Summary of business news from Aug 30 to Sept 4


Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said “We are at a tipping point and there’s a lot of suffering. These are not normal times as we need extraordinary policies that we can put out to the people, especially those with businesses."

Cheah: We are at a tipping point

· The Sunway Group is urging the government to come up with strategic initiatives in Budget 2022 that can aid ailing businesses that have been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

· Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said the coronavirus crisis had resulted in the closure of numerous businesses that had cost the jobs of millions of people.

· “We are at a tipping point and there’s a lot of suffering. These are not normal times as we need extraordinary policies that we can put out to the people, especially those with businesses.

Budget 2022: Govt to increase tax revenue, address leakage

  • The government is considering measures to increase tax revenue through increased tax compliance as well as address the issue of revenue leakages, especially involving the smuggling of high-duty goods estimated at RM5 billion per annum.
  • In a Pre-Budget Statement, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said that among the recommendations in the study is the implementation of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) for indirect taxes administered by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
  • Through this programme, taxpayers are encouraged to voluntarily come forward to declare any tax that either has not been paid, underestimated or erroneously reported to Customs.

12MP to be tabled in Parliament on Sept 27

  • Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be tabling the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) in Parliament on Sept 27.
  • Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the 12MP is almost completed, adding that the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) will brief the Prime Minister accordingly.
  • Mustapa said the tabling of the 12MP and the 2022 Development Budget would be the EPU’s main focus for the next 100 days.

MM2H changes must be gradual

  • Any changes to the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme must be gradual to avoid causing a shock among potential applicants and existing participants.
  • Following a flurry of criticism, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin told StarBiz that the government is prepared to re-examine the new criteria imposed on the MM2H
  • Zerin Properties Sdn Bhd group chief executive officer Previndran Singhe (pic below) cautioned that 60% to 70% of the MM2H permit holders may leave Malaysia for other regional countries, under the revised MM2H conditions.
Corporate news

Pos Malaysia accepts walk-ins for road tax renewal, driving licences

· Pos Malaysia is accepting "walk-ins" for renewal of road tax and driving licences at any our post offices nationwide, effective on Monday.

· In a statement on Saturday, it said the "walk-ins" following the announcement by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong at a press conference held on Friday.

· "Customers with pre-booked JPJ renewal service appointments have a choice to continue with their appointments at their preferred date, time and location or just walk-in to any one of its post offices to carry out the renewal of their driving licence or road tax.

Porsche to partner Sime Darby for first assembly plant outside Europe

  • Sime Darby Bhd will partner Porsche AG to assemble sports cars for the Malaysian market only and production is scheduled to start in 2022.
  • According to a joint statement on Monday, Sime Darby's motor vehicle production and assembly facility will be the first assembly plant of the German sports car manufacturer outside of Europe,.
  • Sime Darby Motors has been a partner of choice for Porsche in Malaysia for the last 11 years, representing Porsche as its exclusive distributor and retailer for the sports car brand.

ASNB test investor appetite with first global equity fund

  • Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) had on Monday launched the ASN Equity Global, the first ASNB fund to focus entirely on global equities.
  • Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) said ASNB, its wholly-owned unit trust management company, is offering the fund for subscription from Sept 1 onwards.
  • ASN Equity Global primarily caters to investors with a high-risk tolerance as the fund employs a capital growth investment strategy that involves a high degree of exposure in the international markets.

Banking

Bank Negara joins digital currency initiative

  • Bank Negara will be testing the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for international settlements under a multi-national initiative codenamed Project Dunbar.
  • Project Dunbar, led by BIS Innovation Hub’s Singapore Centre, aims to develop prototype shared platforms for cross-border transactions using multiple CBDCs.
  • These multi-CBDC platforms will allow financial institutions to transact directly with each other in the digital currencies issued by participating central banks, eliminating the need for intermediaries and cutting the time and cost of transactions.
  • Innovation Hub, the Reserve Bank of Australia, Monetary Authority of Singapore and South African Reserve Bank for the initiative.
Commodities

Aluminium prices lifted to 10-year high by China concerns

  • Aluminium prices hit their highest in more than 10 years on Tuesday as smelters in top producer China faced tougher power controls, stoking supply worries for the energy-intensive metal.
  • The government in China's Guangxi region, an aluminium and alumina production hub, on Monday called for tougher controls on energy consumption in a statement issued after a teleconference.
  • The region is China's third-biggest producer of alumina, a primary product of aluminium, with output of 925,500 tonnes in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Aviation

Travel industry facing airline-hiring troubles

  • US carriers hoping to build out flight schedules face headwinds from unfilled jobs and, in the case of Southwest Airlines Co, a surprising spike in staffing no-shows.
  • But the need - and the challenge - is greatest for entry-level jobs like baggage handlers, ticket counter and gate agents, cabin cleaners, aircraft fuellers and folks who restock galleys.
  • Some candidates are deterred by the weeks-long wait to be vetted for airport access badges before they can begin a job, and by the year-round outdoor work required for some positions, said Andy Decker, CEO of I. K. Hofmann USA, a staffing and recruiting company that works with airlines and contractors.
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