Europe, Asia back free trade in face of Trump’s ‘America first’

BRUSSELS, Oct 20 — More than 50 European and Asian leaders backed free trade and the fight against climate change yesterday in a veiled swipe at US President Donald Trump and his increasingly protectionist approach. As disputes fester with…

EU to sign trade deal with Singapore, avoid criticising China

BRUSSELS, Oct 18 — The European Union was set to sign a trade deal with Singapore today after talks with Asian leaders keen to push back against US protectionism, but efforts to encourage China to drop state subsidies ran into resistance from…

Merkel calls for free trade as EU, Asia meet

BRUSSELS, Oct 19 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a rallying call for free trade today as EU and Asian leaders met to unite in defiance of US President Donald Trump’s “America first” approach. As disputes fester with Washington, the…

Vizione to accelerate regional expansion

KUALA LUMPUR: Vizione Holdings Bhd plans to accelerate its venture into Indonesia and Vietnam for housing and infrastructure projects by the third quarter of 2019, due to the weak sentiment in the local construction sector.

Managing director Datuk Ng Aun Hooi said it is still exploring opportunities and may need to bring forward its plan to expand into Southeast Asia sooner than the targeted 2020.

“Now, looking at Malaysia, if you want mega projects you have to wait for the next two years after they (government) review everything and make sure the fiscal account is in a healthy condition,” he told reporters after its AGM today.

He said Vizione will enter into joint ventures for its overseas housing projects and will work as a main contractor for concession holders for its infrastructure projects.

Vizione currently has no projects overseas but noted that its wholly owned subsidiary Wira Syukur (M) Sdn Bhd had previously worked on projects in Cambodia and Thailand (Bangkok).

Vizione is in the business of construction for residential, infrastructure and commercial projects. It has an outstanding order book of RM3.3 billion and a tender book of RM2.4 billion.

Its orderbook also consists of a job for LRT3, which the government has agreed to continue under a fixed price contract regime.

“We have to go back to the main contractor to renegotiate, but our package is small. We hope for more (jobs) to come in.”

Ng said Vizione aspires to achieve a minimum of RM600 million in revenue for 2019, from RM413.19 million in the financial year ended May 31, 2018, and RM1 billion by 2020 driven by its order book of mainly infrastructure and housing jobs.

On the upcoming Budget 2019, he is hoping that there will not be a drastic cut in development expenditure despite the government tightening its belt for a leaner budget.

“We need the government to help the private sector to have more jobs,” he added.

While building materials are exempted from the sales and services tax (SST), Ng said construction costs are going up for contractors as not all items are on the tax exempt list.

“Major materials like steel bar, concrete are free (from SST) but there are still many items that need to pay SST, up to 10%. For new tenders, we will put (factor) in the price; for earlier projects, we have to bear with it,” he said.

Cambodia’s garment workers fear EU trade threat

PHNOM PENH: A European Union decision to ramp up trade pressure on Cambodia has alarmed unions in its garment industry, a pillar of the economy that employs about 700,000 people, but a key grouping of manufacturers said the risk would take months to materialise. Cambodia’s biggest export market, the EU, warned this month that the […]

Cambodia's garment workers fear EU trade threat but producers optimistic

PHNOM PENH, Oct 17 — A European Union decision to ramp up trade pressure on Cambodia has alarmed unions in its garment industry, a pillar of the economy that employs about 700,000 people, but a key grouping of manufacturers said the risk would…

Oxfam rejects Singapore defence of low taxes

SINGAPORE, Oct 10 — Oxfam today rejected Singapore’s defence of its low taxes after the NGO ranked the wealthy city state among the 10 worst-offending countries in fuelling inequality with its low-tax regime. Oxfam’s Commitment to Reducing…

Platform to establish Malaysia as hub for cyber threat intelligence sharing

KUALA LUMPUR: CyberSecurity Malaysia and VigilantAsia initiated a Regional Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (Cyber-TIP), the region’s first government and industry cyber security predictive threat intelligence platform. Together with Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam as supporting partners, the initiation of the Cyber-TIP will establish Malaysia as the regional hub for Cyber Threat Intelligence sharing. With Cybercrime […]

CIMB Preferred goes Asean-wide to offer more regional privileges

KUCHING: CIMB Bank Bhd (CIMB Bank) and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd (CIMB Islamic) have upped the ante on their affluent customer segment, Preferred, by launching their regional benefits Asean-wide. Called Regional CIMB Preferred, the expanded proposition enables CIMB’s affluent customers to enjoy enhanced banking convenience and privileges across six countries in Asean, regardless of where […]

Axiata in talks for more tower acquisitions over next 12 months

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian telecoms firm Axiata Group Bhd’s (Axiata) tower unit is working on acquisition deals that it aims to complete in the next 12 months to boost its infrastructure portfolio, the company’s chief executive officer said. Suresh Sidhu, chief executive officer of edotco Group Sdn Bhd, told Reuters he was optimistic that two to […]