finance

Malaysia’s ‘purification’ underway with growing FDI, finance minister says on Wesak eve
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia’s growing foreign direct investments shows the Pakatan Harapan government’s institutional reform measures are bearing fruit. — Picture by Yusof Mat KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Malaysia’s growing foreign direct investments (FDI) shows the Pakatan Harapan government’s institutional reform measures are bearing fruit, Lim Guan Eng said today.The finance minister said such policies was provided by a competent, accountable and transparent government that led to 4.5 per cent economic growth in the first quarter of the year, beating Bloomberg’s market prediction of only 4.3 per cent growth.“This Wesak Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on the path we have taken in the past year and chart our way towards a more harmonious, prosperous and inclusive Malaysian society.“And we have been blessed to have our national purification by way of institutional reforms rewarded with encouraging results,” he said in a statement.He said the 4.5 per cent expansion demonstrates the resilience of our economy in the face of uncertain external challenges caused by the China-US trade war.Lim said the first quarter of the year also recorded the highest realised FDI as well as the largest number of tourist arrivals in two years, with a total of 6.696 million visitors.The Bagan MP said the realised FDI increased by 94.8 per cent to RM21.7 billion in the same quarter from RM11.2 billion a year ago, which he said reflects the rising confidence of foreign investors in Malaysia.“The RM21.7 billion realised FDI in the first quarter of 2019 is the highest level ever recorded in Malaysian history for one quarter.“These new investments will raise the economy’s growth potential and create additional jobs for Malaysians in the near future,” said Lim, adding that the federal government hopes to see the local private sector emulating the same confidence shown by the foreign investors.Lim said the federal government will pursue inclusive growth in line with the “shared prosperity” principles to ensure prosperity for all. [...]
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Finance minister says Penang airport will soar higher once Kulim airport built
Lim said the Kulim airport should be viewed as complementary to the Penang International Airport. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin EORGE TOWN, May 14 — Amid the ongoing airport debate, Lim Guan Eng again assured Penangites that the proposal to built one in Kulim can only take Penang’s to “greater heights”.The finance minister urged Penangites to have faith in the ability of their own Penang International Airport (PIA) to compete with the proposed RM1.6 billion Kulim Airport next door.“I believe that PIA will be able to compete and soar to greater heights,” he said when contacted today.The former Penang chief minister was responding to criticism from political opponents that he had opposed the Kulim Airport previously, only to make a “U-turn” after Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya.He said he had previously opposed to the Kulim Airport as the previous Barisan Nasional federal government had refused to expand the PIA.”I said that if they wanted to build the Kulim airport, they must expand the PIA too,” he clarified.He said even then he did not want to oppose development in other states.Lim reiterated that the proposed Kulim Airport will not have any impact on the PIA.“I believe there will not be any impact on Penang because definitely Penang will still be the preferred option and we are looking at an expansion to 16 million passengers for Penang,” he said.He said the Kulim Airport should be viewed as complementary to the PIA.“If the private sector wants to put in billions into the airport, it won’t hurt and it will bring development to Kedah,” he said.He added that the construction of a Kulim Airport will not put a stop to expansion plans for the PIA.He said it is not fair for the PIA to get an expansion without allowing Kedah to get its proposed Kulim Airport which does not even involve public funds.“The other states are very angry too, they are saying how can we say only Penang can get development but what about the other states? Kedah deserves development too,” he said.He said there was nothing wrong for the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to want to bring development to his home state by pushing for the Kulim Airport.Lim reiterated his stance that the Finance Ministry does not oppose to the Kulim Airport proposal as it does not involve public funding and that it will be privately funded in full.The PIA will undergo an RM1.2 billion expansion to increase its passenger capacity from 6.5 million to 16 million passengers per annum.The PIA exceeded its capacity by recording 7.8 million passengers last year. [...]
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The funds received through the repatriated 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) assets will be used to service its debt of RM51 billion: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng
The funds received through the repatriated 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) assets will be used to service its debt of RM51 billion: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng The post The funds received through the repatriated 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) assets will be used to service its debt of RM51 billion: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
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Gap between public and private property valuations must be reduced, says finance minister
PUTRAJAYA (April 30): The difference in property values derived by the public and private sectors must be reduced, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. Speaking... [...]
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Khairy: Sandakan projects finance minister touted were approved under BN
Khairy said PH should not mask the truth and pretend as though these were new initiatives it launched. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Two of the 49 projects Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government approved in Sandakan were authorised during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) time, Khairy Jamaluddin said.The BN shadow finance minister also noted the timing of the announcement, which he said happened to come just ahead of nominations for the Sandakan by-election this weekend.“But what is interesting it that Lim emphasised two projects in Sandakan, which are the runway upgrade at Sandakan Airport and the Sungai Anip flood barrier project,” Khairy wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.The Rembau MP said both were approved during the 2015 tabling of the 11th Malaysia Plan for the period of 2016 to 2020,He also noted that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced the specific allocation for the runway upgrade in May 2017.Khairy then said Lim’s announcements were effectively of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) continuations of BN schemes.“The PH government’s decision to continue planned developments is appreciated. Even if you want to take credit, go ahead,” he added.However, he said PH should not mask the truth and pretend as though these were new initiatives it launched.Lim issued a statement yesterday to highlight the approval for 49 projects in Sandakan, Sabah that were worth a combined RM2.28 billion, including the two Khairy cited.The Sandakan by-election was triggered after the incumbent, Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Stephen Wong, died of a sudden heart attack on March 28.The Election Commission has set nominations for April 27 and polling for May 11.Sandakan has 39,777 registered voters who are 49 per cent Chinese, 44 per cent Muslim Bumiputra and 6 per cent non-Muslim Bumiputra. [...]
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Global finance chiefs prepared to ‘act promptly’
WASHINGTON • Global finance ministers and central bankers are prepared to “act promptly” to shore up growth in a world economy that faces downside risks including trade tensions, according to a statement issued on Saturday. While growth is projected to firm up in 2020, “risks remain tilted to the downside”, according to a communique by the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the main advisory panel of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 189 member countries. Risks include “trade tensions, policy uncertainty, geopolitical risks, and a sudden sharp tightening of financial conditions against a backdrop of limited policy space, historically high debt levels and heightened financial vulnerabilities”, the committee said. “To protect the expansion, we will continue to mitigate risks, enhance resilience and, if necessary, act promptly to shore up growth for the benefit of all,” officials said. The statement marks heightened concern compared to the IMFC’s last meeting six months ago, when it said growth remained strong even amid an “uneven” recovery. The comments reflect a week in which the IMF cut its forecast for global growth to the lowest since the financial crisis and MD Christine Lagarde warned policymakers to avoid “self-inflicted wounds” such as eye-for-an-eye tariffs. The communique urged countries to resolve trade tensions, noting that “free, fair, and mutually beneficial goods and services trade and investment, are key engines for growth and job creation”. While the prior statement in October urged central banks to “maintain monetary accommodation” in places where inflation was below targets and tighten policy “where inflation is close to or above target”, the latest missive is more agnostic. It said “monetary policy should ensure that inflation remains on track toward, or stabilises around targets, and that inflation expectations remain anchored”. The language follows a shift in US Federal Reserve policy in recent months, where the US central bank has signalled it would leave interest rates unchanged at least through the end of this year following four hikes in 2018. The policy panel urged central banks to communicate their policy decisions well and act in a “data-dependent” way, according to the text, which also reiterated the commitment of nations to refrain from “competitive devaluations” of their currencies. Fiscal policy should be “flexible and growth-friendly”, officials said. “The global expansion is continuing, but at a slower pace,” IMFC chairman Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the South African Reserve Bank, said at a press conference on Saturday. Also in Washington on Saturday, European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi struck a cautiously optimistic note about the prospects for a rebound in the euro-area economy this year, saying some of the factors that have held back growth appear to be waning. The 19-nation economy has shown “remarkable resilience” faced with headwinds such as Brexit, trade protectionism and political uncertainties in some of its members, the ECB president told reporters. Still, the balance of risks remains tilted to the downside and the ECB needs to maintain its accommodative policy, he said. — Bloomberg The post Global finance chiefs prepared to ‘act promptly’ appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
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Exotic finance products back under S. Korean watchdog spotlight
By BLOOMBERG SEOUL • South Korean moms and pops are piling into exotic finance products with catchy names like “super lizard” and “double-chance”. Some even come with complimentary beauty products and department store vouchers. For an industry with a checkered past, regulators see changes afoot. The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), the country’s top financial watchdog, said it will release an updated audit on these instruments — known as equity-linked securities (ELS) — around the middle of April, and may consider recommending firms slow down sales. That’s after they sold a record 86 trillion won (RM309.6 billion) of the notes last year. The effort has gained fresh urgency as a slide in global bond yields to multiyear lows further boosted the allure of the securities. Complicating matters is the tendency of the products to occasionally spark turmoil at the large dealer banks which sell them. Appetite picked up last year after regulators lifted restrictions on brokerages issuing the notes. Buyers of the instruments favour their relatively high levels of advertised returns, and issuers pocket a commission when they sell a product and typically juice that with profits from hedges. “We are worried about possible mis-selling, concentration of an underlying index and whether brokerages use their own capital, or have leveraged exposure to ELS products,” Yi Dong-Choon, head of the derivatives market team at FSS, said in a telephone interview from Seoul. “Depending on market situations, we may advise brokerages to cut sales of ELS.” South Korean regulators have tightened rules on hedging for these instruments in recent years. Issuers are asked not use their own capital excessively for hedging, take on too much leverage and to avoid riskier assets such as real estate or high-yield corporate bonds, according to a statement from FSS. About 46% of buyers of the instruments issued in Korea were retail investors, according to FSS data through June. The products are typically tied to the performance of an underlying equity gauge, most of the time to the Euro Stoxx 50 Index and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland Chinese firms trading in Hong Kong. The risks of that reliance on how one index performs was highlighted in 2015-16 when the almost 50% peak to- trough slide in the Hang Seng China measure triggered losses for many holders. Sales suffered in 2016 as regulators sought to restrict sales following that market turbulence. Many ELS products have a “knock-in” level at which there is an increased possibility of investors losing money. Buyers of the instruments make money by receiving coupons at set intervals over the length of the investment. Their principal can be at risk if the underlying index drops below the knock-in threshold and fails to later rebound to a certain level stipulated by the contact. That was the worry at the start of this year for 62-year Cho Haeng-ran, who put US$1 million (RM4.11 million) into an equity-linked product — an investment she thought posed little risk. When stocks plunged late last year and the Hang Seng China gauge fell more than 10% from a level in early May, she was facing a loss. Equities since recovered, but Cho said she didn’t know that she could potentially lose money. A spokesman for Woori Bank, who sold the product, declined to comment. The use of ELS in South Korea dates back to 2003, though in the initial few years the investor’s principal was always guaranteed. Then in 2005, investors began flocking to products offering even higher returns — without the assurance that you will get your original investment back. Advertised returns could then be as high as 10% annually, while losses could grow to as large as 60%, according to the Korea Capital Market Institute. For issuers, it’s a tougher outlook after rules around hedging were tightened, said Lee Hyo-seob, a research fellow at the Korea Capital Market Institute. He’s watching out for what regulators do next. — Bloomberg The post Exotic finance products back under S. Korean watchdog spotlight appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
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Malaysia remains as a global leader in the Islamic capital market with RM1.88 trillion as at end-2018, representing approximately 61% of Malaysia’s overall capital market: Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah
Malaysia remains as a global leader in the Islamic capital market with RM1.88 trillion as at end-2018, representing approximately 61% of Malaysia’s overall capital market: Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah The post Malaysia remains as a global leader in the Islamic capital market with RM1.88 trillion as at end-2018, representing approximately 61% of Malaysia’s overall capital market: Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
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Finance Ministry tables Supplementary Supply Bill for RM15.49bil
KUALA LUMPUR: The Finance Ministry has tabled the Supplementary Supply Bill (2018) requesting over RM15.49bil to cover expenses. [...]
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Govt’s 10-year Samurai bond oversubscribed by 1.6x to the value of ¥324.7bil (RM11.9bil): Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng
Govt’s 10-year Samurai bond oversubscribed by 1.6x to the value of ¥324.7bil (RM11.9bil): Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng The post Govt’s 10-year Samurai bond oversubscribed by 1.6x to the value of ¥324.7bil (RM11.9bil): Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
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Islamic finance, responsible financing share common ground, RAM says
KUALA LUMPUR: RAM Rating sees Islamic finance playing a vital role in supporting the implementation of socially responsible investing (SRI, which includes environment, social and governance (ESG) matters) and funding for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). [...]
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Health minister says Semenyih hospital up to finance minister
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks to reporters after the 2nd AMDI International Oncology and Medical Physics Symposium in George Town March 1, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin GEORGE TOWN, March 1 — The Health Ministry is ready to build a hospital in Semenyih if the Finance Ministry will fund this, said Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.The minister said the ministry could plan out the construction of the medical facility in Semenyih but this was contingent of the Finance Ministry’s approval.“It is not for us to decide if we can afford it or not, it is up to the Finance Ministry, we are ready to build it,” he said in a press conference after attending the second AMDI International Oncology and Medical Physics Symposium 2019.He said the Health Ministry was capable of constructing facilities anywhere in the country.However, he again stressed that it was not the ministry that decided if these could be built.He said he is committed to fulfilling Pakatan Harapan’s aspirations and the coalition candidate’s promises for Semenyih.“I want to help him as he is a part of PH so now it all depends on the Finance Ministry and opportunity cost, maybe the minister will give allocation for the hospital,” he said.He added that since Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed said a hospital could be built, there should not be any obstacles.“I am confident that we don’t have any issues in building a new hospital there so the mentri besar can find a location for it,” he said.Dr Dzulkefly was responding to Dr Mahathir’s comments yesterday the government must deliver on candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali’s pledge if he is victorious tomorrow.“If the minister refuses to do so, we can knock his head,” Dr Mahathir reportedly said.Dr Dzulkefly previously said it was more suitable to build a health clinic in Semenyih, after Muhammad Aiman pledged to facilitate a new hospital in Semenyih during campaigning. [...]
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Finance Ministry allocates RM5m to print, distribute Quran
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng handed over a cheque for RM5 million to Restu Foundation for the management of the printing and distribution of the Quran by the Nasyrul Quran Complex here. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 — The Finance Ministry today handed over a RM5 million allocation to Restu Foundation for the management of the printing and distribution of the Quran by the Nasyrul Quran Complex here.Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng handed over a cheque for the amount to Restu Foundation chairman Datuk Abdul Latiff Mirasa at the complex which is located at Presint 14 here. It was also witnessed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof.Lim, in his speech, said the contribution, which was for use this year, to the institution was a commitment of the Pakatan Harapan government in line with the position of Islam as the official religion of the federation.“It is hoped that the allocation can support the operations of Nasyrul Quran for 2019 in its aim to print 500,000 copies of the Malaysian Mushaf Quran this year,” he said.Mujahid said the allocation would smoothen the operations of the Nasyrul Quran, to simultaneously print and distribute the Malaysian Mushaf Quran which was in high demand in the world.“It indirectly will ensure that the manuscript which was hand-copied with a variety based on local Islamic art will become a national landmark in the effort to distribute the Quran and promote the religion,” he said.Built at a cost of RM60 million, Nasyrul Quran is the second-biggest Quran printing complex in the world. It started printing and binding operations on June 2017. — Bernama [...]
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Finance Ministry: More than 900,000 applications for BSH cash aid programme so far
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the BSH is expected to benefit more than four million households and involves an allocation of RM5 billion. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim PUTRAJAYA, Feb 20 — The Finance Ministry has received more than 900,000 applications for the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) 2019 cash aid since it was opened on Feb 1.It said of these, about 200,000 were new applications and 700,000 were updated cases.The ministry said the process of registering for BSH 2019 had been simplified including accepting the application forms even though the applicant did not submit complete sets of copies of personal identification documents.“The form will be processed based on the information in it as submitted by the applicant,” it said in a statement today.The Finance Ministry said the applicants could also submit online applications where it was no longer compulsory to upload their documents. BSH applicants aged 60 years and above need not update their information unless there are any changes as the Department of Inland Revenue will use the BSH 2018 to process their applications, it said.“However, the information obtained from the applicants will be matched with data from such agencies as the National Registration Department to determine the eligibility of each application,” he said.For further information, applicants can contact the toll-free number 1-800-88-2747 or send an email to bsh@treasury.gov.my. The closing date for BSH 2019 applications is March 15.In his Budget 2019 speech, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the BSH is expected to benefit more than four million households and involves an allocation of RM5 billion. — Bernama [...]
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Finance minister: Healthy 2018 EPF dividend proves country’s economy on positive growth path
The Employees Provident Fund declared a 6.15 per cent dividend for conventional savings with a payout amounting of RM43 billion and 5.9 per cent dividend for shariah savings with a payout amounting to RM4.32 billion. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa BUTTERWORTH, Feb 17 ― The announcement of a favourable set of dividends for conventional and shariah savings for 2018 by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) yesterday proves that the country's economic position is healthy, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.Describing the rate declared as extraordinary, he said most experts had predicted that the dividend would not exceed five per cent due to the current challenging and uncertain economic conditions.“I feel that this is an exemplary performance, beyond the expectation of all parties. Experts had predicted that the dividend rate will not reach six per cent, to reach even five per cent would be difficult. As such this announcement is beyond expectation,“Against a sluggish economic backdrop because of the conflict between the United States and China, Malaysia can be considered as one of the best performing economy.“But, we have to be cautious for the country’s sustainable economic growth to continue,” he told reporters here today after attending a Chinese New Year celebration organised by the Pulau Pinang Royal Customs Department.The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) declared a 6.15 per cent dividend for conventional savings with a payout amounting of RM43 billion and 5.9 per cent dividend for shariah savings with a payout amounting to RM4.32 billion.In total, the payout for 2018 amounted to RM47.31 billion, a marginal decrease of 1.7 per cent from 2017.Meanwhile, commenting on former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's criticism that the dividend announced did not recognise any impairment on its equity stake in 2018 in contrast to previous years, Lim who is also Bagan Member of Parliament, said the calculation of the dividend rate was done by professionals.“Everything Najib looks at (these days) is not right, but now that the EPF has made such an announcement (the dividend calculation handled professionally), he is questioning it.But now, he seems to agree that this (dividend rate) exceeds expectation, he does not doubt it (anymore).“Thank you Najib for admitting now that this is a good dividend announcement.“But, don’t try to question the professionalism of EPF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is well respected,” he chided Najib, adding that he could apply to become the EPF CEO if he was unhappy with the present CEO. ― Bernama [...]
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Cops: Son of Sarawak’s second finance minister suffered brain haemorrhage
The police yesterday classified the death of Datuk Andrew Wong Kee Yew, the only son of Sarawak Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, as sudden death. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri SIBU, Feb 12 ― Datuk Andrew Wong Kee Yew, the former deputy chairman of the Sibu Municipal Council who died on Sunday, had suffered a haemorrhage on the left side of the brain, according to the police.Sibu District Police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit, when contacted today, said this was gathered during the post-mortem conducted at the Sibu Hospital yesterday.He also said that there was bleeding in the aesophagus (food pipe) and stomach.“However, the cause of death has yet to be ascertained because we are still waiting for further reports from the Sibu Hospital laboratory,” he said.The police yesterday classified the death of Kee Yew, 43, the only son of Sarawak Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, as sudden death.Kee Yew was found unconscious on the floor of the dressing room in his bedroom by his mother, Datin Seri Leong Poh Lin, on Sunday night.He was pronounced dead by medical personnel at about 11 pm after efforts to resuscitate him failed.Kee Yew contested in the 14th general election in May last year as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Sibu parliamentary seat.He secured 22,389 votes but lost to incumbent Oscar Ling of DAP who polled 33,811 votes in the four-cornered contest. ― Bernama [...]
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