• OCBC Bank expects Budget 2018 to tackle rising cost of living

  • MATRADE calls on young entrepreneurs to tap growth potential of footwear industry

  • Petronas Dagang targets over 25% sales growth in food segment
  • Banks in Malaysia invest in mobile banking apps
  • EPF says, Gen Y, Z should consider diversifying investments
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore simplifies rules of venture capital funds to facilitate start-ups’ access to capital


  • Budget 2018 To Tackle Rising Cost of Living – OCBC

    OCBC Bank expects Budget 2018 to address the rising cost of living through various targeted incentives for middle-low income groups through the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) programme. Other social policies could also revolve around the budget’s theme, ‘Shaping the Future’, which would likely concentrate on education and training, improving healthcare standards and affordable housing, the bank said in a note on the pre-budget outlook today. It said the government may also emphasise on economic development through technologies such as robotics and cloud computing to encourage the growth of digital economy and provide the right environment for improved productivity. “In order to finance the higher expenditure, we foresee the government to record higher Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection of up to RM47.6 billion from 2017’s estimate of RM47.1 billion. “Elsewhere, higher corporate and income tax revenue may also be expected in line with a relatively benign economic environment into 2018,” said the bank. OCBC Bank estimated that Malaysia was on track to achieve its target of -3.0 per cent budget balance as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. “The narrowing budget deficit is seen on the back of higher revenue, led by GST receipts of +14.4 per cent year-on-year as well as higher export duties (+29.1 per cent y-o-y),” it said. The higher revenue would be able to cushion the relatively higher expenditure (operating: +2.7 per cent, development: +7.9 per cent). “All-in-all, we expect Malaysia to project a budget deficit of 2.9 per cent of GDP in 2018, from an estimated of 3.0 per cent in 2017,” added the bank.

    MATRADE Calls on Young Entrepreneurs to Venture Into Footwear Business

    The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) believes the footwear business has huge growth potential and calls on young entrepreneurs to venture into the footwear business due to the industry’s huge growth potential. Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Wan Latiff Wan Musa, said by adopting a creative and innovative mindset and awareness of the market trend, the young entrepreneurs should be able to come up with fashionable and comfortable designs for shoes. He said Malaysia’s total footwear exports amounted to RM715.5 million in 2016, a 22.4 per cent increase from RM584.7 million recorded in 2015. He pointed out that last year, Singapore was the biggest market for Malaysia’s export of footwear valued at RM205.5 million, accounting for 28.7 per cent share of total footwear export, followed by Indonesia with RM46.3 million (6.5 per cent share) and United Kingdom (RM43.9 million; 6.1 per cent share).

    Petronas Dagang Targets Over 25 % Sales Growth In Food Segment

    Petronas Dagangan (PetDag), the domestic marketing arm of national oil company, Petroliam Nasional (Petronas), aims to achieve over 25 per cent year-on-year growth in sales in its food segment. PetDag Retail Business Division Marketing Department Head, Abang Jimmy Abang Mordian, said this would be driven by a wider selection of breakfast combos through its Mornings@Mesra breakfast options, currently available at over 450 participating Petronas stations. “We launched the first phase of Mornings@Mesra in March and received an overwhelming response. We aim to expand our breakfast combo.”

    HSBC: Banks In Malaysia Invest In Mobile Banking Apps

    Banks in Malaysia have been investing in mobile banking application (apps) for the last two years, says HSBC Bank Malaysia. HSBC said, this included changing to native apps, adopting SamsungPay and chatbot. “Banks are also adopting artificial intelligence such as IBM Watsons to handle customer queries and recommend products and are investing in alternative security identification (ID) such as touch ID, voice ID and facial recognition,” it said. HSBC said Malaysia was one of the founding members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and it was primed for a digital future. “As ASEAN turns 50 this year, the growing importance of digital innovation will shape the next wave of economic development,” it said.

    Gen Y, Z Should Consider Diversifying Investments – EPF

    The Employees Provident Fund (EPF said Malaysians, particularly those between the ages of 16-35, should consider diversifying their investments and savings to avoid having an insufficient retirement fund. According to statistics provided by EPF, 64 per cent of its members aged 54, had less than RM50,000 in their retirement account and it would only last four years beyond their retirement, at the rate of RM950 a month for expenses. (RM950 is the minimum pension rate for the public sector and is thus used as a benchmark by the EPF to guide its members.) Given this rather alarming situation, the EPF is urging Generations Y (21-35 years) and Z (16-20 years), who constitute more than 50 per cent of members, to reflect on their retirement plan.


    MAS simplifies rules for managers of venture capital funds to facilitate start-ups’ access to capital

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that a simplified regulatory regime for managers of venture capital funds (VC managers) will come into immediate effect, following public consultation on the proposal earlier this year. The new regulatory regime will simplify and shorten the authorisation process for VC managers. MAS will no longer require VC managers to have directors and representatives with at least five years of relevant experience in fund management. VC managers will also not be subjected to the capital requirements and business conduct rules that currently apply to other fund managers. Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director, Capital Markets, MAS, said, “The simplified VC manager regime recognises the lower risks posed by VC managers given their business model and sophisticated investor base. It will enhance the operating environment for VC managers to play a greater role in supporting start-up and growth stage businesses.”


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