23 January 2009 Newz Bits

January 28, 2009 at 4:38 am 1 comment

HIGHLIGHTS
On Malaysia
· Cabinet to study plans to build LCCT at Labu again
· Windfall tax threshold on CPO likely to be raised
On The Global Front
· China’s economy expanded at the slowest pace in 7 years
· Singapore cuts corporate taxes and taps reserves for S$20.5bn stimulus
REPORTS
· Telekom Malaysia – To manage national emergency lines
(Hold; RM3.18; TP: RM2.74)

The cabinet in its meeting on Wednesday decided to study again the plan by AirAsia Bhd (AIRA MK, Buy, TP: RM1.90) and Sime Darby Bhd (SIME MK, Buy, TP: RM6.40) to build a low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Labu, Negeri Sembilan, sources said. They said that the cabinet had asked AirAsia to make a presentation to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Unit next Friday on the proposed KLIA East @ Labu, with the view that the project of similar scale and specifications can be carried out within the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) grounds in Sepang. According to one of the sources, the cabinet was leaning towards the airport now being constructed within KLIA. It is learnt that if the airport is to be built within KLIA, the cost can be kept to RM1.3bn, lower than the estimated RM1.6bn for the Labu LCCT. It is understood that the government would ask Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and AirAsia to work together towards a win-win solution. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said aeronautical charges imposed on airlines using its airports in the country are not determined by the cost of building the terminal or airport. Rather, they are determined and approved by the government and applied on a standard basis across all 39 airports it manages and operates. Aeronautical charges include parking, landing, aerobridge and check-in counters. (BT)
* * * * *
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) could significantly raise the threshold on the imposition of windfall tax on crude palm oil (CPO) though it does not favour the scrapping of the provision to collect tax, sources said. A source said MoF had taken a holistic approach on the windfall tax on CPO and was expected to raise the threshold for the collection to around RM2,600 – RM2,800 per tonne level from the current RM2,000 per tonne threshold. On whether possible changes to windfall tax might be included under the second stimulus package, the source said it was possible and stressed that MoF could finalise its decision on the tax imposed on CPO some time next month. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
The Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) is projecting a 4% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for Malaysia this year. ASLI’s senior research fellow in economics Datuk Gan Khuan Poh said the domestic economy would accelerate if there was proper policy responses, more lending from banks and a quicker rollout of projects, especially under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. “With the global economic slowdown, Malaysian economic growth will slow down in 2009 but not into recession in the light of strong economic resilience and the policy measures, Gan told a media conference yesterday. (Bernama)
* * * * *
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday RM5bn of the RM7bn allocated for the first stimulus package had been transferred to the various operating ministries and agencies. Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the remaining RM2bn would be transferred by next week. “The entire RM7bn will thus be in the hands of the ministries and agencies and they have to take immediate action…At this stage, we want to ensure the RM7bn is expended quickly. We have instructed all operating ministries to take immediate action,” he said. (Bernama)
* * * * *
FlyFirely Sdn Bhd, the operator of the regional budget carrier Firefly is targeting the lucrative Singapore market as part of its route expansion drive this year. Its managing director Eddie Leong said the proposed takeoff points to Singapore would not be confined to Subang, but would include other secondary airports such as Penang, Ipoh, Melaka, Kuantan and Terengganu. “We have submitted the application to the transport ministry to fly these routes about two weeks ago and hope to fly to the republic by April this year,” Leong said. However, he added that the plan was subject to approval and landing rights by the relevant authorities, and it had yet to determine neither the frequency nor the Singapore airport it will fly to. Firefly is also eyeing a number of other routes and expects to fly to 36 destinations by the end of the year, an increase of 19 routes from its existing 17 destinations. The carrier is currently operating five ATR planes and will receive five more this year. (Financial Daily)
* * * * *
The international reserves of Bank Negara Malaysia grew marginally to RM317.2bn as at January 15. It stood at RM316.8bn as at December 31 2008. The current reserves position is sufficient to finance 7.3 months of retained imports and is 3.3 times the short-term external debt, the central bank said in a statement. (BT)
* * * * *
Stocks slumped Thursday, as a management shakeup at Bank of America and Microsoft’s earnings disappointment weighed on investor sentiment. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.3% (-105.30 pts, close 8,122.8). The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 1.5% (-12.7 pts, close 827.5) and the Nasdaq composite slid 2.8% (-41.6 pts, close 1,465.5). In currency trading, the dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen. U.S. light crude oil for March delivery rose US$0.12 to settle at US$43.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (Bloomberg)
* * * * *
Home prices in the U.S. dropped the most in at least 18 years and builders broke ground on the fewest houses since record-keeping began as the recession deepened, government reports said yesterday. Prices in November declined 8.7% y-oy, the biggest drop in records going back to 1991, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said yesterday. Housing starts fell 16% last month to an annual rate of 550,000, the lowest since the government started compiling statistics in 1959, the Commerce Department said. Record foreclosures and the highest jobless claims in 26 years are dragging down home prices as the economy enters the second year of a recession. (Bloomberg)
* * * * *
The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits matched the highest level in 26 years as firings forced more workers to seek government assistance in a deepening recession. Initial jobless claims increased by 62,000 to 589,000, more than forecast, in the week ended Jan. 17, from a revised 527,000 the prior week, a Labor Department report showed yesterday. Employers who cut 2.6m U.S. jobs last year may continue to shed workers, weighing on spending and prolonging the slump. President Barack Obama is pushing for quick passage of a stimulus plan that aims to revive the economy and save or create as many as 4m jobs. (Bloomberg)
* * * * *
European industrial orders fell by the most on record in November as the recession curtailed manufacturers’ demand for new machines and equipment. Industrial orders in the euro zone declined 26% y-o-y, the European Union statistics office said yesterday. That was the biggest drop since the euro was introduced a decade ago and exceeded economists’ median estimate for a drop of 20% in a Bloomberg News survey. Europe is being dragged into its deepest recession since World War II as the credit shortage derails purchases of homes, cars and factory machinery. (Bloomberg)
* * * * *
French consumer spending on manufactured goods dropped more than economists expected in December as the slump worsened in Europe’s third-largest economy, sending unemployment higher. Such spending, which accounts for about 15% of the economy, declined 0.9% m-o-m, Insee, the national statistics office said yesterday. Economists expected a 0.2% decline, the median of 20 estimates in a Bloomberg survey showed. From a year earlier, spending fell 1.7%, after a 1.1% gain in November. (Bloomberg)
* * * * *
China’s economy expanded at the slowest pace in seven years as the global recession dragged down exports, increasing pressure for more government spending and lower interest rates to buoy growth. Gross domestic product grew 6.8% y-o-y in 4Q08, after a 9% gain in 3Q08, the statistics bureau said yesterday. The figure matched the median estimate of 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Plummeting Chinese demand for parts and materials for exports is reverberating across Asia and the Pacific, driving Taiwan, South Korea and Australia closer to recessions and worsening Japan’s slump. (Bloomberg)
* * * * *
Singapore cut corporate taxes for the second time in three years and said it will tap its reserves to fund record spending amid efforts to drag the island’s economy out of its deepest recession since independence. The government will reduce the maximum tax rate payable by companies to 17% from 18% this year, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in a budget address yesterday. It will spend S$20.5bn (US$13.7bn) on property and personal tax rebates and cash handouts to help businesses and workers, using S$4.9bn of its national reserves. The tax cut will narrow Singapore’s gap with Hong Kong as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s government aims to attract investment in services and manufacturing industries. (Bloomberg)
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Telekom Malaysia : To manage national emergency lines 28 January 2009 Newz Bits

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. » 23 January 2009 Newz Bits  |  January 28, 2009 at 5:08 am

    […] EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt HIGHLIGHTS On Malaysia · Cabinet to study plans to build LCCT at Labu again · Windfall tax threshold on CPO likely to be raised On The Global Front · China’s economy expanded at the slowest pace in 7 years · Singapore cuts corporate taxes and taps reserves for S$20.5bn stimulus REPORTS · Telekom Malaysia – To manage national emergency lines (Hold; RM3.18; TP: RM2.74) The cabinet in its meeting on Wednesday decided to study again the plan by AirAsia Bhd (AIRA MK, Buy, TP: RM1.90) and Sime Darby Bhd (SIME MK, Buy, TP: RM6.40) to build a low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Labu, Negeri Sembilan, sources said. They said that the cabinet had asked AirAsia to make a presentation to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Unit next Friday on the proposed KLIA East @ Labu, with the view that the project of similar scale and specifications can be carried out within the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) […] […]

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