malaysia

 
 

SoftBank telco suffers rare Japan drop on debut after record IPO

TOKYO, Dec 19 — SoftBank Corp shares slumped more than 12 per cent on debut, as investor appetite for Japan’s biggest ever IPO was hurt by a recent service outage at the telecoms operator and worries over its exposure to Chinese telecoms gear…


With eye on China, Germany toughens rules for foreign buyouts

BERLIN, Dec 19 — Germany was today set to toughen rules on non-EU share purchases and acquisitions of its strategic companies, amid growing disquiet about takeovers by Chinese firms. It plans to lower the threshold where reviews apply to foreign…


Petronas, Cheniere sign LNG deal for sixth Sabine Pass plant

cheniere-inks-sabine-pass-train-6-epc-deal-with-bechtel

NEW YORK (Dec 19): Cheniere Energy Partners LP will sell liquefied natural gas from the sixth plant at its Louisiana export terminal to Malaysia’s Petronas in a 20-year deal, one of several long-term pacts reached this year by Cheniere affiliates. Petroliam Nasional Bhd, as the company is formally known, agreed to buy about 1.1 million tons a year from the Sabine Pass facility, according to a statement Tuesday. That’s about a quarter of the sixth plant’s capacity. The purchase price will be indexed to Henry Hub, the U.S. benchmark, plusRead More


Top Glove’s outlook anchored by capacity-led expansions

KUCHING: Top Glove Corporation Bhd’s (Top Glove) outlook is expected to continue being underpinned by stable and steady growth in demand of disposable medical glove, with earnings to be anchored by capacity-led expansions. The research arm of MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research) viewed that the group’s outlook will continue to be underpinned by […]


SME Corp, Huawei reveal SMEs face ‘computerisation trap’

KUCHING: In yet another initiative to promote digitalisation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), SME Corp Malaysia and Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd yesterday announced a whitepaper on the current state of digitalisation in Malaysian SME sector. Titled ‘Accelerating Malaysian Digital SMEs: Escaping the Computerisation Trap’, the whitepaper highlights challenges being faced by SMEs in […]


TNB’s power plant achieves national grid connectivity

KUALA LUMPUR: Unit 1 of Jimah East Power Sdn Bhd’s coal-fired power plant in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, successfully achieved its first synchronisation on Dec 10. Jimah East Power is a 70 per cent subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB). TNB said the first synchronisation means the generator of Unit 1 had been synchronised to […]


World Bank cuts Malaysia’s 2018 GDP growth forecast again

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank has again revised downward its projection for Malaysia’s 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 4.7% from 4.9% after taking into account factors such the rigorous rationalisation of expenditure by the government and slowdown in private and public investment.

It last cut the country’s GDP growth forecast in October, to 4.9% from 5.4%.

Malaysia’s third quarter GDP growth moderated to 4.4%, bringing about a nine-month expansion of 4.7%.

Despite a moderation in growth, the World Bank believes that the Malaysian economy remains resilient and continues to be anchored by private consumption, although it has been cooling down after the reintroduction of the sales and service tax.

The key drivers for private consumption are stable labour market conditions, cost of living aid and tax refunds payment.

Private investment in the manufacturing and commodity sectors are also expected to be sustained.

Speaking at the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor on Realising Human Potential Report today, World Bank Group economist Shakira Teh Sharifuddin said Malaysia’s economic growth is projected to remain flat at 4.7% in 2019, with external factors such as current trade tensions and increased volatility in the financial and commodity markets expected to weigh on the overall economy.

In addition to the escalating trade tensions, monetary normalisation in advanced economies, high dependency on oil revenue and high level of public debt are seen as potential risk for the government.

The percentage of the federal government’s revenue to GDP has seen a steep decline between 2012 and 2018, falling from 21.4% to 16.2%. In 2019, the share of revenue to GDP is expected to be reduced further to 15.1%.

This, Shakira said, leaves the government with limited space to respond to economic shocks.

In the near term, the government is expected to rigorously embark on fiscal consolidation measures with expenditure expected to decline to 18.1% of GDP from the 2018 estimate of 20.3%.

Shakira said that while the introduction of new taxes in the budget is welcomed, the government should relook the incentive mechanisms.

On another note, the World Bank stressed on the need for Malaysia to accelerate the development of its human capital if it wishes to join the ranks of a high-income nation.

While Malaysia, which ranked 55th out of 157 countries in the Human Capital Index, fared well in some areas, there is room for improvement in certain areas, noted the report.

It also states the prevalence of stunting among Malaysian children which affect more than one in five Malaysian children, a key indicator of malnutrition. In the absence of renewed efforts to develop human capital, a child born today in Malaysia will only reach a productivity level of 62%.

In terms of education, the 12.2 years spent by Malaysians in school only equates to the 9.1 years learning outcome of school goers in the highest performing system.


Slim chance of window dressing on Bursa next week

PETALING JAYA: The FBM KLCI is expected to end the year at circa 1,630 points with a slim chance of any window dressing, said Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew.

He does not expect local funds to do any window dressing, which would require a lot of money and may not be successful.

“If there is any window dressing at all, it would only happen in the last few days of the year, maybe one or two days before the year ends. It will be very last minute,” he told SunBiz.

Earlier in May, Pong said that the KLCI could end the year at 1,630 points if stock market earnings performance hold to a growth of about 6%.

“Today we are already at that level. If the earnings growth is worse, it will fall below 1,630 points. Looking at the way things are going, I believe it is likely to go below 1,630 points,” he added.

He said earnings growth are likely to fall below 6% based on third quarter data and growth since then, combined with the likelihood of a sharp drop in the next few days. Based on signals from the market, he expects earnings growth to come in around 4%.

Today, the FBM KLCI opened 13.15 points weaker at 1,628.47 and ended 6.31 points lower at 1,635.31 from yesterday’s close of 1,641.62.

For 2019, Pong said economic performance could be worse than 2018, depending on the government’s spending.

“If the government doesn’t spend because of poor oil prices or poor revenue from taxes or other reasons, things could spiral downwards and negatively affect corporate earnings. The government frequently takes the lead in spending and initiatives for infrastructure. If the government doesn’t spend for development expenditures, the momentum would not be there,” he said.

He said economic growth has to be at least 4% in order to be “healthy”, as a 3-4% growth would mean that there are parts of the economy that are stagnant or contracting.

Meanwhile, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong declined to comment on window dressing activities at end-2018, saying that the short-term outlook is very sentiment-driven.

“Earnings for 2019 may not be as robust as 2018, especially in the second half of 2019,” he said.

However, he noted that Asia is still an engine of growth and maintained his positive outlook on economic growth and corporate earnings for next year.

“Earlier, I expected the third and fourth quarters this year to be better than the first and second quarters but it turned out to be worse. I still maintain my outlook but perhaps it has been delayed till 2019,” he said.

On foreign funds, which saw a large outflow so far this year, Wong expects foreign funds to return next year, for both equities and bonds, driven by 4-5% gross domestic product growth, the attractiveness of the ringgit and low valuations.

“Investors will watch out for countries with twin deficit but fortunately, Malaysia has a current account surplus, which will continue as the government has put on hold mega projects,” he said.

He said the rating agencies are still on hold on Malaysia due to the strong economy, with potential for a rating upgrade next year.


PNB and Maybank in digital tie-up, expect ASNB investments to rise 20% next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) expect to see 20% increase in ASNB investments next year with the launch of ASNB e-channels via Maybank’s digital platform today.

The new services enable ASNB customers to make transactions and view their account balances via Maybank’s ATMs and Maybank2u (M2U) in real time, beyond banking hours.

Speaking at the launch ceremony today, Maybank’s head of community financial services Datuk Hamirullah Boorhan said currently, over three million ASNB transactions are conducted over the bank’s counters a year, of which around one million comprise deposits transactions.

“We expect some 50% of these deposit transactions will move to our digital platforms,” he added, noting that the new services will be extended to the Maybank app by end of this year.

In addition to the new services, ASNB and Maybank also announced that by end of this year, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be able to transfer funds on behalf of their employees to ASNB via M2U Biz.

“Another new feature that will provide greater convenience to retail customers is the ability to apply for an ASB loan via M2U, which will be made available by the first quarter of 2019,” Hamirullah added.

To date, ASNB has 14 unit trust funds and manages 235.96 billion units in circulation owned by more than 13.74 million account holders.

Meanwhile, Maybank’s group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the bank is slightly more optimistic on its 2019 outlook as it sees Malaysia’s economy growing at 4.9% next year compared to its 4.8% projection for 2018.

“2019 is going to be another interesting year. It will be slightly better than 2018 as we are quite optimistic about its outlook,” Abdul Farid said.

Abdul Farid said that although there is concern on how the trade numbers will perform going forward due to US-China discussions, he sees that Malaysia is in a comfortable position, noting it could probably see a slightly faster growth compared to 2018.

“FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) is meeting soon. We are seeing interest rates and dollar rates moving up bit by bit. But people will be able to allocate risks into their investments accordingly,” he added.

Additionally, he said the growth for this year was within the bank’s expectations.

He said the bank’s growth is relative to the growth of the economies where it has a presence including Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.


World Bank cuts Malaysia’s 2018 GDP forecast again

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank has again revised downward its projection for Malaysia’s 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) to 4.7% from 4.9% after taking into account factors such the rigorous rationalisation of expenditure by the government and slowdown in private and public investment.

It last cut the country’s GDP growth forecast in October, to 4.9% from 5.4%.

Malaysia’s third quarter GDP growth moderated to 4.4%, bringing about a nine-month expansion of 4.7%.

Despite a moderation in growth, the World Bank believes that the Malaysian economy remains resilient and continues to be anchored by private consumption, although it has been cooling down after the reintroduction of the sales and service tax.

The key drivers for private consumption are stable labour market conditions, cost of living aid and tax refunds payment.

Private investment in the manufacturing and commodity sectors are also expected to be sustained.

Speaking at the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor on Realising Human Potential Report today, World Bank Group economist Shakira Teh Sharifuddin said Malaysia’s economic growth is projected to remain flat at 4.7% in 2019, with external factors such as current trade tensions and increased volatility in the financial and commodity markets expected to weigh on the overall economy.

In addition to the escalating trade tensions, monetary normalisation in advanced economies, high dependency on oil revenue and high level of public debt are seen as potential risk for the government.

The percentage of the federal government’s revenue to GDP has seen a steep decline between 2012 and 2018, falling from 21.4% to 16.2%. In 2019, the share of revenue to GDP is expected to be reduced further to 15.1%.

This, Shakira said, leaves the government with limited space to respond to economic shocks.

In the near term, the government is expected to rigorously embark on fiscal consolidation measures with expenditure expected to decline to 18.1% of GDP from the 2018 estimate of 20.3%.

Shakira said that while the introduction of new taxes in the budget is welcomed, the government should relook the incentive mechanisms.

On another note, the World Bank stressed on the need for Malaysia to accelerate the development of its human capital if it wishes to join the ranks of a high-income nation.

While Malaysia, which ranked 55th out of 157 countries in the Human Capital Index, fared well in some areas, there is room for improvement in certain areas, noted the report.

It also states the prevalence of stunting among Malaysian children which affect more than one in five Malaysian children, a key indicator of malnutrition. In the absence of renewed efforts to develop human capital, a child born today in Malaysia will only reach a productivity level of 62%.

In terms of education, the 12.2 years spent by Malaysians in school only equates to the 9.1 years learning outcome of school goers in the highest performing system.