Malaysia’s Economy Grows 5.8% in Q2, Likely to Grow Higher In 2017
Malaysia’s economy is expected to record a higher growth this year, exceeding the initial target of between 4.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent on the back of the strong first-half performance. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor, Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said that a new target would be announced in the upcoming Budget. “We at Bank Negara are working with the ministry and our forecast is that it will certainly be more than 4.8 per cent,” he said during the announcement of the country’s second-quarter (Q2) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) performance. Malaysia’s economy has remained on an upward momentum since Q2 2016, with a GDP growth of 5.8 per cent in Q2 2017 compared to 4.0 per cent in the same quarter last year. For the six-month period, the economy expanded by 5.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank announced that Malaysia’s economy recorded a robust expansion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017, recording a 5.8 per cent growth in GDP compared with 4.0 per cent in the same quarter last year. The expansion in Q2 2017, which is better than the 5.6 per cent registered in the first quarter of 2017, was boosted by solid growth in gross export, services and manufacturing sectors, as well as private investment. From the supply side, the improvement was driven by a broad-based expansion across all major sectors. The Central Bank said domestic demand was projected to underpin this expansion while on the external front, exports were expected to benefit from the stronger-than-expected improvement in global growth.

Malaysia’s E-Commerce Now A RM24.6 bln Industry
The Malaysian e-commerce industry has grown steadily after its boom in the mid-2000s and is now a RM24.6 billion business, said iPrice Group. iPrice Group is a meta-search e-commerce website which enables Malaysian shoppers to connect with hundreds of e-commerce merchants and discover products, compare prices and get the best deals. In a statement today, iPrice said Lazada ranked as the top e-commerce company in Malaysia, followed by Zalora and 11 Street, based on their online traffic, staff numbers and followers on social media applications such as SimilarWeb, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It said Lazada’s website received an average of 29 million visitors on a monthly basis while 11 Street received nine million visitors monthly. “These three top e-commerce companies were all founded in Southeast Asia.

Alibaba profit nearly doubles on robust revenues
In Shanghai, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said its net profit almost doubled in the latest quarter on the back of solid revenue growth in its core shopping business and in cloud computing. Alibaba has seen its New York-listed shares soar 80 percent since last December on perennially robust earnings. With those shares at all-time highs, the company’s market worth has been fast approaching that of industry leader Amazon. Alibaba said net income in the quarter which ended Jun 30 was 14.7 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion), a year-on-year increase of 94 per cent. Alibaba thoroughly dominates e-commerce in China mainly through its Taobao platform, and its continued strong earnings performances have underlined the strength of the sector even as the country’s broader economic growth has slowed.

Bank Negara Malaysia to Issue Framework to Address Medical Insurance Inflation
Bank Negara Malaysia will come out with a framework to reduce the inflation of medical insurance, which now stands at 12 per cent. BNM Governor, Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the current inflation rate is quite high, thus measures needed to be taken to address the issue. He said rising medical claims had increased pressure on medical insurance premiums. “On average, medical insurance claims rise 14 per cent annually,” Muhammad said. Net claims paid to policyholders had increased to RM4.9 billion in 2016 compared with RM4.5 billion in 2015, of which these claims were driven by demand for better healthcare, ageing population and higher prevalence of chronic and lifestyle diseases.