• “Two-thirds of Malaysians” in informal survey feel country heading in wrong direction
  • Joint-ministerial committee approves three investments worth RM2.2b
  • CIMB and Maybank expects another OPR cut before year end
  • Myanmar asks Malaysian investors to capitalise on its agro-based industry
  • Singapore invites applications for New Digital Bank Licences

In economic forum, nearly two-thirds of respondents feel country ‘heading in wrong direction’

An informal survey during a discussion session in the National Economic Forum today found that nearly two-thirds of those polled found that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Out of those surveyed, 63 per cent felt that way compared to merely 12 per cent who felt otherwise. However, a quarter of the respondents stayed on the fence. The survey involved 85 participants out of around 600 people in the audience.

Joint-ministerial committee approves three investments worth RM2.2b

The recently established joint-ministerial committee has approved three investments worth RM2.2 billion. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said two were local-based companies, while the third was an international company. The Committee is co-chaired by Lim and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Darell Leiking. The Finance Ministry and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry recently formed the joint-ministerial committee to speed up decision-making while simplifying approval processes at the highest level, especially when it relates to high-tech and high-value investments. In the first half of 2019, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority approved RM49.5 billion in foreign investments for all sectors — a 97.2 per cent jump from RM25.1 billion recorded in the same period a year ago.

CIMB and Maybank expects another OPR cut before year end

CIMB Group expects Bank Negara Malaysia to make another cut of 25 basis point in overnight policy rate (OPR) by year-end to further stimulate the local economy. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chief executive officer (CEO) Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said, however, the second anticipated rate cut will have little impact on its net interest margin as it is nearing year-end while there will be no impact on fixed depositors. “Our loan growth performance for Malaysia is growing at an exceptional rate of 6.6 per cent backed by previous OPR cut,” he said in a press conference on its first half results for the financial year 2019 today. Earlier today, Maybank said it expects another OPR cut of 25 basis point amid anticipation of slower global growth. In May, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) reduced the OPR by 25 basis points to three per cent. It was the first cut since July 2016.

Myanmar asks Malaysian investors to capitalise on its agro-based industry

Myanmar has invited Malaysian investors to tap into its potential business opportunities in various sectors, particularly the agro-based, infrastructure and manufacturing industries. Its deputy director-general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Tin Aye Han said as Malaysian companies are mostly involved in the country’s manufacturing sector, he asked them to explore other sectors as well. “In investment, Malaysia is number eight in Myanmar but mostly in the manufacturing sector,” she told Bernama News Channel in Kuala Lumpur. Aye Han said Myanmar currently gives priority to the agro-business and manufacturing sectors, while infrastructure development is regarded as one of its brightest sectors. Hence, Malaysian companies are invited to go into the sectors, she added. Myanmar is one of the top three growing economies in ASEAN with gross domestic product growth of 6.6 per cent, while its population of 54 million people also presents a huge and growing market for consumer goods.

MAS Invites Applications for New Digital Bank Licences Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it will begin accepting applications for new digital bank licences. Interested parties have until 31 December 2019 to submit their applications. This follows the announcement in June 2019 by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Chairman of MAS, that MAS will issue up to two digital full bank licences and three digital wholesale bank licences. The new digital bank licences, which will be extended to non-bank players, will ensure that Singapore’s banking sector continues to be resilient, competitive and vibrant. Digital full banks will be allowed to take deposits from and provide a wide range of financial services to retail and non-retail customer segments, while digital wholesale banks will be permitted to serve SMEs and other non-retail segments. These new digital banks are in addition to any digital banks that Singapore banking groups may already establish under MAS’ existing regulatory framework.

 

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