Sunday, February 17th, 2019


Madius: Sabah has identified several investors from China

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 17 — Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau says the state government has identified several investors from China and is planning a trade mission to the country. Madius, who is also state Trade and Industry…

Wall St week ahead: Profit estimates may be adding in too much cost risk

NEW YORK, Feb 17 — As Wall Street braces for the first quarterly decline in earnings in nearly three years, some investors are wondering if the market is factoring in a bigger erosion in profit margins than will actually come to pass. Forecasts…

Slow progress for RM10 billion Cyberjaya City Centre

PETALING JAYA: The RM10 billion Cyberjaya City Centre (CCC), a joint development project between Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) and Cyberview Sdn Bhd, seems to be showing slow progress since the change of government.

It was observed that some piling works have been done, but the project has yet to see major progress..

What is MRCB’s plan for it after a slew of mega project postponements and reviews?

MRCB chief corporate officer Amarjit Chhina told SunBiz that the project could take a longer time to be completed.

“The time frame (for the first phase) may change and could be longer than what has been told earlier,” he said.

Recall that in October 2015, Cyberview and MRCB Land Sdn Bhd signed a 30:70 joint venture agreement to develop the first phase of the CCC project comprising a convention centre, hotel, offices and retail lots. It was kicked off in the first half of 2016 and is expected to take seven years to complete.

Phase 1 of CCC is built on 53.37 acres of land, with a gross development value of RM5.35 billion. The convention centre was previously targeted for completion by next year.

The three-phase CCC project, which would take 15 years to be completed, was officially launched by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in 2017, who said that CCC was aimed to be a game changer and completely transform Cyberjaya into a global technology hub and smart city.

Despite the delays, Amarjit stressed that the CCC project is still ongoing, but MRCB’s focus now is more on its other core transit-oriented development (TOD) projects, namely Penang Sentral, Kwasa Sentral and KL Sports City. This is given that these locations (Penang Sentral in Penang, Kwasa Sentral in Sungai Buloh and KL Sports City in Bukit Jalil) have very strong rail transport and road connectivity compared with Cyberjaya.

“We have a very big pipeline of projects in a very strong locations underpinned by very strong transport connectivity. Our key strengths are TOD developments, which is similar to KL Sentral, but at the moment we’re putting our focus more on these locations,” he added.

The Mass Rapid Transit Line 2, slated for completion in 2022, will pass through Cyberjaya with two stations.

Cyberjaya was the brainchild of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and it started to take shape back in 1997. It was supposed to be the Silicon Valley of Malaysia.

Mahathir had said that Cyberjaya should not be just another town with the usual housing development; instead it should focus on the high technology, electronic and information technology industries.

Malaysian economy to continue on steady growth path: Analysts

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s economy is expected to remain on a steady path in 2019 but with greater power due to the fiscal commitment to reduce wastages and improve the delivery system, an important ingredient to achieve a more efficient economy, according to PublicInvest Research.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the trade war will be over, which may lead to the normalisation of global trade and a rally in global asset prices where the spillover effect will be immense for Malaysia,“ it said in a report, referring to the US-China trade spat.

PublicInvest is projecting Malaysia’s 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 4.9%.

It expects Bank Negara Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate to remain unchanged in 2019 in view of the muted risk to growth. The dynamics may change, however, should growth prospects start to dim unexpectedly and the 4.0%-level could be the trigger point.

Meanwhile, TA Research opined that the Malaysian economy will continue to rely on sustainable domestic demand and maintained its 2019 GDP growth forecast at 4.8% year on year.

“But, there could be more downside pressure to this forecast should the expected improvement in external sector does not materialise in the 1Q19 as we expect the full negative effect from higher tariffs previously will only appear in 2H19,” the research house said.

It reiterated that the volatility in the external environment may post challenges for trade outlook as a result from current trade war and slowdown in global growth.

TA believes it will be difficult for the US and China to resolve their trade disputes within the current tight deadline, given the challenge of US demands for structural reform in China to address several issues such as intellectual property protection, forced technology transfers and state subsidies favouring domestic companies.

Although Malaysia is highly exposed to global headwinds due to high total trade to GDP ratio, it opined that the economy would find support from robust domestic activities mainly private consumption and investments.

Among the positive vibes that are expected to sustain growth includes higher household earnings, continuous assistance from the government (with targeted cash aid and petrol subsidies) as well as accommodative lending stance.

TA noted that private sector demand will continue to be the main driver of growth as private consumption growth is expected to expand due to continued income and employment growth while private investment is anticipated to grow supported by capital spending in technology-intensive services and manufacturing in line with Industrial Revolution 4.0.

On the currency front, PublicInvest said it is unperturbed by the ringgit’s protracted volatility as this is being caused mostly by external developments, a situation not unique to Malaysia.

“The ringgit is supported by strong fundamentals amid favourable growth prospects and positive current account surplus. We see these as the impetus for ringgit to rebound towards its fair value.”

As the US is committed to only two interest rate adjustments in 2019 against four in 2018, capital outflows may slow down and eventually normalise in 2019. Ringgit may also benefit materially should trade negotiations end up favourably.

“Nonetheless, the ringgit may continue to face inherent risks from limited policy space and limited upside for oil, leading us predict the ringgit to average between RM4.10-4.20 per dollar in 2019. We are not too concerned with this prospect as ringgit is still backed by steady fundamentals that may be a conduit for its reversal. The ringgit’s oversold position is mainly due to external factors, chiefly the trade collision and volatile oil prices.”

EcoWorld to unveil Malaysia’s first robot hotel

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Feb 17 — Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld Malaysia) is set to introduce the country’s first robot guest registration and food delivery system in the third quarter of this year at its Eco Nest serviced apartments. The…

High foreign outflow due to investment recalibration, says expert

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 ― A high net foreign fund outflow of RM263.5 million was recorded between Monday to Thursday, a level last seen since the third week of December 2018, as investors recalibrated their investments due to periodic adjustment…

KPMG: Brexit 'airbags' being tested by business with 40 days to exit day

LONDON, Feb 17 ― With just 40 days until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, businesses are testing their emergency Brexit preparations to ensure they have enough cash and staff in the event of a disorderly exit, KPMG said….

US President Trump receives update on China trade talks

PALM BEACH, Feb 17 ― President Donald Trump received an update on trade talks with China yesterday at his Florida retreat after discussions in Beijing saw progress ahead of a March 1 deadline for reaching a deal. Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago club, was…

UK airline flybmi collapses under fuel costs, Brexit pressures

LONDON, Feb 17 ― British regional airline flybmi announced yesterday it had ceased operations and was filing for administration, blaming spikes in fuel and carbon costs and uncertainty over Brexit. Parent company British Midland Regional Limited…

Uncertainty in a bullish global market

The local market was directionless last week despite global market indices closing higher. Despite an increase in trading volume, there was no direction. The market is cautious ahead of the GDP data. The benchmark FBM KLCI increased only 0.1 per cent in a week to 1,688.83 points last Friday After having low volume a week […]