Saturday, November 3rd, 2018


Chinese chip firm Fujian Jinhua denies stealing IP from Micron

SHANGHAI, Nov 3 — Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co Ltd said today it has not stolen any technology, after the US Justice Department indicted the state-back firm for stealing trade secrets. The US Justice Department on Thursday…

Tightening measures for corporates in the 2019 budget: PwC

KUALA LUMPUR: There are no significant new taxes which directly impact corporations, but the 2019 Budget introduces several tightening measures such as a seven-year limitation on carry-forward of losses, capital allowances and unabsorbed incentives, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia Tax Leader Jagdev Singh.

Sector-wise, he said companies in the gaming sector would have to bear additional duties, while Malaysian companies with Labuan transactions (particularly Labuan leasing companies) would also have to review the feasibility of the current structures, given the new measures imposed on such transactions.

On a positive note, those companies involved in Industry 4.0 and the broader tech sector stand to gain from additional funding to promote growth in this sector, he said.

He pointed out that the government had heard the requests to make the tax system more business-friendly.

“The service tax exemption for business-to-business (B2B) transactions between registered companies makes perfect sense in eliminating the cascading effect of tax, resulting in lower costs to such businesses.

“This will certainly reduce administrative burdens on businesses which would have, otherwise, needed exemptions on a case-by-case basis. SMEs will also see their corporate tax rates reduced by 1% on their first RM500,000 of income,” he explained.

As for tax amnesty programmes, Jagdev said these were not new as similar programmes were implemented in 2015 and 2016.

However, the rates offered during this budget appear more attractive compared to previous numbers which only offer a reduction of 10 to 20% from the original rates, he said. The 2019 Budget also puts in place penalties post the special voluntary disclosure period which are far more punitive.

Although this is a good move to encourage taxpayers to come forward, the punitive rates need to be applied with caution as these should only be applied on taxpayers who have willfully or intentionally under-declared or have not declared taxes, he pointed out.

“Taxpayers who have adopted reasonable positions which may not necessarily be agreed to by the tax authorities should not fall under this category of punitive rates,” he said.

On the expansion of the list of services under the Sales and Service Tax (SST) regime to include import services, he said this was necessary to ensure a level playing ground, especially when services could be sourced locally.

He noted that Budget 2019 had also introduced service taxes on digital services.

Although this is a good move in ensuring that imported services are not provided preferential treatment, the budget still does not tackle the issue which plagues many developing and developed countries, that is, the taxing of the digital economy itself, Jagdev said.

As for the impact on the people on the street, he said whilst there were no changes in tax rates or reliefs (other than the reliefs provided for EPF contributions and life insurance premiums), there were a number of initiatives to assist the lower and middle-income groups.

In continuing the previous trend, there are a number of measures to help people get onto the home ownership ladder.

For instance, subsidies will be more targeted going forward and cash handouts in the form of Bantuan Sara Hidup are to continue.

It is also timely to see specific measures on employing those above 60 years old, Jagdev said.

Overall, Budget 2019 casts a wide-sweeping net in announcing measures to address the ballooning levels of debt, the need for prudent spending, and the urgency to increase other sources of revenue to replace the Goods and Services Tax income, he added. — Bernama

Higher RPGT will raise sub-sale prices, says PAM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The increase in Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) on the profits from the disposal of real estate, as proposed in the 2019 Budget, will see increases in sub-sale prices of real properties, says the Malaysian…

PropertyGuru: 2019 Budget reflects dynamism, proactiveness of government

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Online property portal, PropertyGuru Malaysia said the 2019 Budget reflected a spirit of dynamism and pro-activeness in some of the government’s innovative ideas and proposal, including for the property sector. …

Bank Islam: Govt cognisant of RM21b GST revenue loss

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The government is cognisant of the loss from the Goods and Services Tax revenue of RM21 billion, says Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB). Chief Economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said in relation to the…

Stanchart: Govt still needs to find new revenue measures to address GST removal

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The 2019 budget shows a lack of sustainable revenue measures being proposed to address the Goods and Services Tax (GST)-Sales and Service Tax (SST) shortfall, according to Standard Chartered (StanChart). It…

World Bank welcomes comprehensiveness of 2019 Budget

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank has welcomed the comprehensiveness of Malaysia's 2019 Budget, which is aligned with the policy direction of the new government.

World Bank Country Manager for Malaysia Dr Firas Raad said this budget saw many different priorities especially over the medium term.

“We are impressed with the commitment to education and we think that this is very important given where the country is.

“With the aspiration to reach that threshold to becoming a higher income developed country, it will have to invest in ways where the children of this country should learn much better especially in maths and science,” he told Bernama News Channel in an exclusive interview.

He noted the importance of children having the right skills in making sure that the human capital of Malaysia would be in a position to really push the country over the threshold to reaching a higher income level and be able to compete with its neighbours.

On taxes, he expects some of the measures to lead to a positive developments especially the sin tax and new sugar tax.

“I think that is a positive development because I know this country is going to face this megatrend of population ageing down the road, and with the ageing population come all sorts of chronic diseases and the incidence would be greater, so the government needs to do much more in meeting these challenges,” he added.

However, there may be short-term effects on stakeholders related to the beverage industry, he noted. — Bernama

Budget 2019: Wounded Tiger on road to economic recovery, say industry captains

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Budget 2019 should not be compared with the previous budgets as the new government had only taken over about six months ago, said Allianz Malaysia Bhd Chief Executive Officer, Zakri Khir. “We know how difficult it is to do…

World Bank welcomes comprehensiveness of Budget 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The World Bank has welcomed the comprehensiveness of Malaysia’s Budget 2019 which is aligned to be in line with the policy direction of the new government. World Bank Country Manager for Malaysia, Firas Raad said this…

Ringgit to trade in flat mode against US dollar next week

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is expected to trade in range bound trading against the US dollar next week, weighed by external factors, said a dealer.

FXTM Global Head of Currency Strategy and Market Research Jameel Ahmad said upcoming mid-term elections in the United States next week was seen as a pivotal threat to emerging market currencies, including the ringgit.

“You can't predict political events in the modern day but the strongest opportunity for the ringgit to advance against the US dollar over the upcoming period would be for the dollar to be heavily sold off by investors during the mid-term elections.

“Another jump higher in the US dollar is not exactly something that one could rule off the table. It also presents the most significant risk to a potential return of 4.20 level in the USD/MYR,” he said.

For the week just-ended, the ringgit was traded higher versus the greenback.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the local note strengthened to 4.1600/1650 against the US dollar from 4.1730/1770 last week.

Against a basket of major currencies, the local note, however, traded mostly lower.

It depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0321/0362 from 3.0154/0189 last Friday but vis-a-vis the Japanese yen, the ringgit rose to 3.6889/6940 from 3.7282/7321.

The local currency fell against the British pound to 5.4196/4266 from 5.3419/3495 and weakened against the euro to 4.7582/7643 from 4.7384/7438 last Friday. — Bernama