1. Malaysia Airlines appoints Foong as group chief strategy officer
  2. Sri Lanka to offer free visas to Malaysians on arrival
  3. Malaysia could replace Indonesia as top palm oil supplier to India
  4. China, US trade talks resume in Shanghai
  5. Hong Kong home prices fall for first time in 6 months in June

Malaysia Airlines appoints Foong as group chief strategy officer

Malaysia Airlines has appointed Bryan Foong (pic) as its group chief strategy officer effective tomorrow. Foong will be responsible for translating the strategic vision of the airline’s board and that of the group CEO Captain Izham Ismail into strategic priorities and direction. “He will also lead the planning of network and fleet in deciding the future size and shape of Malaysia Airlines Group, reflecting the needs of customers, market and competitive environment, ” said Izham in an internal circular to the airline’s employees. Izham said Foong was a senior corporate leader experienced in strategy and corporate planning with more than 15 years of experience. He holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Cranfield University School of Management, UK, and has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

Sri Lanka to offer free visas to Malaysians on arrival

Sri Lanka will offer free tourism visas on arrival to citizens of almost 50 countries, including Malaysia.  A government document showed on Tuesday, the cabinet had agreed to scrap tourist visas, which typically cost $20 to $40 and are applied online or at Sri Lankan embassies and consulates. Visa-free entry will be available to 48 nations, including China, India, and the United Kingdom “The offer will remain for six months and the government will assess the loss of revenue from visas after six months, ” an official at the Tourism Development Ministry said. Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga said he expects the move to boost arrivals but declined to provide details. The ministry said it did not have an estimate of its earnings from visa payments. Tourism was Sri Lanka’s third largest and fastest growing source of foreign currency last year, after private remittances and textile and garment exports, accounting for almost $4.4 billion or 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018. Tourist traffic for the first half of the year was down by 13.4 percent.

Malaysia could replace Indonesia as top palm oil supplier to India

Malaysia is set to replace Indonesia as the top palm oil supplier to India in 2019 as New Delhi has been charging lower import tax on refined palm oil shipments from Malaysia, giving Kuala Lumpur an edge over Jakarta, trade officials said. The rise in refined palm oil shipments will help refiners in Malaysia and bring down inventories of tropical oil in the world’s second bigger producer, but squeeze Indian refiners that traditionally import crude palm oil. India is the world’s biggest importer of palm oil. In January, New Delhi cut import duty on refined palm oil shipments to 50% from 54%, but Malaysian shipments attract 45% duty due to a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement signed by the two countries nearly a decade ago. The duty advantage helped Malaysia to raise its market share in India’s palm oil imports to 52% in the first half of 2019, compared with 30% in 2018, Mohd Bakke Salleh, chairman of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), said in Mumbai.

China, US trade talks resume in Shanghai

China and the United States resumed trade talks this morning in Shanghai. US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did not comment on the progress of the talks during a media photo session with Vice-Premier Liu He. Lighthizer and Mnuchin were joined for the talks by deputy US trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish, with Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and vice-commerce minister Wang Shouwen accompanying Liu. The talks, the first since May, had started on Tuesday with what was described as a working dinner on the same day China’s top leaders met in Beijing for their quarterly review of the economic situation.

Hong Kong home prices fall for first time in 6 months in June

Hong Kong’s private home prices fell for the first time in six months in June as consumer confidence was shaken by prolonged Sino-US trade tensions and growing social unrest at home. Prices in one of the world’s least affordable property markets fell 0.8% in June from a month earlier, compared with a revised 1.3% increase in May, government data showed on Wednesday. Some Hong Kong tycoons have started moving personal wealth offshore before June amid concerns over proposed extradition legislation which would have allowed local people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Hong Kong’s residential sales volume tumbled 43.6% in June from May to a four-month low, according to Land Registry data early this month. Strikes and demonstrations could continue for months, further weighing on home prices, some realtors say.



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