• BNM provides fund for SMEs affected by floods
  • U.S. online sales to surpass $100 billion this holiday season
  • Lazada Malaysia targets ten-fold increase in orders during Online Revolution 2017
  • Energy Efficient Vehicles penetration to be ramped up to 50 per cent
  • South Asian, African nations poised for impressive ATM growth
  • La Nina, heavy rains and Wintering expected to reduce global supply of natural rubber

BNM Provides Fund for SMEs Affected By Floods
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is providing a RM500 million Disaster Relief Facility to alleviate the financial burden and assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the recent floods in the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia to resume their business. Under this facility, the affected businesses could obtain financing at a concessionary rate from any commercial bank, Islamic banks and development financial institutions regulated by BNM. “BNM will provide 60 per cent guarantee on the financing obtained through Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd,” the central bank said in a statement. It said the financing facility, with a maximum of RM500,000 per group of companies, is available to Malaysian SMEs affected in the districts identified as flood disaster areas by the National Disaster Management Agency. “The fund is to be utilised for repairs or purchase of assets to replace those damaged by the floods, including as working capital.

Adobe Forecasts U.S. Online Sales to Surpass $100 Billion This Holiday Season
Adobe today released its online shopping predictions for the upcoming holiday season. Based on Adobe Analytics, Adobe expects that online sales in the U.S. will be $107.4 billion, an increase of 13.8 percent, while in-store retail is expected to grow ten percent less. Cyber Monday is expected to become the largest online shopping day in history, generating $6.6 billion in sales, 16.5 percent growth compared to last year. Sales on Thanksgiving Day are expected to increase 15 percent YoY to $2.8 billion. One out of every six dollars this holiday season will be spent between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, leading to $19.7 billion in sales. While large retailers (more than $100 million in annual revenue) will see higher order values and desktop conversion rates than smaller retailers (less than $10 million in annual revenue), the latter are expected to have the mobile advantage with a higher average conversion rate of 1.9 percent by attracting more shoppers with an intent to buy. Adobe Analytics data also forecasts that shoppers will gravitate towards purchasing lower priced items online as opposed to big ticket items. While toys and apparel saw a 39 percent and 20 percent unit growth respectively last holiday season, jewellery sales came in low, with a three percent decline in unit growth. These trends are expected to continue this season.

Lazada Malaysia targets ten-fold increase in orders during Online Revolution 2017
Lazada Malaysia launched its biggest shopping event of the year – the Online Revolution 2017. Running for its sixth year, the month-long online shopping extravaganza will take off on 11.11 (11 November 2017) until 14.12 (14 December 2017) and will feature 90 million products with savings of up to 90 per cent. Lazada Malaysia is expecting ten times increase in orders for Online Revolution as well as a five-fold increase in traffic to Lazada Malaysia’s website during the campaign.

EEVs Penetration To Be Ramped Up To 50 Pct
The penetration of energy-efficient vehicles (EEVs) in Malaysia is expected to be ramped up to as much as 50 per cent of total industry volume (TIV) by year-end after hitting 42.8 per cent last year. Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said as the motor vehicle industry continued to advance towards autonomous and semi-autonomous capability vehicles, there were opportunities to further improve Malaysia’s own public transport landscape with wider usage of EEVs. “The National Automotive Policy (NAP) places emphasis on green initiatives, with the ultimate objective of establishing Malaysia as a regional EEV hub by 2020. “Our EEV policy is tailored towards meeting future demand in vehicle technology, including the need to produce skilled human resources, investments in technology and sustainable mobility,” he said. Malaysia’s EEV penetration, which refers to the percentage of EEVs (new cars) registered on the road for a given year, hit 42.8 per cent of the TIV which stood at 580,124 units in 2016.

South Asian, African Nations Poised for Impressive ATM Growth
The South Asian and African markets have shown potentials for a boom in the automated teller machines (ATMs) due to rapid expansion in the banking services and economies of the countries in the regions. In a statement today, Retail Banking Research (RBR) said, the world’s more mature markets had shown a slowdown in growth while in the emerging markets, such as Myanmar, they were set to see the fastest growth over the next five years. Researcher Rowan Berridge said although most major ATM markets were now growing more slowly or even contracting in some cases, many smaller, developing countries continued to have huge potential. “These markets are characterised by a low density of ATMs to population – fewer than 100 machines per million people – but are enjoying rapid economic growth and benefiting from state-driven programmes to increase financial inclusion,” he said. He said cash was set to remain hugely important in these markets and prospects for growth in ATM deployment were excellent.

La Nina, Heavy Rains and Wintering Season Expected To Reduce Global Supply Of Natural Rubber
The International Rubber Consortium (IRCo) — comprising representatives from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia — has forecast a reduction in the supply of natural rubber (NR) for the global market amidst strong sentiments for its demand. It cited the La Nina phenomenon which is expected to bring heavy rains from November 2017 to January 2018, affecting the production of NR as well as the rubber wintering season beginning in the last quarter of 2017 that is also expected to further reduce the supply of NR for the global market. “Given the current supply and demand situation of NR, the prices are not reflective of market fundamentals,” said IRCo Chairman Mesah Tarigan along with all BoD members from IRCo. IRCo said there are strong sentiments favouring the demand for NR such as an improved global GDP growth rate in 2017 which is projected at 3.6% compared to 3.2% in 2016 (based on IMF data of October 2017). “The three Countries will collectively monitor and consider measures to strengthen NR prices, taking into account that the majority of rubber planted areas are managed by smallholders and any reduction in prices has a direct impact on their income and welfare,” said Mesah.