MATRADE: Increasing Trade a Sign of Country’s Resilient Economy
The increase in Malaysia’s trade with the world showed that the country’s economy is resilient despite the slowing economy worldwide, said Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation’s (Matrade) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros. He said the country’s total trade with the world increased by 1.5 per cent last year to RM1.48 trillion from 2015 with a trade surplus of RM87.26 billion. “This statistics reflect the strong upside potential in trade for Malaysia.”

Digital Economy’s Contributions to GDP Expected To Exceed 205 Before 2020
The digital economy is expected to contribute up to 20 percent of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020 from the current 17 percent. Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister, Datuk Jailani Johari is confident the target could be achieved earlier than 2020. “This is especially with the Digital Free Trade Zone (DTFZ) launched in March this year and the Malaysia Digital Hub recently.” “Malaysia can also leverage on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the DFTZ, where small and medium enterprises can benefit from partnerships with big players like Alibaba.”

Malaysia’s Economy In 2016 Expands 6.3% At Current Prices
Malaysia’s economy increased in 2016 as the value of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices expanded further to register RM1,230.1 billion and grew 6.3 percent. The Department of Statistics said the expansion in GDP was propelled by the higher performance of all income components, spearheaded by a Gross Operating Surplus (GOS) which recorded RM732.3 billion.

Property Market to Remain Flat In Next 9 Months
The property market in Malaysia is expected to stay flat in the next six to nine months as demand and new launches remain subdued, given the current economic uncertainty. Jones Lang Wootton Executive Director Prem Kumar said the market was currently undergoing a consolidation period with the number of property transactions declining. He said the property market was currently affected by overbuilding as the properties built did not cater to the right segment of the population. “Developers are building too much for too little demand (in this segment). They built high-end properties but not many people could afford them. “So, they are now holding the stocks, for which they or the banks need to fund them (the unsold units).”

Strong contenders annual PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) 2017
Meanwhile, eighteen companies will be vying for top honours at Malaysia’s most prestigious industry awards for real estate excellence. The fourth edition of the annual PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia), presented by Kohler, announced that 18 deserving developers made the cut with projects ranging from residential, commercial, mixed-use and green developments across the country, from Kuala Lumpur to Penang and Iskandar. All shortlisted finalists will be recognised either as Winner or Highly Commended during the gala dinner that will host around 300 key senior figures from real estate and related industries. “These companies represent the best of the industry as selected by its leaders. In today’s challenging market conditions, Malaysian consumers can certainly rely on a trusted source of recommendations for outstanding real estate developments such as the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) to aid them in making confident property decisions,” said PropertyGuru Malaysia Country Manager, Sheldon Fernandez.

Malaysians’ concern about cyber security issues escalates
The Malaysian public’s concern about security issues is the highest it has been in the last decade with concern about identity theft and cybersecurity overtaking previous concerns about physical threats. The overall Unisys Security Index for Malaysia is 215 on a scale of 0 to 300, up from 198 recorded in the last survey in 2014, and the highest index since the research was first conducted in Malaysia in 2008.
Malaysia recorded the third highest level of concern of the 13 countries surveyed and is 42 points (24%) higher than the global average. The Unisys Security Index is a global study that gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of issues related to national, personal, financial and Internet security. The study polled 1,000 adults in Malaysia during April 2017. The 13 countries surveyed are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the UK and US.

French Giant Atalian Partners with Singapore SME
Atalian has acquired a 70% stake in Cleaning Express and its subsidiaries, a prominent multi services group in Singapore, in a bid to increase its presence in Asia and complement its services to its clients globally. Both organizations feel that the synergies experienced after this fusion will bring benefits on both domestic and international levels. Cleaning Express is a family-run business and employs nearly 1,000 trained professional staff. Cleaning Express was awarded the prestigious Enterprise 50 award in 2016. The award is given to Singapore’s top SMEs by the Business Times and KPMG for their innovation and commitment towards continuous improvement of staff and operations as well as their contribution to the industry.

Fed holds rates steady
The US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged yesterday and said it expected to start winding down its massive holdings of bonds “relatively soon” in a sign of confidence in the US economy. The Fed kept its benchmark lending rate in a target range of 1.00 per cent to 1.25 per cent, as expected, and said it was on track to continue the slow path of monetary tightening that has lifted rates by a percentage point since 2015. In a statement following a two-day policy meeting, the US central bank’s rate-setting committee indicated the economy was growing moderately and job gains had been solid.