Friday, 19 July 2013

CIMB Malaysian Economic News - 19 July 2013

Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd (TalentCorp) said the RM65m operating cost allocated to it was used to develop programmes to attract and nurture talents, whether they be Malaysians in Malaysia, Malaysians abroad or foreign talents, and not just for the Returning Expert Programme (REP) as reported. TalentCorp implements up-skilling programmes for local undergraduates, supports career fairs for Malaysian students abroad and facilitates top foreign talent through its Residence Pass-Talent initiative.

  • Therefore, it was misleading to divide TalentCorp's total operating cost with only the number of Malaysians approved under the REP to derive a cost per person, it said. 
  • The apportionment allocation was RM30m in 2011, RM20m last year and the rest was for this year. (Bernama)

The government's investment in the Talent Corp programme has brought positive result when it succeeded in bringing back 2,015 Malaysians working abroad to return and serve the country, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar. The programme had succeeded to bring back 680 participants in 2011, 923 participants in 2012 and 502 participants up to Jun this year.

  • The majority of the Talent Corp's participants were aged 30 and above while 75% were men. 
  • Some 60% of the participants of Talent Corp are Chinese, 30% Bumiputera and 10% Indians and others, he said. 
  • Ten countries from which the participants had returned were Singapore, UK, China, Australia, US, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Ireland, he added. (Bernama)

PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak believes that the journey towards Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, is well on course and irreversible. He said the achievement of the AEC and the commencement of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) creating the world's largest free trade agreement (FTA), were exciting prospects for Asean.

  • The increased regionalisation had substantially increased intra-Asean trade, as well as Asean's trade with its key partners, namely China, Japan and India. 
  • China is today, Asean's largest trading partner. 
  • Asean's GDP in 2011 exceeded US$2tr and is expected to be US$10tr by 2030, he added. (Bernama)

The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) will host an open day on 1 Aug to mark the ongoing 18th Round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Kota Kinabalu. Detailed information on the open day will be fed into the ministry's website soon, it added. (Bernama)

Malaysia is confident the Asean Economic Community (AEC) will be realised by 2015 as 80% of the measures have already been implemented by member nations. International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said in the case of Malaysia, 88% of the measures have been implemented. He added that Malaysian entrepreneurs were getting ready, especially in capacity- building measures to enhance their resilience.

  • "We are seeing companies from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines increasing their investments in Malaysia. Perhaps, what I would like to see is the participation of more SMEs," he said. 
  • In the context of further enhancing integration, he said two AEC Post-2015 studies are being undertaken. 
  • One study is being done by the Economic Research Institute of Asean and East Asia and the other by the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and the Institute of South East Asian Studies. 
  • These studies are being undertaken to facilitate Asean in drawing up the Post-2015 economic integration initiative. 
  • These studies will provide valuable inputs to Asean in further enhancing its position as a competitive economic region, he added. (Bernama)

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has introduced comprehensive guidelines, which took effect on Monday, to further enhance its supervision on the Fund Management Institutions (FMIs) appointed under the EPF Members Investment Scheme (EPF-MIS) to safeguard members' retirement savings, said Deputy CEO for investment Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif. Under the guidelines, the FMIs need to ensure proper processes and procedures are in place to ensure smooth disbursement of the money to the beneficiaries in the event of a death of a member who participates in the scheme.

  • Among areas strengthened are risk management practices, corporate governance and stringent rulings are in place to make sure the FMIs adhered to the guidelines. 
  • Currently, there are 33 appointed FMIs managing members' investments under the EPF-MIS with more than 200 unit trust funds approved to be offered for 2013/14. (BT)

Sales related jobs are expected to increase in 3Q13 but overall hiring could be muted in Malaysia, according to Jobstreet.Com. In its Job Outlook Report issued this week, the company said sales openings are expected to increase by 15% in 3Q13 compared to last year.

  • A total of 26% of the respondents in a survey conducted by Jobstreet said that they were looking at filling accounting and finance positions in 3Q13. 
  • The other specialisation with the highest number of vacancies were in marketing, manufacturing and administration. 
  • A whopping 82% of employers faced high staff turnover from Apr to Jun, a sign that retaining staff is getting more difficult. 
  • Salary and career advancement were identified as the top factors in employees changing jobs. 
  • As a result, many companies are looking to fill in the existing positions, particularly at junior level, the report said. (Malaysian Insider)

Forty to 50 more 1Malaysia clinics (K1M) will be set up nationwide from next year to meet the demand from the public, especially in the rural areas. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the clinics would be concentrated in areas with many residents from the low-income group. There are now more than 200 K1M nationwide serving about 1.5m people with the minimum charge of RM1 for citizens and RM15 for non-citizens. (Bernama)

There is a possibility of an upward review of the electricity tariff as the government is likely to reduce its subsidy for electricity, Tenaga Nasional said Thursday. Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said the government had heavily subsidised the current tariff particularly for gas.

  • The government started subsidising power tariff since 2008 and households using electricity RM20 and below a month have been exempted from payment. 
  • In Jan, the government said the rebate on monthly electricity bills under RM20 has been extended by the government to all eligible domestic consumers until Dec this year. 
  • Last year, the government spent RM146m for 1.1m domestic consumers nationwide. (Bernama)

Iskandar Malaysia recorded RM7.56bn in new investment in 2Q13, compared with RM5bn in 1Q13, bringing cumulative committed investments since 2006 to end-Jun 2013 to RM118.93bn. The figure was an increase of RM12.62bn since 31 Dec 2012, and out of the cumulative committed investments, RM53.73bn or 45% represented investments that have been realised.

  • Up to 30 Jun 2013, local investors contributed RM78bn (66%) out of the cumulative committed investments while the balance of RM40bn (34%) was contributed by foreign investors. 
  • From Jan to Mar this year, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and US were five countries that registered the highest amount of investment in the manufacturing sector in the region. 
  • Three manufacturing sectors namely electrical and electronics; petrochemicals and oleo-chemicals; and food processing and agro products recorded the highest cumulative committed investments amounting to RM43bn. 
  • The other six promoted sectors were logistics (RM4.8bn), tourism (RM2bn), healthcare (RM1.5bn), education (RM1.5bn), financial services (RM0.6bn) and creative industry (RM0.4bn). 
  • The other sectors that supported the growth of the region included property development, in which the residential, retail and industrial segments collectively contributed cumulative investments of RM45bn as at 30 Jun 2013. 
  • This was followed by utilities (RM9.5bn), government investment mainly in infrastructure and public works (RM8.3bn) and emerging technologies (RM1.03bn). (Bernama)

PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday fulfilled his promise to help some 1,000 recipients of individual taxi permits by granting them RM5,000 each to buy the Proton Exora. He said the aid would be channeled through Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia soon. The grant will include the price of the car, which excludes Customs duties and sales tax. A down payment is also not required of the taxi drivers. "We will also provide comprehensive vehicle insurance and a personal coverage for one year," he said. (NST)

The ceiling price for chicken in conjunction with the Hari Raya celebration will be announced today. Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said this in the house yesterday. (NST)

The global sukuk market remains buoyant with a total worth US$26.6bn (RM85bn) issued in 2Q13, despite volatility in the global bond markets. This helped swell the sukuk market to a whopping US$61.2bn in total issuances in 6M13, Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) said.

  • In its latest Global Sukuk Report, MIFC said Malaysia once again dominated the sukuk issuance destination with a total of US$18.4bn sukuk issued in 2Q13. This equalled to almost 70% of the overall issuance. 
  • Notably, global sukuk yields have increased sharply in 2Q13 by 43% to the highest level in over 25 months. 
  • Malaysia remained the largest secondary sukuk market, with US$148.2bn or 60.4% of outstanding debt. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 19 July 2013

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