Wednesday, August 8th, 2018


China announces date to match US$16b US tariffs

BEIJING, Aug 8 — China confirmed that it will impose 25 per cent tariffs on an additional US$16 billion worth of imports from the US from Aug. 23, matching an earlier move from Washington in another ratchet higher for the trade war between the two…

Saudi-Canada row could further rattle foreign investors eyeing kingdom

DUBAI, Aug 8 — A worsening row between Saudi Arabia and Canada about human rights threatens to undermine Riyadh’s foreign investment drive, a campaign already unsettled by a series of assertive political and diplomatic initiatives by the top oil…

Britain walks Brexit high wire over financial services

LONDON, Aug 8 — Britain must avoid tying Brussels up in red tape or antagonising its soon to be former European Union partners and the United States if it is to maintain access to the bloc’s financial services market after Brexit. At risk is…

Sterling plunges to 2018 lows as Brexit unease builds

LONDON, Aug 8 — The pound was engulfed in a heavy selloff today, skidding to its lowest levels against the dollar and euro in almost a year as markets ramped up bets on Britain leaving the EU without an agreement with Brussels. London-based…

Markets stumble as trade fears dog investors

LONDON, Aug 8 — A global markets rally faltered today as the ongoing US-China trade row eroded investor sentiment, dealers said. Wall Street stocks retreated at the opening bell, with the Dow slipping less than a tenth of a per cent. In Europe,…

Artificial intelligence is coming for hiring, and it might not be that bad

NEW YORK, Aug 8 — Artificial intelligence promises to make hiring an unbiased utopia. There’s certainly plenty of room for improvement. Employee referrals, a process that tends to leave underrepresented groups out, still make up a bulk of…

Perak Corp to write off RM33m on DreamWorks’ exit

PETALING JAYA: The Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) in Meru, Ipoh has faced a major setback after Perak Corp announced that its main attraction, DreamWorks Animation, will pull out from the theme park.

The move will lead to Perak Corp having to write off a total of RM33.2 million in the current financial year, according to its filing with the stock exchange.

Perak Corp’s indirect 51%-owned subsidiary Animation Theme Park Sdn Bhd (ATP) officially discontinued the licence agreement dated Jan 1, 2013 entered with DreamWorks Animation LLC or the establishment and operation of DreamWorks’ attractions within the MAPS, effective Aug 1, 2018.

Based on the audited financial statements of ATP for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017, the related intellectual properties rights acquired under the licence agreement which are classified as intangible assets has a carrying value of RM17.46 million.

This amount, together with the related inventories and estimated DreamWorks’ attractions development in progress cost of RM15.73 million, will be written off in the current financial year.

Perak Corp said the agreement termination is in the best interest of ATP and the group will ensure that it can continue to operate as a going concern.

“The full opening of MAPS in the near future is expected to increase visitors’ attendance number, entertainment value and repeat visitors to MAPS which will then translate into higher revenue to it (MAPS).”

DreamWorks was slated to be one of the main selling points for MAPS, which opened to the public on June 26, 2017 without the DreamWorks’ attractions.

Perak Corp Bhd said the termination was because the two parties were not able to open the DreamWorks’ attractions to the public by Aug 1.

“ATP has the option to extend the licence agreement to Sept 30, 2018, but decided not to exercise the option in order to accelerate the full opening of MAPS as soon as possible.”

Perak Corp noted that ATP will be working closely and potentially sign a mutual termination agreement with DreamWorks to ensure all outstanding obligations are fully met, so that both parties could exit the licence agreement amicably.

“This will include removing all DreamWorks’ intellectual properties from the MAPS before the zone designated for the DreamWorks’ attractions is open to public.”

The DreamWorks’ attractions zone is now undergoing renovation process to remove all DreamWorks’ intellectual properties and upon complete removal, ATP intends to open the zone with or without any third party’s intellectual property.

Restaurants only subjected to services tax when annual turnover hits RM1m

PETALING JAYA: While the annual turnover threshold for the 6% services tax has been set at RM500,000, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said restaurants across the country will only be subjected to the tax when their turnover hits RM1 million.

“The government understands that the Malaysian people like to enjoy roti canai, nasi goreng, char kuey teow, milo ais and a variety of dishes with their family and friends outside,” he said during the tabling of the Services Tax Bill for the second reading in Dewan Rakyat today.

Lim said the RM500,000 threshold is for standardisation purpose and to make sure that small services providers are not overly burdened.

There is no threshold set for the issuance of credit cards and charge cards as well as the electricity supply to domestic users, but the services tax applies to monthly usage of over 600 units.

For hotel services, the scope will be expanded to include bed and breakfast, shared accommodation, serviced apartment and homestay.

Other services that are subjected to the 6% services tax include number forecast activity, casinos, clubs, lottery and horse racing; services that are provided by night clubs, personal clubs and golf clubs; all kinds of telecommunication services including add-on services; flights and charter flights including helicopters.

Lim noted that only 43.5% of services will be subjected to the services tax at the 6% rate, lower than 64.8% of services that were taxed under the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
“This clearly shows that the sales and services tax (SST) pressure on the people is lower than the GST, especially the services tax,” he said, adding that the higher threshold under the SST regime will reduce price pressure and strengthen the consumers’ purchasing power.

Lim reiterated that the SST will only be applied to 38% of the consumer price index basket of goods as compared with 60% of items under the GST.

According to the Customs, a total of 5,443 goods and services are not subjected to the SST, while only 545 items are GST-exempted.

“In other words, the number of goods and services that are not subjected to the SST are 10 times higher than GST period.”

He said the model and scope of the new services tax is based on the Services Tax Act 1975, which was revoked in tandem with the GST implementation in 2014.

Tesla board says it will evaluate Musk proposal to go private

NEW YORK, Aug 8 — Tesla’s board of directors said today it will evaluate chief executive Elon Musk’s proposal to take the electric car maker private. After Musk last week raised the idea as a better solution for Tesla’s long-term growth,…

Ryanair strike widens as German pilots join Friday stoppage

FRANKFURT, Aug 8 — Ryanair pilots in Germany will strike for 24 hours on Friday, grounding its operations there and adding to action planned in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium at the height of Europe’s holiday season. Europe’s biggest airline by…