Summary of business news May 17 to 23

Staff of SS2 Nasi Kayu Kandar putting up the notice of Operating hour from 8am - 8pm start from 25 May 2021. Due to New SOP of the standard operating procedure for MCO 3.0 ( MAY 23, 2021 ). - ART CHEN/The Star


A tough call
  • MIDF Research economist Mazlina Abdul Rahman said the projected daily output loss to Malaysia's economy due to a full-scale MCO would be around RM500mil to RM600mil.
  • This estimate was based on the assumption the full-scale MCO in Selangor will be as strict as the first MCO in March last year where more than 50% of the economic sector was shut down and only selected essential economic sectors were allowed to operate.
  • Even if Selangor were to go into a full-scale lockdown, Mazlina said they believe the impact could be somehow lesser due to wider classification of essential sectors compared to the previous MCO and also the presence of stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) now where businesses and consumers should have better clarity.
MEF: Stricter MCO in Selangor crucial but don’t impose full lockdown
  • The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) supports a stricter Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb new Covid-19 infections especially in Selangor but cautions against a full lockdown.
  • MEF President Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said on Tuesday the MEF was very concerned about the rising date of daily infections and the crucial need to flatten the curve.
  • However, he urged the authorities not to implement full lock down of the economy as such intervention would further stifle economic recovery.

Bitcoin’s obstacles mount amid China warning
  • The largest token fell as much as 2.3% to $42,309 in early Asian trading Wednesday, continuing a weeklong slide sparked by Elon Musk's back-and-forth comments on Tesla Inc.'s holdings of the coin.
  • Ether, Dogecoin and last week's sensation, Internet Computer, also retreated.
  • Virtual currencies should not and cannot be used in the market because they're not real currencies, according to a notice posted on the PBOC's official WeChat account.
Bitcoin ends day on the ropes after China clamps down on mining, trading
  • Bitcoin extended losses on Friday afternoon, falling more than 11% after China doubled down on efforts to prevent speculative and financial risks by cracking down on mining and trading of the largest cryptocurrency.
  • China's Financial Stability and Development Committee, chaired by Vice Premier Liu He, singled out bitcoin as the asset it needs to regulate more.
  • The world's largest and most popular cryptocurrency recently traded down 11.59% at $35,928 after holding the $40,000 level for most of the Asian and London sessions.

Surge in oil prices fuel April inflation to highest since 2018
  • Malaysia's inflation rate surged to 4.7% in April from a year ago, the highest since 2018, due to the spike in crude oil prices which fuelled the increase in petrol and diesel prices.
  • Chief Statistician Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said on Friday the April CPI was the highest inflation since 2018.
  • He said housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels rose by 3.1% as compared to the same month of the preceding year.
Virus missteps could turn Philippines into Asia’s laggard
  • Even by 2025, output will remain 11.5% below what it would have been if pre-pandemic trends had continued, according to
  • Without uniform guidance, village-level health teams often follow rules set by mayors or chieftains, resulting in a fragmented response to the Covid.
  • When Jaypee Sanchez, 33, caught the virus in March, his district's contact tracer told Sanchez's close associates that he had tested positive - and asked them to call others they had interacted with.
Corporate news

Genting to be boosted by Resorts World Las Vegas
  • Genting Bhd is on track to establish itself as a global leader in the gaming and leisure industry, with the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV) (pic) in the United States next month.
  • RWLV could offer attractive long-term growth prospects for Genting. However, recouping its investments in RWLV will likely be slow because of Las Vegas’ intensely competitive landscape and the lingering effects of Covid-19.
  • According to UOB Kay Hian Research, RWLV would incur losses in its first two years of operations before turning modestly profitable in its third year.
  • It noted that Las Vegas' visitor volume in the first quarter of 2021 was only at five million, down 51% from the pre-pandemic level in 2019.
Maybank reaffirms continuing repayment assistance
  • Malayan Banking Bhd has reaffirmed it will continue to provide repayment assistance to support its individual and small and medium enterprise (SME) customers whose livelihoods have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Customers who need financial help can still contact the bank to discuss and work out the most suitable repayment assistance package to address their financial difficulties.
  • Maybank said applications can be submitted through various channels including online for enhanced convenience.
Grab Malaysia introduces programme to assist small food businesses
  • Grab Malaysia is introducing a programme to help small food businesses adapt to the growing demand for delivery services.
  • The GrabFood Small Business Programme would comprise of three key areas -- an online solution, a marketing campaign to drive demand and visibility on GrabFood, and learning and development opportunities for small businesses.
  • Small GrabFood businesses could have their own branded website with a unique URL as an additional sales channel via the Grab Online Shop, scheduled for launch in June.
AirAsia X posts record quarterly loss, eighth in a row
  • Long-haul budget airline AirAsia X Bhd reported a record loss for the first three months of the year and its eighth quarterly loss in a row as the coronavirus pandemic devastated demand for air travel.
  • The airline, an affiliate of AirAsia Group Bhd reported a net loss of RM5.67bil in January-March, more than 10 times the loss of RM549.7mil seen in the same period last year.
  • The loss was mainly due to the impairment of assets, it said in a statement.
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MCO 3.0 , cryptocurrencies , AirAsia X , Genting , Maybank


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