Oil tops US$75, highest since 2014 Opec meeting that led to pump war

SINGAPORE, April 24 — Oil rose today above US$75 a barrel to its highest since November 2014, supported by Opec-led production cuts, strong demand and the prospect of renewed US sanctions on Iran. Brent crude, the global benchmark, hit its highest…

Most South-east Asia stocks slump as US yields rise

SINGAPORE, April 24 — Most South-east Asian stock markets came under pressure today as concerns over US inflation and fiscal deficit pushed up treasury yields, stoking a selloff in equities. US bond prices have fallen for the past four days,…

Sunway Group picks new CEO for hospitality division

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 ― André Scholl was announced today as the new chief executive of Sunway Group’s hospitality arm. Scholl, a Swiss national,  is a hospitality industry professional with over 30 years of leadership experience, having…

Public Bank to open six more branches in Vietnam in 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank Bhd plans to open another six new branches in Vietnam this year.

Managing director Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said it opened six branches in Vietnam last year.

Public Bank Vietnam became a wholly owned subsidiary of Public Bank in April 2016.

“There is ongoing plan to expand its branch network and customer reach,” he said at the bank's AGM today.

“Given the present operating environment in Vietnam, Public Bank Vietnam will continue to face keen market competition and challenges in building its pool of human resource,” Tay added.

He said it will leverage on its established presence in Vietnam, and its strong understanding of local business condition and culture to address the challenges.

“Public Bank Vietnam will further intensify its efforts to attract and train local talents,” Tay said.

Most South-east Asia stocks fall on rising US yields, Singapore up

SINGAPORE, April 23 — South-east Asian stock markets were subdued on today, with Vietnam and Indonesia shares declining the most as investors exited equities after US bond yields rose to a multi-year peak. US 10-Year treasury yields hit 2.968 per…

Samsung Electronics to expand production in Vietnam

HANOI, April 20 ― Samsung Electronics Co is determined to further expand production in Vietnam, co-CEO Koh Dong-jin told Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc today. Samsung will recruit more Vietnamese employees and develop electronics…

Publicis One rebrands PR ops in Malaysia, Indonesia to MSL


KUALA LUMPUR (April 20): Publicis One has teamed up with MSL to expand the MSL brand to Malaysia and Indonesia, with the renaming of Publicis One’s existing public relations (PR) units as MSL. The new additions will complete the alignment of Publicis One’s PR offering in Southeast Asia under MSL, said the two companies in a joint statement today. “The new Malaysia and Indonesia units will join other MSL offices in the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, giving MSL the most complete and consistent network of wholly-ownedRead More

Australia’s IAG set to sell SE Asia businesses in regional retreat — sources


HONG KONG/SINGAPORE (April 20): Insurance Australia Group is set to sell its four Southeast Asian businesses in deals that could be valued at about US$500 million, under a review of its Asian operations, three people with knowledge of the matter said. IAG, Australia’s biggest general insurer by market share, has ventures in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and could complete the sale process by the third quarter, the people said. Despite years of investments, Asia has proved a challenge for IAG. The insurer posted an underwriting lossRead More

Most SE Asia stocks up, Philippines hit year low on heavy foreign selling

SINGAPORE, April 19 — Philippine shares plummeted to their lowest in a year on Thursday on heavy foreign selling while most other South-east Asian stock markets rose on the back of strong commodity and crude oil prices. A broad sell-off saw…

‘Reducing corporate tax rate not necessity’

KUALA LUMPUR: The corporate tax rate has been reduced from 28% in 2006 till 24% today, reflecting a 4% drop, said YYC KK Chow Tax Sdn Bhd executive director Zen Chow.

“A lot of us will think that once GST (Goods and Services Tax) is introduced, there should be some gradual reduction in income tax and that has been the practice in a lot of countries. So, is there any gradual reduction actually in Malaysia? GST was introduced in 2015 and indeed there was a gradual reduction, a slight reduction of 1% in the Malaysian corporate tax rate,” he said at the Malaysian Tax Conference 2018 today.

The corporate tax rate was reduced from 25% in year of assessment 2015 to 24% in year of assessment 2016. However, Chow said the 1% reduction is an additional reduction on top of the 3% reduction since 2007, when GST was supposed to be implemented.

“Way back in Budget 2007, the then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that GST will be implemented from Jan 1, 2007. At that point of time, he mentioned that once GST is introduced, he will slowly reduce the corporate tax rate and individual tax rates. So, we should be fair by looking way back to 2007 and see if there was any reduction in income tax,” he said, adding that the reduction in corporate tax rate was not deferred although GST was deferred.

In comparing with other countries, Chow said Singapore and the Philippines saw their income tax rates gradually reduced while GST was gradually increased and in Vietnam, corporate tax was reduced while GST rate remained.

“That doesn’t mean every country does this. If you take Australia for example, there was no reduction in corporate tax rate when GST introduced, until today it is still at the same rate. The GST rate also remained the same. This shows that it doesn’t mean that you always have to reduce your income tax rate when you introduce GST,” he added.

Meanwhile, on the joint audits carried out by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (Customs) and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), Chow said there could be more synergy and interaction between the two authorities.

“There have been instances already where both authorities went in to the premises of taxpayers to do a joint audit. However, when they went to the premises, IRB would audit on their income tax part and the Customs would audit on their part. We don’t see a synergy between these two authorities.

“The fact is, since they went in together, they call it a joint audit, however when it comes to work, it seems like Customs are doing their own work and IRB also doing their own work. I would say joint audit is good but we hope to see more interaction between these authorities when they go in, so that the audit would be more efficient,” he said.

Recall that the two authorities signed the Standard Operating Procedure Audit Programme in August last year.