Monday, March 4th, 2019


Britain and its islands square off over tax haven rules

LONDON, March 4 — Leaders of three tiny British islands gathered in London today to try to head off proposed legislation aimed at increasing transparency and ending secret company ownership in their jurisdictions. Britain has been gradually…

Insurance coverage in 2018 up 9.6% to RM1.5 trillion: LIAM

PETALING JAYA: Insurance coverage among Malaysians in 2018 increased 9.6% to RM1.51 trillion in sum assured for all policies combined, compared with the corresponding figure of RM1.38 trillion in 2017, according to Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM).

LIAM said in a statement today that the per capita sum assured continued to rise from RM43,029 in 2017 to RM46,610 in 2018 but it is still below the amount needed to support one family member in the event of the death or disability of the breadwinner.

“The 2012/2013 Underinsurance Study in Malaysia conducted by University Kebangsaan Malaysia and LIAM showed that the average mortality gap for each member of a family is about RM100,000 to RM150,000,” it noted.

New business total premium grew 1.8% in 2018 amounting to RM10.3 billion against RM10.1 billion in 2017.

The association said the total claims paid out increased 6.5% to RM10.8 billion in 2018, from RM10.1 billion in 2017 mainly due to higher medical claims, which rose 11.7%.

LIAM president Anusha Thavarajah said the outlook and prospects of the life insurance industry remain positive as the percentage of population with life insurance or takaful plans is still low at 54%.

Taking into account policyholders with more than one life or takaful policies/certificates, only 34 out of 100 people are insured, she noted.

Anusha said the low penetration rate means there are more opportunities for the industry to grow and tap the potential market particularly in the underserved areas in the country as well as the urban and rural areas.

In addition, she said the industry is also very encouraged with the decision of the government to provide a dedicated tax relief of RM3,000 for life insurance premiums (previously a combined tax relief of RM6,000 for Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and life insurance/takaful).

She said the incentive would certainly help to fulfil the needs of the rakyat in line with the industry’s aspiration to promote a fully inclusive society.

“LIAM will continue to work very closely with its member companies and Bank Negara Malaysia and continue to highlight the benefits of e-payment to their customers to further accelerate the industry’s digital migration.

“As the industry evolves, we will continue to venture into new platforms, using new technologies to create innovative products, streamline processes, enhance efficiency and lowering costs to stay competitive and connected with consumers,” she added.

As at end-December 2018, payments made by insurers via e-payment constituted 91% of the total volume of transactions and 87% of premiums received by insurers were through e-payment.

FIMM reprimands former consultant

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Investment Managers Malaysia (FIMM) has reprimanded Raymond Tan Tian Jwu, a former unit trust consultant (UTC) for misconducts/breaches of FIMM’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct (Unit Trust Funds), Second Edition dated Jan 22, 2013.

Tan was found to be in breach of Clause 3.3.1 of FIMM’s Code for dealing with the marketing and distribution of unit trust fund not distributed by Public Bank Bhd (PBB) while he was registered as a UTC under the employment of PBB at the material time.

Clause 3.3.1 of FIMM’s Code requires a UTC to only deal in unit trust funds of his principal or those distributed by his principal and which have been approved by the Securities Commission. The UTC should not make any arrangements, in whatever manner, to market and distribute unit trust funds of other Ordinary Members or those distributed by other IUTA or CUTA.

Tan’s misconduct was identified and notified by PBB to FIMM which have resulted in FIMM taking a disciplinary action against him.

“The public reprimand was imposed on Tan to send a strong message to deter other UTCs from committing similar misconduct and to safeguard the interest of the investing public and the industry,“ FIMM said in a statement.

Since Tan is currently not a UTC registered with FIMM, he has been barred from future registration with FIMM as a UTC effective Jan 29.

Ted Baker founder and CEO Kelvin quits after misconduct allegations

LONDON, March 4 — Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive of British fashion retailer Ted Baker Plc, resigned today following misconduct allegations related to his hugging of business colleagues. Ted Baker had announced an independent…

Perodua sales up 7.3pc in first two months of 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd’s (Perodua) sales rose 7.3 per cent to 37,400 vehicles for the first two months of 2019 compared with 34,800 in the previous corresponding period. Perodua said the stronger results were…

Foreign selling of RM447.7m on Bursa highest in nine weeks

PETALING JAYA: Foreign funds disposed of RM447.7 million net of local equities last week, the largest in nine weeks.

“For the third week running, foreign funds remained net sellers on Bursa, marking the fourth weekly outflow so far this year,“ MIDF Research said in its fund flow report today.

The local bourse gained 0.2% on Monday to settle at 1,725 points as US President Donald Trump said that he will extend the deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese goods beyond last week as progress was made between the two nations.

Nonetheless, foreign investors sold RM49.6 million net on Monday as the decline in consumer prices in January for the first time in a decade remained in investors’ minds.

On both Tuesday and Wednesday, the level of foreign net selling tapered to below RM20 million at RM14.7 million. The reduction of foreign net selling occurred despite the geopolitical tension between India and Pakistan.

Foreign net selling then peaked on Thursday at RM211.6 million, the highest in a day so far in 2019 following the failure of the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. Friday’s foreign net selling was still high at RM157.2 million net as the changes for the MSCI index came into effect, causing foreign funds to rebalance their portfolios in anticipation of the increased weighting of China.

MIDF said for the month of February 2019, international investors dumped RM815.6 million net. This brings the year-to-date foreign net inflow into Malaysia to RM53.3 million or US$10.4 million.

“In comparison to regional peers, on the regional front, Malaysia remains as the nation with the lowest foreign net inflow amongst the four Asean markets we monitor with Indonesia taking the lead with a year-to-date net inflow of US$690.9 million or RM2.8 billion.

“We note that participation amongst the three investor groups remained healthy. However, only foreign investors saw a 0.6% increase in terms of average daily traded value (ADTV) last week while local institutions and retail investors experienced a drop more than 4% in their ADTV,“ it added.

Ringgit ends lower as demand for dollar surges

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The ringgit closed easier as demand for the dollar increased on optimistic US-China trade deal news, dealers said. At 6pm, the ringgit fell to 4.0740/0770 against the greenback compared with Friday’s…

Bursa Malaysia ends lower, dragged by weaker heavyweights

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended lower, dragged by the weaker share prices of selected heavyweights led by Tenaga, Petronas Chemicals and Maxis.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,693.99, down 6.77 points or 0.40%, from 1,700.76 at Friday’s close.

The benchmark index opened 12.54 points lower at 1,688.87 and moved between 1,688.22 and 1,698.87 throughout the day.

On the scoreboard, market breadth was negative with 448 losers to 426 gainers while 384 counters remained unchanged, 611 untraded and 18 others were suspended.

Total volume was higher at 3.14 billion units valued at RM2.16 billion against last Friday’s 2.91 billion units worth RM2.35 billion.

Tenaga declined 12 sen to RM12.96 while both Petronas Chemicals and Maxis shed eight sen each to RM9.19 and RM5.31, respectively.

Cumulatively, the three counters contributed 3.4 points to the composite index.

“The local bourse bucked the trend to perform well like its Asian peers, which were mostly higher following the better-than-expected US economic growth. I think this could be linked to the poor corporate results for 2018 that was released last week.

“Tenaga, for example, posted its first quarterly loss in more than seven years on higher operating cost and increased impairment of financial instruments,“ a dealer said.

The utility company recorded a net loss of RM134 million for the three months ended Dec, 31, 2018.

Other heavyweights, Maybank rose one sen to RM9.54, Public Bank slipped two sen to RM25.00, CIMB eased four sen to RM5.64 while IHH shed one to RM5.78.

Of actives, Daya Materials and Bumi Armada were both flat at half-a-sen and 17.5 sen, respectively, Sapura Energy edged up half-a-sen to 32 sen and Iskandar Waterfront City improved 11 sen to 71 sen.

The FBM Emas Index decreased 31.51 points to 11,766.61, the FBMT 100 Index fell 37.10 points to 11,626.85 and the FBM Emas Syariah Index shed 36.87 points to 11,688.29.

The FBM 70 slipped 5.82 points to 13,956.07 but the FBM Ace Index appreciated 31.24 points to 4,681.50.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index fell 7.24 points to 17,722.22, the Plantation Index eased 7.94 points to 7,266.00 while the Industrial Products and Services Index shed 0.43 of-a-point to 167.94.

Main Market volume increased to 2.20 billion shares valued at RM1.94 billion from 2.02 billion shares worth RM2.17 billion recorded previously.

Warrants turnover rose to 586.41 million units valued at RM139.31 million from Friday’s 522.14 million units worth RM109.25 million.

Volume on the ACE Market decreased to 346.79 million shares worth RM77.92 million from 358.23 million shares worth RM68.27 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 204.70 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (311.42 million), construction (155.66 million), technology (166.20 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (55.56 million), property (199.64 million), plantation (28.50 million), REITs (1.50 million), closed/fund (2,000), energy (967.00 million), healthcare (24.50 million), telecommunications and media (30.96 million), transportation and logistics (40.52 million), and utilities (18.63 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM162.94 per gramme, down RM2.47 from RM165.41 at 5pm last Friday. — Bernama

UOB launches digital bank named TMRW, targets millennials

KUALA LUMPR, March 4 — ASEAN’s first mobile-only bank targeting millennials, TMRW rolled out in Thailand. UOB has launched its first mobile-only bank in Thailand – and has plans to expand to other markets across the region. The mobile-only bank…

mySalam is now open for online registration and claims

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The national health insurance scheme for B40 households is open for registration and claims starting March 1. Registration and claims processes for the mySalam national health insurance scheme is open from 1 March,…