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Friday, 29 September 2017

#Geopolitical-tensions #Cost-of-living #Government’s-revenue creates uncertainty in the regional economy, not planning to raise #taxes.

Malaysia: The government is not planning to raise taxes in the 2018 Budget as it will burden the people currently dealing with the higher cost of living, said Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.
"We have no plan to tax the people further, I think the people are facing a lot of pressure," he said.
He believed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would be looking at ways to mitigate the effects from the higher cost of living in next year’s budget.
"But we have to look at our revenue as well," he told reporters after launching 'GetCover' , a motor insurance mobile application (app) here, today.
Meanwhile, Johari believed that the country's fundamentals remained strong, judging from the improving exports, trade value, gross domestic product growth, and stabilised global crude oil prices.
"Every time crude oil prices go up US$1 (US$1=RM4.22) per barrel, the government's revenue will go up by about RM300 million," he said.
Currently, the average crude oil price stands at US$57 per barrel from US$54 per barrel.
However, he said the government also had to take into account external factors such as the current geopolitical tensions between North Korea and the United States.
"This creates uncertainty in the global economy, especially the regional economy, as we are located closer with the country (North Korea)," he said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Johari said the government was keen to develop the financial technology (fintech) industry through the allocation of grants under various agencies.
"That includes the Angel Tax Incentive, Business Start-up Fund and Cradle Seed Ventures," he said.
He said fintech was an important industry in driving the county's' crucial inclusion agenda to the next level, as Malaysia recognised it as a policy priority.
On the GetCover app, Johari said it was expected to create over 16,000 part-time job opportunities for prospective social partners.
The app enables customers to compare and purchase motor insurance from insurer partners and is equipped with an easy and secure payment system.

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Malaysia was ranked in the World Economic Forum’s index. #financial-market #health #primary-education #telekom #infrastructure #government-agencies

Malaysia: Malaysia can regain its position as one of the top 20 most competitive countries in the World Economic Forum's index if it continues to roll out initiatives and pursue public-private collaboration.
Malaysia Productivity Corp director general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain said consistency, at least for the next five years, is key towards achieving the targeted ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report.
This year, Malaysia was ranked 23 out of 138 economies with a score of 5.16.
The faster broadband access through Telekom Malaysia's recent unifi's "i-foundit" for instance, stands to improve Malaysia's scores in terms of technological readiness while the roll-out of major projects like the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) or the Pan Borneo highway, boosts the scores on the infrastructure pillar.
The Global Competitiveness Index combines 114 indicators and groups them into 12 pillars relevant to growth and development.
Malaysia ranked among the top 50 in each of the pillars despite the decline in six of them.
"For the pillars on technological readiness and infrastructure we were 51 and 29 respectively in 2012. We have improved over the last five year and have the potential or momentum to push the competitiveness needle next three years," Razali told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Malaysia performed most strongly in financial market development (16th) and made the most improvement in health and primary education pillar by moving up 14 positions to 30.
Razali also highlighted the productivity Nexus initiative to promote more collaboration between government agencies and industry players across various sectors.
So far three have been established, with three more this month and another three in December.
The methodology used in the index is statistical data (30 per cent) and the rest based on the results of the executive opinion survey.
According to the survey this year, access to financing topped the list of most problematic factors for doing business.
This was despite an improvement in the ease of access to loans.
Economist Julia Goh of UOB Bank remarked the improved rankings further supports Malaysia's positive macro picture which make it more conducive for foreign investments.

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

#Bursa Sector-wise, the Finance Index slid 19.56 points, the Plantation Index rose 2.02 points and the Industrial Index was 0.23 of-a-point.

Malaysia: Lack of fresh catalysts weighed on Bursa Malaysia which turned mixed at mid-morning.
At 11.05 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 1.35 points lower at 1,764.24 from Tuesday's close of 1,765.59.
The index opened 2.03 points better at 1,767.62.
Market breadth was positive with 288 gainers and 265 losers, while 360 counters were unchanged, 939 untraded and 66 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 751.61 million shares worth RM477.40 million.
Among heavyweights, Axiata gained three sen to RM5.17, Public Bank was flat at RM2056, Maybank and Petronas Chemicals declined two sen each to RM9.78 and RM7.30 respectively, while TNB fell six sen to RM14.34.
Of actives, Frontken added 1.5 sen to 41 sen, Hubline was flat at 10 sen, Hibiscus fell one sen to 65.5 sen, Alam Maritim edged down half-a-sen to 22.5 sen and Trive Property went down one sen to 16 sen.
The FBM Emas Index inched up 0.42 of-a-point to 12,568.16, the FBM70 expanded 28.26 points to 15,004.51 and the FBMT 100 Index eased 1.37 points to 12,223.97.
The FBM Emas Shariah Index edged up 0.59 of-a-point to 12,784.47 and the FBM Ace increased 18.36 points to 6,541.26.
Sector-wise, the Finance Index slid 19.56 points to 16,624.03, the Plantation Index rose 2.02 points to 7,876.71 and the Industrial Index was 0.23 of-a-point easier at 3,210.56.
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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

#Challenge-facing-the-global-economy. Innovation has reshaped labor and product markets.

Image result for #Challenge-facing-the-global-economy
United States: The global economy will expand faster next year while still facing challenges, such as low productivity, high income inequality and low inflation, China's Xinhua news agency reported, citing a senior official with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Monday.
"The most recent IMF forecast, issued in July, projected global growth at 3.5 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent in 2018...the fund will issue its next World Economic Outlook in a week, and there is every reason to see these trends continuing," said Zhang Tao, deputy managing director of the IMF, at an annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics.
Zhang said the IMF's emergency lending has declined as countries have found their financial footing again as the impact of the global crisis fades.
However, he warned of the challenges the global economy is still facing, such as low productivity growth, income polarisation in some advanced economies, and low inflation.
"Innovation has reshaped labor and product markets. However, this disruptive change has taken place without an apparent increase in productivity," said Zhang.
Low productivity growth has also contributed to the rise of income inequality in advanced economies, because it has become more difficult to raise living standards due to low productivity, according to the official.
Another challenge facing the global economy is low inflation linked to the low level of wage growth, said Zhang.
He attributed low wage growth to structural forecasts, such as weak productivity growth, aging population and the increasing consolidation of companies.
"Achieving stronger growth will require the right combination of policies, especially to reinforce labor and capital markets," said Zhang. He called for a range of reforms to improve efficiency and competitiveness of the global economy.

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Monday, 25 September 2017

Downside doesn’t translate into expectation of recession, but slower growth. #Pessimistic outlook.

United States: Amid uncertainty over President Donald Trump's growth agenda, US economists increasingly are worried about risks to the economy, though they see little chance of a recession near term, according to a survey released Monday.
The National Association for Business Economists quarterly survey showed little change in the forecasts compared with June in key areas such as economic growth, which was projected at 2.2 per cent in 2017 and 2.4 per cent in 2018.
But the September survey of about 50 economists showed 48 per cent believe the risks to the economy are weighted to the downside, indicating chances for an economic slowdown, while 43 per cent see the risks tilted to the upside, meaning growth could outpace forecasts.
That is a shift from June, when upside risks outweighed downside risks by 60 to 36 per cent.
Ken Simonson, a survey analyst for NABE and the chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, cited a number of factors behind the somewhat more pessimistic outlook.
"There probably is more concern about North Korea and perhaps the Federal Reserve seems closer to making a move towards tightening," he told AFP.
However, "Downside doesn't translate into expectation of recession, but slower growth.”
Simonson also said decreased optimism about the success of Trump's agenda in Washington likely contributed to the shift.
The survey showed 73 per cent of respondents believe individual tax cuts will be enacted by the end of 2018, down from 83 per cent in the June survey. And 61 per cent now see an infrastructure plan enacted, down from 83 per cent previously.
And those figures are much higher than those in NABE's semi-annual survey of a larger group of economists released last month, which also showed rising concerns.
Simonson said he was highly skeptical Washington will produce a major tax overhaul by the end of 2018 given the complexity of the issue and the sharp political polarization in Congress.
Still, nearly three-quarters of panelists viewed the odds of a 2018 recession as 25 per cent or lower, with the remaining group seeing the chance as 26 to 50 per cent probability.
The survey was conducted while Hurricane Harvey pummeled Houston, but before Hurricane Irma hit Florida. The report made no attempt to assess the storms.
Analysts say hurricanes typically depress short-term growth, but the hit is made up for later as rebuilding fuels economic activity.
The forecast for monthly nonfarm payroll growth for 2017 was unchanged at 178,000, but unemployment is now seen as averaging 4.4 per cent, down from the 4.5 per cent in June.
Economists expect the Federal Reserve to continue with a strategy of gradual interest rate increases, with the center of the federal funds target range seen at 1.375 percent at year end, and 2.125 percent by the end of 2018, from 1.00-1.25 percent currently.
After the Fed's two-day policy meeting Wednesday, analysts see a good chance of a rate increase in December.

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Friday, 22 September 2017

BNM reserves Finance 7.7 months of retained Imports and is 1.1 times the short-term External Debt!

Image result for Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves amounted to US$100.8 billion
Malaysia: Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) international reserves amounted to US$100.8 billion as at September 15, 2017, compared with US$100.5 billion registered two weeks ago.
"The reserves position is sufficient to finance 7.7 months of retained imports and is 1.1 times the short-term external debt," the central bank said in a statement today.
BNM said the main components of the international reserves were foreign currency reserves (US$94.3 billion), International Monetary Fund reserves position (US$0.8 billion), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (US$1.2 billion), gold (US$1.5 billion) and other reserve assets (US$3 billion).
The assets include gold and foreign exchange and other reserves, including SDRs (RM432.849 billion), Malaysian government papers (RM4.245 billion), deposits with financial institutions (RM10.544 billion), loans and advances (RM7.838 billion), land and buildings (RM2.113 billion) and other assets (RM7.375 billion).

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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Meeting between #OPEC and #non-OPEC nations.Turnover stood at 457.32 million shares.

Malaysia: Bursa Malaysia rebounded at the opening today as buying interests emerged following three straight days of losses, dealers said.
At 9.15am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,775.45, up 1.87 points against yesterday's close of 1,773.58.
Earlier, the benchmark index opened 1.87 points higher at 1,775.45.
On the broader market, gainers led losers by 154 to 144 with 235 counters unchanged, 1,306 untraded and 23 others were suspended.
Turnover stood at 457.32 million shares worth RM205.76 million.
A dealer said market sentiment further improved on news the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners were considering extending or deepening output cuts ahead of the meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC nations tomorrow.
Brent crude futures rose to a five-month high of US$56.48 (US$1 = RM4.19) a barrel today.
On the scoreboard, the FBM Emas Index was 16.79 points higher at 12,660.91, FBMT 100 Index increased 16.99 points to 12,311.67, the FBM Emas Shariah Index jumped 31.34 points to 12,876.67 and the FBM 70 perked 36.17 points to 15,149.99.
The FBM Ace, however, eased by 11.63 points to 6,665.99.
Sector-wise, the Industrial Index increased 5.78 points to 3,238.14, Plantation Index eased 6.01 points to 7,919.33 and the Finance Index fell 13.932 points to 16,728.45.
Among heavyweights, Maybank eased one sen to RM9.48 and Public Bank lost two sen to RM20.58.
Sime Darby gained seven sen to RM9.20. TNB and Petronas Chemiclas were flat at RM14.50 and RM7.29 respectively.
Among actives, Hibiscus advanced three sen to 68 sen and UMW O&G perked 2.5 sen to 37.5 sen.
Hubline and KNM earned half-a-sen each to eight sen and 29 sen respectively while Daya Materials were flat at 8.5 sen.
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