Malaysian employees expects incentives from the government if they stay employed or enhance their skills, says Randstad


Global recruitment firm Randstad said that Malaysian employees expect incentives from the government if they stay employed or enhance their professional skills.

Its Randstad Workmonitor survey showed that 80 per cent of  employees across the world said the government should offer incentives such as tax rebates and subsidies if they choose to further develop their professional competencies.

90 per cent of employees in Malaysia said that the government should offer incentives to employees if they choose to develop their professional competencies or remain in the workforce.

“There is a war on talent and as a result, companies are only seeking the best from the limited local talent pool to ensure successful integration of new innovations and to drive business growth.

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Pacific Mutual says outlook for Malaysian market choppy


In a statement Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd, an investment management company under the OCBC Group, with internal resources to manage both local and global investments for its clients, has commented that the company expects greater market volatility ahead.

Commenting on the market outlook, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Pacific Mutual, Teh Chi-cheun, said, “Both global and local economic data continue to be strong and sustainable.

This has translated into decent market performance to date in 2018, following a good run in 2017. The risk that has stemmed from policies and politics has caused markets to be more volatile. We expect markets to continue to be on an uptrend albeit with even more market volatility ahead. In short expect a ‘choppy’ market.”

Teh added, “Policies and political issues that could cause markets to be volatile include rising trade tensions although our base case assumption is no full-blown trade war, the impact of interest rate hikes in the US, tapering in Eurozone, changes in the US administration, Brexit negotiations and geo-political risk be it the Middle East, Russia or North Korea. Locally the impending general election in Malaysia might cause a slowdown in activities as investors and businesses await the dissolution of Parliament and the various political posturing and campaigning. That said, for the local bourse, there are pockets of opportunities in this environment.”

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Hibiscus Petroleum subsidiary completes acquisition of 50pc stake in North Sabah PSC

hibiscus petroluem

Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad today informed Bursa Malaysia that its indirect wholly owned subsidiary SEA Hibiscus Sdn Bhd had completed its 50 per cent acquisition in the 2011 North Sabah Enhanced Oil  Recovery Production Sharing Contract. (North Sabah PSC)

SEA Hibiscus had on 12 September 2016 entered into a conditional sales and purchase agreement with Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd  to acquire Shell’s participating interests in the PSC between Petronas , Shell and Petronas Carigali for a total sum of US$25 million.

The North Sabah PSC is made up of  20 platforms across four producing fields located in the South China Sea and the Labuan Crude Oil Terminal located in Labuan. The fields have been producing since 1979 and the PSC provides Hibiscus with operatorship and production rights till 2040.

The PSC will provide a significant  boost the company’s production as the North Sabah PSC has probable and contingent reserves of 40.9 million barrels and 79 million barrels respectively as at 1 January 2018.

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BMW sued in US over diesel emissions


German luxury carmaker BMW has been sued in the United States over “defeat devices” installed in tens of thousands of vehicles to  cheat  in diesel emissions tests, lawyers for the plaintiffs said yesterday.

The case, filed in federal court in New Jersey, will become a class-action once it is certified by a judge.

The suit singles out the BMW X5 and 335D model diesel cars which were  sold between 2009 and 2013.

The attorneys at the Hagens Berman firm claim emissions from those cars were as much as 27 times higher than the standard permitted — a fact masked by the “defeat devices” and their “manipulative software”.

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Malaysia must choose innovation to progress

kuala lumpur

Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), smart factories, robotics, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce, cryptography.

The economic potential for these new technologies is great. Concurrently,  recent news reports clearly show the threat posed by technology.

AI could take high-paying service jobs in the accounting and legal fields, smart factories could take away good paying jobs, and IoT could mean a loss of privacy.

Whether Malaysia reaps the gains of innovation or not depends on Malaysia’s ability to enact pro-innovation policies and avoid regulations that may have the unintended anti-innovation effects.

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Air China records stellar profits boosted by cargo market and stronger yuan

air china

Air China Ltd yesterday posted its strongest profit since 2011, albeit missing analyst forecasts, as a strong cargo market and appreciating  yuan helped boost earnings.

The earnings miss, however, caused its Hong Kong shares to slide more than 3 per cent to their lowest since early February, with analysts saying that the operating costs posted by China’s flag carrier were surprisingly on the high side.

Air China’s results showed  2017 profit attributable to shareholders rose 6.3 per cent from a year earlier to 7.24 billion yuan (RM4.44 billion).

That compared with the 9.22 billion yuan average of 17 analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll. Revenue rose 7.7 per cent to 121.4 billion yuan.

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Petronas will maintain discipline for cautious outlook


Whilst there is a cautious outlook projected to impact the upstream oil and gas (O&G) sector this year, Malaysia’s oil company, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is optimistic that the challenges facing the industry can be solved with the proper strategies in place.

According to The Star, Petronas executive vice-president and upstream chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib said the company already has a growth plan outlined ready for it.

“When people ask me about the outlook, you have to be positive in this business. We will work towards a plan that we have, which is capital and operational discipline.

“This discipline must be maintained throughout… because at the end of the day, if I were to see what’s the role of this industry, it is actually to deliver energy in the most reliable, affordable and sustainable manner to the users,” he said during a briefing in conjunction with the Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2018 earlier last week.

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Astro Malaysia slides as web streaming is demanding


Investors seem to prepare for the tougher times in the future of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd as the media broadcasting scene continues to change.

Besides the shifting of the media consumption habits, there is also a thought that the satellite broadcasting business is all capital inclusive in nature, particularly from the content costs and the need to continue investments in broadcasting technology.

The Star reported that against this background, the company’s shares in the past week has dropped to nearly its lowest point since it was listed in 2012 with its shares closed at RM2.18 in Friday, down four sen after hitting RM2.16 on Tuesday.

There are yet exact or official statistics available on how rapid people are moving from paying for satellite television subscription and opting for a streaming service over the web.

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Bank Negara will revise Takaful operational framework


Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara (BNM) will carry out the further groundwork to support the takaful industry and build an environment that adopts the innovation, facilitated by a revised takaful operational framework.

According to Bernama report, Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim said the revised framework would be published for consultation before the first-half of this year.

“The revised framework will bring greater clarity on the use of multiple Shariah standards in the models and structures of takaful.

“We will also strengthen the governance of takaful operators, including how takaful funds are managed, to further safeguard the interest of takaful participants,” he said in the speech at Takaful Annual Dinner and Awards 2018 last week.

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The tax filing season cometh

lhdn-tax time

Individuals who are resident and with employment income must submit their taxes by April 30. Failure to do so by the stipulated date will result in penalties.

The earlier you submit your returns, the faster you will get your refunds (if any).

Here’s a guide that you can refer to for filing personal income tax claims for the Year of Assessment 2017. But before you proceed with doing so, you want to know…

If you are a resident of Malaysia earning :

  • Above RM34,000 per year (after EPF deductions) or RM2,833. 33 per month (after EPF deductions)
  • Above RM38,202.25 per year (before EPF deductions) or RM3,183.52 per month (before EPF deductions)

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