Malaysia strategic location continues to attract foreign investment

Malaysia’s strategic location and competitive position make it an attractive for foreign companies, according to PwC Malaysia’s recent investor guide to Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL). The report, titled ‘Greater Kuala Lumpur: Bridge between Asia and the world’, said recognition of Malaysia and Greater KL’s status as prime investment and business locations for foreign companies is reiterated in a number of studies. These include AT Kearney’s Global Services Location Index 2016 and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s survey on foreign direct investment prospects for 2016 to 2018.

The report said multinational companies and global giants on the Fortune 500 and Forbes 2000 lists such as IBM, General Electric and GlaxoSmithKline consistently recognise Malaysia as a valuable hub in their global operations. “The numbers show just how attractive Malaysia is for foreign investors: in 2016, US$2.8 billion of approved foreign investment – a three-fold increase compared to the previous year. “These include setups such as principle hubs, treasury management centres, integrated logistics services, and regional and representative offices,” it said.

Released in collaboration with InvestKL, the report added that despite increasing global economic uncertainty and a 13% drop in global foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2016, Malaysia remained resilient and saw a 63.4% increase in approved FDIs to USD13.2 billion during the year.  Foreign investors are particularly interested in using Malaysia and Greater KL as their regional operational hub to tap into the growing opportunities in emerging Asia. Foreign investors are attracted to Greater KL due to
its connectedness and strategic location, at the centre of Asia. Greater KL also offers a business-friendly environment and a cost competitive location to operate as a regional base. With its world class infrastructure, capable human capital and attractive government incentives that encourage investment, I am confident that Greater KL would meet your needs as a hub for regional expansion.

More jobs created in 1H17 compared with last year

AmBank Research said more jobs have been added to the economy in the first half of the year (1H17), compared with the same period last year (1H16), despite an unchanged unemployment rate for the past four straight months. In a report released today, AmBank group chief economist Anthony Dass said 65,500 jobs have been added in June this year, which brings the total number of jobs created to 243,200 in 1H17. He said this was a significant increase from the figures in 2016, in which 30,100 jobs were created in 1H16 and 98,900 for the full year 2016. Unemployment rate remained unchanged for the fourth straight month in June at 3.4%, Dass said. Labour force participation rate stayed at 67.8% for the second consecutive month in June.

Going forward, Dass sees the unemployment rate to be “sticky”, around 3.3%-3.4% for 2017, supported by steady GDP growth. “We believe the net number of placed registrants which improved in 1H2017 to 1644K, will remain fairly favourable for the remaining months of the year,” Dass said.

Country Needs 35 Per Cent Skilled Workers In Various Fields By 2020

Meanwhile, Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib said the nation needs at least 35 per cent skilled workers among the locals in various fields, in line with the objective of making Malaysia a developed and high-income nation by 2020. He said to achieve this objective, the government was in the process of mainstreaming the Technical and Vocational Education Training in the effort to produce more skilled manpower. “Various initiatives have also been made to increase access to TVET training including collaborating with the industry to increase the effectiveness of the government strategy. “The government is also in the process of promoting TVET as the main route to government and private training centres which offer programmes based on TVET,” he said.

LIAM, PIAM, MTA Deny Allegation Receiving A “Cut” From Hospitals

The Life Insurance Association Of Malaysia (LIAM), Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) And Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) said none of their member insurance companies and takaful operators have requested for “cuts” from hospitals for the medical expenses incurred by their policyholders. “The three associations view such unfounded allegations made by the hospitals with serious concerns. Insurance companies and takaful operators through LIAM, PIAM and MTA had worked closely with the hospitals and third party administrators to ensure that the cost of healthcare is maintained at an affordable level, ” said LIAM, PIAM and MTA in a joint statement. The three associations said in recent years, premium rate increases have been driven by high inflation in healthcare costs, which averaged 12 percent p.a. during the period of 2010 to 2014. Going forward, this is projected to increase at a rate of 15 percent each year due to a number of reasons including the demand for better healthcare services from a more affluent segment of the population, an aging population and a higher prevalence of chronic and lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity as well as technological advances in healthcare that lead to an increase in the utilisation of advanced healthcare treatment technologies in medical facilities.

UEM Sunrise Eyes Over RM300 Mln From ‘Road To Russia 2018’ Campaign

Property developer, UEM Sunrise Bhd, aims to achieve over RM300 million in sales from its ‘Road to Russia 2018’ campaign launched today. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said the company posted sales of RM250 million from last year’s signature selection campaign. “This year, UEM Sunrise introduced the ‘Easy Own’ plan to help customers purchase their dream house. The campaign, which runs until November 2017, leveraged on the World Cup Final 2018, which will be held in Moscow, Russia.

Bursa Malaysia Seeks Feedback on Review of Listing Requirements Relating to Corporate Governance Requirements

Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia” or “the Exchange”) today issued a consultation paper on the review of the Main Market and ACE Market Listing Requirements in relation to corporate governance requirements. The amendments are being proposed as a result of the introduction of the new Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (“MCCG”) by the Securities Commission Malaysia on 26 April 2017.

In its consultation paper, Bursa Malaysia is seeking comments on:

  1. Enhancements to the corporate governance disclosures requirements under the LR to be aligned with the MCCG; and
  2. Enhancement to the oversight role of the audit committee in respect of the internal audit function.

The proposed amendments seek to improve the quality of corporate governance disclosures, and at the same time, promote good corporate governance  practices by listed issuers, as well as enhance transparency of their practices. The consultation paper is available at http://www.bursamalaysia.com/market/regulation/rules/public-consultation Interested parties and the public are invited to submit their comments and feedback to Bursa Malaysia by 11 September 2017.