S’pore willing to lift road charge - Nation

SINGAPORE: Singapore will lift its Reciprocal Road Charge of S$6.40 (RM20), which will start from Feb 15, once Malaysia imposes its Road Charge (RC) at the Thai border. “Anyway, it makes sense for Malaysia to charge foreign vehicles the RC, especially for the maintenance, and wear and tear of our roads,” Ilango said. The new charge mirrors Malaysia’s RC of RM20 per entry for foreign-registered cars entering Johor, which was implemented last November. Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he welcomed Singapore’s decision to lift its Reciprocal Road Charge if Malaysia also implements it at its other entry points bordering Thailand. In response, Singapore announced that it would also enforce a Reciprocal Road Charge of S$6.40, on top of the VEP of S$35 (RM109).

January 19, 2017 23:36 UTC

Investors wary of volatile ringgit - Business News

StanChart’s Manpreet says investors expected to diversify their portfoliosKUALA LUMPUR: The volatile ringgit and more profitable investment opportunities overseas may prompt investors to look elsewhere amid a market shifting toward protectionism. “We are looking at a rate of RM4.40 per US dollar by year end,” Manpreet said. Investors will also be expected to diversify their portfolios to mitigate the effects of the weakening ringgit despite Malaysia having a robust bond market. “Although sukuk bonds offer a lower yield, sukuks should also be an investor preference due to lower volatility resulting from a structured demand base,” Manpreet also added. Standard Chartered’s Outlook 2017 publication highlights key market scenarios and offers investors a map of key investments under a “#pivot?” theme to guide them through the uncertain global market.

January 19, 2017 23:36 UTC

Alibaba to put its technology to test on Olympian stage - Business News

The Chinese Internet firm will provide online computing services and data analytics for the sporting contest, while creating a marketplace for official merchandise. And it will help develop an online video channel for viewers in China, the world’s largest consumer market. Alibaba, which typically eschews costly marketing, is keen to showcase its nascent cloud computing business on an international stage while reaching out to consumers around the world. Alibaba wants to get half its revenue from outside its home country, yet as of 2016 three-quarters of sales still come from China. It’s been touting that dominant home-market share to try and get US merchants to use its sites to sell to Chinese consumers – a way to offset slowing growth at home – but Alibaba remains an unfamiliar name to many.

January 19, 2017 23:31 UTC

Mier forecasts 4.5% GDP growth this year - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (Mier) has forecast a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.5% for Malaysia this year against an estimated growth of 4.2% projected for 2016. “If the trade balance momentum continues, there is some hope that Malaysia will perform better in 2017,” said Zakariah when unveiling Malaysia’s Economic Outlook Fourth Quarter 2016 Update. He said the GDP growth forecast for 2017 was revised downwards to 4.5% from its previous forecast of between 4.5% and 5.5%. “The world is now surrounded by uncertainties such as these and we are unsure of how to move forward, especially when the protectionism sentiment in developed countries are gaining momentum,” Zakariah said. Zakariah said for 2017, domestic demand would continue to be the driver of growth but at a slower pace of 4.6% (initial forecast: 5%).

January 19, 2017 23:21 UTC

Last block of D’Camellia affordable homes to be launched - Business News

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd’s subsidiary, Setia EcoHill, will launch its final block of D’Camellia Apartments this weekend. D’Camellia, which is under Setia EcoHill’s affordable homes offer, is a freehold project that comprises two 18-storey residential towers with a total of 635 units. Block 1 was launched last October with the developer seeing a very good take-up rate of 70%. The encouraging response prompted the decision to launch the remaining 318 units of D’Camellia Block 2. With a gross development value of RM165mil, D’Camellia is the third offering from the affordable homes range after the sold-out offerings of D’Cassia and D’Cerrum which were launched in 2015.

January 19, 2017 23:21 UTC

Airline profitability unchanged y-o-y in Q42016, says IATA

In a statement yesterday, IATA said that industry heads were slightly more optimistic about the outlook for profits over the coming 12 months than they were in October’s survey. It said 31% of respondents reported an annual increase in operating costs in Q4 2016 (the highest proportion since July 2014). The IATA said nearly two-thirds of respondents reported lower passenger yields in Q4 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, underlining the challenging profitability environment. Meanwhile, airline employment activity increased for the eighth consecutive quarter in Q4 2016. IATA said half of the respondents expect to keep employment levels unchanged at current levels over the next 12 months.

January 19, 2017 23:07 UTC

New IPO rules for MOG firms - Business News

For the new framework, the SC has made amendments to the equity guidelines, prospectus guidelines and asset valuation guidelines. The MOG assets must have generated at least one full financial year of audited operating revenue. Otherwise, the SPAC must have clear plans, and sufficient funds to do these plans, to advance the MOG assets to commercial production within two years. The company also must have, as its external auditor, an audit firm which has relevant MOG exploration or extraction industry expertise. The revised equity guidelines, prospectus guidelines and asset valuation guidelines are available on the SC’s website.

January 19, 2017 23:03 UTC

Bank Negara holds rate on expectation of higher inflation - Business News

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara is maintaining the benchmark overnight policy rate (OPR) at 3% on expectation that inflation will average higher this year due to stronger oil prices. “Underlying inflation, as measured by the core inflation index, is therefore expected to remain stable,” it said in a statement following a meeting of the monetary policy committee. “The implementation of financial market development measures have provided stability to the domestic foreign exchange market,” it said. Bank Negara cautioned that uncertainties in the global economy, the policy environment and geopolitical developments may result in bouts of volatility in the regional financial and foreign exchange markets. On the external front, the expected improvement in exports will provide some support to growth.

January 19, 2017 23:00 UTC

Mane helps Senegal reach last eight with Zimbabwe win - Football

FRANCEVILLE, Gabon (Reuters) - Senegal qualified for the African Nations Cup quarter-finals by beating Zimbabwe 2-0 with early goals from Sadio Mane and Henri Saivet in their Group B encounter on Thursday. They became the first team to reach the last eight after a second straight win, having beaten Tunisia 2-0 on Sunday, and have now emerged as tournament favourites. Only Tunisia can also reach six points in the group but Senegal would still be first with a better head-to-head record. Algeria and Zimbabwe have one point each but could still reach the quarter-finals with wins in their final games against Senegal and Tunisia respectively in which case qualification would be settled by goal difference. Tunisia will qualify with at least a draw against Zimbabwe even if Algeria win because of the head-to-head tiebreaker.

January 19, 2017 22:55 UTC

Immediate hurdle for Gadang at RM1.09, says AllianceDBS Research

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 20): AllianceDBS Research said the immediate hurdle for Gadang Holdings Bhd (Gadang) was at RM1.09 and that Gadang had on Jan 19 tested previous day’s high of RM1.07 before closing at the day’s low of RM1.05 (down 1 sen or 0.94%). In its evening edition yesterday, the research house said Gadang continued to trade above the 20-day and 50-day moving average lines. “Following the down close on Jan 19, the stock is likely to move between RM1.02 and RM1.09 in the coming few days. AllianceDBS Research said stock volume traded on Jan 19 was 2.86 million shares compared to the 3-month average volume of 11.0 million shares. The research house said that indicators wise, the MACD was above the 9-day moving average line with the buy signal remains intact.

January 19, 2017 22:45 UTC

From prisoner to honoured guest: Amarjeet Sohi’s return to India

And though the Edmonton Journal and Alberta Views magazine have chronicled his life, many in Canada are unfamiliar with it. It was three years after the bombing of Air India Flight 182, which killed all 329 — mostly Canadian citizens — on board. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and Indian security forces investigated ties between Sikh separatist sympathizers in Canada and India. Sohi then returned to Canada, a changed man, and would not return to India for another 13 years. He had another goal, he says: to show the “very rich history of tolerance and acceptance and diversity within India .

January 19, 2017 21:58 UTC

Ayob Khan: IS shifting recruitment focus to southern Philippines - Nation

RAUB: The Islamic State militant group has shifted the recruitment of new members to southern Philippines following strict control on travel to Syria by various countries. Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay (pic) said the new group of recruits were under the command of Abu Sayyaf senior leader, Isnilon Totoni Hapilon or Abu Abdullah al-Filipini. "The threat has become more serious because formerly, it was focused on Iraq and Syria, and now it has shifted to southern Philippines. Police would improve its intelligence gathering, operations and enforcement and expect more terrorist-related arrests this year. Ayob Khan said the number of arrests of those involved in terrorism was also on the rise for the past four years.

January 19, 2017 15:17 UTC

Axis REIT, F&N, Ekovest, Pavilion REIT, Ajiya, Destini, TH Heavy Engineering, MMC Corp, UMW Oil & Gas, UMW Holdings and Versatile Creative

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 19): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies that may be in focus on Friday (Jan 20) include Axis REIT, F&N, Ekovest, Pavilion REIT, Destini, TH Heavy Engineering, MMC Corp, UMW Oil & Gas, UMW Holdings and Versatile Creative. In a joint statement today, Destini and THHE said the contract was secured by THHE Destini Sdn Bhd, which is 51% owned by Destini and 49% by THHE. MMC Corp Bhd is disposing of wholly-owned MMC Oil & Gas Engineering Sdn Bhd for RM50 million in its bid to focus on its core businesses. MMC Oil & Gas provides professional engineering services to the oil and gas industry. UMW Oil & Gas Bhd (UMWOG) has started the consolidation among local oil and gas (O&G) players with its planned demerger from UMW Holdings Bhd (UMWH).

January 19, 2017 15:00 UTC

Najib: TN50 must be a vision shared by the people - Nation

PETALING JAYA: The vision of the country's future must come from the people, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the launching of the 2050 National Transformation (TN50) roadmap. "We can't share that vision unless it comes from us," he said adding that the vision was within the country's capability if there was a planned effort. Najib said the goal for TN50 "is for Malaysia to become a top 20 country in the world by 2050." Their voices and those of 1.5 million youths will be sought to draft the 2050 National Transformation (TN50) policy document in one of the country’s biggest policy formulation exercises to date. The TN50 policy document will outline the economic, social, cultural and environmental targets Malaysia aims to achieve by 2050.

January 19, 2017 14:04 UTC

TN50 townhall: Digital economy key to M'sia's transformation

KUALA LUMPUR: The digital economy, set to power and invigorate the Malaysian economic engine, was one of the issues raised in the 2050 National Transformation (TN50) townhall session held here tonight. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said setting up a digital economic hub, aimed at disrupting and electrifying the Malaysian economy, would see the country transformed in many ways. "All the transformations we have made, and (which are) currently ongoing, are all done for the benefit of the country's next generation, which are the current youths in the country. "That is why I have asked for medium-term objectives to be crafted, such as a RM2 trillion economy in 8 years and for Malaysia to become one of the top 20 nations in the world. "We will also be launching the world's first e-free trade zone in March this year," said Najib.

January 19, 2017 14:01 UTC

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