1. Economic confidence in Malaysia significantly higher in recent years
  2. MITI: Malaysia’s Trade To Grow At Moderate Pace This Year
  3. Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit to boost FDI for Malaysia
  4. Licensed money changers have adequate supply of currencies: BNM
  5. Domestic Produce Price Index Up 6.7 % in 2017
  6. Singapore overtakes China as Asia’s largest investor in US property

Confidence in Malaysia benefits from strong global economic outlook
A quarterly global survey of accounts found that economic confidence in Malaysia is significantly higher than in recent years. According to the latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS), produced by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), Malaysia is benefitting from relatively high levels of confidence on a global level. Edward Ling, Head of ACCA Malaysia, says, ‘As an open and trade-dependent economy, confidence at the end of Q4 in Malaysia was higher than it has been for several years. The expectations are that improving global conditions will be maintained through 2018.’ Narayanan Vaidynathan, Head of Business Insights at ACCA, says, ‘Despite a small dip, the relatively high level of global confidence reflects a stronger economic outlook in the US and India. ‘The overall outlook for 2018 is a promising one in terms of global economic growth and confidence. Some of the signs of a global economic recovery in 2017 look set to continue, with improvements for developed and emerging markets. ‘While growth is expected to slow in China as the government focuses on risk management, this should be compensated by gains elsewhere.’ Fieldwork for the Q4 2017 GECS took place between 24 November and 11 December 2017 and attracted 4,011 responses from ACCA and IMA members around the world, including more than 250 CFOs.

Malaysia’s Trade To Grow At Moderate Pace This Year
Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia’s trade performance is expected to continue its growth momentum but at a moderate pace this year due to a high-base forecast in 2017. He added that while this year’s trade volume is expected to be big, the growth percentage is projected to be smaller compared with last year as 2017 trade performance was forecast to be at RM1.8 trillion. “If we look at the comparison of trade figures, 2017-2016 can be assumed as lower based, as 2016 recorded only about RM1.4 trillion in trade. “For this year, our comparison based (2017) is expected to be at RM1.8 trillion. The volume is big, but the growth percentage would be lower,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit To Boost FDI For Malaysia
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is confident that the upcoming Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit will further boost foreign direct investments (FDIs) from that country into Malaysia. Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Azman Mahmud said, as of September 2017, the agency had approved 126 Swedish manufacturing projects worth RM2.7 billion. “Sweden has been an important source of foreign investments for Malaysia, as notable Swedish companies such as Volvo, Scania and bearing and seal manufacturer, SKF, have been here for many decades. The second Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit would be held in Kuala Lumpur next week. The event is organised by the Swedish Embassy, Business Sweden and Malaysian Swedish Business Association, supported by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, MIDA and InvestKL. Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia, Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt said the summit would focus on areas such as digitalisation, Industry 4.0 and the sustainability and efficiency of the transport system. “We will also be touching on sustainable solutions within economic growth, environmental responsibility, solutions for future cities and smart transport during the panel discussion sessions,” he added. “Sweden views Southeast Asia as the fastest growing region in the world, and hope the event will help our companies establish long-term strategic partnerships with businesses in the region,” he said.

Licensed Money Changers Have Adequate Supply Of Currencies: BNM
Bank Negara Malaysia assured the public that the currency theft reported in the media has not affected the overall supply of currencies by money changers to meet demand. A statement from the Central Bank said consumers can continue to obtain and exchange foreign currencies at licensed money changers throughout the country. The Bank is conducting an independent review of the incident to determine if there were any breaches of regulations by the licensed money changers and currency wholesalers. Appropriate enforcement actions will be taken by the Bank if a breach is established.

Domestic PPI Up 6.7 Pct In 2017
The Producer Price Index (PPI) for local production increased by 6.7 per cent to 107.9 in 2017 compared with a decline 1.1 per cent to 101.1 in 2016, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said. Chief Statistician, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said this was due to the increases in index for four sectors, namely mining (+24.7 per cent), agriculture, forestry and fishing (+7.0 per cent), manufacturing (+5.3 per cent), and electricity and gas supply (+1.9 per cent). On a year-on-year basis, the PPI rose by 0.3 per cent in December 2017, 4.0 per cent lower compared with 4.3 per cent in November the same year. Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir said the mining index recorded the highest increase of +8.9 per cent, followed by manufacturing (1.1 per cent), while agriculture, forestry and fishing decreased 13.8 per cent, water supply (-0.4 per cent), and electricity and gas supply (-0.2 per cent).

Singapore overtakes China as Asia’s largest investor in US property: Bloomberg
A report from Bloomberg said Singapore has overtaken China as Asia’s largest investor in US commercial property. Citing data from Real Capital Analytics and Cushman & Wakefield, the report said it was the first time since 2012 that Singapore outspent China. Globally, Singapore was the third-largest investor in US commercial property, after Canada and France. Last year, Singapore companies invested US$9.5 billion in US real estate, up from US$3.3 billion the previous year. Chinese companies invested US$5.9 billion, a sharp decline from US$17.3 billion in 2016.