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MIDA to continue foster partnership, ensuring knowledge-equipped skilled-talent

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) will continue to foster partnerships between the local academia, technical and vocational institutions as well as captains of industry on a regional basis.

This is to ensure the availability of knowledge-equipped skilled-talent in the right industries to meet the needs of the emerging Industry 4.0 landscape.

“Technological advancement calls for a matching talent pool that is both present proofs yet future-ready and this challenge is a reality globally.

“Given the fact that the quality of a country’s talent pool is also one of the key attractions for investors, it comes as no surprise that Malaysia too has set her sights on becoming one of Asia’s key players in the talent pool arena,” it said in the Malaysia Investment Performance Report 2018 released recently.

The agency said while changes in technology spell new opportunities, Malaysia must strive to reduce the talent gap, thereby compelling both industry and academia to refresh their systems, policies, processes, and strategic initiatives.

As part of its talent pipeline initiative, MIDA has launched an Apprenticeship Programme, which is a trilateral partnership between MIDA, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and Ministry of Education, aimed at addressing the shortage of technical skills highlighted by FMM members.

For its pilot project, MIDA engaged a total of five member companies that assisted in placing 34 students at respective vocational colleges for the four main courses offered, namely industrial machining, electrical, welding and electronics.

“To further compliment such talent pipeline initiatives, universities and companies can do more by collaborating to develop industry-ready graduates,” it said.

Heading this agenda, MIDA played advocate on Oct 31, 2018, to the National Policy on Industry 4.0, in addressing the need for digital transformation of the manufacturing sector and its related services.

Source: Bernama

MIDA to continue foster partnership, ensuring knowledge-equipped skilled-talent


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Source: NST

MIDA team to promote projects along ECRL route


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Malaysia, with a score of 95 out of 100, was ranked first in the Best Healthcare in the World category of the 2019 International Living Annual Global Retirement Index.

According to the International Living website, among top six countries that obtained the best ratings in the category of Best Healthcare in the World for this year, Malaysia ranked first with its world-class healthcare services and sophisticated infrastructure.

It said that with 13 hospitals in the country accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), where almost all doctors – majority of whom were trained in the United Kingdom, the United States or Australia – were fluent in English, thus communication was flawless.

“There are both private and public hospitals for expatriates to choose from, to suit one’s needs though the private hospitals tend to be a bit more expensive but are more up to Western standards than the public hospitals,” it said, adding that even at the private hospitals, the treatment was affordable for minor visits.

“Here (in Malaysia), you don’t need to make an appointment to see a specialist and you don’t need a referral from a general practitioner. It’s as simple as registering at a hospital of your choice and waiting in line to see your specialist of choice,” it said.

“The prescriptions in Malaysia cost a fraction of what you pay at home. But it’s not just the cost that is attractive – it’s the service.

“Pharmacists, similar to rest of medical staff in Malaysia, are well-trained and informed. The Malaysians are friendly people, but it’s the genuine interest they take which impresses,” it said.

Source:  Bernama

Posted on : 07 February 2019

Malaysia ranks 1st in world’s best healthcare category


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University of Malaya (UM) is the best performing university in Malaysia, according to the recent release of Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings (THE-EEUR).

In UM’s statement today, the university has been positioned at no. 18 in the ranking system, which placed it among the top 20 emerging economies universities.

The THE-EEUR system, which is now in its sixth year, includes a special group of 300 plus universities across 40 over countries classified by the British’s Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) as advanced emerging, secondary emerging or frontier economies. Malaysia is classified as advanced emerging by the FTSE classification.

UM said it will continue to focus on strengthening its fundamentals through the many phases of its strategic plan.

“Through the UM Eco-Campus Blueprint (UMECB), UM has expanded its research focus on environment and sustainability matters linked to the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs). Many initiatives outlined in the UMECB is promulgating UM’s research orientation towards closer partnership in various industries and community,” it said.

UM’s vice-chancellor Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim said the university’s participation in the ranking system is to further improve its value proposition and to benchmark UM against other institutions of higher learning.

“UM aims to improve its linkages and collaboration with strategic industries and international partnerships in order to better prepare UM graduates to handle new technologies as the economy moves towards Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0. The challenge is how universities can handle these fast evolving smart technologies in this IR 4.0 era,” he said.

He thanked the university community especially the staff and students for their commitment and contributions towards the achievement of the University’s performance, and expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education (MOE) for its unwavering support.

“I hope that the ministry will continue to provide stronger support so that UM could rise further in university rankings in the coming years,” he added.

Source: The Edge Markets

Posted on : 16 January 2019

UM is top university in Malaysia, says Times Higher Education ranking


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The US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC), in its seventh annual international intellectual property (IP) index, ranks Malaysia second in Southeast Asia

ber9219aSource: Bernama

Posted on : 09 February 2019

Malaysia ranks 2nd in S-E Asia intellectual property index


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Thailand in 2nd place, followed by Indonesia and the Philippines, says Tutelanst8219a

Source: NST

Posted on : 08 February 2019

Malaysia best in network survey


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Taylor’s University has again achieved Malaysia’s highest rank in all of the 48 subject tables in the latest edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University rankings by subject.

According to the 2019 instalment of the ranking, the private institution has risen seven positions to 14 in the Hospitality & Leisure Management ranking.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll ( pic) said the achievement was especially significant with the change in the employer reputation component for this subject.

“This year, there is an increase in the weightage of how the institution is viewed by employers.

“Our strong performance is indicative of how our students are viewed by industry players and proves to us that our approach is well received by the industry,” he said.

Prof Driscoll said this was the first time its Business and Management Studies subject made it into the rankings.

UCSI University Institute of Music director Prof Dr P’ng Tean Hwa said this was the second year they were listed in the 51-100 bracket for Performing Arts.

“The ranking, once again, cements UCSI’s Institute of Music standing as the nation’s foremost music school and one of the best in the region,” he said.

“We always work together with our students so this achievement belongs to our alumni and students, just as much as it does to our teaching staff.

“We are also grateful for the support given by our partners from the music industry in contributing to this milestone.”

Other Malaysian universities have taken a tumble in this edition of the rankings with only four Malaysian departments ranking among the top 50 in the world for their subject compared to nine in 2018.

Universiti Malaya (UM) is Malaysia’s most ranked university with placings in 34 subjects.

Despite it being the most ranked local varsity, all of UM’s subjects have seen a drop in their positions.

Among them are Library & Information Management, which is down seven places to 31 and Development Studies which has dropped eight places to 38.

The global higher education analysts said the drop in the rank of Malaysia’s universities occurred primarily because employers were recording less satisfaction with the country’s graduates.

This decrease in employer satisfaction outweighed improvements in research performance, the statement said.

In total, 157 Malaysian university departments are ranked with 26 Malaysian university departments making it into the top 100.

Only 11 departments recorded improvements while 76 departments recording a drop in their position this year.

However, QS research director Ben Sowter said: “There are 78 countries represented in this edition of the rankings, and Malaysia is 22nd globally for the number of university departments featured.

“A positive result for a young nation which is competing on the world’s stage with countries boasting higher education systems established centuries ago.”

The ranking is an extensive overview of international higher education performance, with over 1,200 universities from 78 locations ranked in 48 subject tables and five broad disciplinary tables.

Source: The Star 

Posted on : 27 February 2019

Taylor’s the top Malaysian varsity in QS world ranking


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Malaysia has maintained its strong position globally, ranking second highest in Southeast Asia and 12th out of 169 countries for trade connectivity, says the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) report.

The fifth edition of the GCI, which measures international flows of trade, capital, information and people, stated that Malaysia also improved the depth and breadth of its global connectedness to 15th and 28th places in the world respectively.

DHL Express Malaysia and Brunei managing director Julian Neo said Malaysia’s consistent top 20 ranking in the Global Connectedness Index is evidenced by a steady growth in Malaysia’s trade with Asean.

“By increasing our nation’s connectedness, Malaysia is well poised to meet the growth targets set by the International Trade and Industry Ministry,” he said.

The GCI report said Southeast Asian countries benefit from linkages with the wider Asian supply chain networks as well as Asean policy initiatives promoting economic integration.

Malaysia and three other Southeast Asian countries – Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam – were economies where international flows exceeded expectations the most, said the report.

“This is expected to create a positive effect for the region as deeper global connectedness can help accelerate countries’ economic growth,” it said. — Bernama

Source: Bernama

Posted on : 18 March 2019

Malaysia ranks 2nd in Southeast Asia for trade connectivity


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Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru have retained their rankings for quality of life in Asia at 10th and 12th, respectively, said a survey.

This also means that KL is placed second spot in Southeast Asia behind Singapore, according to the Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking 2019 survey.

On the global scale, KL is at No 85 and Johor Bahru No 101.

“In Asia, Singapore (25) has the highest quality of living in the region, followed by the five Japanese cities of Tokyo (49), Kobe (49), Yokohama (55), Osaka (58), and Nagoya (62), and then Hong Kong (71) and Seoul (77), which rose two places this year as political stability returned following the arrest of its president last year,” the survey said.

In South Asia, New Delhi is placed at 162, “Mumbai (154) and Bengaluru (149) remained unchanged from last year’s ranking for overall quality of living, with Colombo (138) topping the ranking. In 105th place, Chennai ranks as the region’s safest city, while Karachi (226) is the least safe,” it said.

In Europe, Vienna is at the top, Zurich second and Munich third. All three cities also clocked in the same rankings on the global scale.

Munich shares the overall third place with Vancouver (Canada) and Auckland (New Zealand)

In the Middle East, Dubai (74) continues to rank highest for quality of living, followed by Abu Dhabi (78), but Sana’a (229) and Baghdad (231) are among the poorest performers in the region.

In South America, Montevideo (78) is ranked highest, while continued political turmoil kicked Caracas (202) down nine spots.

The Mercer survey evaluates local living conditions in more than 450 cities worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors in 10 categories.

Source: The Edge Markets 

Posted on : 13 March 2019

KL and JB among top 20 Asian cities for quality of life: Survey


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45pc of respondents positive economy will recover in next 12 months, survey shows

Source: NST

Posted on : 22 May 2019

Malaysia ranks 6th globally


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Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has congratulated the Malaysian media for stepping up 22 places to 123rd ranking in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

“In conjunction with #WorldPressFreedomDay, I take this opportunity to commend the Malaysian media on its improved ranking in the World Press Freedom Index.

“We jumped 22 places to be the top in South East Asia and 123rd in the world (out of 180 countries). Thank you and congratulations,” Dr Mahathir posted in his Facebook and Instagram account today.

He also uploaded three photographs of him being interviewed by the press and one photograph of him posing in front of the photographers.

According to the latest index released by Reporters Without Borders on April 18, Malaysia is at the top of the rankings among countries in the South East Asian region.

It is followed by Indonesia (124th), Philippines (134th), Thailand (136th), Myanmar (138th), Cambodia (143rd), Singapore (151st), Brunei (152nd), Laos (171st), and Vietnam (176th).

Meanwhile, Norway has been ranked in first place in the index, followed by Finland (2nd) and Sweden (3rd).

Source: Bernama

Posted on : 06 May 2019

Dr Mahathir congratulates Malaysian media on improved world ranking


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Nation’s oldest varsity stands at 70th place among 1,000 in QS university ratings

Universiti Malaya (UM) has made a giant leap up the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2020.

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Malaysia’s oldest university now ranks 70 in the latest edition of the international university rankings.

It made an impressive 17 spot climb up from 87 last year.

This is the highest position the university has been at since the rankings began in 2004.

UM vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim said the university’s continuous improvement is due to it adhering with its strategic plan.

“UM has sustained its upward trajectory in the face of fiscal challenges, and emphasises the value of financial support from the government to achieve excellence in teaching, research and innovation,” he said.

Abdul Rahim added that an increase in investment will enable them to intensify international collaborations, enhance strategic research and industry partnerships, and improve graduate employability.

“UM also has plans to widen its talent pool with excellent local and international staff as well as retain the services of its internationally-recognised retired academics,” he said.

QS research director Ben Sowter said the main reason for UM’s success is its score for Academic Reputation – 40% of overall score – that rose from 62/100 to 68.2/100 since 2016.

It now ranks 91st in the Academic Reputation indicator which measures the opinions of over 94,000 faculty across the world, he added.

He also said that UM’s Employer Reputation score has risen from 56.8/100 to 72/100 in the same timeframe.

Malaysia’s other four research universities are also continuing to climb up the international university rankings (see table).

UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Aini Ideris said making it to the top 200 universities is proof that they “have successfully accomplished our Putra Global 200 (PG200), one of the important aspirations we set in UPM’s Strategic Plan 2014-2020.”

UKM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor said the university is “very humbled by this improvement and will continue to work hard to strengthen our quality output.”

Meanwhile, UCSI University is ranked the nation’s best private university for the second year in a row.

UCSI vice-chancellor and president Senior Prof Datuk Dr Khalid Yusoff said the latest milestone was a result of a consistent university-wide push for excellence and performance.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll said they are proud to again be Malaysia’s number one private university among employers globally.

For more info, visit https://www.topuniversities.com/qs-world-university-rankings.

Source: The Star

Posted on : 19 June 2019

UM rises 17 spots in world rankings


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UM is the highest ranked at 70; UPM and UKM also make big gains

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Source: NST

Posted on : 20 June 2019

Local varsities rise in rankings


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Four Malaysian public universities, all of which are research universities, have improved on their rankings in the 2020 QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) University Rankings as compared to last year.

Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik in announcing on the rankings here today said Universiti Malaya (UM) rose to 70th place from 87 last year.

According to the QS World University Ranking 2020, he said Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) ranked at 159 from its former position of 202; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) (160 from 184); Universiti Sains Malaysia (165 from 207) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia climbed up 11 places from 228 places last year.

“The ranking series saw 20 local universities have been listed this year, with 10 universities improving from last year’s ranking, while two universities retained their positions.

“Seven more have been ranked for the first time and one university declined its position from last year’s rankings,” he said in a press conference here today.

A total of 15 public and private local higher education institutions are also listed in the top 1,000 QS World Rankings, namely UCSI, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Taylor’s University; Management & Science University; Universiti Utara Malaysia; Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia; Universiti Teknologi Mara; Universiti Malaysia Perlis; and Sunway University.

Also in the list were Universiti Malaysia Pahang; Universiti Multimedia; Universiti Malaysia Sarawak; Universiti Tenaga Nasional; University Tunku Abdul Rahman; and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

According to Maszlee, the ranking development proved that the government was on the right track in providing quality higher education institutions in the era of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

He, however, stressed that the ministry will not prioritise a university’s position or ranking, instead emphasised on the academic excellence and university’s role to become problem solvers of issues faced by society and the nation.

“The ministry hopes all universities have the ability to produce researchers and academic researches, that can be a reference at the global level, and at the same time, assist in getting the best rank in the world ranking,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Posted on : 19 June 2019

Four Malaysian public universities among the best in the world – Maszlee


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But perception on job prospects, personal finances declined in Q2, results show

Source: NST

Posted on : 24 July 2019

Malaysian consumers 10th most confident globally


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Malaysia emerged as the world’s best country to invest in or do business for 2019, CEOWORLD magazine revealed.

Poland took silver, followed by the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia with Malaysia continuing to be the most attractive destination for investors and business people among 67 countries evaluated.

According to CEOWORLD, the rankings were based on 11 different factors, including corruption, freedom (personal, trade, and monetary), workforce, investor protection, infrastructure, taxes, quality of life, red tape, and technological readiness. Each category was equally weighted.

The rankings had Singapore in sixth place, followed by India, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Thailand. The United Kingdom, the United States, China, and Japan ranked 16th, 18th, 24th, and 32nd respectively.

Each year, CEOWORLD magazine ranks the world based on a variety of categories ranging from the richest people to the best universities, top companies, and top executives. One of the categories is the “World’s best Countries to Invest In or Do Business”.

Source: Bernama

Posted on : 11 July 2019

Malaysia is world’s best country in 2019 to invest in — CEOWORLD magazine


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Malaysia retains its 35th position in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019 and remains among the middle-income economies that are bridging the innovation divide, supported by its first rank in indicators such as high-tech net exports and creative goods exports.

Malaysia improves its rankings in four of the seven GII pillars: institutions (40th), infrastructure (42nd), business sophistication (36th), and creative outputs (44th), said a joint statement released by INSEAD, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Cornell University.

“At the indicator level, the most significant improvements are in quality of universities, where Malaysia ranks 17th this year, and Gross Domestic Expenditure on research and development (GERD) performed by business, as well as GERD financed by business, where it takes the 25th and 16th positions, respectively.

“In several indicators, Malaysia ranks in the top 10; these include graduates in science and engineering (8th), university-industry research collaboration (8th), state of cluster development (8th), and several trade-related variables-such as high-tech imports and high-tech net exports and creative goods exports,” it said.

Co-published by INSEAD, WIPO, a specialised agency of the United Nations, and Cornell University, the GII is a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world.

Source: Bernama

Posted on : 31 July 2019

Malaysia retains position in Global Innovation Index 2019


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Asian cities top the Expat City Ranking 2019 which saw Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur coming in second behind Taipei.

The ranking for the easiest city to get settled as an expat was carried out by InterNations, the world’s largest expat community with over 3.5 million members.

As many as 12 Asian cities featured in the ranking which is based on InterNations’s annual Expat Insider survey that covers more than 20,000 expatriates representing 178 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories.

In the global list, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore were in first to fourth places respectively, with Taipei defending its position in 2018. Whereas Bangkok (20th), Tokyo (26th), Jakarta (33rd), Shanghai (43rd), and Hong Kong (52th) rank midfield. Beijing (60th) and Seoul (63rd) come in towards the end of the list, and Yangon (73rd) is among the bottom 10.

“Expats seem to find it easy to get settled in most Asian cities, with the exception of Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, and Shanghai,” InterNations said in a press release today.

Based on the ranking, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Montréal, Lisbon, Barcelona, Zug, The Hague, and Basel are the best cities to move to in 2020. Whereas Kuwait City (82nd), Rome, Milan, Lagos (Nigeria), Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Lima, New York City, and Yangon (73rd) are the world’s worst cities.

In 2019, a total of 82 cities around the globe are analyzed in the survey, offering in-depth information about five areas of expat life — Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, Finance & Housing and Local Cost of Living. For a city to be featured in the Expat City Ranking 2019, a sample size of at least 50 survey participants per city was required.

KL makes it into top 3

With its second place, Kuala Lumpur finally makes it into the global top three after consistently ranking among the top 10 cities in the past few years.

In the city, 75% of the expats felt at home (versus 64% globally), while 69% were happy with their social life (versus 55% globally). Language does not seem to be a problem, as 92% find it easy to live in the city without speaking the local language (versus 47% globally).

Expats has little to complain about when it comes to Local Cost of Living (2nd) and Finance & Housing Indices (2nd). Close to four in five (78%) are satisfied with the local costs of living (versus 43% globally), and 75% find housing affordable (versus 36% globally).

However, expats’ satisfaction with their work life was mixed, ranking Kuala Lumpur 26th worldwide in the respective index. While expats were generally satisfied with their jobs (5th), they were not happy with the local career opportunities (50th). Only 47% of respondents rate the latter positively, which is just below the global average (51%). — EdgeProp.my

Source: The Edge Markets

Posted on : 03 December 2019

KL ranked second best city in the world for expats


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Candidates selected from 3,200 listed companies

Six Malaysian companies made it into Forbes Asia’s inaugural “Best Over A Billion” list, which features AsiaPacific’s 200 top-performing listed companies with revenues of over US$1bil.

In a statement, Forbes Asia said the candidates were selected from 3,200 listed companies in the region, and were evaluated based on over a dozen metrics including their average five-year sales, operating income growth, return on capital, and projected growth over the next one to two years.

Those having the highest composite score, it said, made it into the final list.

“The goal is to find the region’s best-run companies that are doing well on not just one metric but across many of them.

“The result is a list that represents the best of Asia-Pacific’s big companies,” it said.

The Malaysian companies on the list – by alphabetical order – are Batu Kawan Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

The new list complements Forbes Asia’s existing “Best Under A Billion” list of the 200 best-performing, small and mid-sized companies in the region with less than US$1bil in revenue.

Together, it said, the two lists now comprehensively cover all of Asia-Pacific’s listed companies, selecting the top 400 companies using US$1bil in sales as a dividing line.

It said the largest companies on the list by market value were from the technology sector and located in the region’s largest markets.

They included Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, as well as semiconductor firms Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and SK Hynix.

Fast Retailing, which is the operator of the Uniqlo apparel chain, is among the 10 largest companies on the list by market value.

The industries that dominated the list included retail, real estate, banking, transportation as well as food and beverage manufacturing.

Forbes Asia also noted the connection between the companies and members of Forbes Asia’s rich lists.

“The Best Over A Billion list provides an incredible insight into which are Asia’s bestrun big companies.

“Nearly two-thirds of the companies on this list are controlled by or connected to families or individuals who have appeared on Forbes Asia’s rich lists,” says Forbes Asia editor Justin Doebele.

Source: The Star

Posted on : 29 August 2019

Malaysian firms on Forbes ‘Best Over A Billion’ list


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Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) will build Okinawa’s most outstanding hotel at a total investment of about US$400mil (RM1.65bil), inclusive of land cost.

Okinawa Four Seasons would “set a new standard” on the islands south of Japan, executive chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan said.

Tan said the gross development value (GDV) of Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa is expected to be US$1bil.

“Baring unforeseen circumstances, we may make US$600mil on this Okinawa project,” he said at a briefing after signing an agreement with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Asia Pacific to manage the Okinawa hotel and residences.

This is his second Four Seasons project in Japan, the first being Four Seasons Hotel and Hotel Residences in Kyoto, which opened in 2016, and which he is in the midst of negotiating with several parties for a sale.

Previous reports said Tan would like to sell the Kyoto hotel for about US$700mil (RM2.93bil) to US$800mil, which translates to a divestment gain of US$400mil.

“(Four Seasons Hotel and Hotel Residences) Kyoto is very good and very successful for us. It is among the top-three hotels in Japan and I believe Okinawa will also be an outstanding success,” Tan said.

He has so far sold half of the 57 residences in Kyoto. Using the same template to reduce construction cost, the plan is to sell all the 120 residences and 40 villas in Okinawa. It will have 120 hotel rooms.

“I am very happy we made the decision to invest in Japan and we are looking for other opportunities too. Japan has been good for us,” he said.

If he succeeds in selling the Okinawa venture as well, Tan would be making a neat US$1bil from both projects.

While the math looks good, it seems a bit odd that Tan is, at the same time, thinking of listing the hotel business on the Singapore stock exchange while selling his trophy hotel assets.

In December 2018, Tan told the media that Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) was undervalued. As the hotel business was parked under BLand, he was thinking of carving out the hotel assets and list them in Singapore. BCorp has about 70% in BLand.

“It is good for us to bring back proceeds from Kyoto. It will help to manage our debt-equity ratio. People pay a premium for trophy assets, so it does not matter as long as the profit is good.

“There are some Malaysian hotels we will keep. We are entrepreneurs running a business. So we have to be flexible. We are not running a fund,” Tan said.

Going back to his plans for Okinawa, although Kyoto – being an ancient and former capital of Japan – is rich in culture and history, the Okinawa adventure seems a lot more exotic and exciting because of its size and seafront view.

Tan combined various land parcels to get his 100 acres in Onna Village, bought at about the same time as the five acres on which the Four Seasons Hotel and Hotel Residences in Kyoto currently sits on.

Tan declined to say how much he had paid for the 100 acres but according to a 2016 report by The Star, the carrying cost of the land in Okinawa for BLand was RM82.8mil.

Tan did not borrow for the land purchase and said banks would fund the construction. The company said it preferred to work with an anchor bank rather than several banks and it would involve Japanese banks too.

The project is expected to take four years to complete but Tan aims to finish it in three years. He has been to Okinawa 12 to 15 times.

Like its low-rise Kyoto hotel, Tan said the Okinawa hotel will also be a four-storey structure fronting crystal-clear waters.

Tan said the hotel and residences would take up 30 acres and he could build a retail mall and two to four-star hotels on the remaining 70 acres.

“Okinawa is a very good market. We can do a shopping mall and two to four-star hotels. We can build higher (than the Four Seasons), so these other hotels will still get a view,” he said.

Tan has not finalised the room rates but with Kyoto fetching between US$1,200 and US$1,500, he reckoned US$1,000 would be very doable for Four Seasons Okinawa.

“There are many three and four-star hotels there, at between US$700 and US$800 a night,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a November 2018 report, Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) affirmed its ratings on BLand’s outstanding RM500mil medium-term notes (MTN) programme guaranteed by Danajamin Nasional Bhd at AAA(fg) and RM150mil MTN programme guaranteed by OCBC Bank (M) Bhd at AAA(bg). The outlook on the ratings is stable.

MARC pointed out that BLand’s standalone credit profile remained weighed down by the weak domestic property market, its sizeable debt obligations and modest earnings from non-gaming subsidiaries.

BLand has mainly relied on proceeds from asset disposals and refinancing to address its financial obligations.

“BLand’s domestic property projects are largely limited to ongoing developments in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, and Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, which have a combined GDV of RM1.1bil.

“Unbilled sales from these projects stood at RM153mil as at June 30, 2018, providing some near-term earnings visibility,” said MARC.

Source: The Star

Posted on : 18 January 2019

Berjaya Corp to invest RM1.65bil in Okinawa Four Seasons Hotel


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TCIE Vietnam Company, a member of Malaysia’s Tan Chong Motor Group, will build a new car factory in Hoa Khanh industrial zone in the central city from 2019, with total investment of US$50 million.

The city’s Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) confirmed that the company has completed procedures to soon commence the project, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The agency said TCIE Vietnam had invested US$55 million between 2013 2017 to produce the first locally-assembled Nissan Sunny and Nissan X-Trail SUV car models at the Da Nang-based factory — the first and only Nissan Sunny assembly plant in central Vietnam.

In a meeting with the city’s leadership last month, TCIE said it would increase investment to US$150 million in the coming years to promote production and sales of cars in the central and nationwide market.

TCIE said it sold 3,500 Nissan Sunny models in 2018 and contributed 2.2 trillion VND (nearly US$95 million USD) to the city’s budget.

The company plans to produce 5,100 cars, with an estimate contribution of US$110 million to the city’s budget in 2019.

TCIE also plans to produce Nissan vans and Nissan trucks in the near future.

Source: Bernama

Posted on : 25 February 2019

Tan Chong Group to invest extra US$50 mil in Vietnam


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Source: NST

Posted on : 14 February 2019

Fairview buys private Scottish school


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Ranhill Holdings Bhd is venturing with Thai-based Treasure Specialty Co Ltd (TS Co) to explore the development of a 1150MW CCGT power plant in Kedah to export power to Thailand.

According to MIDF Research, the collaboration aims to address Thailand’s capacity woes given the availability of infrastructure in Malaysia.

“Southern Thailand is underserved with poor connectivity to Thailand’s existing gas pipelines and weak grid connections.

“A few coal plants had been proposed in recent years to serve southern Thailand but were shelved given strong opposition by environmentalists,” the research house pointed out.

Ranhill is expected to take a 70% stake in the collaboration while TS Co acquires the remainder stake.

TS Co is also advising Ranhill for its Thai-based water businesses and is likely to take the lead in the project development in Thailand.

MIDF Research said feasibility studies are expected to be undertaken with regard to the plant’s development.

Moreover, prior to the project’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) proceeding with negotiations with Thailand’s sub-committee on electric power cooperation between Thailand and neighbouring countries, a government-to-government agreement has to be secured for both Malaysia and Thailand.

For capex, at RM2.5mil per MW to RM3.5mil per MW, MIDF Research expects the Kedah CCGT project to be between RM3bil and RM4bil.

“Given the proximity to southern Thailand and availability of existing gas supply infrastructure in Malaysia, we think Ranhill could achieve competitive rates for its power export, relative to Thailand’s wholesale rates of 2.3 baht per kwh – 4.2 baht per kwh,” the research house noted.

On the returns potential, MIDF Research estimates the power plant to entail “reasonably good” internal rate of returns of 10% to 12% based on a typical 21-year power purchase agreement.

“Potential earnings is massive and may more than double Ranhill’s existing profit base, should Ranhill take even a 50% stake in the project SPV,” it noted.

Despite the share price appreciating substantially since late last year, the research house’s current valuation has yet to factor in the potential of the Kedah CCGT power plant and Johor sewerage project.

“Our call and target price of RM1.30 is under review pending a management meeting this week,” MIDF Research said.

Source: The Star

Posted on : 27 February 2019

Ranhill in tie-up with Thai company


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The government will work on a programme to help accelerate the overseas expansion of Malaysian entrepreneurs, according to Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister said the initiative would involve getting rid of existing bureaucratic red tape to make it easier and faster for Malaysian companies to expand their brands overseas.

“We will work on a programme to fast track the process for companies wanting to expand overseas so that they can take advantage of the vast opportunities available in foreign markets to grow,” Saifuddin said.

“These companies can inform the ministry which areas they need our assistance in, and we will facilitate them in expanding overseas,” he told reporters after a dialogue session on China-Asean Foods Market Opportunities here yesterday.

Saifuddin said Malaysian companies could leverage on the well-established government-to-government ties that the country has to break into the respective overseas markets.

On China’s market, he said the doors were open for more Malaysian companies to tap into the world’s second-largest economy, citing the recently established ties with China Cooperative Trade Enterprise.

He said the state-owned enterprise, which boasts a business size of 5.4 trillion yuan, has expressed readiness to open up the market for Malaysian products.

Source: The Star 

Posted on : 26 February 2019

Government to facilitate companies expanding overseas


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Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s three day visit to Manila, beginning today, can pave the way for Malaysian entrepreneurs to explore new areas of investment in the neighbouring country.

Charge d’Affaires of the Malaysian Embassy in the Philippines Rizany Irwan Muhamad Mazlan said the halal industry is among the new potential investment areas for Malaysian entrepreneurs to explore in the Philippines.

“As a Muslim nation which has an advanced halal industry, we shall take advantage and venture into the Philippines’ halal industry including in the Islamic finance, logistics, services and other sectors,” he told Malaysian media here.

As the Philippines’ close neighbour, Malaysia could help the country in building the capacity of its people in the various sectors including the economy, trade and social, especially in the southern part of the country, to create a holistic development in the region.

“Malaysia is Manila’s second biggest trading partner in Asean after Singapore and is the country’s fifth largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with US$287.3 million recorded last year or 8.2% of the Philippines’ overall investment,” he said.

Currently, several influential Malaysian companies are actively involved in the country’s property, banking, automotive, manufacturing and hospitality sectors.

A Malaysian company, Alloy Mtd Group (AlloyMtd) according to him, were awarded contracts valued at RM400 million to develop government administrative centre in Bataan Province and Nueva Ecija through their local unit, MTD Philippines Inc.

“For me, this adds value to the image of our country in the Philippines,” he said.

On the positive development in the southern Philippines, following the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law and the setting up of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), Rizwan Irwan said it opened up an avenue for the Malaysian government and its private sector to explore various opportunities.

It would also provide a new dimension to the trade relationship between the two neighbours.

“In southern Philippines, they look at Malaysia as a ‘role model’ … we shall take this opportunity to increase our strategic relationship with (the southern Philippines), not only as a partner for peace but also as a partner for development,” he said.

Rizany Irwan also said the administration of the southern Philippines would be more in order following the establishment of the BTA.

This he said, would be the catalyst for vibrant economic ties between Malaysia and the southern Philippines, which should be taken advantage by the Malaysian investors.

“When the people in the southern Philippines see the development, they will not turn to subversive elements. The society will get involved with the development in the southern Philippines when there are economic activities, infrastructure development, a good education and health system,” he said.

The total trade between Malaysia and the Philippines in 2018 rose 8.7% to RM26.1 billion from RM25.5 billion in 2017.

The value of Malaysia’s export to the Philippines last year was RM16.92 billion, compared to the value of its import from the country which stood at RM9.19 billion with the balance of trade favouring Malaysia.

Source: Bernama 

Posted on : 06 March 2019

Mahathir to pave way for new areas of Malaysian investment in Philippines


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