1. Malaysian SMEs Urged to Look At Business Opportunities In India
  2. BNM Increases Overnight Policy Rate To 3.25 Pct
  3. Standard Chartered Sees Malaysia’s GDP Moderating In 2018
  4. SITEC To Facilitate Business Opportunities With Chinese Counterparts
  5. Malaysian Bond Market to Remain Robust This Year: RAM Ratings
  6. Celcom and Malaysia Airlines Collaborate to Enhance Digital Lifestyle for Travellers
  7. Cartoon Network-branded Cruise Ship to Set Sail in Late 2018

Malaysian SMEs Urged to Look At Business Opportunities In India
SME Corp Malaysia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with India’s National Small Industries Corp (NSIC) to help entrepreneurs benefit from business opportunities in the two countries. SME Corp Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Hafsah Hashim, said Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been urged to look at opportunities in India following the signing of the agreement. “This is the beginning of the journey for Malaysian SMEs to penetrate the Indian market. For the Indian companies, Malaysia can be a regional hub for entering ASEAN markets,” she told Bernama.

BNM Increases Overnight Policy Rate To 3.25 Pct

Negara Malaysia (BNM) has increased the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent at the Monetary Policy Meeting (MPC) as it decides to normalise the degree of monetary accommodation amid the economy being firmly on a steady growth path. The floor and ceiling rates of the corridor for the OPR are correspondingly raised to 3.00 per cent and 3.50 per cent, respectively, the Central Bank said in a statement. The last time BNM changed its key rate was in July 2016 when it made a 25 basis-point cut. BNM said the global economy has strengthened further, with growth becoming more entrenched and synchronised across regions, while global trade continues to sustain strong growth performance. Global growth is projected to experience a faster expansion in 2018. In this environment, risks to the global growth outlook are more balanced, pointing towards continuity in the current phase of global economic expansion, it said. For the Malaysian economy, latest indicators reaffirm the strength in exports and domestic activity. Looking ahead, the strong growth momentum is expected to continue in 2018, sustained by the stronger global growth and positive spillovers from the external sector to the domestic economy. Domestic demand will remain the key driver of growth, underpinned by favourable income and labour market conditions. The outlook for investment activity is also positive, driven by new and on-going infrastructure projects and capital spending by both export- and domestic-oriented firms, said BNM. The sector will provide additional impetus to the economy. Overall, growth is expected to remain strong in 2018.

Standard Chartered Sees Malaysia’s GDP Moderating In 2018
Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to moderate to 5.3 per cent this year from 6.0 per cent in 2017 supported by strong private consumption, said Standard Chartered Bank. Regional Head of Research, Southeast Asia Global Research, Edward Lee said the expectation is still healthy and strong compared to the average during the financial crisis period. “We came from a strong year in 2017 where the labour market matrix stabilised and more jobs were created mainly in the second half of the year. “However, as most infrastructure jobs were mostly awarded last year, we may see a slowdown this year in terms of investments, including in business loans growth,” he told reporters after its Global Research Briefing 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.

SITEC To Facilitate Business Opportunities With Chinese Counterparts
The Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (SITEC) will cooperate with China’s Zhejiang and Guangdong Commerce Departments to organise an e-Commerce Business Summit to facilitate better trade opportunities with Selangor. Selangor State Senior Executive Councillor, Datuk Teng Chang Khim, said SITEC had taken steps to bolster its relationship with the Chinese technology, Internet and e-commerce counterparts through various networking efforts. “This gives us an advantageous position in our aim to develop Selangor into a regional trading hub,” he said. Datuk Teng, who is also Chairman of Standing Committees for Investment, Industry and Commerce, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), and Transportation, also anticipated to see more Selangor and China startup teams on incubator exchanges and pitching together during the Selangor Digital Economy Conference set to be held in September this year. From June 2015 to December 2017, SITEC had facilitated the generation of RM7.3 million in total sales via 51,000 orders through its 300 onboarded merchants on the SITEC Online 100 programme, providing these merchants with 300 mobile e-store apps via the SITEC Apps 100 programme.

Malaysian Bond Market to Remain Robust This Year: RAM Ratings
The Malaysian bond market will remain robust this year with between RM90 billion-RM100 billion of gross corporate bond issuance expected. RAM Rating Services Bhd. Head of Research, Kristina Fong said that this will likely be driven by a healthy pipeline of issuance from financial institutions and infrastructure & utilities sectors, which have traditionally issued the lion’s share of the market’s corporate bonds. The latest edition of RAM Ratings’ Bond Market Monthly stated that gross issuance of corporate bonds hit a record high of RM124.9 billion in 2017, surpassing expectation of between RM105 billion-RM115 billion. The last time gross issuance reached such a lofty level was in 2012, clocking in at RM121.1 billion.

Celcom and Malaysia Airlines Collaborate to Enhance Digital Lifestyle for Travellers
Celcom Axiata and Malaysia Airlines today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on a strategic partnership. The long-term joint venture is set to provide significant benefits spanning multiple areas across both companies which will include Enrich rewards, special offers and many more in the coming months. The benefits include easier ways to earn and spend Enrich miles, flight discounts for all Celcom consumers and attractive Roaming plans.

Cartoon Network-branded Cruise Ship to Set Sail in Late 2018
For the first time, some of the world’s most famous cartoon characters will set sail on their very own cruise liner, Cartoon Network Wave. This fully-branded ship is the result of a partnership between Oceanic Group, Asia-Pacific’s leading cruise management company and Turner, the global media giant behind Cartoon Network. Set to make its maiden voyage from its home port of Singapore in late 2018, the 11 guest-deck, 2,000-guest Cartoon Network Wave will be one vast haven for Toon-loving travellers. With the ocean as a backdrop, families will enjoy the world’s first immersive Toon vacation at sea, and an adventure with their favourite Cartoon Network stars. While there are many existing projects by Turner’s location-based entertainment team including Cartoon Network-branded restaurants, theme parks, waterparks around the world — and even planes and trains — this is the first time anywhere that a cruise liner has undergone a full Cartoon Network transformation.