Dott. Giulio Perrotta
Dott. Giulio Perrotta

    Dal  2 Maggio 2012 ...

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LA "RASSEGNA STAMPA QUOTIDIANA INTERNAZIONALE" (II PARTE)

Tutte le notizie dal "The Sun Daily" (Regno Unito)

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Business

Hartalega posts record RM2.26 billion net profit for first quarter (Tue, 03 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Hartalega Holdings Bhd kicked off its financial year on a strong note, delivering a record net profit of RM2.26 billion for its first quarter ended June 30, 2021, a tenfold jump from RM219.71 million a year ago, mainly due to higher sales revenue and lower utility expenses. Its revenue grew four times to RM3.90 billion compared with RM920.09 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter mainly due to the increase in average selling prices as well as higher sales volume. Earnings per share for the first quarter grew to 66.08 sen while net assets per share stood at RM1.91 as at June 30, 2021. CEO Kuan Mun Leong said moving forward, while average selling prices for nitrile gloves have been declining from their peak, global demand is expected to remain heightened, particularly due to fresh waves of Covid-19 cases with new variants affecting countries worldwide. In the longer term, the structural step-up in demand in the glove sector will spur further growth, driven by increased glove usage from emerging markets with low glove consumption per capita and increased hygiene awareness. “To cater to this demand growth, the group will continue to progress with our expansion plans via our Next Generation Integrated Glove Manufacturing Complex (NGC) and NGC 1.5. To date, eight out of 10 lines of Plant 7 of the NGC have been commissioned. Once completed, Plant 7 will have an annual installed capacity of 2.7 billion pieces. “In addition, construction for our upcoming expansion, NGC 1.5, is under way, with the first production line targeted to be commissioned by December 2021. Once NGC 1.5 is completed, it will comprise four manufacturing facilities contributing 19 billion pieces of gloves to our annual installed capacity. With these expansion plans in place, the group’s annual installed capacity is expected to increase to 63 billion pieces over the next two to three years,” said Kuan. Hartalega has commenced an immunisation programme for its employees who have not yet received vaccination appointments, to be inoculated through the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme. To date, over 90% of its staff, including migrant workers, have completed the first dose of vaccination, with the second dose of vaccination for Hartanians targeted to be completed by the end of next month. “Building on our strong foundation and progressing in our strategic plans, the group is well positioned to continue delivering high-quality nitrile gloves to protect frontliners across the world, and cater for future demand in the years ahead,” said Kuan.
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Lam Research launches Penang manufacturing facility with RM1 billion investment (Wed, 04 Aug 2021)
GEORGE TOWN: Lam Research Corporation (pix), a global supplier of innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, today officially launched its facility in Batu Kawan, Penang, with an investment of RM1 billion. The Fremont, California-based company’s president and chief executive officer, Tim Archer, said the manufacturing plant at the Batu Kawan Industrial Park has a floor space of 800,000 sq ft, 100,000 sq ft more than planned earlier. He said the manufacturing facility will serve as the hub for Lam Manufacturing’s operations in Asia and is expected to ramp up production to become the highest volume manufacturing facility among the group’s global sites. “Moving forward, our plans are to continuously hire and build strong partnerships with local supply chains so that we can increase our output over the next six to 12 months, and meet the very strong global demand for semiconductors,” he said in a press conference after the virtual launching ceremony. Also present at the ceremony were Malaysian Investment Development Authority deputy chief executive officer Ahmad Khairuddin Abdul Rahim, US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters, and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow. Chow expressed encouragement that more global semiconductor companies are expanding their operations to Penang, proving the state government’s efforts in creating a sustainable environment, vigorous industrial ecosystem, and supportive infrastructure appeal to major investors. “Penang will be able to move up the global semiconductor value chain by unlocking new opportunities in front-end semiconductor manufacturing, which creates prospects for more high-value job opportunities for the local workforce,” he said. Meanwhile, Lam Manufacturing Malaysia general manager Soon K Kuek said that in line with the expansion of the new facility, the company has also hired more local talent. She said, earlier this year, Lam Research had committed to hiring 350 local employees to fit into the high-value jobs, such as production technicians, assemblers and operation-centric professionals. “We have already exceeded this number now and by the end of this year, we are looking to hire more than 600 local workers,” she added. – Bernama
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MSPO certification at final stage of revision, ready for rollout soon (Tue, 03 Aug 2021)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification is currently at the final stage of revision and is expected to be ready by the end of 2021 or early 2022. The revised version will see new standards that include the latest sustainability requirements and practices. The certification scheme is the national scheme for oil palm plantations, independent and organised smallholdings, and palm-oil processing facilities. There are three separate standards under the MSPO scheme, which are the MSPO 2530-2 requirements for independent smallholders; MSPO 2530-3 requirements for oil palm plantations and organised smallholders; and MSPO 2530-4 requirements for palm oil mills. According to data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) as of July 29, 5.279 million ha of oil palm-planted areas out of a total 5.865 million ha (90%) have been certified with MSPO including the independent smallholders, organised smallholders, and estates category. “As palm oil is used widely in the form of cooking oil, processed food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, the need for this golden crop has never been higher and is projected to increase, so does the demand for it to be sustainably produced,” MPOB director-general Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir told Bernama. Despite its huge advantage and usage almost everywhere, be it in food, soaps, or lipsticks, palm oil has been perceived negatively by Western countries, which associate it with deforestation in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, the world uses more palm oil than any other vegetable oil (about 73 million tonnes in 2020). “Palm oil will continue to be the powerhouse of the oils and fats market despite the conservation narratives focused on specific themes such as tropical deforestation and misleading anti-palm oil campaigns,” Ahmad Parveez stressed. He said Malaysia is planning to get MSPO recognition from the Beijing Organising Committee on Olympic Winter Games 2022 (BOCOG), the same recognition that Malaysia got from the Tokyo Organising Committee on Olympic Games 2020. An earlier discussion on this had been initiated by MPOB with BOCOG. The MSPO has been made mandatory since Jan 1, 2020 and its status is at par with the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil certification. “Perhaps it is more premium as it complies with all the relevant national and international laws with regard to sustainability,” Ahmad Parveez said.
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Timber sector suffers RM60m loss a day due to shutdown (Tue, 03 Aug 2021)
BANTING: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) estimates that the timber sector has suffered a loss of RM60 million a day as it was not able to operate for two months following the implementation of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the loss was only a rough estimate which did not include contracts lost due to the inability to supply the commodity to customers. “All this is disrupted due to the (NRP) plan we have now and we have to persevere to ensure the people do not face a worse Covid-19 outbreak,“ he told reporters after visiting the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) Industrial Vaccination Centre (PPVIN) in Olak Lempit under the Vaccination Programme for the Agri-Commodity Sector (Vacoms). On Vacoms, he said a total of 10,000 workers in the timber and furniture sector in Selangor would be vaccinated at the PPVIN, most of whom were foreigners. “Demand is very high because at the initial stage we expected only 8,000 but demand reached 10,000 requests and this programme, we will continue until September – for first dose until mid-August – and the second dose will end on Sept 18. “We hope with the success of the two-dose vaccination for the timber sector, the sector can quickly operate to ensure the country’s revenue continues,“ he said, adding that the plantation sector has about 80,000 foreign workers. Mohd Khairuddin said for firms under the agri-commodity sector, applications to participate in Vacoms can be made through MPIC if the company has at least 1,000 employees or merges with other companies to cover the number. For the programme, he said MTC had provided a subsidy of RM30 for each worker and industry staff involved. “We are giving Sinovac free from the government, only the company has to pay the management cost which is around RM70. We hope this programme will be followed in other timber-based places such as in Muar, Johor and this is our start towards successful vaccination programmes together with industry people,“ he said. – Bernama
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‘Malaysia must modernise its ICT infrastructure’ (Tue, 03 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: For Malaysia to achieve its digital economy aspirations laid out in the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, it needs to modernise the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure as well as developing qualified talent for the sector, according to Huawei Technologies Malaysia. Its CEO Michael Yuan elaborated that the talent needed is not limited to engineers but also research & development, among others. “The third component is a healthy ecosystem, as the digital economy is made up of infrastructure, platforms, self services and digital transformation that would change a lot of industry hence the need for a transparent and attractive ecosystem,” he said at the Huawei-KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific’s Digital Leadership Webinar today. These three are the important pillars for a digital economy. In regard to talent development, Yuan pointed out that the Chinese tech giant has collaborated with 30 universities to set up an ICT academy to provide training in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and big data for tertiary students and professional engineers. With talent development, he believes Malaysia is on the right path. For infrastructure, it has collaborated with Telekom Malaysia to develop a data centre in Malaysia. With such first-hand experience, he noticed that data centres in the country have strong amenities and a good platform, inviting professionals to lend their insight on big data especially in the tier 4 data centres or national data centres. In this segment, Yuan is confident that Malaysia has the potential to compete with Singapore to house data centre hubs of international companies in the region. “The country is suitable for housing such facilities as it consumes huge amounts of water and electricity. There is also sufficient talent.” In terms of cost, he stated that it is much lower than the island republic. However, some of the policies are not attractive and there is also a lack of transparency that needs to be addressed to attract such opportunities. As for ICT connectivity, he believes the local telcos are professional and more than competent. “To make this industry prosperous, there is a need to open up the system to competition instead of allowing a monopoly, in terms of infrastructure and centralisation, among others.” Overall, Yuan stressed the importance of the entire ecosystem, both upstream and downstream. “From where I come from as an ICT infrastructure solution provider, without SMEs and the innovative solutions from the downstream sector, the infrastructure is nothing.” On competing with Singapore in the segment, KSI senior executive director Datuk Wei Chuan Beng pointed out that submarine fiber optic cables from around the world are terminated and connected there, providing it with an advantage in housing such facilities. “Should Malaysia open up the landing station to allow these submarine cables, it should have a greater advantage given ample spaces and the low-cost green power.”
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Kanger confident of returning to the black in FY22 (Tue, 03 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Kanger International Bhd is confident of returning to the black in the financial year ending March 31, 2022 (FY22), driven by the group’s new construction division. Over the past one year, Kanger has embarked on several exercises to build a resilient business that focuses on growth and sustainability. The group expanded its sources of earnings from the manufacturing of bamboo flooring materials to the construction segment. The group has secured construction projects which give a total order book of RM1 billion. Kanger executive director Steven Kuah Choon Ching (pix) said the group will expand its construction business by undertaking building construction, civil engineering, and project management contracts as a main contractor or subcontractor. “We also aim to secure the Grade 7 contractor licence from the Construction Industry Development Board which will enable us to undertake construction projects of any value,” he in a statement today. The group’s acquisition of a 51% stake in building materials supplier Sung Master Holdings Sdn Bhd will be completed within the next month and will contribute positively to its financial performance and operational synergies by leveraging on Sung Master’s existing suppliers. It allows Kanger to source for building materials at relatively competitive prices to improve cost efficiencies when tendering for new construction contracts. Kuah said the acquisition of Sung Master has been earnings-accretive and will bring an immediate positive impact to the group’s financial performance. “Sung Master has consistently delivered a profitable performance over the past three financial years from financial year ended Jan 31, 2018 up to the audited 17-month financial period ended (FPE) June 30, 2020 and latest unaudited 10-month FPE April 30. Moreover, Sung Master even paid out dividends totalling RM25 million during this period. “For the latest 10-month FPE April 30, Sung Master reported an unaudited profit after tax of RM11.8 million against revenue of RM76 million. For the FYE June 30, Sung Master is estimated to deliver a strong profit after tax and revenue of RM20 million and RM115 million respectively,” he said. Kanger has proposed a renounceable rights issue with warrants on the basis of one rights share for every existing share, together with one free detachable warrant for every one rights share subscribed. At an issue price of 6 sen per rights share, the exercise could raise gross proceeds of up to RM20 million under the minimum case scenario and RM171.7 million under the maximum case scenario. “The rights issue will enable shareholders to increase participation in the future direction of the group as we embark on investments and acquisitions that will propel the group to greater heights.”
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Flexible work arrangements improve employees’ productivity, quality of life: TalentCorp/UNDP report (Tue, 03 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Employers who embrace flexible work arrangements (FWAs) see improvements in productivity and quality of life of their employees, according to a joint assessment by Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia. The TalentCorp-UNDP report, “Making Flexible Work, Work: Towards Better and More Inclusive Work-Life Practices”, launched today, is a timely assessment of FWAs that result in a healthy and engaged workforce, despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The report compiles critical findings and highlights key lessons derived from the Life at Work and Work from Home (WFH) surveys by both organisations to support the successful implementation of Work-Life Practices and FWAs in Malaysia. It noted that many employers and employees have adopted a WFH hybrid model where employees work from home on a rotational basis. Successful adoptees have implemented eight key lessons on FWAs/WFH arrangements, including: For employers: 1. Shift to trust-based working time or results-oriented arrangement. 2. Ensure top-down buy-in and support for FWAs at all levels; management to adopt mindset that values flexibility, and clearly articulate FWAs values to employees. 3. Ensure inclusivity in FWAs design and implementation; prioritise employees with clear needs for FWAs (for example, working mothers), and make FWAs available to all employees. 4. Most importantly, employers need to ensure clear and well-thought-out policies that includes providing technical support, material support, clear guidelines and expectations. For employees: 5. Take initiative to reciprocate FWAs with fair share of ownership; demonstrate commitment and productivity. 6. Have accountability – focus on outputs and outcomes, and manage their work time and priorities. 7. Ensure constant communication and constructive dialogue with supervisors and co-workers to find workable solutions. Employees with children at home need to apply ground rules to reduce distractions. 8. The report also emphasises the need for employees to be familiar with employer policies on FWAs. They need to ensure accountability, but also set limits that help maintain boundaries between work and non-work spheres. Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the publication serves as a roadmap for Malaysian employers on ways to take the lead in preparing their workforce for the future of work. TalentCorp group CEO Thomas Mathew said the organisation continues to amplify its collaborations with the public and private sectors to support the government in uplifting the well-being of Malaysians via Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam resident representative Niloy Banerjee said the Covid-19 pandemic had swung the spotlight onto some fundamental issues about remote working, flexible working arrangements, office configurations, and cost calculations associated with workspace infrastructure. “A virus that nearly brought all work to a grinding halt, has also offered up that moment in time to reflect and effect a step-change in the evolution of working arrangements. We welcome this important conversation. And this is our initial contribution to that relevant and timely conversation that the Malaysian government, the private sector, and the wider rakyat are undertaking,” he said.
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Malaysian manufacturers unfazed by headwinds, optimistic on outlook (Mon, 02 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Optimism prevails over severely curtailed operating conditions driven by a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases for Malaysian manufacturers, as the IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) inched up to 40.1 in July from 39.9 registered in previous month. For July, manufacturers saw production levels and new orders moderate, as the former fell at the greatest extent since April 2020. On a positive note, employment levels have stabilised, ending a streak of three consecutive reductions as manufacturers adopted a rosier outlook for the year ahead underpinned by hopes that restrictions would lift as the current Covid wave recedes, boosting domestic and external demand. The survey found both output and new orders signalled further marked reductions in July, with the rate of decrease for output quickened from June to reach the fastest since the first wave of the pandemic in April 2020. Companies reported that renewed pandemic restrictions dampened demand and client confidence in both domestic and international markets. That said, IHS Markit pointed out that the reduction in new export sales was considerably softer than aggregate new orders, as some firms commented on pockets of demand improving in Europe and the US in particular. It noted that a brighter picture came from the job market as Malaysian goods producers signalled a stabilisation of employment in July, ending a three-month period of job shedding. As preparation for orders in the future reportedly required additional capacity, though some businesses commented on difficulty in hiring workers from abroad. However, input costs rose for the 14th consecutive month, reflecting higher prices for a range of raw materials and higher freight costs. The overall rate of inflation was steep overall and the quickest since May. Manufacturers sought to partially pass these higher costs to clients in the form of higher output charges, although the rate of inflation was the softest reported for five months. Similarly, shortages of materials, as well as delays in receiving shipments caused average supplier lead times to lengthen to the greatest extent since May. At the same time, both purchases and inventory levels fell. Some firms noted that supply delays had hindered restocking efforts and, in some cases, curtailed production. Backlogs of work consequently decreased for the third month running in the latest survey period. Overall, it reported Malaysian manufacturers displayed a renewed sense of optimism regarding the outlook for output in the coming year, despite headwinds from supply shortages amid a renewed surge in infections. The degree of sentiment was modest overall, but marked a welcome improvement from June’s record low, as the panellist attributed the improved outlook to hopes that national and international restrictions would lift and aid a recovery in production and sales. Commenting on the latest survey results, IHS Markit chief business economist Chris Williamson said Malaysia’s manufacturing sector continued to be badly hit by the ongoing pandemic in July, though companies are already planning for better times. “Production fell sharply for a second successive month as the recent rise in infections and containment measures associated with the Delta variant both dampened demand and disrupted supply chains,” he said. Williamson pointed out that domestic demand and export orders fell sharply at the start of the third quarter, while supplier delays continued to develop at one of the fastest rates yet recorded by the survey. “There was better news in terms of the outlook, however, with companies becoming more optimistic after the rise of the Delta variant had pushed confidence in June to its lowest on record. More companies are now seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, and employment consequently stabilised. “There was also better news on prices. Although input cost inflation ticked up slightly, it continued to run well below the steep rates recorded earlier in the year, helping push selling price inflation down to its lowest since February.” he said.
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Petronas welcomes Jadestone Energy as newest upstream investor, operator in Malaysia (Mon, 02 Aug 2021)
KUALA LUMPUR: Jadestone Energy Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore based Jadestone Energy plc, has become the latest upstream investor in Malaysia through its acquisition of SapuraOMV Upstream (PM) Inc (SapuraOMV PM), a subsidiary of Sapura OMV Upstream Sdn Bhd. SapuraOMV PM holds participating interests in producing assets located offshore Peninsular Malaysia, namely the AAKBNLP, PM318, PM323 and PM329 production sharing contracts (PSCs). The company is the operator of PM323 and PM329 PSCs. Jadestone is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange and has operatorship experience in oil and gas fields across the Asia-Pacific region. “We welcome Jadestone’s debut in Malaysia’s upstream sector. This is a testament that the country remains attractive with diverse investment opportunities available to suit different investors’ appetite and capabilities. “Having the right asset placed in the hands of the right player unlocks its full potential, thus maximising returns for both our upstream investors and Petronas as the custodian of hydrocarbon resources in Malaysia,” Petronas senior vice-president of Malaysia petroleum management, Mohamed Firouz Asnan said in a statement. He said the company believed Jadestone’s experience and skills in extending asset life, combined with its focus on enhancing production and cost optimisation, would improve margins while prolonging the economic life of offshore fields, contributing to the overall sustainability of oil and gas production for the country. SapuraOMV and Jadestone had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement on April 30, 2021. The conditions include regulatory approval from Petronas which was granted on July 15, 2021. The acquisition was completed on Aug 1, 2021. In the pursuit of unlocking the full potential of Malaysia’s hydrocarbon resources, Petronas is currently hosting the Malaysia Bid Round 2021 themed “Grow Your Energy Portfolio With Us”. It offers 13 new opportunities in Malaysia’s prolific basins, accompanied by enhanced fiscal and non-fiscal terms in the PSC such as Enhanced Profitability for the shallow water blocks, the Late Life Assets and Small Field Assets. – Bernama
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BNM, Bank Indonesia expand local currency settlement order (Mon, 02 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Bank Indonesia (BI) today announced the expansion of the ringgit-rupiah settlement framework. The framework was first launched on Dec 11, 2017 in accordance with the memorandum of understanding between BNM and BI that was signed on Dec 23, 2016. This expansion, which will be effective from Aug 2, 2021, is part of the continuous effort to facilitate wider use of local currencies for settlement of trade and direct investment between Malaysia and Indonesia. The expanded framework now includes direct investment, income and transfer, in addition to trade as eligible underlying transactions. It also includes expansion of eligible users of the framework such as individuals, and additional foreign exchange policy flexibilities such as more simple documentation requirement to facilitate the operationalisation of the framework. Given the expansion, BNM and BI have also appointed additional qualified commercial banks in both countries to support the operationalisation of the expanded ringgit-rupiah settlement framework. In general, the appointed banks are experienced in facilitating trade and direct investment between the two countries, have a wide customer base and have established strong business relationships with banks in the counterparty country. In Malaysia, the additional appointed banks are HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd and MUFG Bank Malaysia Bhd, while the existing appointed banks are CIMB Bank Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, and RHB Bank Bhd.
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Pecca to acquire 51% stake in Rentas Health, diversifies further into healthcare (Mon, 02 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Pecca Group Bhd has proposed a diversification of its business to include healthcare and intends to acquire a 51% stake in Rentas Health Sdn Bhd for RM100 million. According to the group’s Bursa filing, the acquisition will be satisfied via RM50 million in cash and the issuance of 11.99 million new shares in Pecca at an issue price of RM4.17 per share. The price-to-earnings of the acquisition is 8.53 times based on the profit guarantee and 51% stake to be acquired by Pecca. Pecca, whose shares were halted for trading today, is principally involved in the styling, manufacturing and installation of leather upholstery for seat covers for the automotive and aviation industries. The proposed diversification would allow the group to include healthcare business as part of its core business, which is in line with the group’s objective to seek new business opportunities and additional income source from the healthcare business. The board expects the healthcare business to divert 25% or more of the net assets of Pecca and/or to contribute more than 25% or more of the net profits of the group moving forward. The board proposes to seek the approval of the shareholders at an EGM to be convened for the proposed diversification in conjunction with the proposed acquisition. “There is a profit guarantee of no less than RM23 million on Rentas for financial year ending June 30, 2022 and the proposed acquisition of 51% stake in Rentas will certainly contribute positively to our bottomline,” remarked Pecca group managing director Datuk Teoh Hwa Cheng. Rentas Health is principally involved in the supply of medical equipment. Upon completion of the acquisition, the healthcare business of the Pecca group would include, amongst others, distribution of PPE that include face masks, face shields, and PPE garments; distribution of Covid-19 RT-PCR test kit; provision of medical screening services; and distribution of healthcare related products and services. Currently, Rentas Health is the distributor for two facemask brands – Rentas Health and Callie – as well as an appointed agent for BioSewoom Real-Q 2019-nCoV Detection Kit. Through the exercise, the group will be able to tap into the existing customer base and distribution networks of Rentas Health to attain a wider customer outreach and to achieve business synergy between its existing healthcare business and new Rentas Health’s business.
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Straits Inter Logistics to start ops for STS hub in Labuan (Mon, 02 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Straits Inter Logistics Bhd’s 60% owned indirect subsidiary Victoria STS (Labuan) Sdn Bhd has received an approval from Malaysia’s Marine Department on July 30 to commence operations to develop an integrated offshore Ship-to-Ship (STS) Transhipment Hub. In a statement, Straits said it has mobilised its resources and infrastructure in preparation to commence operation of the STS Transhipment Hub in the coming fourth quarter 2021. “Concurrently, Victoria STS had on July 30 received approval from Malaysia’s Marine Department on the Marine Risk Assessment (MRA) in accordance with the terms of reference of MRA. The assessment was done as part of the requirements to be complied before Jan 8, 2022 to develop an integrated offshore STS Energy Transhipment Hub within the port limits of Victoria Bay,“ it said. Straits expects to commence and complete the development of the STS hub which includes setting up the key facilities and equipment such as tugboats, pneumatic fenders, LNG cryogenic equipment and single point mooring system by the fourth quarter of 2021. It said Malaysia’s Marine Department had on July 12 approved Straits to develop the STS as announced to Bursa Malaysia. Straits Inter Logistics group managing director Datuk Seri Ron Ho Kam Choy said since the company’s announcement on STS Transhipment Hub on July 12, it had been receiving numerous partnership enquiries from notable international and local entities. “They are interested in partnering with us to develop it into Asia’s largest STS Transhipment Hub. We are engaged in discussion with many parties in preparation for this project and Straits is gearing to kickstart this within the next few months. The other entities within the Straits group will stand to benefit from the business spin-offs of this project,“ Ho said. The STS hub will be Straits’ flagship energy project which will be located within the port limits of Victoria Bay deep water area spanning a vast 3,309ha supporting an initial six STS berths with safe water depths of up to 30m. The development will advance the introduction of state-of-the-art multi-functional energy transhipment facilities that will be able to accommodate liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers up to the size of a Q-Max and Very Large Crude Carriers. Victoria Bay is located along international shipping and energy trade routes. Straits plans to develop the STS Hub to be one of the largest offshore LNG and liquefied petroleum gas energy transhipment hubs in Asia. The STS hub is also located within the vicinity of Labuan Liberty Port which is managed and operated by Megah Port Management Sdn Bhd, a 51% owned subsidiary of Straits.
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Foreign net selling on Bursa at RM579.73m last week (Mon, 02 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Foreign investors remained net sellers last week, which saw outflow amounting to RM579.73 million, the sixth consecutive week of net selling by foreign investors. MIDF Research said as the market opened last Monday, foreign investors were net sellers amounting to RM139.06 million. Meanwhile, local institutions bought RM48.18 million net of local equities, with retailers were net buyers to the tune of RM90.88 million. “Foreign investors were net seller every day of the week. Largest foreign outflow was recorded on Friday with the smallest outflow on the same day to the tune of RM325.13 million and RM24.64 million, respectively,” MIDF said in its fund flow report. As for the retailers, they were net buyers every day last week. Largest net buying by the retailers was recorded on Monday at RM90.88 million and smallest net buying was on Thursday to the tune of RM32.69 milion. Cumulatively, for the week, retailers net bought RM258.80 million worth of equities in Bursa. Meanwhile, local institutions recorded cumulative weekly net buying was to the tune of RM320.93 million. Local institutions were net buyers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the largest net buying on Friday to the tune of RM279.86 million. “Since the beginning of 2021, cumulatively, retailers have been the only net buyers of the equity market to the tune of RM8.97 billion. Local institutions and foreign investors were net sellers to the tune of RM3.43 billion and RM5.54 billion, respectively,” said MIDF. In terms of participation the retail investors, local institutions and the foreign investors recorded a weekly movement of 18.95%, 24.52% and 5.86% respectively in average daily trade value.
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Public Bank launches mobile app to educate children on financial planning (Mon, 02 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Public Bank has launched the PB Journey mobile application to assist parents in inculcating savings habit and educating their children on financial planning. The newly launched app, which complements the PB Journey Programmes, focuses on children and parents for a start as part of the bank’s priority on educating the younger generation about managing wealth. This application will provide the opportunities for more interaction between parents and children during the various movement control order period. “The PB Journey app for parents and children comprises two modules, the Pocket Money module and Goal Setting module. These features aim to create interactive learning between parents and children on the value of money and also achieving their savings goal,“ the bank said in a statement today. It added that parents and children can create a task under the Pocket Money module where children will be rewarded with Pocket Money as soon as they complete the task, while for the Goal Setting module, it allows children to save pocket money and earn interest. “Parents can help their children set their savings goal where they can save gradually during the goal tenure selected to achieve their targeted goal amount. The goal’s interest rate is calculated daily and credited monthly at attractive savings interest rates. “By going through these modules, parents have the opportunity to educate their children on how to manage their pocket money and to inculcate the savings habit at a young age,“ it said. In addition, educational videos are available in the PB Journey app to educate children on financial planning, to raise awareness on the importance of savings, and to inculcate savings habit. Customers are required to maintain a WISE Savings Account for their children to register for the PB Journey app, followed by signing-up for mobile banking (PB Engage) and lastly, install the PB Journey app on a smart device.
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Will cryptocurrencies gain traction as a means of payment in Malaysia? (Sun, 01 Aug 2021)
PETALING JAYA: Cryptocurrencies have yet to gain traction as a means of payment in Malaysia, but their meteoric rise in popularity and attraction in the past couple of years as retail and institutional investors warm up to the asset class has won over some local businesses. On the ground, there are a number of local merchants and businesses who have opted to accept digital currencies as a means of payment. For Sarawak Harvest founder Vincent Chin, the decision to accept bitcoin as payment is spurred by curiosity, given the large number of cryptocurrency holders in Malaysia and dearth of options when it comes to spending it locally. “There are calls from local crypto enthusiasts calling for more merchants to accept bitcoins and we decided to answer their call,” he told SunBiz. ] Doing so has made it the first fish store in the country to accept cryptocurrency as payment. However, Chin stated that it has yet to receive any payment in bitcoin since it started offering this option on March 23, 2021. He elaborated that with the prevalence of e-payment options as almost every Malaysian has a debit card and e-banking access, the cryptocurrency option may offer an advantage over the conventional ones. Chin mused that the option will probably be useful for those wanting to avoid currency commission and fees in their online transactions overseas. “Given the fluctuating value of bitcoin, perhaps people think it is more suitable to be kept as an asset, instead of using it in their transactions.” On the process of onboarding the cryptocurrency payment, he said it is similar to the conventional financial process exchange (FPX) gateway as it involves integrating the application programming interface for it to their backend processes which takes mere minutes. “Like any other FPX, there is also an electronic know-your-customer process, which requires the submission of their details and registration to verify their details to the payment gateway provider.” For Asher Looi, who co-founded online pharmacy GoObat, the decision to integrate bitcoin into its payment options is due to his personal beliefs in the digital currency as it is widely accepted as a store of value and it is regulated in most countries. While it is the first e-commerce pharmacy to accept bitcoin in January this year, he revealed that most transactions are still conducted in fiat currency, “However, based on our observations, there are an overwhelming number of attempted transactions in cryptocurrency that signifies a healthy and growing awareness towards accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment in Malaysia.” As a whole, Looi understands that payments in cryptocurrency is still a niche area and the option to do so is a means to offer customers their preferred payment method. Given bitcoin’s penchant for fluctuation, he is well aware of the risks regarding bitcoin’s volatility. “However, we also believe in the benefits of bitcoin accumulation in the long run.” Malaysia is one of the first countries to come up with a regulatory framework on cryptocurrency courtesy of the Securities Commission Malaysia’s digital asset framework. Nonetheless, Bank Negara Malaysia has stated that bitcoin – cryptocurrency’s flagship coin – is not legal tender in the country and has advised the public to exercise caution with usage of the digital currency. Other countries around the world share Bank Negara’s view, with the exception of El Salvador, which has approved a proposal to recognise the cryptocurrency as legal tender effective Sept 7.
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Success: The Insight Story – Build trust, walk the talk (Sun, 01 Aug 2021)
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? Having come through the “school of hard knocks”, one of the most important lessons I have learnt in life and business is to always be grateful for whatever we have. We should always maintain a positive outlook, no matter how challenging the situation may be. We should also always embrace working hard, meticulously and diligently, but also enjoy everything that we do. At the same time, we should also always seek to see the perspectives of others, and not just be fixed in our own opinions. This process broadens the mind, and paves the way for us as human beings to care for one another. At the end of the day, a true leader cares for his or her people, cares for customers, the communities we are involved in and the world at large. My favourite word is “trust”. Life and business is all about building trust. This means “walking the talk” consistently and delivering what you have committed to do. What traits do you look for in your talent or how do you decide who is right for a job? Firstly, it would be passion and an eagerness to learn. The tech industry is one that is fast evolving and team players know the importance of keeping abreast with latest technologies. Secondly, it’s the ability to demonstrate leadership skills – even for interns – and to constantly challenge yourself to improve. Finally, it’s about being a team player, with every individual contributing to the success of the team. Every team member has his or her field of expertise that contributes to overall success. When the team wins, everybody wins. From the corporate perspective, companies should also constantly promote diversity, equality, and inclusion – and to lead by example by promising and delivering results. How do you think the industry you are in will evolve in the future? Digital transformation means a shift in technology and mindset. Consequently, it affects the economy, the society, and every individual. Digitalisation will continue to grow in importance, and it will continue driving the convergence of technologies that blur the lines between physical and digital. Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing business and society for the better. Machines and systems that become increasingly intelligent can make work easier, and AI can only be a catalyst of digitalisation in a climate of connectivity. At the end of the day, though, trust is the ultimate currency in the digital economy. We must have trust in machine learning algorithms that steer business processes – and help people – for greater efficiencies. Of paramount importance is that ethical principles are required to build and maintain trust in digital technologies. What advice can you offer those looking to start their career/own business? Knowledge, education, and lifelong learning are keys to success. They are the foundation of progress in every area of life and driven by a natural gift to all of us – Curiosity. Also, do not be afraid to fall now and then. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. Fear is the most useless of all human emotions because it holds us back from realising our true potential. Also, make a point to continuously upskill (learning additional skills or enhancing existing abilities) and reskill (learning a new set of skills) and ensure you are a “digital first” employee. We all know about the industrial revolution, are we in for a technological revolution? Yes, and most definitely. Data, or the “new oil”, is a major driving force and key to the digital transformation. Turning raw data into immediate business value ultimately fuels innovation. Accordingly, data- and digital technology-based innovation is the foundation of future success for companies in the digital economy. Organisations should also transition themselves into becoming “intelligent enterprises” (if they haven’t done so already). An intelligent enterprise comes from a position of strength where it can reimagine the business to generate new markets and revenue streams. It is about maximising the value of an enterprise’s data assets and turn the data into precious insights that can empower employees to operate with increased visibility, focus and agility. By becoming an intelligent enterprise, businesses are also better able to respond to individual customer needs, engage talent in new ways and create disruptive business models that are critical industry imperatives. It is about “innovating with purpose”. Essentially, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about increasing human productivity, enhanced by advanced technologies such as AI, machine learning, advanced analytics, robotics and automation augmenting operations. Take the manufacturing sector as an example: With Industry 4.0 – production, logistics, and customer services are aligning themselves with digital technology which is increasingly taking on more complex tasks to further optimise production. As a result, processes are accelerated with greater accuracy while cost is being reduced. How has mentorship made a difference in your professional life? Having a good mentor is a way to “fast track” your learning process as an individual. I am blessed to have known Mitch Young, who is now APJ president at an American software company. Mitch taught me so much about the tech industry, leadership and always stressed to me that leaders who lead by example inspire others to greatness. What do you want to accomplish in the next five years? SAP is committed to supporting every customer to become a best-run business. Together, we help the world run better and improve people’s lives. This mission is deeply aligned with my personal beliefs hence what I would like to accomplish in the next five years – and beyond – is to play my part in transitioning our local companies to become “best run businesses”, or in other words “intelligent enterprises” that are able to apply advanced technologies and best practices within agile, integrated business processes to become more resilient, profitable and sustainable. Best piece of advice you ever received on your career. “Never ever throw anyone under the bus. Blame is never ever part of the game. Ultimately, it is about ‘collective responsibility’ as a team.” This is an important attitude and trait that one should have. Learn from others and be ready to challenge yourself for continuous improvement. Up until today, I am still learning and adapting to change. To succeed well is about agility. You must be able to motivate and drive yourself to greater heights in your achievements and your career. Look at yourself and stop blaming others for what you cannot achieve. Think out of the box and always, dream big and think big. Most-admired leader? Why? Nelson Mandela, a man of peace with a powerful presence who disarmed enemies with his smile. He taught the world about what (true) forgiveness is all about and made a huge difference for mankind. This man changed the world, and showed where enemies can be allies. Diversity and inclusion are key attributes that one should adopt to see a bigger picture and, more importantly, how they positively impact others. How do you stay abreast of issues affecting your industry? I am fortunate to be in SAP which is today the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software and being at the forefront of innovation. 92% of the Forbes Global 2000 companies are our customers. SAP customers also distribute 78% of the world’s food and 82% of the world’s medical devices; in addition, 80% of SAP’s customers are SMEs. Hence to stay abreast of the latest developments in tech, all I need to do is read my emails every morning. What man-made innovation confounds you? Why? The mobile phone. 20 years ago, the mobile phone was a luxury. Today, it is a necessity and has done so much good for the world. It has made us all more productive, made the world smaller, and opened the world with the internet for rural communities and developing countries. Because of the ease of accessibility, our communication abilities are wider, and we can access more information. The mobile phone and internet has changed the world at accelerated the speed for information, and change the way how we learn new things. Malaysia’s greatest brand. Maybank, Malaysia’s largest financial services group and the leading banking group in Southeast Asia. Maybank has done an excellent job “humanising” banking and financial services across Malaysia and the region. A must-read for every business owner/manager is ... Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Although it was first published more than three decades ago, the habits for one to be truly effective is just as relevant today: Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think “win-win”, seek to understand, synergise and “sharpen the saw”. A lot of things in the book gives reader insights about how to change and be relevant to society and organisation. It is about making a difference rather than just being a follower to others. What are the top three factors you would attribute your success to? Passion, hard work and the constant support and understanding from my wife and family. I always have this daily proverb, what can we do differently to achieve better outcomes. What are the key learnings today? How do I bring the best out of people? If you don’t know about something, be direct and ask for help. Reflection is another success factor: Like think back to yesterday and what you could had done differently to achieve better outcomes. This way, you are constantly learning and evolving.
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Directors can be liable to company taxes (Sun, 01 Aug 2021)
IN the current climate, the government is looking for revenue to fund the increase in expenditure to deal with the Covid crisis and to fund the stimulus packages to counter the slowdown in economy. Lately there is an increasing number of companies who are unable to pay outstanding taxes relating to earlier years when they made profits. In majority of cases, the monies have either been distributed as dividends, or have been reinvested and currently the money cannot be raised, or the losses have wiped out the cash. In such situations, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) is not going to give up its right to collect the taxes. In the first instance, the IRB will do its best to collect from the company by either persuading the company to liquidate its assets and settle the dues, or by pursuing legal action to wind up the company. However, there are instances where such actions will be insufficient to recover their outstanding taxes. Where the IRB is unable to collect the taxes from the company, they will pursue the directors to settle the outstanding taxes. Where do directors stand? A director is jointly and severally liable only if he is occupying a position of a director who is concerned in the management of the company’s business, and he controls directly or indirectly together with his associates not less than 20% of the ordinary share capital. The management here can be wide – from the day-to-day running of the company and taking policy decisions at board meetings. Joint and several liability means that the individual director’s liability may not be confined to his percentage of the shareholdings. The specific provision dealing with this responsibility is Section 75A of the Income Tax Act 1967 which says that any tax due and payable under the Income Tax Act by the company during the period in which the tax is liable to be paid by the company becomes the responsibility of the director. As it stands today, based on the Court of Appeal decision in Government of Malaysia v Mahawira Sdn Bhd & Anor (2021), the director cannot be held liable for the tax of the company for the years of assessment preceding the appointment as a director. Effectively, if a director was appointed in 2021, he cannot be held liable for taxes relating to the years prior to 2021. The situation can change Although the above decision protects directors from becoming liable for outstanding taxes prior to their appointment, the matter is still under appeal and the position could change when it is decided at the Federal Court. The tax authorities are of the view that Section 75A of the ITA allows them to collect the outstanding taxes from the directors on the grounds that the legislation states that as long as they are directors during that period, they are liable for taxes raised for whichever period. Our view This case can change direction, and in the event the Federal Courts reverse the decision, the consequences can be devastating to directors. IRB also have merits in their arguments based on the reading of the legislation and cannot be disregarded. It is a worrying predicament for directors. This article was contributed by Thannees Tax Consulting Services Sdn Bhd managing director SM Thanneermalai.
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Updates to laws relating to e-money in Malaysia (Sun, 01 Aug 2021)
ELECTRONIC money (e-money) has become an increasingly popular payment instrument within the Malaysian market. Given the technological advances in the last decade, the surge of e-commerce transactions and the use of online payments during this pandemic, it is timely that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is introducing updates to the regulation of e-money through the Exposure Draft of the Policy Document on Electronic Money. The Exposure Draft, when finalised, will supersede the current BNM Guidelines on E-Money issued in July 2008. The Exposure Draft aims to ensure the safety and reliability of e-money and enhance confidence about using or accepting e-money for the payment of goods and services. This article explores some proposed changes to the e-money regulations in the Exposure Draft. Definition of e-money The Financial Services Act 2013 (FSA) defines e-money as any payment instrument, whether tangible or intangible, that stores funds electronically in exchange for funds paid to the e-money issuer (EMI). E-money is used as a means of making payments to any person other than the EMI. Examples of EMIs include ShopeePay Malaysia Sdn Bhd, TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, and Alipay Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Categories of EMIs One of the main updates introduced by the Exposure Draft is the change of EMI characterisation. Under the 2008 Guidelines, EMIs were generally categorised as either: > issuers of small e-money schemes; or > issuers of large e-money schemes. The Exposure Draft now defines these as either eligible EMIs or standard EMIs. An eligible EMI is one that has “substantial market presence”, meaning that it meets certain criteria prescribed in the Exposure Draft. These criteria relate to the number of users and the market share percentage based on the volume of e-money transactions. An eligible EMI would, in contrast, be subject to more stringent compliance obligations ranging from governance arrangements to minimum capital requirements. Limited purpose e-money The Exposure Draft also introduces a new concept of “limited purpose e-money”, where issuers of limited purpose e-money (limited purpose EMIs) will be exempt from requiring approval under Section 11 of the FSA. Examples of limited purpose e-money transactions include: > e-money used for payments at a network of merchants within a single location or closed community (eg: a grocery shop in location A or a shopping mall with several merchants); > e-money used for cash rewards/loyalty points; > e-money used for refund purposes; and > mobile prepaid airtime used to purchase digital content. Limited purpose EMIs, although exempt from obtaining BNM approval, will still need to comply with the conditions imposed by BNM, such as: > submitting an annual notification to BNM on the description, functionality and features of the limited purpose e-money being issued; > submitting statistical information of the limited purpose e-money to BNM on an annual basis; and > compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2010. This introduction of “limited purpose e-money” is a welcomed change as it allows firms to update their business methods and adopt digital transactions without being subject to the fulfilment of onerous obligations that may be beyond their capacity. Users of such schemes, too, can have peace of mind knowing that BNM is still maintaining oversight through regulation of these limited purpose EMIs. Operational and risk management and IT requirements The Exposure Draft has also introduced enhancements to certain operational and risk management obligations that an EMI would be required to comply with. These stringent obligations include: > maintaining effective business continuity management; > managing outsourcing risks; and > managing and mitigating fraud risks. There are also additional obligations related to account management and compliance with white-labelling rules. A significant update in the Exposure Draft is the added obligations of IT requirements, technology risk management and technology operations management. These obligations will need to be read together with other policy documents issued by BNM such as the Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework; the Risk Management in Technology Policy; and the Operational Risk Integrated Online Network Policy. Conclusion It is clear that EMIs will need to understand the significant updates in the Exposure Draft and work on reviewing their policies to ensure compliance with the new requirements. This should be done by the time the draft is finalised, and may require merchants to seek legal and other advice to ensure compliance. The impact of the Exposure Draft will be that consumers and merchants can look forward to future e-money usage with increased confidence in safety and security. This article was contributed by Lim Yee Ping of Christopher & Lee Ong.
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The crucial role of regulations in the cryptocurrency industry (Sun, 01 Aug 2021)
THE excitement around bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, has continued to rise. Many people have turned their attention to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency for its disruptive capabilities, viewing it also as an alternative store of value, and a hedge against inflation. Coupled with the increased interest from institutional investors, bitcoin looks to solidify its place in the modern finance landscape. As with any new technology, bitcoin has prompted many questions from everyone looking to understand it. In addition, its volatility, environmental impact, the crackdown in China, and regulatory issues faced by a certain cryptocurrency exchange, have become a recent topic of debate. The latest developments have encouraged conversations among many and, in particular, discussions about regulations. Therefore, it is worth addressing them to give a perspective on the role of regulations in the cryptocurrency industry. The latest cryptocurrency mining and trading regulations in China have caused a stir in the market. It is estimated that 90% of the country’s mining capacity will shut down as a result. This new regulation is significant news as 65% of bitcoin mining occurs in China due to the wide availability of cheap electricity sources in several regions. Nevertheless, we believe that these regulations will strengthen bitcoin’s long-term growth. Increased mining decentralisation ensures that the bitcoin network is less vulnerable to the regulation of one country in the long term. Furthermore, the mining regulation in China presents an opportunity for miners to move to locations with abundant renewable energy sources such as El Salvador for its geothermal energy and Texas, US, for its solar and wind power. Due to their mobility, bitcoin miners will go wherever they can to use the cheapest energy source and move to locations where power is affordable and clean. Bitcoin’s technology is built in such a way that it incentivises the use of renewable energy. This is because it is currently much cheaper to mine bitcoin using renewable energy than using non-renewable energy. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro typically produce excessive supply when demand is low. But conversely, they struggle to provide enough when demand is high. Essentially, bitcoin miners would effectively be using up energy stores that would have otherwise gone to waste. Although regulatory practices in China are on the extreme end of the spectrum, fair and progressive regulations are crucial for the healthy growth of an industry. Furthermore, a practical regulatory framework promotes the protection of customer funds and strikes a balance between the need for rules and the space needed for innovation to happen. As such, the existence of a licence to operate should provide consumers with a good indication that consumers can trust a company with their funds and that they will have controls in place to prevent the use of cryptocurrency for illicit means. Recently, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange was facing some regulatory issues in Europe and other parts of the world. As a result, the exchange was prohibited from operating in one country and received warnings from regulators in several others. This situation highlights why cryptocurrency exchanges need to work closely with local regulators to establish appropriate regulatory frameworks that benefit both industry players and customers. In Malaysia, we work closely with the Securities Commission in helping it to understand the cryptocurrency industry better as it goes through the regulatory process. As a result, the Securities Commission was efficient in introducing cryptocurrency-specific regulation, and we are proud to have become the first registered cryptocurrency exchange in Malaysia. As a result, cryptocurrency has shown that it can exist in a fair and progressive regulatory environment. It is proven to be as we are now storing more than RM1 billion of digital assets on behalf of more than 300,000 customers and processing more than RM4.2 billion in 2021 — indicating a positive trend of cryptocurrency demand in Malaysia. For cryptocurrency, regulation is also crucial because it lays the groundwork to develop relationships with other industry players such as banking institutions. The advantage of having a regulated exchange is obvious – greater transparency and protection of consumers and a blueprint for further collaboration with regulatory bodies. Regulators like the Securities Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia are opening up the way for investors, traders, and individuals to maximise the benefits of a new financial system such as cryptocurrency. Today, there are three approved digital asset exchanges in Malaysia, further showcasing the Malaysian regulator’s readiness to uphold the regulatory framework of the cryptocurrency industry in Malaysia. We believe that regulation will raise the bar in the cryptocurrency industry, and, in our experience, this is also what customers want. It will continue to strengthen cryptocurrencies and encourage mass public adoption. Currently, we are in a mixed economy where we still heavily rely on existing financial infrastructure to make a move to a future system easier. For as long as we interact with the existing financial system, we will have to adapt and follow some of the same rules that apply to them. Cryptocurrencies are maturing from a self-regulated domain to a regulated one, where individuals and businesses can introduce aspects of cryptocurrency assets into their daily lives. However, for this to happen, a relationship with local regulators needs to be built upon trust and a common goal to ensure a financial system that is beneficial to everyone. This article was contributed by Luno Malaysia country manager Aaron Tang.
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Applications for SPIN 2.0 and CBRM 2.0 financing open on Aug 15 (Sun, 01 Aug 2021)
PUTRAJAYA: Micro-businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic can start applying for financing under the Informal Financing Scheme 2.0 (SPIN 2.0) and Covid Business Recovery Financing Scheme 2.0 (CBRM 2.0) from Aug 15. Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, said that a total of RM100 million was allocated for the implementation of the schemes under the National People's Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih), which is expected to benefit 11,500 entrepreneurs. The maximum funding limit for SPIN 2.0 is RM10,000, and for CBRM 2.0 up to RM20,000. Wan Junaidi said according to a study conducted by his ministry, an estimated 580,000 micro, small and medium enterprises would face business failure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is hoped that entrepreneurs will take the opportunity to apply for this financing scheme to increase business capital, including micro-entrepreneurs under the first to close, last to open (FCLO) category, whose business is affected due to the closure of operations,” he said in a statement today. Applications for both schemes, under the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional), can be made online or at the nearest Tekun Nasional branch offices. According to Wan Junaidi, the scheme is an improvement from previous ones to help micro-entrepreneurs with the continuity of their business. SPIN 1.0 was launched in December last year to help informal entrepreneurs whose businesses were affected by Covid-19, and to date, a total of 3,369 individuals have received funding worth RM19.8 million. Through the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin), with a fund of RM200 million, Tekun Nasional launched CBRM 1.0 in April 2020, with the allocation being fully channelled to 26,326 entrepreneurs in December last year. Tekun Nasional has channelled funding to 480,958 entrepreneurs, with a value of RM6.59 billion nationwide, from its inception in 1998 until June this year. – Bernama
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