Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

 

US investment in Malaysia up sharply as trade row with China drags on

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Malaysia approved US investment worth US$5.62 billion in the first half of the year compared with US$113 million the previous year, the government said today, a possible sign of a diversion of US business as a trade row with…


US stocks join global rally on Hong Kong peace hopes

NEW YORK, Sept 4 — Wall Street stocks rose early today, joining a global rally after the leader of Hong Kong spiked an extradition bill that had sparked massive protests. Bowing to the protests, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam formally…


BoE foresees ‘less severe’ impact of no-deal Brexit

LONDON, Sept 4 — The Bank of England believes the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the UK economy is “less severe” than previously thought owing to better preparedness, governor Mark Carney said today. In a letter to the chair of a cross-panel…


Google to pay US$170m fine for sharing YouTube kids data

WASHINGTON, Sept 4 — Google agreed to pay a US$170 million fine to settle charges that it illegally collected and shared data from children on its YouTube video service without consent of parents, US officials announced today. The settlement with…


Malaysia starting to benefit from trade diversion amid US-China tariffs war?

PETALING JAYA: The surprise growth in Malaysia’s July exports could indicate that the country has started to feel the positive impact from trade diversion amid the escalation in the trade war between the United States and China, according to economists.

The market had expected a 2.5% contraction in exports, but it turned out to be a 1.7% expansion.

“We think July’s export performance shows further evidence of trade diversion amid higher exports of electrical & electronics (E&E) products and pick-up in exports to US and China,” said UOB Global Economics & Markets Research in its report today.

However, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew is hesitant to attribute the export improvement to the trade diversion effect.

“We have to wait for a few months as it could a front-loading effect from the US ahead of upcoming tariffs implementation before it could be determined as a benefit from trade diversion,” he told SunBiz.

Pong noted that the trade figures suggested a possible resumption of the upward trend in exports from October last year. “Since October last year, Malaysia’s trade figures have been rather flat.”

UOB cautioned that slowing global demand and high base effects in second-half 2018 as a result of front-loading purchases ahead of the US tariff increase in January 2019 may offset any substantial gains in Malaysian exports.

“In sum, we continue to stay cautious about the outlook of Malaysia’s exports in 2H 2019. We maintain our 2019 full-year export growth forecast at 1.0%-1.5%,” it said.

MIDF Research also revised downwards the exports growth forecast to 1.7% in 2019.

“With faltering trade globally derive from rising protectionism and loss of momentum in some major economies, especially in Europe, we do not foresee a huge comeback in 2H19.

“Nevertheless, we opine that commodity-based sectors particularly LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports to contribute to a better growth in exports for 2H19. In addition, ringgit depreciation could also provide support to the estimate,” MIDF Research said.


Malaysia starting to benefit from trade diversion amid US-China tariffs war?

PETALING JAYA: The surprise growth in Malaysia’s July exports could indicate that the country has started to feel the positive impact from trade diversion amid the escalation in the trade war between the United States and China, according to economists.

The market had expected a 2.5% contraction in exports, but it turned out to be a 1.7% expansion.

“We think July’s export performance shows further evidence of trade diversion amid higher exports of electrical & electronics (E&E) products and pick-up in exports to US and China,” said UOB Global Economics & Markets Research in its report today.

However, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew is hesitant to attribute the export improvement to the trade diversion effect.

“We have to wait for a few months as it could a front-loading effect from the US ahead of upcoming tariffs implementation before it could be determined as a benefit from trade diversion,” he told SunBiz.

Pong noted that the trade figures suggested a possible resumption of the upward trend in exports from October last year. “Since October last year, Malaysia’s trade figures have been rather flat.”

UOB cautioned that slowing global demand and high base effects in second-half 2018 as a result of front-loading purchases ahead of the US tariff increase in January 2019 may offset any substantial gains in Malaysian exports.

“In sum, we continue to stay cautious about the outlook of Malaysia’s exports in 2H 2019. We maintain our 2019 full-year export growth forecast at 1.0%-1.5%,” it said.

MIDF Research also revised downwards the exports growth forecast to 1.7% in 2019.

“With faltering trade globally derive from rising protectionism and loss of momentum in some major economies, especially in Europe, we do not foresee a huge comeback in 2H19.

“Nevertheless, we opine that commodity-based sectors particularly LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports to contribute to a better growth in exports for 2H19. In addition, ringgit depreciation could also provide support to the estimate,” MIDF Research said.


Business tithe collected from online traders still low, says FT Islamic Affairs Council

NILAI, Sept 4 — Muslim online traders are urged to fulfil their obligation by paying business tithes. Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Council Tithe Collection Centre (PPZ-MAIWP) chief executive officer Ahmad Shukri Yusoff said the awareness on…


July imports down 5.9%, trade surplus widens to RM14.3 billion

PETALING JAYA: With the expansion in exports and a 5.9% decline in imports, Malaysia’s trade surplus in July widened by 75.6% to RM14.3 billion compared with the same month a year ago.

According to the Department of Statistics, Malaysia’s exports grew to RM88 billion in July, driven by the increases in electrical & electronic products (+RM1.5 billion); liquefied natural gas (+RM798.7 million); refined petroleum products (+RM174.4 million); natural rubber (+RM85.4 million); and timber and timber-based products (+RM23.7 million).

However, decreases were recorded for these products; crude petroleum (-RM1.7 billion) and palm oil and palm oil-based products (-RM544.5 million).

Total trade fell 1.9% year-on-year to RM161.7 billion.

Geographically, the higher exports were due to the increase in exports to Taiwan (+RM1.2 billion), the US (+RM610.2 million), China (+RM488.8 million) and Singapore (+RM372.9 million). However, exports decreased to India (-RM534.0 million), Australia (-RM417.9 million) and Japan (-RM352.0 million).

Re-exports were valued at RM17.9 billion, a drop of 3.9% and accounted for 20.3% of total exports. However, domestic exports increased 3.3% to RM70.1 billion.

On the import front, the picture does not appear to be rosy as shipments dropped 5.9% to RM73.7 billion, attributed to declines in capital goods (-RM1.4 billion), intermediate goods (-RM1.4 billion) and consumption goods (-RM333.7 million).

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said the decline in imports is an indicator of weakness in private investment and domestic consumption as well as a weaker purchasing power or consumer sentiment.

“The decline in imports confirms my observation that activities of manufacturing and domestic consumption are slowing down.”


Rising US exports shrink trade deficit; China imports fall

WASHINGTON, Sept 4 — A bump in US exports helped shrink America’s yawning trade deficit in July while imports from China continued to fall amid the two nations’ trade war, government data showed today. The relatively steady deficit comes as…


SME Bank: RM30b in financing approved to date

KUALA LUMPUR: Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Bhd (SME Bank) has approved RM30 billion in financing to more than 17,000 SMEs to date.

Group president and CEO Aria Putera Ismail said the bank is continuously engaging with stake-holders to develop and implement various programmes in bridging the financing gap of the unserved or underserved SMEs.

The recent AAA rating with a stable outlook accorded by the Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC) has confirmed SME Bank’s footing in taking the lead of nurturing and developing the SMEs, he said.

“With total contribution of 44.2% of development financial institution (DFI) financing given to the SMEs, it (the AAA rating) has positioned SME Bank strongly as a key player in the market,“ Aria said in a statement today.

He said in line with the govern-ment’s socio-economic agenda, the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 (DKN 2030), many initiatives will be rolled out to empower the SMEs, especially the the bottom 40 (B40) household income group.

“In realising DKN 2030’s main goal of making Malaysia as an entrepreneurial nation by 2030, SME Bank, through its subsidiary Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn Bhd, has realigned its functions to ensure the SME entrepreneurs who undertake the training and coaching programmes are equipped with the right mindset, knowledge and skills in managing, sustaining and growing their business locally and globally,“ he said.

He added with the AAA rating given by MARC and the new direction undertaken by the leadership of SME Bank, the future of Malaysian SMEs is expected to be very positive as it strives to be the leading economic growth contri-butor to the nation. – Bernama