Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

 

Regulation of digital assets must not be lopsided: Country Heights chairman

PETALING JAYA: Country Heights Holdings Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew (pix), who welcomes the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019, said that the regulation must not be lopsided.

“I hope that the regulation will not be lopsided and merely oriented to financial services, and will not limit the development of Blockchain technology especially on utility-based tokens,” he said in a statement today.

“As an entrepreneur, we will be anxiously waiting for the framework and will compare it against those which have been previously issued in Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong and the US,” he added.

Lee said Country Heights is waiting for the regulatory framework to be issued by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) before progressing with its plans to issue an asset-backed cryptocurrency called Horse Currency.

The SC is expected to issue the regulatory framework at the end of March after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that digital assets are now under the SC’s purview.

“My dream and deepest hope is that Malaysian entrepreneurs can have access to capital without paying high interest, and instead use a profit-sharing model. With this regulatory framework, this dream will be one step closer,” said Lee.

He said all entrepreneurs should be able to benefit from the era of shared economy by using blockchain technology and tokenisation.

The Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 was signed and gazetted by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. The Order came into force today.


Stocks tripped by earnings angst, sterling huddled for Brexit vote

LONDON, Jan 15 — Spluttering noises from Germany and an earnings miss from banking giant JP Morgan dragged back stocks today, while Britain's pound hovered near a two-month high ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote on Brexit. Most European…


More people saved with PRS last year

PETALING JAYA: More people saved with Private Retirement Schemes (PRS) last year than in any previous years since the inception of the voluntary retirement saving schemes, said Private Pension Administrator Malaysia (PPA).

This is despite domestic and international economic challenges. Last year, the total number of PRS members grew 38% to 416,913 from 301,279 in 2017 while total net asset value (NAV) for PRS funds rose 20% to close the year at RM2.66 billion.

“Last year, I said it will not be easy to continually grow the PRS industry in the range of 30% annually, but we sustained the growth momentum in spite of 2018’s challenging environment. This means that more people are aware that PRS is a long-term savings scheme and are less worried about short term market volatility,” PPA CEO Husaini Hussin said in a statement.

Husaini said almost 40% of PRS members are aged 30 and below, which is an indication that more young adults are taking retirement planning seriously.

“The youth incentive has ended, but the drive to continue encouraging the youth to save for their future remains. We will continue to reach out to the youth through social media and community programmes, as well as collaborate with public and private universities across the country to improve financial literacy among students. PPA will also work with the industry to make it more affordable for the youth segment to start saving with PRS,” he added.

Last year, PPA launched PRS Online Enrolment to allow individuals to sign up and save via www.ppa.my. Prior to that, PRS members could already make further contributions to their PRS funds online through PRS Online Top Up, which was introduced in 2016.

Since its rollout, PRS Online has seen tremendous traction and more PRS members are now using the platform to manage their accounts. PRS members can also review and monitor their savings with their smart devices using the mobile app myPPA.

This year, PPA intends to introduce more value-added services and digital initiatives to provide PRS members an easy, convenient and secure avenue to automate their savings by setting aside a fixed sum for their retirement fund every month.

“This push into financial technology (Fintech) will be another step forward in shaping individuals’ savings behaviour positively. Another key area for PPA is advocating Corporate Malaysia to make retirement planning and financial well-being an essential component of workplace policy,” said PPA.

According to the administrator, awareness about the benefits of PRS to employers needs to be enhanced and PPA will be doubling its efforts to introduce PRS at work.

Some of these initiatives include employers contributing to the employees’ PRS accounts, facilitating bulk enrolments at workplaces and encouraging PRS contribution via salary deduction.

Husaini said PPA’s target for 2019 is to see PRS grow by a similar trajectory through all channels including digital initiatives, financial literacy programmes and corporate participation.

He said the concerted efforts by PPA, PRS providers and distributors, along with Securities Commission Malaysia as the regulator will help spur the PRS industry further.


Kayin raises offer price for SPB again

PETALING JAYA: Selangor Properties Bhd’s (SPB) largest shareholder Kayin Holdings Sdn Bhd has revised its offer price for SPB again, to RM6.30 from RM6 per share previously.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, SPB said it has deliberated on the revised offer price, which will be included in the proposed selective capital reduction and repayment (SCR) exercise to be tabled to its shareholders.

Kayin is the vehicle of the Wen family who holds a 68.25% stake in SPB and is vying to take SPB private.

Consequent to the revision of the offer price, the entitled shareholders will receive a total capital repayment of RM687.7 million, representing a cash repayment of RM6.30 per share.

The issued share capital of SPB will be reduced by up to RM687.7 million pursuant to the proposed SCR.

As the issued share capital to be reduced is higher than the existing issued share capital of SPB of RM545.3 million, SPB will undertake a bonus issue of up to 382.0 million bonus shares by way of capitalising up to RM382.0 million from the retained earnings of the company.

The revised offer price represents a premium of 55.24% against its five-day volume weighted average price of RM4.05 up to Oct 24, 2018.

This is the second revision of the offer price by Kayin. To recap, SPB had on Oct 25, 2018 announced Kayin’s intention to privatise the company by way of a proposed SCR exercise at an offer price of RM5.70 per share.

Subsequently on Dec 17, 2018, Kayin revised its offer price from RM5.70 to RM6 per share.


‘Regulation of digital assets must not be lopsided’

PETALING JAYA: Country Heights Holdings Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, who welcomes the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019, said that the regulation must not be lopsided.

“I hope that the regulation will not be lopsided and merely oriented to financial services, and will not limit the development of Blockchain technology especially on utility-based tokens,” he said in a statement today.

“As an entrepreneur, we will be anxiously waiting for the framework and will compare it against those which have been previously issued in Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong and the US,” he added.

Lee said Country Heights is waiting for the regulatory framework to be issued by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) before progressing with its plans to issue an asset-backed cryptocurrency called Horse Currency.

The SC is expected to issue the regulatory framework at the end of March after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that digital assets are now under the SC’s purview.

“My dream and deepest hope is that Malaysian entrepreneurs can have access to capital without paying high interest, and instead use a profit-sharing model. With this regulatory framework, this dream will be one step closer,” said Lee.

He said all entrepreneurs should be able to benefit from the era of shared economy by using blockchain technology and tokenisation.

The Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 was signed and gazetted by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. The Order came into force today.


Vizione Q2 earnings surge threefold

PETALING JAYA: Vizione Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended Nov 30, 2018 jumped almost threefold to RM19.44 million from RM6.55 million a year ago mainly attributed to the construction works that were undertaken during the quarter by Wira Syukur (M) Sdn Bhd.

The group’s revenue rose 13% to RM165.75 million compared with RM147.3 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

For the six-month period, its net profit surged close to five fold to RM34.46 million from RM7.08 million a year ago, while revenue almost doubled to RM325.25 million from RM168.63 million.

On prospects, Vizione has positioned relevant resources in the wake of the government’s fiscal policy in building more affordable homes in the short to medium term as reflected in their manifesto to construct one million affordable houses within two terms of administration.


IRDA targets RM30 billion new investments for Iskandar Malaysia

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Iskandar Regional Development Authority is targeting to attract RM30 billion in new investments into Iskandar Malaysia this year.

CEO Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the target could be achieved as the development authority managed to record RM32.23 billion in investments last year.

“We are very optimistic on hitting the target. We will work closely with the state government and the private sector to ensure not only that investments are brought into the state but they also create more employment and business opportunities for locals.

“The cooperation will ensure that investments originate from desirable sectors such as tourism, logistics, health, the creative industry, finance and education,” he told reporters after attending IskandarSpace’s first anniversary celebration today.

Ismail said the six sectors saw a 16% growth in investments compared with 2017.

“For example, the tourism industry attracted RM1.94 billion in investments while the education sector took in RM940 million.

“This development (in investments) will definitely attract the interest of entrepreneurs and those who are just venturing into business to set up their enterprises in Iskandar Malaysia,” he said.

Ismail said on the whole, Iskandar Malaysia recorded committed investments totalling RM285.34 billion from 2006 to Dec 31, 2018.

“Local investments contributed 62% or RM177 billion of total investments,” he added.

Also present at the anniversary celebration were State International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse and Iskandar Investment Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Ir Khairil Anwar Ahmad.


Hard Brexit to hit Danish bacon, butter exports to Britain, says OECD

COPENHAGEN, Jan 15 — The flow of Danish butter and bacon to Britons' breakfast tables is expected to fall by around a quarter in case of a hard Brexit, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said today. Denmark's food…


JPMorgan misses profit estimates as bond trading slumps

NEW YORK, Jan 15 —JPMorgan Chase & Co reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as a slump in bond trading outweighed gains from higher interest rates and loan growth. Shares of the largest US bank by assets fell 3 per cent in early…


Malaysian labour force as of Nov 2018 totalled 15.46 million

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 15 — The number of labour force in November 2018 increased by 2.5 per cent to 15.46  million compared to15.08 million during the same month the previous year, said Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin. In a…