Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

 

Q1 business outlook slips

KUALA LUMPUR: The business outlook among Malaysian com-panies slid further for the second consecutive quarter for Q1 2019, but firms are more upbeat about investments for business expan-sion this year.

According to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Malaysia’s Business Opti-mism Index (BOI) study, the overall BOI moderated down-wards from +12.99 percentage points in Q4 2018 to +8.92 percentage points in Q1 2019.

On a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, the BOI rose slightly from +7.25 percentage points in Q1 2018 to +8.92 percentage points in Q1 2019.

The six business indicators under the quarterly BOI study are: volume of sales, net profits, selling price, inventory level, employees and new orders.

For Q1 2019, only two of six indicators have climbed up on a quarter-on-quarter basis. On an annual basis, four of six indicators have risen for Q1 2019.

The transport, services and wholesale sectors have emerged as the most upbeat sectors while construction and mining are the least optimistic.

Compared with 2018, there is a visible jump in firms expecting investments to rise from 18% in 2018 to 26% in 2019.

The proportion of firms expect-ing investments to decrease fell further from 15% for 2018 to 7% in 2019. Majority of local firms had anticipated investments to remain unchanged at 67%.

Dun & Bradstreet (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd CEO Audrey Chia said moving into Q1 2019, it expects sentiments among local firms to moderate due to weaker growth within external-oriented industries such as wholesale trade as well as the muted outlook among cons-truction and mining firms.

“For 2019, however, firms have anticipated higher investments for business expansion compared to the previous year. This is particularly in the area of tech-nological investments in soft-ware, infrastructure and machi-nery and capital equipment.”

The BOI is a measure of business confidence in the econ-omy. Released quarterly, it is based on a business sentiment survey that is designed to capture business expectations and is one of the most effective ways to track how the business community perceives the business environ-ment, and where they think it is moving.

This is the 24th D&B BOI study being released in Malaysia.


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Surina Shukri is MDEC new CEO

PETALING JAYA: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has announced the appointment of Surina Shukri (pix) as the new CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) effective tomorrow.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said in a statement that Surina will replace former MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, who resigned on Dec 7 last year.

Surina, who built her career in the US, has returned to Malaysia to take on her new role at MDEC under a three-year appointment.

“I am confident that Surina will strive to continue building MDEC with her leadership and experience, and take MDEC to a higher level, not only in Malaysia but also globally,” said Gobind.

Surina has over 20 years of working experience at various multinational companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co, as well as start-ups in the finance, natural resources, energy and technology sectors.


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pitchIN to raise RM16m from 16 campaigns this year

PETALING JAYA: Equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform pitchIN is aiming to double the number of its fund raising campaigns to 16 this year from last year’s eight, through which it aims to raise at least RM16 million.

The platform raised RM13.6 million in 2018 through eight deals involving 400 investors.

The entire ECF industry recorded a dip in the number of campaigns in 2018, falling to 14 from 22 in the previous year, due to the 14th General Elections. Of the 14 campaigns, pitchIN accounted for eight.

“I think the indication will be after quarter one, which is beginning of April; by that time, 10 or 12 companies will finish their fundraising campaigns. We will be able to see where we are in terms of fundraising campaigns,” said pitchIN’s CEO Sam Shafie (pix).

Additionally, pitchIN is also looking forward to launch a secondary market for ECF once the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) releases its secondary markets framework.

Sam revealed that pitchIN has a team ready and is currently waiting for the green light from the SC to move forward.

He said it will take at least three months to build the platform upon receiving approval.

pitchIN said with 24 issuers under its belt, a secondary market is the next logical step forward, as it will add necessary liquidity to the ECF market.


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