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Partnership cooperation agreement to boost Malaysia-EU trade ties, says Belgium state secretary

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 ― The partnership cooperation agreement (PCA) between Malaysia and the European Union (EU), which will be signed in January next year, is a big step forward to boost more bilateral and trade agreements between the two parties….


Bursa Malaysia bearish at mid-morning

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 ― Bursa Malaysia turned bearish at mid-morning today in paring earlier gains, while dragged down by mild profit-taking in selected blue chips. At 11am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 3.06 points lower at 1,703.32,…


Malaysian factories’ FDI up three-fold from 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 ― The manufacturing industry registered a three-fold increase in foreign direct investments (FDI) from January 2018 to September 2018 compared to the same period last year, said Deputy International Trade and Industries…


MBE Malaysia taps e-commerce sector for growth

KUALA LUMPUR: MBE Malaysia, the network of Mailboxes Etc retail shipping and business services outlets, is now under new management as it continues to tap into the thriving e-commerce sector in Malaysia. MBE Ventures, led by entrepreneur Patrick Leung, has bought 100 per cent of MBE Business Corporation Sdn Bhd (MBC), which holds the Master […]


Local market sluggish on uncertain external economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Local markets remained sluggish for most of the week just ended , taking the cue from several uncertain factors, including news that the US Federal Reserve was planning to tighten its monetary policy further coupled with declining oil prices and well as the post US mid-term elections. Most investors shifted their interest towards […]


Domestic demand, private sector to drive country’s growth

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite recording a moderate gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.4 per cent in the third quarter (3Q) of this year, analysts and economists remain confident of Malaysia’s future prospects, suggesting that domestic demand and the private sector will be the key drivers of economic growth, going forward. On November 16, Bank Negara […]


Bank Negara confirms foreign insurers can contribute to B40 health scheme or reduce stake in local players

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has confirmed that foreign insurers may now opt to contribute to the B40 Health Protection Fund instead of reducing their stakes in Malaysian insurance firms.

BNM governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the directive for insurance companies to pare down their foreign shareholdings by 30% still stands but these firms now have the option to contribute to the fund instead.

“The objective of the divestment is to promote long-term benefits to Malaysia that will ultimately result in providing broader insurance coverage especially to the B40 group.

That was the objective of the divestment and that objective is still something that the affected foreign insurers would still need to comply with,” she told reporters at a media briefing on Friday.

“Each insurance company now has been given an option and they were supposed to revert to BNM and we will look, based on their plan, at the timeline that would be reasonable for them to comply with the plans that they submit,” she added.

The size of the B40 Health Protection Fund is expected to be above RM2 billion but details would depend on the scope of coverage to be provided, which is currently being discussed with the government.

“We hope to be able to finalise everything and announce the details in the early part of next year,” said Nor Shamsiah.

Last Monday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that foreign insurers would be given the option to participate in the new fund instead of paring down their stakes in local outfits, in a move to assist the B40 group.

So far, Singapore-listed Great Eastern Holdings Ltd has confirmed that it will put in RM2 billion as seed funding for the initiative.

BNM has set June 30 as the deadline for foreign insurers to comply with a maximum of 70% shareholding in local insurers. However, Nor Shamsiah in August this year, said that more flexibility will be accorded to foreign insurers to comply.



Vehicle sales 0.5pc higher in October, says MAA

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The sales of vehicles in Malaysia rose 0.5 per cent or 232 units to 47,273 units in October 2018 from the 47,041 units recorded in the same month last year. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said sales volume in…


Analyst: Lower Q3 GDP due to lower retail sales, govt spending

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 ― The lower gross domestic product (GDP) growth posted in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 at 4.4 per cent compared to the 4.5 per cent in Q2 was due to lower retail consumption and lower government fiscal spending, says an…