kuala lumpur


Defence team objects to transfer of Rosmah’s case to High Court


KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15): The Sessions Court was today told that lawyers representing former Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, in the graft charges involving solar energy projects in rural schools in Sarawak objected to the prosecution’s application to transfer the case to the High Court. Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, who appeared for the prosecution, told this to the court when the case came up for mention before judge Azman Ahmad. However, Mohd Dusuki said the date to hear the application had been fixed for MarchRead More

Genting Malaysia’s judicial review on tax incentive to be heard on May 30


KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 14): The High Court today fixed May 30 to hear Genting Malaysia Bhd’s application for a judicial review of a government decision on the tax incentives granted for the group’s RM10.38 billion Genting Integrated Tourism Plan (GITP) redevelopment project. The date was fixed during case management in chambers before judge Azizah Nawawi. Present were senior federal counsel Natassa Zaini who represents the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and Genting Malaysia’s lawyer Keith Lim Boon Long. MoF had in December 2014 approved Genting Malaysia’s tax incentives application for GITP,Read More

KL shares sustain upward momentum to open higher

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia continued its upward momentum to open higher today following Malaysia’s commendable gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 and the fourth quarter of last year.

At 9.15am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,692.73, up 3.67 points from Thursday’s close of 1,689.06.

The index opened 3.23 points firmer at 1,692.29.

A dealer said the local stock market closed higher yesterday, snapping a two-day losing streak, after GDP data showed the country’s economic growth accelerated for the first time since the third quarter of 2017, sparking optimism of a better fourth-quarter corporate earnings results.

“Immediate support for the index is at 1,680 points while immediate resistance will be seen at the recent high of 1,705,” he said.

Among heavyweights, Maybank and CIMB were flat at RM9.55 and RM5.78, respectively.

Public Bank added two sen to RM24.96, TNB gained four sen to RM13.06 and Petronas Chemicals rose three sen to RM8.50.

Of actives, Tatt Giap and Sapura Energy added half-a-sen each to 10.5 sen and 31 sen, respectively, while Bumi Armada, Sumatec and KNM were all flat at 24.5 sen, one sen and 11 sen, respectively.

The FBM Emas Index increased 29.08 points to 11,774.65, the FBM Emas Syariah Index went up 42.23 points to 11,666.44 and the FBMT 100 rose 28.97 points to 11,635.38.

The FBM Ace Index was 32.66 points higher at 4,673.52 and the FBM 70 rose 50.601 points to 14,037.44.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index was up 19.949 points at 17,739.51, the Plantation Index edged-up 30.31 points to 7,318.38 and the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.53 of-a-point higher at 163.26.

Market breadth was positive with gainers outpacing losers 180 to 105, while 215 counters were unchanged, 1,353 untraded and 35 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 356.26 million shares worth RM116.54 million.

The physical price of gold as at 9.30am stood at RM166.29 per gramme, up 91 sen from RM165.38 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama

Bursa opens higher on GDP data

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Bursa Malaysia continued its upward momentum to open higher today following Malaysia’s commendable gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 and the fourth quarter of last year. At 9.15am, the benchmark…

Ringgit opens higher on positive market sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar today backed by positive market sentiment and higher oil prices, said a dealer.  At 9am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.0720/0780 compared 4.0740/0780…

Huge potential for Sarawak firms in halal exporting industry

KUCHING: There is huge potential for Sarawakian companies to participate in the halal exporting industry due to the unique attributes of the products sold here as well as the growing Muslim population which is expected to drive the growth of the halal industry worldwide, says Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade). With the total spending […]

EAC should identify ways to reinvigorate private investment — BNM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Economic Action Council (EAC) should look at ways to reinvigorate private investment to spur the country’s economy, said Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus. She said the council could look into current incentives to see if they were attracting the right kind of foreign direct investments and if the […]

FDI records larger net inflow of 12.9 bln in 4Q18

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) improved in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, registering a larger net inflow of RM12.9 billion from RM4.3 billion in the third quarter (3Q) of 2018. According to Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Quarterly Bulletin for the Fourth Quarter 2018, FDI inflow was channelled mainly into the manufacturing and […]

Bank Negara Malaysia rules out global recession this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) does not expect a global recession to happen this year after the International Monetary Fund’s warning of a sharp slowdown triggered by trade tensions.

In fourth quarter 2018, Malaysia’s economy grew 4.7% driven by resilient private consumption and some recovery from earlier supply disruptions in commodity-related sectors. Overall, the economy grew 4.7% in 2018 supported by resilient private sector spending, lift from net exports and continued expansion in the services and manufacturing sectors.

Speaking to reporters at a briefing on Q4 2018 GDP figures today, BNM governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said global growth is returning to its long-term trend and she does not think that a global crisis will happen.

“Under that situation, with an open economy and having a diversified economic structure, Malaysia will continue to experience quality growth in external demand and that would provide support to growth in 2019,” she added.

In its Q3 bulletin last year, the central bank said trade tensions in the form at that time were expected to weigh down GDP growth this year, by 0.3 to 0.5 percentage points.

“We have not seen that impact from trade tensions. Growth in exports rebounded in Q4 and we are seeing also, within certain segments of the E&E sector, our market share to the US has increased. So there is some sort of trade diversion happening and that has also supported the favourable performance in the external sector,” said Nor Shamsiah.

However, she said there are downside risks which have been imput into BNM’s projections for 2019 which will be announced during the launch of its 2018 Annual Report next month.

She said income growth, amid a stable labour market and policies to buffer the rising cost of living, will drive consumption and lend support to growth.

Malaysia’s current account registered a surplus of RM10.8 billion in Q4 while the full-year current account surplus reached RM33.5 billion.

Headline inflation declined to 0.3% in Q4 mainly due to transport inflation turning negative. In 2018, headline inflation average 1% and it is expected to average moderately higher this year as the impact of the consumption tax policy will start to lapse towards the end of the year.

However, Nor Shamsiah said, underlying inflation is expected to be broadly stable.

She said the total cumulative reserves in terms of foreign currency assets held are enough to buffer any impact of a weaker ringgit on external debt.

“In terms of buffers, we still have current account surplus, excess liquidity in the system and the banks are in a very strong position in terms of the capital that they hold and liquidity that they hold,” she said.

Speaking of the Economic Action Council, Nor Shamsiah said it could look at measures to invigorate private investment such as a review of incentives offered, and issues related to cost of living such as structural issues on how to grow income, policies to lower dependence on foreign workers, and increasing salaries and wages by improving productivity.

On the management changes at Bank Pembangunan, Nor Shamsiah said all development financial institutions (DFIs) face challenges in attracting talent and most of them lack the scale and the diversified nature of operations in order to remain sustainable in the long run.

She said this year, BNM will review the mandates of DFIs to ensure they are able to play their catalytic role in the new economic landscape, and will be engaging with ministries to share its assessment.

Berjaya Sompo to focus on improving efficiency

KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Sompo Insurance Bhd, which is aiming to grow its gross written premiums to RM1 billion this year from over RM900 million last year, is focusing on improving efficiency in 2019 leveraging on digital means.

Berjaya Sompo CEO Tan Sek Kee said with the detariffication of motor and fire insurance tariffs, it needs to look at ways to cut costs.

“We can’t keep on reducing the premiums, with costs remaining the same. It eats into our profit. We’re looking at digital as one of the means to grow the business and improve efficiency,” Tan told the media at a Chinese New Year luncheon today.

He said with digitisation utilising artificial intelligence and robotics, a lot of jobs are going away and banks have started processes to reduce the number of staff.

“We’re not looking at reducing staff at this stage but rather we want to maintain the same number of staff to grow our business in the fastest way. We started a new digital team to look into digital marketing,” added Tan.

He said Berjaya Sompo is on track to become one of the top five general insurers in Malaysia by 2023. It is currently the eighth largest general insurer in Malaysia as of the third quarter of 2018 with a market share of 5%.

Its chief distribution officer Stuart Chua said the market is challenging but growth will be driven by its bancaassurance partnership with CIMB Group Holdings Bhd as well as agency sales.

The insurer has 2,800 agents nationwide.