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Daily Archives: May 5, 2019

Sime Darby Property to launch Hari Raya 2019 sales campaign

KUALA LUMPUR, Sime Darby Property Bhd, which recorded over RM1 billion sales with over 1,100 property units sold during the recent eight-week Primetime 8 campaign, is planning a new home ownership campaign in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya festive season.

The Raya 2019 campaign will run from May 15 to June 30.

Acting group chief executing operating Datuk Wan Hashimi Albalkri Wan Ahmad Amin Jaffri said the overwhelming response from buyers to Primetime 8 exceeded the company’s expectations.

It is an indication that despite concerns over the economic climate, home ownership remains a priority among Malaysians, reflecting their trust in quality homes in great locations, easy accessibility coupled with competitive pricing that translates into value-for-money products.

The Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) has definitely helped us in this achievement and for this we are truly thankful to the government, he said in a statement.

The property market was an important contributor to the country’s economy and Sime Darby Property would continue to play its part to stimulate this sector, he added.

The company’s Primetime 8 marketing campaign, held in conjunction with the national-level HOC 2019, featured launches throughout March and April.

Over the eight-week period, Sime Darby Property launched seven new projects and two co-creation projects in Subang Jaya City Centre and Putra Heights involving an online platform.

The dto online platform, based on co-creation and crowd sourcing, allows customers to have a say on the development concept, design and amenities.

Buyers flocked to the launches of quality landed and high-rise homes in Bandar Bukit Raja, the City of Elmina, Serenia City, Bandar Universiti Pagoh, The Glades at Putra Heights and KL East.

According to Sime Darby Property, all the launches bear its hallmark of strategic locations and excellent connectivity.

One of the key product highlights was Elsa, the first product under the Affordable Collection, which recorded an overwhelming 100 per cent take-up on its launch day with 165 units sold.

The campaign also saw multiple successful launches, including Elmina Valley Five with 90 per cent of 373 units sold. High-rise product The Ridge in KL East also enjoyed a strong take-up of more than 70 per cent.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Takaful industry aims to close protection gap between B40 and other groups

KUALA LUMPUR, The takaful industry is pushing for more affordable products targeting the B40 (low income) group such as Perlindungan Tenang, which is in line with the Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) aspiration to close up the protection gap.

Malaysia Takaful Association (MTA) chairman, Muhammad Fikri Mohamad Rawi said MTA, together with its members, had also been working hard to achieve the target set by BNM of 25 per cent takaful penetration rate in the country by 2020.

“The amount of sign-ups for Perlindungan Tenang is very positive, but it is still a challenge for us to reach out to those in the outskirts as they might not understand the necessity for such protection. But we will continue to reach out and educate the masses on the matter,” he said after the Takaful StarNite award ceremony on Saturday.

Perlindungan Tenang, an affordable insurance and takaful scheme launched in 2017, is a combined initiative of the MTA, Life Insurance Association of Malaysia and General Insurance Association of Malaysia under the purview of BNM. The takaful starting price is as low as RM39 yearly.

As for the takaful industry’s performance, it recorded an uptrend last year with new takaful protection value of RM324.2 billion. New business contribution for all certificates combined in 2018 totalled RM4.91 billion.

“The protection value grew by 14.5 per cent from 2017 with a double-digit growth of 13.1 per cent in the family takaful business contribution over the RM4.35 billion recorded in 2017.

“As a whole, the takaful industry added 699,534 new certificate holders, which was an increase of 4.6 per cent from the previous year,” he said.

Takaful is a co-operative system of reimbursement or repayment in care of loss, structured to be Shariah compliant as an alternative to conventional insurance.

Meanwhile, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said the buoyant performance of the takaful industry reflected the increasing familiarity with the takaful concept among Malaysians, evidenced by greater acceptance of takaful coverage as the protection of choice.

“While the Malaysian economy is expected to grow between 4.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent in 2019, the finance and insurance sub-sector is expected to record a positive growth in 2019, supported by stronger financing activity in both household and business segments,” he said in his speech.

However, he said, the Malaysian population remained under-served with only 15.2 per cent of Malaysians having takaful coverage despite a Muslim population of over 60 per cent.

“In other words, this industry is primed for robust growth and there is a need to aggressively bring about awareness to promote the value proposition and distinct features of takaful to the Malaysian population,” he said.

During the Takaful StarNite ceremony, 24 awards were given out to excellent agents and organisations as well as a special award, Tokoh Kembara Takaful, which went to Datuk Dr Daud Bakar for his achievements and contributions in promoting and developing the takaful industry within the country and globally.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Malaysia market less attractive, foreign fund outflow to continue

KUALA LUMPUR, Foreign fund outflow from Bursa Malaysia is expected to persist as international investors are more drawn to other emerging markets, especially China and Thailand, says an analyst.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said this, however, has got nothing to do with the administration of the new Pakatan Harapan government, which will mark its first anniversary of ruling the country on May 9.

“China has been doing very well since early this year, as the selling seen in December was over.

As for the Thai stock market index, it has exceeded the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) this month after performing lower previously,” he told Bernama.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Index closed at 1,679.05 on Friday, while Bursa Malaysia ended the week at 1,637.30.

Apart from that, Pong said, the disappointing corporate earnings since late 2017 also made the local stock market less attractive.

“We are entering into the March quarter earnings season whereby corporate announcements will be gradually made in the second half of this month, but I am ready to see more disappointing announcements coming in,” he quipped.

Commenting on fund flow, Pong said the local equity market, which was closed on May 1 for the Labour Day holiday, saw wider net foreign selling of RM295.5 million in the holiday-shortened week compared with RM72 million in the previous week, mainly dragged by the broader general sell-down of worldwide equities in the week due to the weakening New York Stock Exchange performance.

Besides, he said, the lower participation of both local institutions and retail investors on April 30, mainly due to the introduction of T+2 settlement cycle which began on April 29, also contributed to the weaker fund performance for this week.

“We saw only 39 per cent participation by the local institutions on April 30 compared to the normal participation rates of 45-50 per cent, and as for local retail investors, there was only 21 per cent participation on April 30, when it could have hit up to 34.2 per cent like what we saw on April 22, 2019.

“Investors have become more cautious following the introduction of the T+2 settlement cycle, resulting in the anticipated selling from both local institutions and retail investors,” he said.

The T+2 scheme, which aims at shortening the settlement cycle, would reduce counterparty risk, improve operational efficiency, strengthen market’s competitiveness and increase global harmonisation.

Meanwhile, on the ringgit’s performance, Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd head of economic research Wan Suhaimi Wan Mohd Saidie expects the local note to remain at between the 4.10 and 4.15 level against the US dollar in the first half of this year, backed by the strong economic fundamentals of the country.

“Malaysia still has a decent current account surplus, sustainable domestic demand growth, and a well-managed and stable financial system; hence I believe there would be strong fundamentals for the ringgit,” he told Bernama.

Wan Suhaimi said the local note is still relatively undervalued now as investors are looking for a clearer direction on policies and political stability, which could put Malaysia at the forefront compared to other countries.

As for the overnight policy rate (OPR) cut anticipation, Wan Suhaimi said in line with global economic slow down, investors have already discounted the possibility of an OPR cut of 25 basis points, which has been shown in the current level of the ringgit.

At Friday’s close, the ringgit was quoted at 4.1410/1440 against the greenback.

Bank Negara Malaysia will be holding its Monetary Policy Committee meeting on May 7 to determine whether to cut or maintain the OPR.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Malaysia market less attractive, foreign fund outflow to continue

KUALA LUMPUR, Foreign fund outflow from Bursa Malaysia is expected to persist as international investors are more drawn to other emerging markets, especially China and Thailand, says an analyst.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said this, however, has got nothing to do with the administration of the new Pakatan Harapan government, which will mark its first anniversary of ruling the country on May 9.

“China has been doing very well since early this year, as the selling seen in December was over.

As for the Thai stock market index, it has exceeded the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) this month after performing lower previously,” he told Bernama.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Index closed at 1,679.05 on Friday, while Bursa Malaysia ended the week at 1,637.30.

Apart from that, Pong said, the disappointing corporate earnings since late 2017 also made the local stock market less attractive.

“We are entering into the March quarter earnings season whereby corporate announcements will be gradually made in the second half of this month, but I am ready to see more disappointing announcements coming in,” he quipped.

Commenting on fund flow, Pong said the local equity market, which was closed on May 1 for the Labour Day holiday, saw wider net foreign selling of RM295.5 million in the holiday-shortened week compared with RM72 million in the previous week, mainly dragged by the broader general sell-down of worldwide equities in the week due to the weakening New York Stock Exchange performance.

Besides, he said, the lower participation of both local institutions and retail investors on April 30, mainly due to the introduction of T+2 settlement cycle which began on April 29, also contributed to the weaker fund performance for this week.

“We saw only 39 per cent participation by the local institutions on April 30 compared to the normal participation rates of 45-50 per cent, and as for local retail investors, there was only 21 per cent participation on April 30, when it could have hit up to 34.2 per cent like what we saw on April 22, 2019.

“Investors have become more cautious following the introduction of the T+2 settlement cycle, resulting in the anticipated selling from both local institutions and retail investors,” he said.

The T+2 scheme, which aims at shortening the settlement cycle, would reduce counterparty risk, improve operational efficiency, strengthen market’s competitiveness and increase global harmonisation.

Meanwhile, on the ringgit’s performance, Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd head of economic research Wan Suhaimi Wan Mohd Saidie expects the local note to remain at between the 4.10 and 4.15 level against the US dollar in the first half of this year, backed by the strong economic fundamentals of the country.

“Malaysia still has a decent current account surplus, sustainable domestic demand growth, and a well-managed and stable financial system; hence I believe there would be strong fundamentals for the ringgit,” he told Bernama.

Wan Suhaimi said the local note is still relatively undervalued now as investors are looking for a clearer direction on policies and political stability, which could put Malaysia at the forefront compared to other countries.

As for the overnight policy rate (OPR) cut anticipation, Wan Suhaimi said in line with global economic slow down, investors have already discounted the possibility of an OPR cut of 25 basis points, which has been shown in the current level of the ringgit.

At Friday’s close, the ringgit was quoted at 4.1410/1440 against the greenback.

Bank Negara Malaysia will be holding its Monetary Policy Committee meeting on May 7 to determine whether to cut or maintain the OPR.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)