1. Malaysia ranks 27 in global talent competitiveness
  2. Malaysia progressing on right track towards restoring fiscal position
  3. Singapore moots extension of Seletar ILS suspension
  4. RAM lowers 2019 headline inflation forecast to 2 pct
  5. F&N invests RM30 million in Capex for 2019 to ramp up innovative offerings
  6. KLCC welcomed 2.18 million participants and delivered RM888 in economic impact in 2018.

Malaysia ranks 27 in global talent competitiveness
Malaysia ranks 27 in the 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) as Switzerland, Singapore and the United States continue to lead the world in talent competitiveness. Meanwhile, countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa are seeing a progressive erosion of their talent base. The report released yesterday confirms that talent issues have become a mainstream concern for firms, nations and cities, with talent performance seen as a critical factor to growth and prosperity. Bruno Lanvin, executive director, Global Indices, INSEAD, and co-editor of the report, commented: “In the top ten of talent competitiveness ranking, only two non-European countries can be seen: Singapore and the US. “This underlines that Europe remains a talent powerhouse, but also that countries with great universities and a strong education sector are best at attracting talents. “Because high-level talents are also more mobile internationally, no comparative advantage can be seen as irreversible, and those countries will need to remain open and innovative to keep their leadership.”

Malaysia progressing on right track towards restoring fiscal position
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia is progressing on the right track towards restoring its fiscal position within three years and this is attested by three of the world’s largest international credit rating agencies. In the positive January 2019 annual update, Moody’s stated that Malaysia’s economic growth would stay stronger than its A-rated peers and that Malaysia’s strong diversified economy was partially offsetting the negative impact of the government’s high debt level. “This comes after Moody’s, in December 2018, decided to maintain the government’s credit ratings at A3 on the back of Malaysia’s commendable growth, deep domestic capital market and solid institutional framework,” Lim said in a statement, adding that a change in credit rating was unlikely in the near term, and this would reassure investors and the business community.

Singapore moots extension of Seletar ILS suspension
Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Anthony Loke met his Singapore counterpart, Khaw Boon Wan in Singapore today. Following the meeting Khaw suggested to extend the suspension of the instrument landing system (ILS) for the republic’s Seletar Airport that affects the airspace over southern Johor. In a Facebook post following the meeting with Loke in Singapore, Khaw said the move, together with Malaysia’s suspension of the restricted area (RA) over the airspace, would give more time for both parties to discuss the matter. “I suggested that we extend the mutual suspension of Malaysia’s Restricted Area over Pasir Gudang and Singapore’s Instrument Landing System procedures at Seletar Airport, to give our officials more discussion time to reach a win-win outcome. “He will take my suggestion back to his Cabinet colleagues,” Khaw wrote. In his reciprocal Facebook post, Loke, however, did not mention the proposal. “We agreed on the way forward to solve the Seletar Airport issue and the Civil Aviation Authority of both countries will continue the discussion on the technical aspects,” Loke wrote. Both, however, agreed that the meeting was fruitful and constructive, with Khaw calling it a “heart-to-heart discussion”. Earlier this month, both sides agreed to mutually suspend the ILS and RA, following a bilateral meeting between Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and his counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

RAM lowers 2019 headline inflation forecast to 2 pct
RAM Rating Services Bhd (RAM Ratings) has trimmed its headline inflation forecast for 2019 to two per cent from the 2.7 per cent projected earlier. In a statement today, the credit rating agency said the downward revision was mainly due to the changing expectations on global crude oil prices, which were increasingly pointing to a lower average range of US$60 to US$65 per barrel for this year. “Our sensitivity analysis indicates that for every US$5 per barrel move in the price of Brent crude oil, headline inflation potentially changes 0.3 percentage point,” it said.

F&N invests RM30 million in Capex for 2019 to ramp up innovative offerings
Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd has allocated RM30 million in capital expenditure (capex) for the 2019 financial year to accelerate innovation that would enable the Group to create more tasty and healthier products in tandem with the Group’s promise of ‘Pure Enjoyment, Pure Goodness’. Investments encompass new production lines and add-ons to expand the capacity and capability of existing lines to facilitate the Group’s extension into new offerings and packaging formats. The latest initiatives complement F&NHB’s continuous drive to improve its efficiency, expand its capacity and capability while leveraging the latest technology to meet consumers’ evolving demand. F&NHB Chief Executive Officer, Lim Yew Hoe said that consumers’ lifestyle aspiration has driven the growing trend of healthy consumption and it has spurred the Group to sharpen its focus on product and packaging innovations in order to provide enjoyable, convenient and nutritious products. F&NHB concluded the year ended 30 September 2018 with a marginally higher revenue at RM4.11 billion compared to RM4.10 billion previous year, underpinned by effective promotions and higher exports sales which mitigated the impact from portfolio rationalisation. The Group’s profit before tax increased 19.5 per cent to RM422.7 million from RM353.7 million while its profit after tax rose 19.1 per cent to RM385.1 million for the year under review compared to the previous year.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre welcomed 2.18 million participants and delivered RM888 in economic impact to Malaysia in 2018.
2018 was an exceptional year for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre as it achieved its highest ever economic impact delivered to Malaysia of RM888 million (an 80% or RM395 million increase from 2017) and number of participants welcomed, with 2.18 million (more than 700,000 guests or an increase of 49% from 2017), in a calendar year. The Centre also hosted 1,485 events, a 17% increase in number of events compared to 2017. 2018 also saw the Centre record growth across the majority of its business segments, with the association meetings segment registering the largest increase of 22% compared to the corresponding period in 2017. This was followed by corporate meetings and banqueting events (corporate sales segment) with a 20% increase and exhibitions segment with 12% growth.