News Scan: 16 April 2018

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  1. Bursa Malaysia implements intraday short selling for all investors
  2. Malaysia does not solely depend on China for FDIs – Treasury Sec-Gen
  3. Unemployment rate falls to 3.3 per cent in February
  4. UOB to increase the number of Chinese companies it supported in expanding into Southeast Asia by 50 per cent in 2018

Bursa Malaysia implements intraday short selling for all investors
Bursa Malaysia Berhad today implemented Intraday Short Selling (“IDSS”) for all investors as part of the Exchange’s strategy to boost market liquidity. The Exchange has implemented a clear framework to facilitate IDSS trades for all investors. Under the framework, investors will be able to sell securities first and buy the securities later within the trading day itself. IDSS can be carried out on a selected list of eligible securities (“Approved Securities”). This list of Approved Securities, currently comprising 280 securities, will be reviewed every 6 months. Chief Executive Officer of Bursa Malaysia, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan said, “Introducing IDSS to a wider group of investors is timely considering the growing sophistication of market participants. This measure is part of the Exchange’s strategy to boost market liquidity and further improves flexibility for market participants to refine their trading and risk management strategies.” A robust compliance requirement and safeguards have also been put in place to allow for IDSS trades to take place. This includes market controls for IDSS suspensions if a stock price falls by more than 15% from the previous day closing price or if the gross short selling volume exceeds the daily maximum limit of 3% of outstanding shares per security. The framework also specifies compliance obligation requirements for investors before IDSS activities can commence.

Malaysia does not solely depend on China for FDIs – Treasury Sec-Gen
Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said Malaysia receives foreign direct investments (FDIs) from various countries and does not depend solely on China. He refuted claims that Malaysia has been over dependent on China. He added that Malaysia’s net FDI inflow of RM39.2 billion last year included investments in various sectors from India, Germany, Japan and Singapore, among others. “Foreign investors choose to invest in Malaysia as they prefer to conduct their businesses in countries that are peaceful and calm,” he said in his message to almost 1,000 federal civil servants in Sarawak. Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan added that in terms of financial management, Malaysia was on a strong economic footing, with Bank Negara Malaysia raising the economic growth forecast for the nation this year to 5.5-6.0 per cent.

Unemployment rate falls to 3.3 per cent in February
Malaysia’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3 per cent in February 2018, down 0.1 per cent from the previous month. The Department of Statistics said on a year-on-year comparison, the unemployment rate in February 2018 was also 0.2 per cent lower than a year ago. The DOS added that the number of labour force increased 0.3 per cent in February 2018 to 15.23 million from 15.19 million a month earlier. On the labour force participation rate in February 2018, the department said it remained unchanged at 68.2 per cent compared with that of the previous month.

UOB to increase the number of Chinese companies it supported in expanding into Southeast Asia by 50 per cent in 2018
United Overseas Bank (UOB) is stepping up its support of Chinese companies expanding into Southeast Asia. The Bank aims to increase the number of the Chinese companies it assisted in 2017 by 50 percent in 2018. This target is on the back of RHB cooperation in the region. UOB set up its FDI Advisory Unit in 2011 to support the growing trade and investment flows from China into Southeast Asia. In addition to providing companies with access to UOB’s financial products and services offered, the Unit works closely with government agencies, trade and industry associations and professional service providers to provide comprehensive business advisory services across the region. These partnerships include the collaborations with China’s national business and trade bodies, namely the China Chamber of International Commerce and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The Bank is the first and only bank in Southeast Asia to have partnerships with both organisations. China has been ASEAN’s largest trade partner for eight consecutive years. The Belt and Road Initiative is also driving Chinese companies to venture overseas and to internationalise their business. In addition, the continued enhancement of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will help to drive greater bilateral trade and investment flows.

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