• ABM refutes allegations on housing loans difficulty, said 73% were approved in Q2, 2017
  • MRTC To Boost Productivity With Microsoft Azure
  • CIMB Bags 15 Prestigious Regional Awards
  • Large-Scale Halal Chicken Industry Chain to Cost Over RM400 Million
  • 1,858 BEEP Grants Worth RM167.79 Mln Approved Until September 2017
  • Hong Kong Expected to Announce Revamp of Its Tourism Industry on Wednesday

ABM Refutes Allegations of Difficulty to Get Housing Loans
The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) has strongly refuted allegations on the hardships of house buyers to get housing loans as reported in a local news daily recently. “The association wished to state that inaccurate statements could cause confusion among the public and create a biased perception on issues pertaining to housing loans in general.” “Banks have always been supportive in providing home loans to eligible borrowers. The overall housing loan approval rates remain high at 73 per cent of the applications in the second quarter of 2017. Further, 72 per cent of the housing loan borrowers are first-time house owners under the affordable home category. “For the first eight months of 2017, commercial banks approved over RM42.2 billion and disbursed approximately RM39.5 billion in loans for the purchase of residential properties. Financing therefore remains available for eligible borrowers,” it said.

MRTC To Boost Productivity With Microsoft Azure
Malaysia’s Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) aims to increase productivity by 35 per cent through seamless information sharing and collaboration, by using the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. In a joint statement with Microsoft today, MRTC said it aimed to complete the design, construction and operation of the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya infrastructure on time and within budget, by using the Azure-hosted Bentley System’s ProjectWise and AssetWise applications. “The Azure-hosted Bentley Systems platform enables an increase the precision of construction, reduce instances of design rework and improve safety standards, by enabling seamless synchronisation and information exchange between external vendors,” it added.

CIMB Bags 15 Prestigious Regional Awards
CIMB Group was recently recognised for its strong capabilities in treasury and markets, and transaction banking propositions, among others, through 15 local and regional pre-eminent awards. Under the 2017 Asia Risk Magazine Awards’ ‘Country House of the Year’ category, CIMB clinched an award for Malaysia for the 12th consecutive year, and Indonesia for the sixth consecutive year for its commitment towards improving risk management beyond the minimum levels stipulated by local regulators. Additionally, the Group received 10 accolades for various categories at the Asset Triple A Private Banking, Wealth Management and Investment Awards 2017, which recognised leading wealth management institutions, as well as premier financial institutions involved in derivatives and structured products in Asia-Pacific.

Large-Scale Halal Chicken Industry Chain to Cost Over RM400 Million
The plan to develop a large-scale halal chicken industry chain is expected to cost more than RM400 million. Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the plan would not only focus on the chicken breeders specifically but on the entire halal chicken meat production chain. “The plan encompasses the entire chicken supply chain, chicken breeding through contract farming, slaughtering and subsequently marketing to facilitate the success of this programme. “The programme is expected to cost RM420 million, through the cooperation of Fund for Food (3F) from Agrobank, SME Corporation Malaysia and funds from various government agencies will be identified,” he said. He said under the plan, a total of 80 Bumiputera chicken breeders were expected to develop a production capacity of 24 million chickens by 2023.

1,858 BEEP Grants Worth RM167.79 Mln Approved Until September 2017
A total of 1,858 applications for the Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programme (BEEP) grants involving an allocation of RM167.79 million have been approved since it was introduced until September 2017, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said. He said 89 applicants were from Sabah who obtained grants totalling RM12.78 million to implement various projects ranging from upgrading products, process and product packaging to certification, quality management and halal product development.

Hong Kong Expected to Announce Revamp of Its Tourism Industry on Wednesday
Hong Kong’s Commerce Minister, Edward Yau Tang Wah said its struggling tourism industry is about to get a comprehensive development plan, aimed at creating new attractions and offering better protection for tourists. He however gave no details of the plan, but the city’s tourism workers called for more resources, more industry supervision and better infrastructure ahead of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s maiden policy address, due on Wednesday. Yau said, “As a small city, we need to develop different attractions … and more unique activities other than shopping,”. He said his bureau would unveil a slate of new policies after Lam’s address. He also said the bureau would step up scrutiny of businesses integral to the tourism industry, especially airlines. Until about three years ago, tourism had been a key driver of Hong Kong’s economy for a decade, fuelled by a huge influx of mainland tourists. The sector still employs more than 280,000 people. But earlier growth was hit hard by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign from 2012, which caused big-spending mainland shoppers to stay away. The slump appears to have bottomed out, with tourist numbers for the first eight months of 2017 up 1.9 per cent on the same period the year before.

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