifically mentioned in Section 77A of the Income Tax Act 1967, the IRB’s website hyperlink to the company tax return form (e-C 2017) did make a note that with effect from Year of Assessment 2014, companies are required to furnish their returns based on audited accounts.

In this respect, FMM said, it appears that the requirement for audited accounts is an administrative procedure set by the IRB.

“Hence, while it may not be necessary to amend Section 77A, IRB should amend its administrative practice to be in line with the new SSM relaxation and update its website accordingly. This would remove uncertainties for companies eligible for audit exemption granted by SSM,” FMM told SunBiz.

“Otherwise, IRB’s administrative requirement effectively invalidates the audit exemption granted by SSM as well as the commission’s good intentions to help reduce the cost of doing business by eliminating unnecessary compliance cost for eligible small companies,” it added.

FMM said it would be writing to the IRB for confirmation on its understanding of the submission of company tax returns vis-à-vis the SSM’s audit exemption.

SSM deputy CEO (regulatory & enforcement) Nor Azimah Abdul Azi, when asked to comment, said SSM had engaged IRB on the proposed audit exemption criteria prior to the release of the Practice Directive 3/2017 on Aug 4, 2017 and there was no objections to SSM’s exempting certain categories of private companies fulfilling the criteria from audit requirements.

“Audit exemption is being introduced in Malaysia for the first time and we are optimistic that companies and industry players will embrace the change in due time,” Azimah told SunBiz.

She said as audit exemption is only an option made available to companies to do away with audit, SSM believes that corporate communities and industry players in Malaysia are mature enough to decide on the best way of doing business that works well in the interest of their business ventures.

“The requirement to prepare accounts is intact and companies that opted for audit exemption would still be required to lodge unaudited financial statements with SSM. In this regard, there will be no vacuum in public information.

“We do not believe it will affect the filing of tax returns as filing of tax returns is a mandatory obligation imposed upon companies under the Income Tax Act 1967,” said Azimah.

Audit exemption is being implemented on a staggered basis. For dormant companies incorporated on or after Jan 31, 2017, it will be effective from Jan 31, 2017; dormant companies incorporated on or before Jan 30, 2017, from Sept 1, 2017; zero-revenue companies from Jan 1, 2018 and threshold-qualified companies from July 1, 2018.

“SSM will be reviewing the audit exemption criteria from time to time to ensure they are in tandem with corporate expectations and, at the same time, preserving the values of corporate governance,” said Azimah.

US Supreme Court back to work with major employment dispute

WASHINGTON, Oct —The US Supreme Court kicks off its new nine-month term today with a major employment case that could deprive workers of the ability to join together to file lawsuits when taking on companies over a wide range of labor disputes….

NSFR grace period eases pressure on banks’ NIMs

PETALING JAYA: The extra grace period from the deferment of the net stability funding ratio (NSFR) implementation to Jan 1, 2019 will most likely ease pressure on banks’ net interest margins (NIM), as the risk of a sharp upward surge in cost of funds minimises, said Kenanga Research.

“However, we still do not rule out banks chasing a cheaper and easier source of funding, which is deposits (against capital funding) that could be at the expense of marketing cost, as credit demand accelerates ahead.”

“We also do not rule out the banks reducing their exposure to long-term loans as higher long-term loans will put pressure on NSFR and the banks will have to compensate by having higher long-term funding thereby adding pressure on their funding costs,” the research house said.

It is positive on the deferment and said the move is welcomed as some banks have been struggling to achieve the minimum regulatory requirements before Jan 1, 2018.

All in, Kenanga maintained its “neutral” stance on the sector as the prevailing challenges in the economy still remain.

It maintained its “market perform” call for most of the banking stocks in its coverage with the exception of Affin Holdings Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd, which are at “outperform”, due to their undemanding valuations.

Meanwhile, HLIB Research said as banks have already taken measures to meet the requirements (NSFR and liquidity coverage ratio (LCR)), it foresees no material impact on banks’ balance sheet structure and near-term profitability.

“Most banks have started the exercise to rebalance their deposit structure since late 2015. The most common strategy is to compete for more sticky individual deposits in meeting the NSFR regulations (sticky deposits represent high bearing in available stable funding).”

HLIB said risks include deteriorating asset quality that will impact banks provisioning level and high household debt that will limit consumers’ ability to further gear up.

“We keep our ‘neutral’ stance on banking sector due to modest growth outlook for earnings, loan and deposit growth in the environment of stable gross domestic product expansion. We expect share price movements of banking stocks to be more muted into the remainder of the year as we see limited re-rating catalyst for the banking sector,” said HLIB. Its top picks are Malayan Banking Bhd and BIMB Holdings Bhd.

Building rubberised roads may help stabilise rubber price, says MRB

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — The Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) is striving to make it compulsory for rubber bitumen to be used in new road construction through a policy starting the middle of next year, its Research and Innovation Deputy…

Chinese investors bemoan Beijing’s bitcoin crackdown

BEIJING: Beijing’s decision to shut down bitcoin trading platforms has left investors scrambling to cut their losses and threatens to deprive the crypto-currency of a crucial market. “The authorities don’t understand anything about bitcoin!” fumed Zhang Yanhua, founder of an investment fund that was dead on arrival after Beijing started tightening the screws at the start […]

Belt and Road Initiative poised to widen international use of renminbi, expert says

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s mega infrastructure project for the 21st century, is poised to widen the use of the renminbi (RMB), thus further promoting its internationalisation, said an economics professor….

Bursa Malaysia to stage mild recovery next week

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia is likely to stage a mild recovery next week with the key index inching towards the 1,772-level on bargain hunting, said an analyst.

The Malaysian Association of Technical Analysts President, Nik Ihsan Raja Abdullah said the local market, which experienced a sell-off in the week just-ended, would turn positive on the back of the expected recovery in oil prices that would soften the impact of capital flight.

“The oil market is recovering quite well. In the last two weeks, it traded around US$55, (RM232.25) per barrel and now trading at US$57/US$58 per barrel … that should be a signal,” he told Bernama.

The recent sell-offs on the local bourse were triggered in part to external developments.

In the US, the Federal Reserve (Fed) had maintained interest rates at its Sept 19-20 meeting but signalled it expected one rate hike by end-2017 and would begin to unwind its US$4.5 trillion balance sheet in Oct while President Donald Trump announced a corporate tax reform.

The US Federal Open Market Committee has another two meetings out of eight annual scheduled meetings towards the end of the year.

Bursa Malaysia was in the negative territory for the last nine consecutive sessions, with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) falling a cumulative 30.75 points to end the third quarter of 2017, as market sentiment in the Asian region was affected by fresh tensions between North Korea and the US, as well as, the comments by made by Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, on a possible rate increase.

On a weekly basis, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI fell 15.46 points to 1,755.58 from 1,771.04 on Thursday last week.

The FBM Emas Index declined 192.39 points to 12,531.29 and the FBMT 100 Index decreased 198.69 points to 12,189.25.

The FBM Emas Syariah Index retreated 130.61 points to 12,797.37, the FBM 70 slid 189.75 points to 15,057.13 and the FBM Ace eased 123.74 points to 6,568.86.

On a sectoral basis, the Finance Index went down 389.11 points to 16,439.87, the Industrial Index fell 41.34 points to 3,201.21, and the Plantation Index declined 98.7 points to 7,871.96.

Total turnover increased to 12.69 billion units valued at RM11.57 billion from 10.40 billion units valued at RM8.32 billion last week.

Main Market volume rose to 9.65 billion shares valued at RM11.05 billion from 7.71 billion shares worth RM7.88 billion.

Warrants volume expanded to 802.06 million units worth RM79.56 million from last Thursday's 692 million units worth RM74.14 million.

The ACE Market rose to 2.22 billion units valued at RM442.05 million from 1.97 billion shares valued at RM362.26 million.

Gold futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives is expected to see range bound trading with downward bias next week at between RM170 and RM180 a gramme, a dealer said.

Phillip Futures Sdn Bhd Dealer, Tee Guy Eon, said Bursa gold would perform in sync with the benchmark New York Commodity Exchange's gold futures market.

“For the week ahead, we expect gold prices to trade range bound as investors continue to weigh the possibilities of a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve in Dec.

“Investors are also expected to trade cautiously ahead of the release of the US nonfarm payroll, which will be released on Friday next week for further clues on the market direction,” he told Bernama.

Positive US economic data would strengthen the case for another interest rate hike in Dec which is negative for gold prices.

On a Friday-to-Thursday basis, Sept 2017 declined 22 ticks to RM174.7 a gramme while October 2017, November 2017 and December 2017 dropped 54 ticks each at RM173.1, RM173.3 and RM173.3 respectively.

Weekly turnover rose to 100 lots worth RM1.75 million from 12 lots worth RM212,715 recorded in the previous week, while open interest widened to 189 contracts from 149 contracts. — Bernama

Macau casino scion rolls dice on Japan venture

HONG KONG, Oct 1 — Casino magnate Lawrence Ho — son of Macau gaming legend Stanley Ho — is eyeing a major foray into Japan as he seeks to broaden his family’s reach beyond the world’s biggest gambling hub. His father was credited…

Lehman, Citi settle US$2b financial crisis-era dispute

NEW YORK, Oct 1 — Citigroup Inc and the wreckage of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc have resolved a fight over US$2.1 billion (RM8.8 billion) that dates to the financial crisis, while quietly burying a key question about derivatives-trading…