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

Navigating the Future: Malaysia’s Ethical AI Vision (Thu, 23 May 2024)
The Evolution and Ethical Challenges of AI Artificial intelligence has evolved significantly since its conceptual beginnings in the late 1940s with pioneers like Alan Turing and John von Neumann. The landmark year of 1956 saw AI researchers demonstrate a machine’s theoretical capability to solve any problem given unlimited memory, a notion that fundamentally challenged our understanding of machine potential. By 1965, AI technologies like Shakey the robot and ELIZA were facilitating basic human-machine interactions, setting the stage for today’s sophisticated virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa. As we stand on the brink of what many consider a technological renaissance, the rapid advancements in AI are not just a testament to human ingenuity but also pose profound ethical questions. How do we balance the relentless pursuit of innovation with the imperative to protect human values? Several countries around the world have taken necessary measures to govern the use of AI, reflecting a growing recognition of AI’s impact on society. Three global regulatory frameworks are being adopted: the right-based model (EU), the state-driven model (China), and the market-based model (US). The framework implementation can be either a soft approach through guidelines and standards or a hard approach such as legislation. The selection of suitable frameworks and approaches depends on the AI adoption and implementation in the country. Malaysia’s Response to AI’s Socio-Economic Impact The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) remains steadfast in navigating these turbulent waters by embedding ethical considerations into the fabric of our AI strategies. In 2022, the unveiling of the National Artificial Intelligence Roadmap (AI-Rmap) for 2021-2025 marked a strategic commitment to ethical AI, aiming to leverage AI’s transformative potential while safeguarding societal values of fairness ans transparency. But what happens when AI systems, designed to be fair, inadvertently perpetuate bias? How do we rectify such unintended consequences, and who is held accountable? The roadmap champions Responsible AI practices across three main domains: the community, government agencies, and industry. Yet, as AI permeates sectors like healthcare, transportation, and public safety, the governance of its influence becomes critically important. It’s about more than just adherence to high standards—it’s about actively fostering an understanding and dialogue on how AI technologies should be responsibly harnessed. Consider the case of WISE AI, which utilizes AI for customer digital onboarding with full compliance to ethical guidelines. Or Anhsin Technology’s AI chatbot that enhances educational experiences. These examples reflect successful integration of AI, but they also raise important questions: Are we doing enough to ensure that such technologies are accessible to all layers of society? How do we ensure that these innovations benefit not just the few, but the many? The development of AI Governance and Ethics (AIGE) is a starting point for the country institutionalising responsible AI. Several initiatives are in the pipeline such as measuring the responsible AI principles, risk and compliance of the AI ethics with existing laws and regulations and developing specific AI guides and ethics for sectoral use. The AIGE aims to address several potential misuses of AI technology that can have serious ethical and societal repercussions. One prominent concern is the invasion of privacy through surveillance technologies that employ facial recognition, which can be used in ways that infringe on individual rights. Another issue is the deployment of AI in decision-making processes that lack transparency, such as in credit scoring or hiring practices, where AI can perpetuate biases and lead to discrimination against marginalised groups. Additionally, AI-driven misinformation campaigns pose significant threats to public discourse and democracy. By establishing guidelines for ethical AI use, AIGE seeks to prevent such abuses, ensuring AI technologies are used responsibly and for the benefit of society. To mitigate these risks, AIGE outlines several strategies that involve both preventative measures and remedial actions. It emphasizes the importance of transparency in AI algorithms to allow for audits and accountability, ensuring that AI decisions can be explained and are free from bias. It also advocates for the inclusion of diverse data sets during the training of AI models to reduce the risk of unintended discrimination. Moreover, AIGE supports the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of AI systems in operation to swiftly identify and correct any misuse or harmful outcomes. These strategies demonstrate a proactive approach to governance, aiming to uphold ethical standards and protect citizens from potential harms associated with AI technologies. Toward Responsible Development and Deployment At MOSTI, supporting the transformative power of AI to shape a sustainable and equitable future is a paramount responsibility. The establishment of the AI Governance and Ethics Task Force is a crucial step toward realizing AI’s full potential in Malaysia, ensuring that ethical considerations are at the forefront to foster a more inclusive and equitable society. MOSTI has also launched the National Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Committee (NBAIC) to oversee the initiatives under the National Blockchain Technology Roadmap 2021-2025 and the National Artificial Intelligence Technology Roadmap 2021- 2025. This roadmap is designed to augment jobs, drive national competitiveness, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship for economic prosperity and social well-being. It outlines seven principles of responsible AI: fairness, reliability, safety and control, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, and the pursuit of human benefits and happiness. Under MOSTI’s guidance, the establishment of the NBAIC and the AI Governance and Ethics Task Force are steps towards crafting a governance framework that addresses these challenges. By involving human oversight in the initial phases of AI implementation, we aim to curate data with accuracy and integrity. This approach is designed to build AI systems that are not only effective but also equitable and just. A Call to Action for Ethical AI As we contemplate AI’s role in our future, it’s clear that this is not a journey we can undertake alone. It requires a collective effort from all stakeholders to shape an AI-enhanced world that respects human dignity and promotes societal well-being. But as we move forward, one question remains: Are we prepared to recalibrate our goals and strategies as we learn from our AI experiences? How do we ensure that AI, a creation of human intellect, remains a servant to humanity, enhancing our lives without compromising our ethics? Let’s seize this opportunity to mold a future where AI not only powers innovation but also embodies our highest values, leaving a legacy that future generations will look back on with pride. By Chang Lih Kang, Minister of Science Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)
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Kelington 1Q2024 net profit rose 53.3% to RM24.8 million, declares dividend of 2 sen (gio, 23 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: Integrated engineering solutions provider, Kelington Group Berhad today posted the Group’s profit attributable to shareholders (net profit) rose 53.3% to RM24.8 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024 (1Q2024) from RM16.2 million in the prior year (1Q2023). Concurrently, the Group’s revenue climbed 10% to RM339.3 million, compared to RM308.9 million in 1Q2023. The growth in top and bottom-line performance was attributed to the significant growth in revenue contribution across key operating markets, notably Malaysia (+6%) and China (+129%), accounting for 45% and 31% of total revenue in 1Q2024 respectively. In terms of business segments, the Ultra High Purity (UHP) division remained the primary revenue contributor, accounting for 61% of the Group’s total revenue in 1Q2024. Compared to the same quarter last year, UHP division revenue rose by 12% to RM205.5 million, driven by the awarding of several large UHP projects in the second half of 2023. Meanwhile, revenue from the Process Engineering division stood at RM21.4 million, which made up 6% of Kelington’s 1Q2024 total revenue. The General Contracting division contributed revenue of RM78.4 million which represents a 21% year-on-year (YoY) increase, underpinned by increased project recognition and a project undertaken in Kuching. The Industrial Gases division continued its upward performance in 1Q2024 as revenue jumped 47% YoY to RM35.9 million, driven by elevated demand for liquid carbon dioxide (LCO2) from Oceania countries. Commenting on the Group’s financial performance, CEO Raymond Gan said, “Since the start of the year, the Group has secured RM235.0 million worth of contracts as of March 31, 2024. Including carried forward projects from prior years, our total order book now stands at RM1.54 billion, with RM1.25 billion remain outstanding as of 31 March 2024.” He added that the commencement of operations at their second LCO2 plant in March 2024 has doubled their total annual production capacity to 120,000 tonnes. “We are optimistic that this expanded capacity will strategically position us to meet the growing demand both locally and internationally. This is particularly significant amidst the global LCO2 shortage, which has been fueled by the shutdown of petrochemical plants due to environmental considerations,“ he said. As of March 31, 2024, the Group’s gearing ratio improved to 0.44. Total borrowings decreased to RM166.6 million from RM188.2 million as of Dec 31, 2023, primarily due to debt repayments in Malaysia and Singapore. Kelington maintains a healthy balance sheet with a net cash position of RM135.5 million as of 31 March 2024. This significant increase in net cash from RM81.0 million as of 31 December 2023 is largely due to debt repayments and proceeds from the near completion of several large projects. The Board of Directors of Kelington has proposed a first interim tax-exempt dividend of 2 sen per ordinary share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2024, amounting to RM13.3 million.
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Samaiden records high quarterly revenue of RM75 million, impressive Q3 FY2024 performance (gio, 23 mag 2024)
PETALING JAYA: Samaiden Group Berhad, a renewable energy (RE) specialist principally involved in engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and power plants, today posted a remarkable revenue of RM75 million, representing a significant 68.3% increase for the third quarter ended March 31, 2024 (Q3 FY2024) from RM44.6 million in the corresponding quarter last year (Q3 (FY2023). The company said that this growth is driven mainly by the higher progress of ongoing projects. Profit before taxation (PBT) for Q3 FY2024 rose to RM5.6 million, compared to RM2.7 million in Q3 FY2023, marking a substantial 106.1% increase. The growth in PBT highlights an improvement in Samaiden’s profitability over the past year, reflecting the company’s better enhanced operational efficiency and successful project execution. This increase is primarily driven by the substantial increase in revenue, indicating more sales and project completions despite increased financial costs. Year-to-date, Samaiden reported a revenue of RM170 million, compared to RM125.6 million in the previous year, and a PBT of RM13.8 million, up from RM9.5 million. These results demonstrate the Group's sustained growth trajectory and effective management strategies. The year-to-date revenue, it said is nearly equivalent to the entire FY2023 revenue of RM170.8 million. The PBT represents a 45.1% rise, outpacing the revenue increase and suggesting improved profit margins and operational efficiency. Comparing Q3 FY2024 to the preceding quarter (Q2 FY2024), Samaiden saw a 53.6% increase in revenue from RM48.8 million to RM75 million, indicating a surge in project completions and billings within the quarter. Similarly, PBT increased by 33.3% from RM4.2 million in Q2 FY2024 to RM5.6 million in Q3 FY2024, reflecting the Company's strong operational execution and effective scaling of its business operations. Group managing director Chow Pui Hee remarked, “Achieving RM75 million in revenue for Q3 FY2024 underscores our effective strategies and the robust demand in Malaysia’s RE sector. The government’s initiatives, such as the Corporate Green Power Programme (CGPP), the launch of the fifth large-scale solar (LSS) programme, and the Green Electricity Tariff (GET) programme, significantly bolster our growth prospects. As Malaysia targets a 70% renewable energy mix by 2050, Samaiden is strategically positioned to lead and support this ambitious transformation. Our continued growth, driven by these supportive policies, highlights our unwavering commitment to advancing Malaysia’s sustainable energy landscape.” Looking forward, Samaiden's strategic positioning is further strengthened by Malaysia's comprehensive RE initiatives and a strong emphasis on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. The introduction of the ESG Reporting Platform by Bursa Malaysia exemplifies the government's active promotion of ESG, creating a conducive environment for Samaiden's growth and the Group’s crucial role in advancing Malaysia’s RE landscape. As of March 31, 2024, the total orderbook of Samaiden stood at RM354.3 million, which is expected to positively contribute to the Group over the next three years.
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Northport receives its largest ever container vessel (gio, 23 mag 2024)
PETALING JAYA: Northport (M) Bhd, a member of MMC Group, recently celebrated a historic milestone as it welcomed MV OOCL Japan, the largest ever container vessel to berth at its facilities in Port Klang. Owned by Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) Ltd, MV OOCL Japan boasts a capacity of 21,413 TEUs, setting a new record for Northport by surpassing the previous largest ship to call at its port, MV Eugen Maersk, which had a capacity of 11,000 TEUs, in 2013. Northport CEO Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof said, “We are extremely proud to host MV OOCL Japan at Northport. This historic achievement is the result of our ongoing efforts to enhance our facilities and services as part of our ‘Reinventing Northport’ initiative, ensuring that this 61-year-old port remains relevant and competitive. The ability to berth such a large vessel demonstrates Northport’s capability and readiness to handle the ever-growing demands of the international maritime trade,” MV OOCL Japan’s arrival is particularly significant as it represents a considerable advancement from the first container vessel to berth at Northport in Port Klang, the MV Tokyo Bay. With a capacity of 3,000 TEUs, MV Tokyo Bay was the world’s first third generation full container vessel to call Port Klang on Aug 5, 1973, marking the advent of containerisation in Malaysia. Azman pointed out that the Red Sea geopolitical issues has caused disruption to world trade as shipping lines face delays due to rerouting of services and this has led to congestion in other major ports in the region.
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Matrade targets over RM400m export sales from eTRADE Programme 2.0 this year (gio, 23 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) is targeting more than RM400 million in export sales from eTRADE Programme 2.0 this year. Matrade digital trade section programme unit (eTRADE) manager Nor Azman Adam said that last year this programme benefited a total of 3,355 micro, small, and medium enterprises and generated RM376.3 million in realised actual export sales. “This year, we aim to exceed that figure, targeting over RM400 million in realised actual export sales,” he told SunBiz on the sidelines of the soft launch of Trade42, a business-to-business (B2B) e-marketplace platform developed to connect SMEs across the Asean market, today. The platform was acquired from Minebizs.com and rebranded as Trade42. Nor Azman said eTRADE Programme 2.0 is an enhancement of the eTRADE Programme under the 11th Malaysia Plan, continues to support both new and existing MSMEs in their export activities through digital marketing, training and onboarding incentives. “Whether you are a micro, small, or medium enterprise, we invite you to join our eTRADE programme under Matrade. This programme is designed to assist our SMEs. If you are using any e-commerce platform, such as Alibaba.com, Daganghalal.com, eBay, Amazon, or many others, and promoting your products to the overseas market, we are here to help,” he added. Matrade provides a total of RM25,000 incentive under the eTrade Programme which include RM5,000 for onboarding any cross-border e-commerce platform and RM20,000 for undertaking any digital marketing activities and/or attending e-commerce training programme. Acquired from Minebizs.com and rebranded as Trade42, it is a newly launched B2B e-marketplace platform for SMEs across the Asean market. “Located within a two-hour flight radius of each other, these markets offer the benefits of nearshoring, symbolised by the numeral “42” in Trade42, representing this vision,” Matrade said. Leveraging on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Trade42 focuses on the Asean markets included in the RCEP – Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Trade42 said it enhances the adoption of e-commerce in Malaysia and across the Asean region by capitalising on the opportunities presented by the RCEP. “The platform provides businesses with essential tools and resources to navigate and succeed in the market. It is also designed to connect local enterprises with the Asia-Pacific ecosystem, enabling entry and expansion into new markets,” it added.
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SC unveils roadmap to boost MSME, mid-tier companies’ access to capital market (gio, 23 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today unveiled a five-year roadmap to better position the capital market as an attractive and robust source of financing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and mid-tier companies (MTC). The roadmap will complement existing national development policies, including the Madani Economy Framework, the 12th Malaysia Plan, the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 and the National Energy Transition Roadmap. It envisages the capital market serving the growing financial needs of MSME and MTC, potentially up to RM40 billion in 2028, complementing conventional financing avenues. The commission said the increase of seven times of the current fundraising levels represents 46% of the compound annual growth rate over five years from RM6.3 billion in 2023. SC chairman Datuk Seri Awang Adek Hussin said the roadmap sets out nine cross-cutting strategies and 36 key initiatives to be undertaken over the short, medium and long term based on five guiding principles. He added that the release of the roadmap reinforces the Malaysian capital market’s commitment to support the financing needs of MSME and MTC. “In 2023, the total amount of funds raised by MSME and MTC via the capital market was RM6.3 billion. This includes fundraising through the public market, particularly the LEAP and the ACE Markets and from market segments such as venture capital, private equity, equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing,” Awang Adek said during the presentation of the roadmap at the SC. “SC is confident that many more will follow in their footsteps if there is a structured approach to assist them as envisaged in the roadmap,“ he added. According to the SC, MSME and MTC have emerged as the country’s engine of growth, with MSME contributing about 38.4% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 48.2% of total employment. There are about 8,500 MTC, accounting for around 36% of GDP and 16% of the workforce in 2022. Treasury Secretary-General Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican presented the 93-page roadmap titled “Catalysing MSME and MTC Access to the Capital Market: Five-Year Roadmap (2024-2028)” on behalf of Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan. In the keynote address, he highlighted that the government aims to raise the economy’s ceiling. In the context of 1.2 million MSME, startups and MTC, this means growing them into regional champions, enhancing their ability to compete on a larger scale will raise the country’s economic output. “The SC will look into recalibrating the LEAP Market further in widening the pool of listing advisers to include professionals and allowing alternative remuneration methods for advisers, like payment in shares to manage the cash flow requirements of listed companies, with effective safeguards in place to manage conflicts of interest. The aim is to have these new LEAP Market measures ready by early 2025,” he said. “Building on this momentum, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia (CGC) will explore and discuss with more ECF and P2P financing platforms to offer guarantees for their solutions. The aim is to have more guaranteed products that can be issued by the first half of 2024,” said Johan Mahmood. Another major focus area is capacity building and creating a visible and sustainable pipeline of high-potential MSMEs and MTCs ready for capital market fundraising. “As an extension to the Simplified ESG Disclosure Guide, Capital Markets Malaysia, an affiliate of the SC, will be issuing sector guides that feature enhanced disclosures for five significant sectors in Malaysia’s economy consisting of energy, transport and storage, construction and real estate, agriculture and manufacturing,” he said.
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Tech sector to see more new orders, product shipments in H2: AmInvestment (gio, 23 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: The technology sector’s shipment deferrals and new orders from launches of new products, models and innovations will flow into the second half of 2024 (H2’24) and beyond, said AmInvestment Bank Bhd. In a research note today, the bank said that the sector is still recovering at a slow pace, and shipments have been requested to be deferred to a later period. “Hence, more deliveries are expected to be seen in H2’24. With the gradual uptick in semiconductor sentiments and sales, we anticipate newer products, models, and introductions to be launched in H2’24. This bodes well for an improvement in semiconductor sales in H2’24 with higher revenue anticipated to be recognised by companies in the sector,” it said. AmInvestment reported that UWC Bhd, the metal fabrication and value-added assembly services provider to the semiconductor industry, indicated some orders were deferred to a later period, and the company anticipated a more significant improvement in earnings in Q4’24, driven by contributions from the back-end semiconductor segment. Another semiconductor player, Inari Amertron Bhd, continued to remain positive on the volume loading of products dedicated to the next-generation smartphone, it noted. The bank maintained its “overweight” call on the sector based on positive revenue recovery prospects of semiconductor players this year and on more ongoing business activities in the front-end semiconductor space amid inventory corrections. “The adoption of advanced technologies for the automotive and consumer electronics segments with leading-edge chips and new features for equipment and machines are expected to drive sales in the semiconductor sector. “Increase in demand for artificial intelligence-related products to support the boom in the AI sector, and trade diversion strategy to leverage on the strength and production of multiple hubs and more cost-effective supply chains, benefiting local players as multinational companies divert their production to Malaysia,” it added. – Bernama
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Penang sets up academy to support chip design, digital sector (gio, 23 mag 2024)
GEORGE TOWN: Penang has established Penang Chip Design Academy, an initiative to bolster its Integrated Circuit (IC) design and digital sectors to support the state’s plan to develop an IC Design and Digital Park. The academy is a key component of the Penang Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Blueprint to be launched next month, Penang state investment agency InvestPenang said in a statement today. It will “cement the state’s ambition to become a preferred investment destination for design and digital businesses and entrepreneurs,” InvestPenang said. Headed by Penang Skills Development Centre, in collaboration with key industry players, electronic design automation tool providers, academia and investPenang, the academy focuses on end-to-end design development. It aims to develop talent for the IC design ecosystem via upskilling and reskilling with academic training and hands-on experience. “Plans are being finalised for opportunities for private-public funding mechanism,“ InvestPenang said in the statement. According to Verified Market Report, the global IC design service market was valued at US$48.97 billion (RM230.6 million) in 2023 and is expected to reach US$84.16 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.92%. Penang secured nearly RM20 billion of approved services investments between 2019 and 2023, representing 9% of the state’s total approved investments during this period, InvestPenang said. The state currently houses 18 of 20 semiconductor IC design companies in the country, including the three local IC design champions SkyeChip, Oppstar Technology and Infinecs Systems. “With the substantial influx of investments into Penang, coupled with the growing demand in IC design and digital sectors, talent is increasingly recognised as one of the key differentiators in attracting investments, as businesses prioritise regions with highly skilled and adaptable workforce. “Hence, the ultimate objective for the academy is to prepare individuals to become industry-ready IC design engineers, underscoring the state’s dedication to move up the value chain and unlock opportunities for growth and prosperity in this digital era,“ InvestPenang added. – Bernama
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Higher purchase, furniture segments boost ELK-Resources results (gio, 23 mag 2024)
PETALING JAYA: ELK-Desa Resources Bhd a non-bank lender focused in the used-car segment, registered a 16% increase in revenue to RM46.63 million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2024 compared with RM40.30 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago. This was due to higher contributions from both its hire purchase and furniture segments. The group's profit before tax (PBT) for the quarter increased by 32% to RM13.10 million from RM9.95 million, largely as a result of higher contribution from its hire purchase financing segment. On a cumulative basis, the group’s revenue was 8% higher at RM167.78 million compared with RM155.24 million last year. Nevertheless, PBT declined by 23% to RM49.04 million from RM63.31 million, primarily due to the absence of reversal of impairment allowance for the hire purchase segment that occurred in the first quarter of the previous corresponding year. In Financial Year 2024, the group’s furniture segment recorded a slight increase in revenue to RM54.55 million from RM54.48 million due to higher furniture sales. However, gross profit margin for the segment decreased to 35% from 38%, mainly due to higher imported good purchase cost as a result of weaker foreign exchange, write-down of inventory cost and general margin squeeze from stiffer competition. Mainly as a result of the decline in gross profit margin, the furniture segment registered a 46% drop in profit before tax to RM2.99 million from RM5.49 million a year ago. Executive director and chief financial officer Teoh Seng Hee said, “We are happy to note that ELK-Desa delivered a commendable performance in FY2024, which was reflected in the second highest profit levels ever recorded in our history, primarily due to the expansion of our hire purchase receivables, which have surpassed pre-Covid levels. “In FY2025, we aim to sustain this growth momentum further by expanding our hire purchase receivables moderately between the lower and mid teens in terms of percentage,” he added. “We have ended the financial year on a positive note with our gross impaired loans ratio of 1.9% and net impaired loans ratio of 0.6% as at 31 March 2024. This was mainly due to our ability to resume full scale recovery activities throughout FY2024. Prior to this, our recovery activities have been curtailed as a result of the pandemic. As we move further into FY2025, the group will be focused on driving down impaired loans ratio even more by pro-actively engaging our customers and maintaining our pace in recovery efforts,” Teoh said. He added that ELK-Resources will continue to grow the presence of its furniture segment in Sabah and Sarawak “We plan to bolster our logistic arrangements in order to have a competitive edge over other wholesalers. In an effort to become more competitive within the markets in East Malaysia, we aim to offer more in terms of diversity and range of products, while positioning ourselves as a trusted partner in delivering quality and value for money furniture products,” Teoh said. The board of directors has declared a second single-tier interim dividend of 3 sen per share in respect of the financial year ended March 31, 2024. The dividend will be paid on June 20. In addition to the first interim single-tier interim dividend of 2 sen per share which was paid on Dec 18, 2023, the total dividend for the financial year ended March 31, 2024 is 5 sen per share (FY2023: 6.50 sen). This represents a dividend payout ratio of about 62% of the net profit, which is higher than the dividend policy of 60% set by the board. The board of directors will not recommend any final dividend for the financial year ended March 31, 2024.
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SkyWorld Development posts FYE2024 revenue of RM688.6 million, declares 1.00 sen dividend (mer, 22 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: SkyWorld Development Berhad, an urban property developer principally involved in investment holding, provision of management services to its subsidiaries and property development, yesterday announced its financial results for the fourth quarter (Q4FYE2024) and unaudited full year ended March31, 2024 (FYE2024). For Q4FYE2024, SkyWorld Development reported profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax attributable to owners of the company (PATAMI) of RM39.4 million and RM20.7 million respectively. The earnings were on the back of a revenue of RM158.3 million. Incorporating Q4FYE2024 financial results, the company reported a revenue of RM688.6 million. The revenue was mainly derived from the progressive revenue recognition from the 3 developments completed during the financial year, namely SkySierra Residences (The Valley), SkyAwani IV Residences and SkyAwani V Residences as well as the on-going developments, EdgeWood Residences, SkyVogue Residences, Curvo Residences and Vesta Residences. Sales of completed inventories, mainly from SkyMeridien Residences, Bennington Residences and SkyAwani II Residences (commercial) further added to the revenue for the year under review. The PBT and PATAMI in turn were RM160.1 million and RM107.0 million respectively. Commenting on the Company’s performances for FYE2024, SkyWorld Development founder and non-independent executive chairman Datuk Seri Ng Thien Phing said, “We are delighted to highlight that our team has demonstrated unwavering dedication and exceptional effort in delivering top-tier quality products to our valued customers while sustaining the profitability of the company. During the financial year, the company successfully delivered 3 fully sold developments, namely SkySierra Residences (The Valley), SkyAwani IV Residences and SkyAwani V Residences to its valued customers. These developments were awarded high QLASSIC (Quality Assessment System in Construction) scores of 86%, 81% and 84% respectively, which reaffirm our commitment to deliver quality products to our valued customers. For the coming year, we will remain resilient against current challenges and uncertainties caused by local and global economic landscapes.” On the company’s prospects, Ng said, “We are planning to launch new developments in Kuala Lumpur with an estimated gross development value of more than RM1 billion in FYE2025. Furthermore, we will continue to be on the look-out for strategic lands in Malaysia and Vietnam to sustain our future development. We remain cautiously optimistic moving forward, supported by unbilled sales of RM548.1 million which will continue to provide earnings visibility for the next couple of years.” The company declared a final single-tier dividend of 1.00 sen per ordinary share in respect of FYE2024, which will be paid on July 15, 2024. Together with the first interim dividend of 1.25 sen per share, SkyWorld Development has declared a total dividend of RM22.5 million, equivalent to 2.25 sen per share for FYE2024.
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Vision to make Malaysia auto export hub highly achievable: Tengku Zafrul (mar, 21 mag 2024)
SERDANG: The vision to make Malaysia an automotive export hub is highly achievable on the back of the government’s robust policies such as the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP 2020) and the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030), said Investment, Trade And Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz He said key initiatives that support this vision include the National EV Project led by Perodua, Proton’s electric vehicle production, and the development of the Automotive High-Tech Valley (ATHV) by DRB-Hicom. “Looking ahead, with the support of all industry players and key stakeholders, I am confident Malaysia will remain a destination for investments that can deliver growth for its people and businesses,” he said at the launch of Malaysia Autoshow 2024 today. NAP 2020, originally launched for the period 2020 to 2030, is now approaching its halfway mark. Therefore, Tengku Zafrul said Miti together with MARii, will be undertaking a midterm review of NAP 2020, to take into account the rapid advancements in technology, particularly in the realm of energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) and electric vehicles (EV). He added that the goal is not only to stay relevant but to strive for excellence in promoting a thriving Malaysian automotive ecosystem. “Rest assured, the consultation process will be comprehensive, covering key stakeholders to address industry concerns and capitalise on emerging opportunities,” he said. Tengku Zafrul said NAP 2020’s vision is to make Malaysia a regional manufacturing powerhouse for next-generation vehicles (NxGV), EV and EEV. Meanwhile, he added, NIMP 2030 will propel the automotive industry by transforming Malaysia’s industrial landscape to support high-growth and high-tech industries. “We are proactively strengthening our E&E, chemicals, and automotive manufacturing capacity to support, for example, the supply side of the EV value chain, including the development of affordable EVs,” he said. Tengku Zafrul pointed out that Malaysia’s automotive industry is currently the second largest in Southeast Asia. “With Total Industry Volume of 799,731 units, globally we were ranked number 23 in 2023,” he said. In the first quarter of 2024, he said, the EV market continued its development, with nearly 11,000 units of battery electric vehicles and hybrids sold. “Our automotive sector stands out as a cornerstone of our nation’s economy, evidenced by substantial multi-billion ringgit investments from both local and foreign investors, as well as aggressive business expansions,” he said. On talent, Tengku Zafrul said that Miti has taken steps to create a pipeline to support the development of skilled, STEM and TVET talent to feed into the high-tech industries, including automotive. On May 11, he shared the first cohort of 94 workers who graduated from the upskilling programme by Malaysia Productivity Corporation. “There are 28 cohorts for 2024 alone. We hope to have this programme on a continuous basis, so the tech-based industries – including the automotive industry – can rely on a robust talent pipeline,” Tengku Zafrul said. The minister also said that the growth in the automotive industry will be supported by regional trends that promote economic growth and ecosystem development, consumer demand, as well as the introduction of models by automotive OEMs. “In 2023 alone, we saw evidence of this growth through the launch of 67 new models. If you ever get the chance to visit a few of Malaysia’s automotive hubs, whether in Shah Alam, Rawang, Tanjung Malim, Gurun, or Pekan, you can feel the strong vibes of this industry’s rapid growth,” said Tengku Zafrul.
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Rapid and Volvo to jointly conduct electric bus trial (mar, 21 mag 2024)
SHAH ALAM: Volvo Buses will implement a trial operation of its Volvo BZL-GML Eco Range electric bus for Rapid KL’s bus service, said Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd CEO Muhammad Yazurin Sallij. He said the trial operation is targeted to begin in July and is expected to last six months to a year. One unit of the Volvo BZL-GML Eco Range electric bus will run on Route 581, which is the Desa Tasik to LRT Bandar Tasik Selatan trip. Volvo Buses, one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable people transport solutions, together with Gemilang International Ltd, a Malaysian home-grown manufacturer of bodywork for buses and coaches, jointly launched the all-new, flagship Volvo BZL-GML Eco Range, offering Volvo’s first and locally built electric low-floor, two-door, premium class, city bus in Malaysia. Muhammad Yazurin said that this trial operation is to test the latest technology from Europe. “Our company and Volvo will share the operation data, given that one of the peculiarities in Malaysia is the hot weather,” he said during a press conference after a signing ceremony between Volvo and Rapid Bus to confirm the implementation of the trial operation today. “As of the instruction of the transport ministry, Rapid Bus’ last purchase of diesel-powered buses is the final batch before electric vehicle (EV) buses start to be implemented and according to the National Energy Transition Roadmap, the company is implementing this initiative towards the government’s direction. The plan for Rapid Bus to be full-EV will happen before 2027,” he added. The newly launched EV bus is equipped with safety and is embedded into every aspect of the vehicle’s energy storage system, from the battery cell design, disconnect measures, battery management systems and thermal management control for damage protection. Muhammad Yazurin said that within the company’s own buses implemented since 2017, Rapid Bus’ savings appeared to be significantly improved, nearly 30% of its savings. Costs from the government towards the company are reduced massively, in terms of powering up buses. He stated that this transition towards EV has its critical path of upgrading every bus depot into an EV chargeable station, to receive all EV buses. The initiative from the government through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry’s task force for EVs has facilitated many processes of the company’s efforts in implementing EV buses. Meanwhile, Volvo Buses Malaysia country manager Marcus Mak said he believes electromobility is one of the greatest solutions that can power a better future. The introduction of the Volvo BZL-GML Eco Range will contribute significantly to a sustainable environment through zero-emission while strengthening the industry networks through increasing understanding of superior electromobility technologies. According to the companies, the all-new electric premium city bus is poised to be a game changer that will raise the industry bar and power the progress of Malaysia’s electric bus segment, as well as hastening the achievement of a more sustainable future.
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Manufacturing industry capacity utilisation reaches 80.8% in 1Q - DoSM (mar, 21 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: The manufacturing industry operated at 80.8 per cent capacity in the first quarter of 2024 (1Q 2024), up from 79.8 per cent a year ago, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM). Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the higher capacity rate led to a 2.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in the Industrial Production Index (IPI) for the manufacturing industry during the quarter. “The increased capacity utilisation rate in 1Q 2024 was driven by performance in January (80.9 per cent) and March (81.6 per cent), both exceeding the 80 per cent mark, while February 2024 stood at 79.8 per cent,“ he said in a statement. Factors such as low demand, inadequate supply of materials, and ongoing machinery and equipment repairs or maintenance continued to hamper full utilisation of capacity in the manufacturing sector. ALSO READ: Malaysia’s IPI growth slows in March, but manufacturing recovery remains intact Mohd Uzir added that capacity utilisation in export-oriented industries experienced an upward trend during the quarter, rising by 0.1 percentage points y-o-y to 79.4 per cent. Meanwhile, domestic-oriented industries expanded significantly to a capacity utilisation rate of 83.7 per cent in 1Q 2024, up by 2.8 percentage points compared to the same quarter the previous year. Four states demonstrated capacity utilisation rates surpassing the national rate in 1Q 2024: Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan (95.9 per cent), Negeri Sembilan (84.9 per cent), Selangor (83.1 per cent) and Johor (81.0 per cent). “Nearly all states witnessed a y-o-y increase in capacity utilisation, except for Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. ALSO READ: 8.94m jobs recorded in Q1 2024, highest since 2018 - DOSM “Additionally, Kelantan recorded the lowest capacity utilisation rate at 69.7 per cent, mainly attributed to the food products manufacturing industry,“ he added.
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Ringgit breaches RM2.99 level per yen (mar, 21 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit breached the RM2.99 level against the Japanese yen last seen in June 2015 in early trade on Tuesday. At 9am, the pair stood at 2.9984/3.0012. Subsequently, the ringgit traded at 3.001/0022 versus the yen at 10.42am. Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid told Bernama that the sizeable interest rate differentials with Japan’s rate may have given an advantage to the ringgit. He reckoned that Japan’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) 0.2 per cent contraction suggests that the scope of higher policy rates by policymakers looks limited and may further benefit the ringgit. ALSO READ: Ringgit, yen tipped to be best-performinng currencies in Asia this year Meanwhile, UOB Kay Hian Wealth Advisors head of investment research Mohd Sedek Jantan said on Monday that Japanese policymakers said they would buy fewer government bonds, which could indicate a shift in approach. “There’s speculation that they might raise interest rates by 0.1 per cent by the end of July based on swaps trading,” he said, hinging on the Bank of Japan’s confidence about reaching their 2.0 per cent inflation target. The Japanese currency endured a prolonged fall, hurting domestic consumption amid higher import costs. ALSO READ: Stronger yen brings more capital inflows into M’sia: Experts Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki early today said he was concerned about the negative implications of the current weakness in the yen. Therefore, the government will monitor the currency market closely and take appropriate action as necessary.
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Ringgit falls, comments by Fed officials dampen rate cut hopes (mar, 21 mag 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit retreated against the US dollar to open lower on Tuesday as the risk mood was dampened by cautious US Federal Reserve official’s comments. At 9 am, the ringgit fell to 4.6910/6950 versus the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.6850/6875. Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said as expected, Fed officials continue to air their restrictive bias as they are convinced with the current disinflationary trajectory. “Hence, a rate cut seems to be too soon for some of them. “Among them, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester is of the view that the present monetary policy is well positioned to address both risks, that is, high or low inflation, and she has indicated that the balance of risk for inflation is tilted on the upside,” he told Bernama. ALSO READ: BNM: Malaysia’s economy on track to grow 4-5 % this year On that note, he expects the ringgit to trade in a tight range without key data points, ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes, which will be released on May 23. “The ringgit could range RM4.6800 to RM4.6900 as some market participants might take some profit as technical indicators have shown signs of overbought condition to emerge,” he added. The ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies, except versus the Japanese yen, where it broke the 2.90 level. At the opening, the pair traded at 2.9984/3.0012 from Monday’s close of 3.0084/0104. The ringgit, however, fell against the euro to 5.0944/0988 from 5.0921/0948 and slid vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9613/9664 from 5.9518/9550. ALSO READ: Malaysia’s economy grows faster than expected, inflation risks cloud outlook The local note traded mixed against Asean currencies, increasing vis-a-vis the Thai baht to 12.9550/9714 from 12.9987/13.0100 previously and was unchanged versus the Philippine peso at 8.09/8.11. The ringgit slipped against the Indonesian rupiah to 293.5/293.9 from 293.1/293.5 and depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.4813/4845 from 3.4809/4831 at Monday’s close.
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Mavcom: Strong growth in April air passenger traffic numbers (lun, 20 mag 2024)
PETALING JAYA: Air passenger traffic expanded substantially in April, statistics released by Malaysian Aviation Commission today showed. Air passenger traffic last month reached 7.9 million persons, marking a strong 19.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase from April 2023 and an 8% month-on-month (m-o-m) jump from March. The growth was largely driven by domestic air travel, particularly seasonal travel during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday period, with 3.9 million passengers recorded, reflecting a 14.9% increase from March. Domestic traffic accounted for 49.8% of the total passenger traffic in April. International traffic experienced a moderate increase of 1.9% m-o-m to 4.0 million passengers. Notably, passengers travelling to and from the Asean region increased by 4.4% m-o-m to 2.1 million, while non-Asean international traffic experienced a slight decrease of 0.7% m-o-m to 1.9 million passengers. Overall, international traffic represented 50.2% of the total passenger traffic in April. Total air passenger traffic in April this year achieved 86.3% of the pre-pandemic levels of April 2019. International air passenger traffic led the recovery at 88.1% of April 2019 levels. Domestic air passenger traffic also exhibited resilience, achieving 84.5% of the traffic seen in April 2019. The cumulative air passenger traffic from January to April 2024 reached 30.5 million, a 17% increase from 26.1 million passengers recorded over the same period in 2023. This growth was predominantly fuelled by a 39.4% increase in international air passenger traffic, which stood at 15.8 million, up from 11.4 million in the first four months of 2023, reflecting the industry’s recovery momentum and the restoration of international routes and frequencies. Domestic traffic slightly decreased by 0.4% y-o-y to 14.7 million. Enhanced international connectivity can be observed from the data, with airlines focusing their attention and resources on recovering international routes and frequencies, mirroring pre-Covid trends. Travel demand among consumers also reflects this trend. Overall, domestic and international passenger traffic accounted for 48.1% and 51.9% respectively, of the total traffic between January and April 2024. Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim stated, “The April 2024 air traffic figures indicate the ongoing recovery in the aviation sector. The resurgence of international traffic is a positive sign for the overall health of the global travel and tourism sectors, indicating that consumer confidence in air travel remains robust. We anticipate further acceleration in international travel, particularly with the 30-day visa exemptions for tourists from China and India.” He added that Mavcom remains committed to supporting the aviation industry's recovery, ensuring high standards of airport service quality (QoS), and safeguarding consumer rights. “We have recently advanced the Airports QoS Framework at KL International Airport Terminals 1 and 2 to monitor queuing times and improve passenger experience. The aviation sector continues to play a pivotal role in connecting people and driving economic sustainability,” Saripuddin said.
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Miti secures RM2.4b potential exports during PM’s visit to 3 Central Asian countries (lun, 20 mag 2024)
PETALING JAYA: The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) has secured RM2.4 billion of potential exports of Malaysian goods and services through the inaugural official visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the Krgyz Republic, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from May 15 to 19. Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz was part of the prime ministerial delegation. In a press statement, Miti said the potential exports are in sectors such as electrical and electronic (E&E) products; palm oil and palm oil-based products; fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG); energy and industrial solutions; food and beverage (F&B); furniture; halal products and services; oil and gas (O&G); building materials and construction; professional services; and jewellery. These export commitments were made by captains of industry in separate roundtable meetings with Anwar in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This encouraging outcome signifies the strengthening of economic ties between Malaysia and these Central Asian countries. In Astana, Kazakhstan, Anwar and Kazakhstan Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov jointly chaired a roundtable meeting between 26 prominent business leaders from 12 Kazakh companies which are also among the country’s largest private entities, and representatives from several Malaysian government-linked companies (GLC) and 14 other Malaysian firms. The Kazakh companies represented industries such as mining, O&G, energy, construction, FMCG and tourism. In Samarkand, Anwar and Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev, jointly chaired a high-level business forum for more than 200 representatives from leading Uzbek companies, several Malaysian GLC and Malaysian companies. The companies represented various industries including pharmaceutical, construction and real estate, O&G, retail and distribution as well as financial services. During both meetings, Anwar underscored the importance of strengthening bilateral and economic ties in facing complex global challenges, while reiterating Malaysia’s commitment towards building robust trade, investment and cultural linkages. The prime minister also witnessed the exchange of eight memorandums of understanding (MoU) between Malaysian entities and those from Kazakhstan as well as Uzbekistan. One of the MoUs was between Miti’s agency, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan (CCIU). This MoU signifies more upcoming opportunities for Malaysian businesses as CCIU is Uzbekistan’s largest business chamber, representing more than 280,000 members. Other MoUs exchanged were in the areas of trade promotion, training and education, research and development as well as retail and distribution. Tengku Zafrul said, “We are pleased to have achieved RM2.4 billion of cumulative potential exports from the businesses in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This significant figure – confirmed through the roundtable meetings in both countries – reflects their respective business communities’ growing trust in Malaysia as a strategic partner in trade and investment. Miti will ensure that those export commitments are realised as quickly as possible to support Malaysia’s GDP growth.” He added that there are numerous opportunities for Malaysian companies in the Central Asia region. Through Matrade’s presence in Almaty and Tashkent, they will expand business opportunities for Malaysian companies, and Miti will ensure these will translate into commercial opportunities for Malaysian SMEs, and jobs for Malaysians. Malaysia and Uzbekistan also agreed to reactivate the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting. The JTC serves as a platform to address issues of interest; discuss existing and possible new areas of cooperation; strengthen private sector collaboration and further encourage trade and investment between the two countries.
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Rise of smart buildings calls for robust cybersecurity measures: KL mayor (lun, 20 mag 2024)
PETALING JAYA: With the rise of smart buildings in the country, there is a need for robust cybersecurity measures to oversee the integration of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, said Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Kamarulzaman Mat Salleh. He said opportunities for cyber attacks increase as buildings become more connected. “Robust cybersecurity measures are crucial to protect sensitive data and ensure the smooth operation of these complex systems,” he said in his keynote address read out by his representative, Kuala Lumpur City Hall executive director (project management) Mohamad Hamim at the Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) Smart Building Conference 2024 here today. Additionally, he identified other challenges, including integration with technology. Kamarulzaman said the success of a smart building hinges on integration between different technologies and platforms. “Data silos have no place in this future. Synchronisation requires all instruments and tools to play in harmony,” he remarked. However, he said the benefits of smart buildings are undeniable and they promise efficiency. “Imagine buildings that optimise energy use, predict maintenance needs, and automatically adjust lighting and temperature – all based on real-time data. “This translates to significant cost savings and a smaller environmental footprint,” said Kamarulzaman. Moreover, he added, smart buildings offer an enhanced occupant experience. “Imagine personalised workspaces that adapt to your needs, adjust lighting for optimal focus, and even greet you with a customised temperature setting. Smart buildings can improve comfort, productivity, and overall well-being,” he said. Furthermore, Kamarulzaman said, smart buildings contribute to sustainability beside they being be instrumental in combating climate change. “By intelligently managing resources, we can significantly reduce energy consumption and our reliance on fossil fuels.” Meanwhile, MIPFM president Ishak Ismail said there is transformative impact of technology, especially proptech, on the property management market. He said these advancements have revolutionised the industry by providing digital solutions to meet customer demands and enhance the delivery of quality property and facility management services. He noted the role of smart building innovation in facilitating these advancements. “Accordingly, the transformation of urban landscapes into dynamic, responsive ecosystems will improve the quality of life for everyone. Sustainable urban planning, smart infrastructure, digital governance, and citizen engagement are the enablers for the transformation into Smart Cities,” Ishak added.
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Three Bumiputera agencies realigned under Economy Ministry to boost their participation (lun, 20 mag 2024)
CYBERJAYA: Three Bumiputera agencies have been realigned under the control of the Ministry of Economy to boost their economic participation and this will be achieved through smart and innovative cooperation between the public and the private sectors, parallel to the principles of the Madani government that prioritises inclusivity, effectiveness, and sustainability, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli. He said the alignment is also carried out as a follow-up to the Mid-Term Review of the 12th Malaysia Plan which has outlined a strategy to strengthen the role of the agencies in delivering the Bumiputera agenda. “Cooperation between the public and the private sectors is expected to form a unified, comprehensive and efficient system towards a more careful economic development of Bumiputeras,“ he said at the “Presentation of New Directions in Bumiputera Mandated Agencies: Yayasan Peneraju (YP), Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) and Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas)” event here today. Rafizi said YP, Teraju and Ekuinas will play a special role in the Bumiputera entrepreneurial ecosystem. YP focuses on talent development to increase the Bumiputera value creator class, while Teraju will act as a super-scaler in spurring the growth of Bumiputera companies to a higher level in the global arena. Ekuinas will continue to spur the creation of economic involvement of Bumiputeras through the ownership of corporate equity. The realignment is carried out in line with the goal of the Madani to increase the economic participation of Bumiputeras strategically, continuously and effectively. Rafizi said all three agencies involved have been given targets to achieve. By 2030, YP needs to provide 10,000 Bumiputera talent who are ready to compete and become industry players, Teraju is targeted to provide financing facilities totalling RM1 billion through cooperation with the private sector as well as developing and improving the capabilities of as many as 1000 companies. “Through a fund of RM800 million, Ekuinas will support more Bumiputera companies that have outstanding performance and profit records and it will invest to support the growth of these companies, ensuring that they continue to grow and achieve greater success in the market,“ he added. Rafizi witnessed the exchange of several memorandums of understanding at the event, one of which was between Teraju and Leave a Nest for collaboration and networking opportunities through strategic ecosystems, as well as access to finance and prototyping help. Teraju will partner with Sirim Bhd on a facilitation initiative that will include consultation and advisory services for digital products and services. Additionally, Teraju will work with the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research on a facilitation initiative involving Bumiputera company savings institutions, consultation services and advisory services. Teraju will also collaborate with financial institutions such as Bank Muamalat Malaysia, RHB Islamic, MIDF, MBSB Bank, Sabah Credit Corp, Maybank Islamic, SME Bank, Agrobank, Bank Rakyat, Credit Guarantee, Exim Bank, Pernas and Development Bank of Sarawak to create financing facilities worth RM1 billion for Bumiputera companies.
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RHB Banking Group increases sustainable finance target to RM50 billion by 2026 from RM20 billion (gio, 18 apr 2024)
KUALA LUMPUR: The RHB Banking Group has increased its sustainable finance target to RM50 billion by 2026 from RM20 billion previously. Group Managing Director/Group CEO Mohd Rashid Mohamad (pic) said that it has identified numerous opportunities for sustainable financing for RHB, including cross-border ventures. “Considering our achievements to date, we have increased our target to RM50 billion. We are confident that we will reach the target by 2026,” he told a press conference at RHB Sustainability Media Day recently. Mohd Rashid said RHB’s Net Zero commitment aligns with Malaysia’s ambition to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, as outlined in the government’s National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) and supported by frameworks like the Hydrogen Economy & Technology Roadmap and New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030). “The Group’s Net Zero commitment acknowledges the financial sector’s crucial role in directing capital towards sustainable and low-carbon activities. So there is the financing needed by certain sectors of the country. So we are here, the bank is the fund,” he said. He said the group has cumulatively mobilised RM23.8 billion in sustainable financial services by the end of FY2023, exceeding its initial target of RM20 billion by 2026. Of this, he said RM11.3 billion was directed towards green activities, including renewable energy projects and energy efficiency solutions which will contribute towards its goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050. According to Mohd Rashid, RHB prioritises five high-impact sectors which are energy supply, palm oil, oil & gas, property & construction, and transportation which represents nearly 60% of the Group’s financial exposure and over 80% of financed emissions. “RHB’s strategy to achieve Net Zero by 2050 focuses on reducing the financed emissions arising from these five high-impact sectors. “By 2030, RHB aims to achieve a 20% reduction in these sectors. By 2050, RHB goal is to accomplish up to 96% reduction in financed emissions across these sectors,” he said. He added RHB targets to achieve 40% of the Group’s portfolio in Green Financial Services and supporting companies committed to carbon neutrality. He said The group takes a targeted client engagement approach across varying levels of ESG maturity (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 clients) based on their decarbonisation maturity and needs. It also leverages on the business and investment opportunities arising from the NETR’s initiatives and enablers. “RHB has made significant progress towards carbon neutral operations, achieving a 43% reduction in operational GHG emissions against a 2016 baseline, encompassing Scopes 1, 2, and 3 (Business Travel by Road and Air). “The Group aims to achieve a 45% reduction in operational GHG emissions by 2026 and achieve carbon neutral operations by 2030 through internal initiatives and carbon offsets,” he said. Mohd Rashid said SMEs is also one of the focus areas under the Sustainable and Responsible Finance pillar of the Group’s Sustainability Strategy and Roadmap. “The focus is a little bit more on SMEs because we know that they are keys and we need to grow and bring them and educate them in terms of the need of the transition finance. So we are not discounting totally for those who are transitioning or who don’t have the transition plan or ESG,” he said. He said RHB embarked on a landmark collaboration with TNB in FY2023 to engage SMEs across Malaysia and promote sustainable business practices. “RHB conducted ESG roadshows benefitting over 800 SMEs in FY2023, through collaboration with industry associations in the retail, electrical & electronics, and manufacturing sectors,” he added. Meanwhile, he said RHB SME Green Financing Solutions offer a suite of green products to meet SMEs’ financing needs for the low-carbon transition. “The Group also mobilises financing through BNM’s Low Carbon Transition Facility (LCTF) for SMEs, mobilising RM258.80 million in FY2023,” he added. Mohd Rashid said central to RHB’s approach is the acceleration of clients’ decarbonisation journeys. This involves engaging existing clients across the five high-impact sectors to catalyse their decarbonisation journeys. In addition to client engagement, RHB plans to mobilise transition finance to enable sustainable transformation for clients facing challenges in reducing their emissions. Furthermore, RHB will employ asset replacement of brown assets to green assets to offset financed emissions from our existing exposures. RHB also plans to leverage progress and development of government policies, directives and incentives, regulatory requirements towards low-carbon transition and industry players’ climate-related commitments. However, Mohd Rashid said it recognises that the journey to achieving Net Zero cannot be carried out in silo. “We will continue to engage with our clients, business partners, employees, and the broader community to embark on our Net Zero journey together,” he said. Mohd Rashid said it shall also collaborate with governmental bodies, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders in order to create a scalable impact. “At the same time, we will be guided on the progress and development of government policies, directives and incentives towards achieving our Net Zero 2050 commitment,” he added.
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