News Update - May 2002
surplus exceeds analysts' forecast
country recorded a trade surplus in March of RM5.1bil,
a figure economists said was better than had been anticipated.
March's trade surplus represented a 35.54% expansion
over February's figure of RM3.8bil and was the highest
value posted since September 2001. Total exports in
March were stronger to the tune of RM30.8bil, a 27.2%
increase over February's RM24.2bil. Both total exports
and imports for March were the highest since November
2000 and the highest monthly rate of growth seen since
1.1% growth in the 1st quarter
two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the Malaysian
economy turned around to record a healthy 1.1% growth
in the first quarter of this year.
manufacturing sector will remain a very important segment
of Malaysia's economy even as the services sector gains
prominence and significance, said Bank Negara governor
Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
sales value in the manufacturing sector soared by
17.3% in March to RM25.8bil from RM22bil in February
this year, said the Statistics Department
Q1 profit rise for banking system
banking system has recorded a RM2.4bil, or 72.3%, increase
in profit in the first quarter this year, said Bank
Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz at the Malaysian
Banking & Financial Services Summit 2002 in Kuala
sector must take the lead again
private sector, which has been lethargic in recent years,
will be the engine of growth in the 2003 Budget. Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who would present
the Budget in September, said it would focus on efforts
to propel the private sector back to its pre-1998 financial
Lynch: Cash calls to triple this year
amount of funds raised through cash calls is expected
to triple this year in line with the recovery of the
KLSE, with cash calls in the first three months of 2001
totalling RM3.2bil, half the amount raised for the whole
of last year.
a better choice to invest, says Bank of China
is a better choice for Chinese businessmen to invest
in as it offers many plus points, according to Bank
of China (M) Bhd general manager Zhang Lian Li. He said
that apart from the social and political stability Malaysia
had a good financial system and on top of that rich
in natural resources.
banks can rise to global challenge
executive officers of three anchor banks have expressed
confidence in the ability of local banks to meet the
challenge from foreign banks once the banking industry
is opened to further competition under Bank Negara's
plans to liberalise the sector.
to study potential growth sectors
National Economic Action Council (NEAC) will conduct
fresh studies on growth potential sectors to strengthen
the national economy, its executive director Datuk Mustapa
Mohamed said. Among them were transportation, unemployment,
criteria needed by employers in offering posts to graduates,
including skills, expertise and language proficiency,
of funds invested in Malaysia up in 2001
at Dec 31, 2001, the amount of funds invested in Malaysia
thro-ugh fund management stood at RM49.91bil, an increase
of 20.5% from end-2000 while funds invested outside
Malaysia amounted to RM1.10bil, down 51.1% from end-2000.
to grow by 2.7%
Malaysian manufacturing sector recorded a decline in
productivity to 3.4% last year from 11.1% a year earlier
as a slowdown in the world economy affected the demand
for manufactured goods.
it is expected to grow by 2.7% this year, thanks to
the government's stimulus economic package and the
overall improvement in the world economy.
managed NPLs worth RM47bil last year
Danaharta Nasional Bhd has dealt with 2,902 non-performing
loan (NPL) accounts totaling RM47.69bil as at the end
of last year. As of Feb 19, 2002, Danaharta has appointed
special administrators (SAs) over 61 groups of companies
(or 113 companies), of which 42 groups (or 91 companies)
are still at various stages of special administration.
The organisation is now moving into the resolution phase
of its life cycle.
and Mida set up trade offices in Shanghai
efforts to boost trade and investment links between
Shanghai and Malaysia, the Malaysia External Trade Development
Corporation (Matrade) and Malaysian Industrial Development
Authority (Mida) opened their trade and investment offices
countries still Malaysia largest trading partners
member countries remain the largest trading partners
for Malaysia, contributing 24% of the country's global
trade last year, International Trade and Industry Ministry
(Miti) principal assistant director Ho Koon Seng said.
However, Malaysia's trade with Asean decreased by 17.7%
to RM147.6bil, from RM173.7bil in 2000
competitive ranking improves
has risen from 29th position in 2001 to 26th this year
in the index of 49 countries, its highest ranking since
1998. The move represents an improvement of nearly 20%
in the assessment score over year 2001. Malaysia now
ranks higher in the IMD World Competitiveness Index
than South Korea (27th), Japan (30th), China (31st),
Thailand (34th), the Philippines (40th) and Indonesia
relaxes rules on unit trust funds buy
part of measures to gradually liberalise the investment
management industry, the Securities Commission (SC)
introduced a new policy that allows a group of companies
or individuals to have an interest in more than one
unit trust management company (UTMC).
framework now covers discount houses
part of its continuous effort to enhance the framework
for prudential regulation within the financial sector,
Bank Negara has extended the implementation of the liquidity
framework to the discount houses industry.
has emerged as the leading Asian country, excluding
Japan, in the Reader's Digest Asian SuperBrands Survey
with the highest number of companies winning the publications'
annual top awards. A total of 25 companies received
the SuperBrand Platinum awards while 36 companies received
the SuperBrands Gold awards at an awards ceremony for
Malaysian winners in Petaling Jaya recently.
best forum for ASEAN members to approach Beijing
or isolating China is not the way for Asean members
to boost their economy, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad
said. The best way would be through engaging China via
the East Asia Economic Grouping (EAEG), the Prime Minister
said. "As China will be a member of the EAEG, challenges
it poses that may be damaging to South-East Asian countries
can be discussed in the forum and mitigated".
non-tariff barriers, says PM
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia
will not introduce non-tariff barriers for its automative
industry in 2005 when it must comply with market opening
measures under the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta) for
airlines having more flights to KLIA, says Ling
more international airlines - Lauda Air and Cathay Pacific
Airways - will increase their flight frequency to KL
International Airport to seven times weekly effective
next Tuesday and Aug 1 respectively.
new airlines flying into the KL International Airport
will receive 100% discount in landing and parking
charges for five years with immediate effect.
tyres and spare parts hit by cheaper imports
Motor trades such as tyre and spare parts dealers nationwide
have drastically cut down orders for local products
following the influx of imported tyres and parts.
financial regulators share experience with Malaysia
group of financial regulators from Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (Apec) countries were in Kuala Lumpur earlier
this month to share their experience in capital market
investigation and enforcement with the Securities Commission
(SC), local exchanges and the Attorney-General's office.
plans to initially use gold within small group
plans to initially use the gold dinar as a currency
for trading with a small group of countries, in the
hope it would slowly gain international acceptance.
are trying to work it out with three or four countries
that we have close ties with,'' said Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad, who proposed the system last month
to reduce the risk of speculation in bilateral trading.
Some Islamic countries have proposed using the dinar,
which is a gold-backed standard, in international
trade instead of the US dollar
to host Islamic banking committee
has been appointed host country to the newly-created
Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), an international
body that will set standards for Islamic banking and
to lead task force on Islamic capital markets
Securities Commission (SC) has been given a mandate
by the executive committee of the International Organisation
of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) to lead a task force
on Islamic capital markets.
Attorney-General John Ashcroft has "positively
endorsed" the significance of the Internal Security
Act (ISA) by stating that he understood the relevance,
the utilisation and the background of Malaysia having
such a law.
praises Malaysia's efforts
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commended Malaysia
yesterday for its efforts and co-operation in the war
"It is impressive the extent to which Malaysia
is co-operating in the war on terror," he told
newsmen after meeting Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib
Tun Abdul Razak at the Pentagon
adopts more positive attitude towards Malaysia
relationship with the United States has taken a significant
step forward with the Bush administration adopting a
more positive attitude and greater appreciation towards
American congressman has commended Malaysia for achieving
positive results despite pursuing its own prescriptions
for development and amid criticisms by global agencies,
saying it spoke well of the country's ability to manage
two country also agree that the effective way to stamp
out global terrorism is through military action and
simultaneous efforts to address the root causes of
not doing enough, says Mahathir
world is not doing enough to defuse the anger and address
the causes of serious grievances faced by Muslims, Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said during
a dinner held in conjunction with his trip to Washington
DC. He also called for the world to be made safe again
through greater understanding between people and friendship
Muslims' anger growing
anger of Muslims in the wake of the Israeli siege in
Palestine is greater than it was in the aftermath of
last September's aerial attacks on the United States,
Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. If the Middle East
crisis was left unresolved, it could lead to more terrorist
acts, he said after delivering a keynote address at
the Seventh Conference of Ministers of Endowments and
Islamic Affairs in Kuala Lumpur.
about definition of terrorism later, ASEAN members told
cannot waste time coming up with a common definition
of terrorism and has to act together to check terrorism
and find its root causes, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi said at the opening of the Special Asean Ministerial
Meeting on Terrorism in Kuala Lumpur.
Asean countries have agreed to the possibility of
working together towards having a common legislation
to fight terrorism in the region. The Meeting has
also created closer co-operation and greater understanding
to formulate laws similar to ISA
plans to emulate Malaysia by formulating a similar law
to the Internal Security Act (ISA) to counter terrorism
in the country.
Lumpur, Manila and Jakarta to boost cooperation
trilateral agreement on terrorism among Malaysia, the
Philippines and Indonesia was signed yesterday to increase
co-operation by the three governments to address cross-border
incidents and transnational crimes.
protection scheme to combat terrorism
witness protection scheme will be introduced soon to
assist Malaysia's effort to combat terrorism, Minister
in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais
must be willing to compromise
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that
Malaysia is equally keen to resolve a host of outstanding
bilateral issues with Singapore but the republic must
be willing to compromise. "We can resolve the issues,
but there must be (some) give and take.
M accepts Pope's invitation
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to
accept the invitation to meet Pope John Paul II at the
Vatican next month. He is expected to meet the head
of the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican in conjunction
with his visit to Switzerland and Luxembourg from June
9 to 12.
Palestinian issue will be raised in his meeting with
Pope John Paul II at the Vatican City next month as
the problem not only affected Muslims but also Christians.