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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Asean Development Gaps Should Be Critically Addressed

16 Zulhijjah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, October 30, 2012- The Initiative for Asean Integration Development Cooperation Forum (IDCF), held yesterday in Jakarta, discussed initiatives for Asean integration and ways to address development gaps or disparities among Asean members nations.

As outlined in its 2009-2015 work plan, the Initiative for Asean Integration (IAI) is a tool to help narrow the development gaps in Asean by helping newer member states implement their commitments to building the Asean Community and ensuring that benefits of Asean integration are equitably shared, a statement said.

More information: BERNAMA

Sunday, October 28, 2012

iPhone 5 Expected To Be Launched In China This December

13 Zulhijjah 1433

BEIJING, Oct 27, 2012- Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to be launched in China this December, its Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook revealed in the company's quarterly financial report.

China has been one of the significant markets for Apple to tap into, as its revenue from July to September grew 26 per cent year-on-year, with sales hitting US$5.7 billion, the China Daily here reported.

More information: BERNAMA

Encouraging Response For MAS Promotions

13 Zulhijjah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, October 28, 2012-Malaysia Airlines' promotions under the banner of '40 Years of Amazing Journeys Together', which began on Oct 22, has received encouraging response with the Peninsular Malaysia-East Malaysia routes the most sought after for domestic travel.

In a statement, the airline said that around 72 per cent of domestic travel bookings snapped up by customers were for travel between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Sandakan, Tawau, Bintulu and Sibu.

It said that 27 per cent of international tickets purchased were for return travel to Beijing and Shanghai (starting at RM1,279 for economy class) as well as Hong Kong and Taipei at starting fares of RM879 and RM1,159 respectively.

More information: BERNAMA

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Malaysia Islamic Banks Ripe for Consolidation

3 Zulhijjah 1433

Malaysia’s Islamic banks are ready for consolidation as they seek ways to cope with rising operational costs, a top official with Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd (BMMB) said, signalling a greater acceptance in US$143.64 billion sector for M&As.

Islamic banks in the past have often been reluctant to merge, in part due to resistance from powerful shareholders who fear a loss of control while strains in global financial markets discourage risk-taking.

Islamic finance has grown in leaps and bounds to account for 23.7 percent of Malaysia’s total banking assets although a major aspect is missing — the development of megabanks that can issue ground-breaking products in the same way as conventional banks.

More information : Business Times Malaysia

Reports Speculative in Nature:Green Packet

2 Zulhijjah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR: Green Packet Bhd, whose share price had risen in very active trade over the speculation on the sale of its broadband business, declined to comment yesterday.

It had earlier in the day, through a public relations company, sent an email advisory to the press to expect an announcement later in the day.

Describing the articles as "speculative in nature", it said the company's public communication policy is not to comment on press articles which are speculative in nature.

"The company holds itself to the highest standards of corporate governance and will ensure that all announceable agreements or transactions will be disclosed to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd and the investors accordingly," the company said in its filing to Bursa Malaysia.

More information :Business Times Malaysia

Monday, October 15, 2012

Maybank Looking To Expand In China Through Organic Growth

30 Zulkaedah 1433

BEIJING, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) plans to become a leading "cross-border" solutions bank in the context of Asean-China by 2015, said its President and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.

"Maybank was looking to expand to other big cities in China in an organic manner without involving any merger and acquisition," he said at a press conference in conjunction with the opening of its Beijing branch, the third branch after Shanghai and Hong Kong, here today.

He said in the first half of 2012, Maybank has recorded a total profit after tax of US$37 million for its Greater China operations, which include its branches in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

More information :BERNAMA

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Call for more time to 'tweak' Basel III

29 Zulkaedah 1433

Malaysia's top two banks, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, say the Basel III package of measures to strengthen the global financial system needs more scrutiny and are calling for more time to "tweak" the new regulations.

Picture by Business Times Malaysia
One of the deepest concerns is that the banking sector could lose investor appeal, Maybank said at the Institute of International Finance annual meeting here.

The Basel III package of measures will see a gradual phase-in of the standards from next year until 2019.

"The consultative papers have been placed with the central banks," said Maybank president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.

Picture by Business Times Malaysia
Overall, while there are some elements like trade finance and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that can be tweaked, the banking sector must be prepared for Basel III.

"We saw it as an eventuality and that was why we raised US$1.2 billion (RM3.66 billion) blanket capital to make sure we are prepared," he said in reference to last week's successful completion of a bookbuilding exercise in relation to its private placement.

He called for a level playing field, arguing that the risk weighted assets of European banks are between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, one third that of Asian banks, which measure at between 50 per cent and 60 per cent.

CIMB Group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said there are details that need to be looked into as well as Basel III's implications on the banking landscape.

Basel III, he said, is crafted in the context of problems in the West, which is heavily reliant on a global ratings framework that is biased against developing countries.

Nazir said further scrutiny shows that the new regulations will be disadvantageous to Asian banks.

"It places excessive liquidity requirements on Asian banks when there is so much of liquidity in the region and likewise, there is too much emphasis on government bonds when there is enough in Asia."

Smaller banks also stand to suffer as Basel III means heavy compliance costs.

More information: BT

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Malaysia To Bank On Islamic Finance To Boost Financial Integration

18 Zulkaedah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3, 2012- Malaysia will be consolidating and capitalising on its comparative edge in Islamic finance to intensify financial integration and connectivity with international economies, mainly to support expansion of trade and investment activities.

Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, said Islamic finance has proven to be a potent tool for the nation to achieve more inclusive, well-rounded and sustainable economic development.

He said Islamic finance started as a strategy for greater financial inclusion in reaching out to the underserved segment of the Muslims and has progressed into a competitive form of financial intermediation for retail customers, businesses and the government.

More information: BERNAMA

2013 Budget: Middle-income Group Not Sidelined

18 Zulkaedah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3, 2012- The government would not sideline the middle-income group in the 2013 Budget, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said various incentives were given out to assist this group, including one percentage point income tax reduction for those in the RM2,500-RM50,000 income bracket.

"We also provide housing programmes for the middle-income group. We give them other facilities too that benefit them like the My First Home scheme.

More information: BERNAMA