Auditor General: Federal Government Incurs RM38.4 bln Deficit In 2016
The federal government incurred a deficit of RM38.4 billion with the ratio to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 3.12 per cent. According to the 2016 Auditor General’s Report, the deficit was financed by internal and external loans of RM99.85 billion. The loans were used to repay existing debts and finance the Housing Loan Trust Fund, apart from financing development expenditure, which saw federal ministries and departments spending RM41.99 billion from the approved allocation of RM43 billion. The report said the final provision for operating expenditure in 2016 was RM212.3 billion, of which RM210.17 billion was spent. The National Audit Department audited 25 federal ministries, 18 federal departments and 38 federal statutory bodies in 2016 to check if their financial management was in accordance with related laws and financial regulations.

SME Entrepreneurs Urged to Offer Services, Products Via MPC
Entrepreneurs from small medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly those in Melaka have been urged to cooperate with Melaka Privilege Sdn Bhd (MPSB) to offer services and products through the Melaka Privilege Card (MPC). MPSB Chairman Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said the MPC is the best medium for the SME entrepreneurs to advertise their products or services as it had an online application developed on App Store and Google Play Store. He said the entrepreneurs can participate in the said medium for free, while their products and services will be widely advertised. “To date we have 22 entrepreneurs registered with the MPC and are targeting more than 1,300 for this year.” The MPC paid membership card is opened to tourists and those in Melaka, and offers various attractive benefits, including discounts of between four to 20 per cent from traders and entrepreneurs involved in it.

Risda Disburses over RM2 mln for Entrepreneurs in Johor
The Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) has allocated RM2.06 million for various entrepreneurship programmes in Johor, including the RM10,000 financial aid for entrepreneurs under the Additional Economic Activities programme. Johor Public Works Committee, Rural and Regional Development Committee Chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the assistance were provided for entrepreneurs in the food, frozen food, snacks, sewing, manufacturing, livestock and agriculture industries in order to expand or upgrade their operations. “The assistance is given in the form of equipment and machinery purchases, construction of premises, workshops, shops and other inputs,” he said.

GLC Explorace 2017 to be Launched Next Month
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in collaboration with UEM Group, Sime Darby Berhad and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF) will be hosting GLC ExplorAce 2017 on 8 August 2017, themed, “Excelling in the Digital World”. GLC ExplorAce is a Government initiative that provides a platform for Bumiputera vendors under the Anchor companies involved in the Vendor Development Programme (VDP) to explore new business opportunities with other anchor companies. This will be achieved through four (4) main components, namely business matching; business networking; business & financial advisory; as well as sharing of business and entrepreneurship in Pocket Talk sessions.

Google to help 2,500 Singapore SMEs go global with digital technologies
In conjunction with the expansion of its Go Global initiative to Singapore, Google has committed to train 2,500 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in digital technologies, by 2019. The Go Global initiative was first started in 2015, and was designed to help local brands tap into the global market. In Singapore, it aims to leverage the city state’s traditional role as an export hub, and help drive exports for SMEs by getting them online.

Singtel unveils campaign to inspire Singaporeans to power on beyond National Day

Singtel has launched an integrated multimedia campaign to rally Singaporeans to keep up the Majulah spirit to propel the nation towards bigger and better. The month-long campaign pays tribute to Singaporeans from all walks of life, who have, in their own ways, contributed to the making of the nation. It features Singaporeans from different backgrounds coming together as one nation to seize opportunities, overcome challenges and keep on striving. Jointly developed with BBH, the Singtel campaign will roll out 12 print ads in the run up to 9 August, featuring portraits of Singaporeans and their aspirations on banners and posters at bus stops across the island and on social media.

Hong Kong home prices rise for 15th straight month to a record, but at a slower pace
Hong Kong’s residential property prices rose in June for the 15th straight month to a record, but at a slower pace. Analysts predicted the city’s housing market will consolidate after a sharp rise in the first six months. The monthly home price index, which represents movements in the second-hand property market, rose 0.69 per cent to 336.1 in June, compared with 333.8 in May , according to the Rating and Valuation Department’s data. Year on year, home prices jumped 21.6 per cent in June. The momentum slowed compared with the growth of 1.21 per cent month-on-month in May and 2.67 per cent in April. Hong Kong’s property prices are already the world’s highest based on square footage.