Summary of business news May 3 to 9


Malaysia Airlines is offering training opportunity in the aviation industry, especially SPM leavers to pursue a career in the aviation industry.

Economy

All eyes on interest rates

  • Economists said it is still premature to cut interest rates at this juncture as the current OPR of 1.75%, which is already at a record low, is adequate to support the ongoing economic recovery.
  • Also due to the return of inflation as seen in February and March this year, a reduction in OPR may not be favourable in dealing with price pressures in the coming months.
  • According to a Bloomberg survey among economists, the median forecast for the OPR is expected at 1.75%.

BSN to implement BPR 2021 Phase 2 payments

  • Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) will implement the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) 2021 phase 2 payments in stages starting May 7 until May 12 for account crediting and May 17 for cash payment at BSN branches.
  • For cash payment, the recipient must bring along his or her identity card when visiting any BSN branch.
  • Only registered representatives are allowed to represent the recipients for BPR 2021.

Federal Govt implements four enhancements to grants, support for states

  • The federal government has agreed to implement four enhancements to allocations channelled in various forms of grants and support to the state governments for 2021, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said.
  • Tthe MoF said these included increasing the allocation of RM50 million to RM400 million under the Grant Based on Level of Economic Development, Infrastructure and Welfare (TAHAP) to all state governments.
  • Besides, the federal government also agreed to approve a contribution amounting to RM440 million to the State Reserve Fund to assist the state governments, which are experiencing a deficit, to manage their financial affairs and implement respective development projects.

Malaysians receive RM4.7bil direct cash from govt

  • Nearly RM4.7bil in direct cash transfers would have been paid to 8.4 million Malaysians by the time the second phase of Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) is completed.
  • The second phase payment, which began on Friday, would involve an allocation of RM2.75bil, the Finance Ministry said in the 52nd Laksana report.
  • Earlier, between Feb 24 and April 1, a total of RM1.93bil had been disbursed to the recipients under the first phase of BPR.
  • Aside from the cash transfers, the BPR recipients will also enjoy benefits related to internet access or mobile gadgets worth RM3.5bil under the Jaringan Prihatin programme.

Corporate News

Walt Disney picks Astro for Disney+ Hotstar streaming service

  • The Walt Disney Company has appointed Astro as an official distributor of the Disney+ Hotstar streaming service in Malaysia which will be launched on June 1.
  • Astro group CEO Henry Tan said the company was delighted to be an official distributor of Disney+ Hotstar in Malaysia and to aggregate more world class content on its platform.
  • Astro's Movies Pack customers will soon be able to stream world-class entertainment on Disney+ Hotstar for an additional RM5 per month while non-Movies Pack customers can also enjoy Disney+

Rizal Rickman succeeds Zeti as Sime Darby Property chairman

  • Rizal Rickman Ramli has been appointed as chairman of Sime Darby Property Bhd with effect from Friday, succeeding Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz who has retired after assuming the position in July 2018.
  • Sime Darby Property also said Zeti, who was the group's first woman chairman of the board, had expressed her intention not to seek re-election.
  • Group managing director Datuk Azmir Merican said throughout her time as its chairman, Zeti institutionalised a clear vision which paved the way for the group to broaden its income and business portfolio beyond the conventional and into new areas that will make the company more resilient.

Mitsui weighs buyout of US$11bil IHH Healthcare

  • Mitsui & Co. is exploring a deal to take Malaysian hospital group IHH Healthcare Bhd. private, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
  • Some private equity firms have approached the Japanese trading house to team up on the potential transaction to buy out IHH’s other shareholders, said one of the people, who asked not to be named as the information is private.
  • IHH, which is listed on the stock exchanges of Malaysia and Singapore, has a market value of RM49bil (US$12 billion). Shares in Kuala Lumpur closed up 7.7% following the Bloomberg News report, their biggest intraday move since March 2020.

Aviation

Malaysia Airlines offers training opportunity in aviation industry

  • Malaysia Airlines is offering training opportunity in the aviation industry, especially SPM leavers to pursue a career in the aviation industry.
  • The national carrier said the candidates could enroll in various technical aircraft engineering courses.
  • Malaysia Airlines said the training is managed by its engineering training department and complies with the Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM) and Aviation Authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Forex

Bank Negara's OPR decision lifts ringgit at opening

  • The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar on Friday after Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) maintained interest rate at 1.75%, signalling Malaysia's economic recovery is on track, dealers said.
  • ActiveTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the central bank's decision to leave the interest rate unchanged will help the economy to grow again.
  • However, he said the downside risk for keeping the interest rate unchanged might see the ringgit likely to continue to devalue against its counterparties over the next few days.

Ringgit up vs greenback on higher crude oil despite MCO 3.0 concerns

  • The ringgit has opened stronger against the US dollar today, thanks to the rise in Brent crude oil price, dealers said.
  • At 9 am, the local currency rose to 4.1000/1050 against the greenback from Monday's close of 4.1030/1055.

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