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O&G sector recruitment up 13pc in October

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — The Oil & Gas (O&G) industry showed no signs of slowing down in its online recruitment activity as the sector recorded 19 consecutive months of year-on-year growth in rising 13 per cent in…


Malaysia up three spots in ACGA’s 2018 CG Watch report

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia emerged as the biggest gainer in the 2018 CG Watch report, climbing three spots to the fourth spot, after having ranked seventh when the report was last published in 2016.

The 2018 CG Watch report published by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and CLSA in December has ranked Malaysia fourth out of the 12 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of market accountability and transparency.

Malaysia is the biggest 2018 gainer among regional economic rivals such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

The ACGA states that the 2018 improvement reflects Malaysia’s “concrete moves to tackle endemic corruption issues fostered by the previous Najib regime.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) said in a statement that the jump proves that the government’s continuous effort to instil the principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) in its administration is bearing fruits.

” The report further stresses that the jump is based on optimism over the 9 May 2018 political change in Malaysia, which has translated into “tangible improvements to enforcement and reporting,” he said.

In addition to strong anti-corruption measures that are being undertaken, the government has also stepped up the open tender procurement process more widely.

This he said has not only increased the level of transparency in the public sector, but has also influenced the private sector positively.

“The application of zero-based budgeting and the migration towards accrual accounting from cash accounting by 2021 as announced in the 2019 Budget are also part of the Government’s wider institutional reform agenda that will further raise the level of accountability and transparency in the Government,” he added.

Lim also noted that the improvement in placement is only one example on how the government’s institutional reform agenda is raising Malaysia’s governance quality and contributing to fiscal sustainability.

He added that the government will continue to press on institutional reforms to prevent widespread abuses that happened under the previous administration from repeating as well as to improve the economic well-being of all Malaysians.

These institutional reforms undertaken by the government have convinced the top three rating agencies to maintain Malaysia’s sovereign credit ratings at A- or A3.

Moody’s on Dec7, 2018 is the latest to have done so and this came after Fitch Ratings reaffirmed the Government’s credit ratings at A- on 14 August 2018.

The dramatic surge in approved foreign direct investment in manufacturing since May 2018 as reported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), is the biggest proof that the government’s plan is working.

Approved manufacturing FDI for the period between May until September 2018 saw a year-on-year increase of 379% year-on-year, or RM27.7 billion to RM35.0 billion, from RM7.3 billion in the May-September 2017 period.

The total approved manufacturing FDI so far for this year is expected to create more than 30,000 new jobs in the near future once it is implemented.


'Don't drop the ball': US tech investors warn Macron over taxes

PARIS, Dec 7 — President Emmanuel Macron must pursue tax-friendly policies towards foreign investors if he wants French startups to flourish, visiting Silicon Valley investors told Reuters yesterday. The visit and associated demands comes at a…


Ford reshuffles US plants to beef up SUV, truck production

DETROIT, Nov 29 — Ford Motor Co said yesterday it will reshuffle workers at several of its plants to meet rising demand for pickup trucks and large SUVs, a process that will require finding new positions for 150 workers displaced by the changes…


Trump threatens to cut GM subsidies in retaliation for US job cuts

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 — US President Donald Trump threatened yesterday to cut subsidies for General Motors Co after the largest US automaker said it would halt production at five plants in North America and cut nearly 15,000 jobs. “The US saved…


At what cost? Debate swirls on ‘giveaways’ after Amazon HQ deal

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 — As the winners of the biggest corporate prize in decades — the new Amazon headquarters — relished their victory, debate was still raging over the billions of dollars in incentives offered to attract the fast-growing US…


SME non-performing loans in Malaysia among world’s highest

JOHOR BARU: Malaysia's non-performing loans (NPLs) among small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs are among the world's highest, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof.

As such, he said, the government had taken steps to reduce the NPLs by increasing entrepreneurs' awareness on the ecosystem of their respective business ventures.

Mohd Redzuan said in other countries, the rate of NPLs among SMEs was low, ranging at about 8% or less, while Malaysia's was in the double-digit.

“When we say double digit, it means 15, 16, 20 (%), and that is high, as the NPLs in other countries are really low. For example, I understand that China's NPL rate is only at 2%.

“How can they achieve this? Maybe they learnt from successful SME models, which is what we are trying to do right now. Germany has a model which can help SMEs get a high rate of return and the country's NPL rate is only at 2%,” he added.

Mohd Redzuan told reporters this after launching a Mini One-Stop Centre for Entrepreneurs in Plaza Angsana here today.

He said the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund's (Tekun Nasional) NPLs currently stood at RM600 million, adding, there were many factors which caused entrepreneurs to default on their loans, including failure to understand the market and its demands, the cost of doing business and the lack of creativity in conducting it.

“Usually, businessmen who fail are the ones who copy from others, instead of taking the lead. They will copy, but not precisely because they do not understand, and as such, their business will not be able to grow,” Mohd Redzuan said.

On another note, he said the government aimed to create 50,000 new SMEs annually over the next five years, and a million new jobs in the country. — Bernama


British union criticises Lloyds Bank for job cuts in reorganisation

LONDON, Nov 6 — A British labour union criticised Lloyds Banking Group today for cutting 6,000 jobs as part of a reorganisation that the lender said would actually create 2,000 posts overall. “This latest announcement will undoubtedly hit the…


Michelin closes Scottish plant with 845 workers

LONDON, Nov 6 — French tyre manufacturer Michelin announced plans yesterday to close a Scottish manufacturing plant with 845 employees due to growing competition from cheaper products in Asia. Michelin said the Dundee factory — opened in 1971…


Japan invests in service industry, reshaping its legendary hospitality

TOKYO, Nov 5 — Japan’s capital expenditure boom is shifting to the services sector, stirring fears that self-checkout systems and software will take the human touch out of omotenashi, the country’s vaunted commitment to hospitality. The…