As Notre-Dame money rolls in, some eyebrows raised over rush of funds

PARIS, April 18 ― Pledged donations from French billionaires, companies and ordinary citizens for the restoration of fire-ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral are approaching €900 million (RM4.2 billion) after just two days, a reflection of the…

France's AXA provided insurance cover for two Notre-Dame contractors

PARIS, April 17 — French insurance firm AXA said yesterday it provided insurance coverage for two of the contracting firms that were working on Notre-Dame's restoration prior to the blaze that devastated the cathedral. The fire ripped through the…

Ramci, Cybersecurity Malaysia team up to fight identity theft

PETALING JAYA: RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd (Ramci) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) to collaborate in addressing the growing prevalence of identity theft.

The two parties jointly launched “Stop Identity Theft”, a public awareness campaign to educate Malaysians with the knowledge about identity theft, how they can detect a potential breach of their identity and safeguard their identity.

The campaign will include a series of nationwide educational roadshows in the year while Ramci and CyberSecurity Malaysia will continue working with stakeholders from the government, educational institutions and the private sector to ensure that the message on the importance of safeguarding our identity reaches the grassroots.

CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO Datuk Ts Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said identity theft is a serious crime with far reaching financial and credit repercussions, and could involve millions of ringgit if not address expediently.

“Unfortunately, some do not take measures to safeguard their identity while others may not be aware of the need to until it’s too late. When your identity is compromised, you become a victim. Your information is no longer private, and the perpetrator can open accounts, take out loans, obtain or even drain credit card balances; all without holding any liability for paying any of it back,” he said.

According to MyCERT Incident Statistics 2018, identity theft cases in Malaysia increased by 20% from 371 in 2017 to 446 last year while Ramci’s recent consumer survey showed that 14% of respondents were victims of identity theft while 26% knew someone who had experienced it.

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information or possessions in order to use it for fraudulent transactions. Fraud impersonation, unauthorised transactions, data breach and account compromises are among the common ways fraudsters can steal identities.

Ramci CEO Dawn Lai said fraudulent activities can be detected and immediate action taken, and stressed that no particular group is more at risk than another, as those with low credit scores are just as much at risk as those with excellent credit scores.

Meanwhile, Ramci also launched JagaMyID Plus, an enhanced version of JagaMyID, a comprehensive credit monitoring tool for individuals to protect their personal credit health and safeguard against any identity theft with an extra value of 24 hours insurance coverage protection worldwide.

China aims to boost funding support for elderly care sector

BEIJING, April 16 — The Chinese government said today it would push for more financing support for the elderly care sector to help accelerate the development of a fledgling industry and ensure that the needs of an ageing population are met….

AFP poll: China’s economic growth cools to 6.3pc

BEIJING, April 16 — China’s economy cooled further in the first quarter, according to an AFP survey of analysts, as Beijing resorted to tried-and-tested measures to combat tepid global demand and a bruising US trade war. The world’s second…

LPI Capital’s Q1 earnings up 6.5%

PETALING JAYA: LPI Capital Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 jumped 6.4% to RM77.16 million from RM72.50 million a year ago contributed by profit from its general insurance segment.

Revenue increased 3.1% to RM392.70 compared with RM381 million in the corresponding quarter of 2018 mainly driven by growth in gross earned premium of 2.4% or RM8.5 million from its general insurance segment.

LPI founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow (pix) said despite the operating environment remaining challenging, the group managed to improve its performance in the first quarter of 2019. LPI’s net return on equity for the quarter increased to 3.9% from 3.7% previously while earnings per share improved by 6.4% to 19.37 sen from 18.20 sen.

“Lonpac Insurance Bhd, the wholly-owned insurance subsidiary of LPI, reported a marginal improvement in its performance for the first quarter of 2019.”

Lonpac’s profit before tax for the period under review increased 3.5% to RM79.1 million from RM76.4 million in the previous corresponding period. Its gross written premium for the quarter, however, was 4.6% lower at RM460.9 million compared to RM483.2 million written previously, due partly to the absence of government infrastructure projects and compressed premium pricing.

Lonpac’s net earned premium income, on the other hand, registered a stronger growth of 8.9% to RM235.6 million from RM216.4 million written in the previous corresponding quarter, thanks to the result of a lower reinsurance ratio of 39.0% for the quarter as compared to 42.5% reported previously.

Claims incurred ratio of Lonpac increased slightly to 47.4% from 47.1% and with management expense ratio at 22.0% and commission ratio at higher 5.2%, the combined ratio was recorded at 74.6%, an increase from 72.4% reported in the previous corresponding quarter. With a higher combined ratio but an improved net earned premium written, Lonpac was able to register an underwriting profit of RM59.6 million.

What you need to know about travel insurance

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Booked your flight ticket and wondering if it is absolutely necessary to buy travel insurance? In most cases, your travels will go as planned without a glitch. However, we all know that even a well-planned trip can be…

LPI Capital records higher Q1 profit of RM77m

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — LPI Capital Bhd recorded a profit of RM77.15 million in the first quarter (Q1) of its financial year ended March 31, 2019, compared with RM72.5 million in the same quarter last year, backed by stronger growth in its…

Tips on a stressless tax season

KUALA LUMPUR: Tax season may be one of the most stressful times for taxpayers, especially when there are changes to the tax system, but planning ahead and equipping oneself with knowledge is key to avoiding mistakes when the time comes to file income tax.

“My biggest tip for planning ahead is to go through the reliefs and see what changes are there from year to year. You cannot just assume things remain static year on year. For example, for Year of Assessment 2019, for the first time ever, they have reduced the effective relief for EPF (Employees Provident Fund) alone. But the combined EPF and life insurance relief has increased actually, to RM7,000,“ said RinggitPlus CEO Liew Ooi Hann (pix).

“This sounds very little but it affects a very large segment of the population, specifically the segment of the population who previously had been enjoying the full EPF tax relief but have no life insurance. If you earn above RM3,000 a month and you don’t have life insurance, you are actually slightly worse off this year than last year. But for people who do have life insurance, when combined with EPF they can maximise, the deductions are actually more,“ he told SunBiz in an interview.

Taxpayers should also look at ways to improve the way they are doing things for example, using the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) instead of a savings account or fixed deposit to save up for children’s education.

“Consider doing it in SSPN because in addition to getting a reasonable rate, you also get tax relief. If you’re investing in mutual fund, unit trust, you can do the same thing with the same provider but in a PRS scheme. So, switch to PRS. If you are already with an asset manager, most asset managers have a PRS version of the same investment,“ he said.

According to Liew, soft copies of receipts are acceptable thus he recommends taking photos of receipts so that a digital record is available if the receipts are misplaced.

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill (LHAG) partner S. Saravana Kumar said the most important aspect of tax planning and preparation for YA2019 is knowledge, and staying up to date on tax matters is necessary to ensure tax compliance and avoid missing out on any available tax reliefs and rebates.

“One of the tax reliefs is an allowance of up to RM2,500 for lifestyle expenses, which includes purchasing reading materials, gadgets, gym memberships and internet subscription. Further, individuals may also claim for, among others,

insurance schemes, medical expenses and own education fee,“ he said.

Another aspect of good tax preparation and planning is good bookkeeping. Saravana advises taxpayers to keep records of relevant documents such as accounts, receipts and invoices as these are required as proof of tax reliefs claimed. Such documents should be kept for at least seven years.

China’s economic growth cools to 6.3pc, poll finds

BEIJING, April 14 — China’s economy cooled further in the first quarter, according to an AFP survey of analysts, as Beijing resorted to tried-and-tested measures to combat tepid global demand and a bruising US trade war. The world’s second…