Thursday, March 01, 2007

Malaysia's Economy 2006 Expands 5.9%;; US Slow Growth Curbs Export;. RUBBER & OIL PALM Boast Agriculture Sector; 2007 Economic growth 5.5 % Projected

This call by Opposition leader to “cushion off” the loss is a bad call on good governance on the government and should not be entertain at all. To cushion off means to compensate the investors for the loss by the taxpayers is just unthinkable. This is NOT a natural disaster like the recent floods where the government compensated those badly affected. Those who heeded the PM call went in with their eyes widely open (of course abetted by their remisers) just like the proverbial lemmings going for their migrations to be drowned (in this case “burnt”).

What is most unusual is for the government news agency Bernama to given prominence to this opposition call (and this is not found in Bernama Website, still embargo perhaps). Are there a lot of government staffs or big shots properly burned that need crutches? The scars developed will take years to heal.
Another great contradiction is the assumption that the majority of “small investors” are affected. The DAP Sec General had a press statement that “
such goods news may be an inspiration to the rich and those with cash to invest but not to the many small businessmen and workers”. See H E R E.

So who got severely burnt, the affordable and the rich UMNO Greedyputras? Thy need your money to cushion their losses?

= = = = == = = == =

Opposition Wants Govt To Cushion Losses; Business; March 01, 2007 15:15 PM

(you still cannot find this news item in the Bernama's Business website) and what is the ulterior motive?

IPOH, March 1 (Bernama) -- The government should cushion the losses suffered by small-time investors arising from the RM70 billion losses in the stock exchange over the past two days, Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said today. Lim said the unusual Cabinet meeting tomorrow should cushion the losses suffered by retail investors who acted on the Chinese New Year advice of the Prime Minister to enter the stock market to ride on the momentum to exceed 1,350 points for the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI).

"Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had a special Chinese New Year message for Malaysians to enter the stock market to ride on the momentum of the good economic times," he said at the Pasir Pinji DAP branch Chinese New Year gathering last night. Text of his speech was released by the Perak DAP today. According to Lim, who is also the MP for Ipoh Timur, Abdullah said the KLCI, which was at the time at a high of more than 1,258 points, could surpass the 1,350-point level following positive indicators of the country's economic growth, namely the trillion ringgit total trade last year, increasing foreign and domestic investments, and rising ringgit.

"Although there had been widespread scepticism about the slew of good economic news, the small investors cast aside their doubts when the Prime Minister openly urged Malaysians to enter the stock market," he said. "The small investors cast aside their doubts, reservations and scepticism and entered the stock market in a big way after the Chinese New Year holidays, lifting the KLCI to close at 1,283 points last Friday," he added. Lim said the KLCI then suffered its biggest drop in five years, plunging by 35.79 points to 1,237.08 on Tuesday and another 40.63 points to 1,196 points at the close of market yesterday. "The bulk of the RMRM69.45 billion losses in the past two days had been borne by the small investors," he said.
= = = == = ==

March 01, 2007 15:10 PM
Bursa Malaysia: Market Fall A 'Healthy Correction'
By Jackson Sawatan

SINGAPORE, March 1 (Bernama) -- Bursa Malaysia's chief executive officer Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said Thursday Malaysia's economic fundamentals are intact, notwithstanding the condition of the stock market over the past few days. He described the sharp fall in Bursa Malaysia yesterday and the previous day as "quite a healthy correction" from the market. "We believe the fundamentals are intact. The results season is in full swing now and what we have read in the papers is certainly very pleasing with many companies increasing their earnings from last year," he told reporters here.

Yusli was here to give an update on the upcoming Invest Malaysia 2007, Malaysia's premier investment conference for institutional investors. "We remain very confident about the prospects of our market going forward," he added. The benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) dropped 40.63 points, or 3.3 per ent, at 1,196.45 yesterday (28 Feb 07), extending the previous day's 2.8 per cent fall. It was the biggest one-day decline since Sept 21, 2001. Share prices on Bursa Malaysia were traded higher today, opening at 1,204.67 points and ending the morning session at 1,194.65.

"One of the core areas we are focusing on at Bursa Malaysia is to make sure that the velocity and liquidity improve as we go forward," Yusli said.Meanwhile, director and research head of RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd, Lim Chee Sing, said the correction in the market over the last two days, which continued this morning, was not something unexpected. "We feel that correction is long overdue. But after this we will see the fundamantals coming back to drive the market to a higher level," he said. On the Invest Malaysia 2007 conference scheduled from March 21 to 23 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Yusli said it would serve as a platform to showcase Corporate Malaysia as well as for the government to make announcements.

"This year we hope there will be similarly significant announcements (as in the two previous conferences). We are looking forward to something significant which will help the market to develop further," he said. "At Bursa Malaysia, our major objective is to make sure that we have a developed market in the near future and for us to be able to get there, we need to get certain things in place in terms of policy," he added. Yusli said for the first time, the conference would be held on the back of strong foreign interest in the market which had seen near record volume over the last few months.

= = = = =March 01, 2007 12:06 PM

Don't Waste Time Speculating On General Election - PM
From Ahmad Kamil Tahir
SANA'A, March 1 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reminded all quarters especially Malaysian political parties not to be over-zealous in speculating the date of the next general election, and neglect their responsibility to the people. "Don't speculate and waste time over it," said the Prime Minister at a news conference for the Malaysian and Yemeni media Wednesday. Abdullah also hinted that the election may be held in the near term.

"What is important is to achieve what has been planned under the Ninth Malaysia Plan," he said when asked for preparations taken by leaders of political parties, including within the Barisan Nasional, to mobilise their election machinery. In anticipation of the general election, some quarters have made the necessary preparations, including training their members to be mentally equipped. Earlier, some economic experts and academicians have predicted, now was the best time to hold the general election given that the Malaysian economy was currently in a strong position, with the people growing more confident towards the government.

= = = == = = == = = == =

's Economy Expands at Slowest Pace in a Year

Updated : 28-02-2007 Media : Bloomberg; Story By : Stephanie Phang
Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia's economy grew at the slowest pace in a year in the fourth quarter as exports eased amid weaker demand for electronics from markets such as the U.S. The $147 billion economy expanded 5.7 percent from a year earlier after gaining 5.8 percent in the third quarter, the statistics department said in a faxed statement in Kuala Lumpur today. Economists expected growth of 5.6 percent. ``Growth moderated in the fourth quarter largely on the back of softer export demand,'' said Leslie Tang, an economist at UOB Kay Hian Pte in Singapore. ``It is the same symptom that exporting economies like Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore are experiencing. We are hopeful that it will be short-lived with a revival coming as soon as the second quarter of 2007.''

Slowing growth in the U.S., Malaysia's largest overseas market, is curbing demand for goods such as Intel Corp. semiconductors and Dell Inc. notebook computers that are produced in Southeast Asia's third-largest economy. The pace of expansion in the U.S. may ease to 2.7 percent this year from 3.4 percent in 2006, the White House said Feb. 5.

Cooling global growth is also hurting other Asian electronics exporters. South Korea's government expects growth to ease to 4.5 percent this year from 5 percent in 2006 due to a global slowdown. Exports, which account for about two-fifths of South Korea's economy, may rise at the slowest rate in five years in 2007, the commerce ministry said last month.

Overseas Sales
Malaysia has reported smaller gains in overseas sales and manufacturing production as faltering U.S. demand damps demand for Asian goods. In December, export growth slowed to 6.2 percent from November's 18 percent increase. Manufacturing output rose 8.8 percent in December from a year earlier, slowing from a 10.5 percent gain in November. Full-year growth was 5.9 percent, beating a Sept. 1 government forecast of 5.8 percent and accelerating from 5.2 percent in 2005, the statistics department said today. Malaysia may experience ``slightly lower growth in 2007 at 5.5 percent, characterized by slowing external demand and manufacturing but supported by government spending,'' said Saifuddin Morat, an economist at Aseambankers Malaysia Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur.

Rising investment, together with government spending, may help bolster economic growth amid slowing overseas demand for made-in-Malaysia electronics this year. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has planned $57 billion in government spending under a five-year public development plan announced last year, which may boost construction and investment activity.

Government Projects
``For growth to be higher remains to be seen as it all depends on implementation on key government projects in the Ninth Malaysia Plan, as well as further signs of improvement in the private consumption and investment spending,'' said Wan Suhaimi Saidi, an economist at Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. ``The jury is still out there.'' Economic growth may slow to 5.5 percent this year, lower than the government's 6 percent forecast, according to the median estimate of 21 economists.

Malaysia's central bank this week kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for a seventh straight meeting amid easing inflation. The central bank may cut rates in the second half of this year to ``give the economy whatever help it can get,'' Joseph Tan, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in Singapore, said on Feb. 26. Malaysia's benchmark composite index posted its biggest loss in more than five years today, following a global stock market rout triggered by a plunge in Chinese shares yesterday. The ringgit fell on speculation demand for emerging-market assets will wane.

`Bad News'

``If you're looking at it from a market perspective, I think people don't mind a slower GDP figure provided this is the last quarter of it,'' said Wong Shou Ning, who helps manage $136 million in investments at Kenanga Investment Management Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur. ``But now with the market slowdown, I don't know whether bad news will be made to look even worse.'' Manufacturing, which accounts for more than 30 percent of Malaysia's economy, expanded 4.3 percent in the three months to December, slowing from the third quarter. Manufacturing expanded 7 last year, compared with 5.1

percent in 2005. The moderation in the final quarter ``was attributed to a decline in demand for electrical and electronic products,'' the statistics department said. Exports of goods and services increased 4.1 percent, after rising 10.5 percent in the third quarter. Exports amount to more than 100 percent of gross domestic product in Malaysia, where electrical and electronics goods account for about half of overseas sales.

Manufacturing Investment

Malaysian investment grew 9.8 percent in the three months to December, after gaining 3.5 percent in the previous quarter. Investment grew 7.9 percent last year.

Approved manufacturing investment rose to a record 46 billion ringgit ($13.2 billion) last year, as higher energy prices spurred investment in petrochemical and biofuel projects and electronics makers such as Motorola Inc. planned expansions, the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority said Feb. 13.

Services grew 7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to today's report. The industry grew 6.5 last year. The agriculture industry rose 6.5 percent, helped by ``robust'' palm oil and rubber production, for a full year growth of 6.4 percent, the department said. Mining expanded 1.9 percent, after declining the previous four quarters, and fell 0.2 last year.

The construction industry gained 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Construction fell 0.5 last year.

= = = = =another round of Impressive figures NOT cooked up

February 28, 2007 19:41 PM

Economy Expands By 5.9 Pct In 2006, Grows By 5.7 Pct In Q4

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's economy last year grew at 5.9 percent, beating earlier forecasts as the fourth quarter growth of 5.7 percent rounded up a year of increased activities in all major sectors. The encouraging growth figure which was higher than the government's earlier prediction of 5.8 percent compared with 5.2 percent in 2005 was marked by Malaysia's impressive trade sector which chalked up a value in excess of RM1 trillion. For this year, prospects remain favourable.

Releasing the gross domestic product figures here today, the Statistics Department said on the production side, the fourth quarter growth was boosted mainly by the sturdy growth of services and agriculture sectors. Services, underpinned by higher expansion in finance, insurance, real estate and business services sub-sectors, grew by 7.0 percent in the fourth quarter, agriculture rose by 6.5 percent, manufacturing moderated to 4.3 percent, construction rose 0.6 percent and mining 1.9 percent. Bank Negara Malaysia, in a separate statement, said the Q4 expansion was more broad-based with all sectors of the economy now recording positive growth. The central bank said it was underpinned by stronger consumer sentiment and sustained business confidence, with the private sector the main contributor to growth supported by the external and public sectors.

The department said positive growths which were recorded across all the five main sectors of the economy translated to an eight percent growth in nominal prices. In terms of final expenditure, growth was mainly driven by higher gross fixed capital formation expenditure and private consumption, the department said. Value added in the agriculture sector continued to increase further by 6.5 percent, supported by the robust performance of the oil palm and rubber production, which expanded by 10.3 percent and 7.5 percent respectively. Other activities in the agriculture sector, which includes fishing, forestry, livestock and other agriculture, collectively grew by 3.7 percent against two percent a year ago.

Higher commodity prices of oil palm from a year ago propelled the agriculture sector to attain a growth of 15.3 percent in nominal prices in the fourth quarter of last year, the department said. For the mining sector, it rebounded to a positive growth of 1.9 percent after a period of declining growth in the past four quarters, supported by higher output of crude oil and natural gas. The manufacturing sector moderated to 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 due to a decline in demand for electrical and electronic products.

Bank Negara said the growth of the electronic and electrical (E&E) and the chemical industries moderated as external demand for laptops, computers and plastics moderated. On the other hand, strong external demand for resource-based products supported the growth of the rubber, wood and petroleum industries, it said. As for construction, it recorded a positive growth of 0.6 percent after 10 quarters

= = == = = == = == = = =

Malaysia's economy grows 5.9% in 2006, exceeding gov't forecast

Updated : 28-02-2007 ; Media : Kyodo News; Story By : N/A ; via
(Kyodo) _ Malaysia's economy expanded 5.9 percent in 2006, slightly above the earlier projection of 5.8 percent, the Statistics Department said Wednesday. The figure for gross domestic product growth in 2006 was better than the 5.2 percent recorded in 2005, and was mainly boosted by high demand overseas for
Malaysia's palm oil and rubber, as well as electronics and electrical products.

The department did not provide a figure for GDP itself. It said GDP for the October-December period registered growth of 5.7 percent, a slight dip from the July-September quarter growth of 5.8 percent. The economy grew 5.9 percent in the January-March period before surging upward to 6.2 percent in the second quarter.

For the whole of 2006, the robust performance of rubber and oil palm production helped enable the agriculture sector to rise by 6.4 percent compared to 2.5 percent in 2005. The manufacturing sector, which made up a third of the GDP, also went up by 7.0 percent compared with 5.1 percent the previous year. The services sector scored 6.5 percent growth. The construction and mining sectors, however, remained lackluster, posting negative 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent growth, respectively. The government is targeting growth of 6.0 percent in 2007.

= = == == = = = =What others are saying….

Malaysiakini LETTERS: Upbeat economy: Ask yourself this; Alex Ong Feb 28, 07 4:17pm

The relevant economic indicators announcement by Abdullah administration reveals the 'good times' are back for Malaysians. These impressive economic performance indicators are not artificial, but they are deceptive about the well-being of the Malaysian citizens from all walks of life. The current stock boom has caused the 10 richest Malaysians to be 44.74% richer with their combine wealth of RM103.27 billion. These 10 richest Malaysians practically own wealth equivalent to 35% of the Malaysia's foreign reserves (RM299.8 billion). This a very clear indication of the mismanagement of the nation's wealth by the BN regime where only a handful of people are controlling a majority stake of our national economy. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer! Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's comments over the weekend that the KLCI would reach the 1,350 level also significantly boosted retail investors' confidence. How could Abdullah make such a precise prediction?

It must be that government-owned institutional investors are obviously being roped in to boost the 'feel good' factor. Money is being pumped into the main 'Index Counters' (about 17 of them) that are heavyweights on the KLCI. If you push up these heavyweight counters, the whole KLCI will move up. The chain effect is that retail investors are lured into a frenzied buying of penny stocks that also propels Bursa Malaysia's trading volume to its highest ever of 4.7 billion shares, ignoring the fact that many second-liners are indeed on the verge of being made PN17 companies. On another front, in Malaysia, private finance initiative programmes are just the political gimmicks that transfer the wealth of the nation into the hands of few political rent seekers.

At the end of the day, the money has to come from EPF and Malaysian Pensions Fund. It would be better for government to create professionally-managed public enterprises rather than allowed rent seekers to take over the wealth of the nation or grant them licences to exploit the consumers. High toll rates and increased electricity tariffs have been very unfair to Malaysian citizen and taxpayers. The Consumer Price Index computation is also definitely a very deceiving indicator that fails to reflect the reality of life that people are facing. A simple 'economy' rice lunch in Kuala Lumpur (rice with two dishes) plus mineral water is now RM6.20. Just a year ago one could have a good lunch for under RM4.50.

The toll from Gombak to Bentong is now RM8 as compared to RM6.50 a year ago. The price of vegetables and fruits have increased more than 50% while a MAS air ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu is now RM245 compared to RM178 previously, an increase of 37.5%. The CPI is meaningless if the people are consistently under pressure to make ends meet. There are still more than 70% of the urban poor who cannot make ends meet and the majority of them are wage earners and civil servants. Disregarding the deceptive facts and figures, ask yourselves a simple question: How have the current economic conditions benefitted you?

1. Has your personal wealth increased by 47% like the 10 richest Malaysians?
2. Is your salary increment sufficient to cover the current rise in your cost of living?
3. Do you have extra money to spend and more to save in your bank account?
4. Are you the victim of the forced selling of your long-term investment shares in Sime Darby, Golden Hope, Southern Bank, Johor Port and Malakoff?
5. If the economy is so good, why haven't the government and private employers given big bonuses to ease the financial burden of the people who include about one million civil servants and 11 million EPF contributors?
6. If the economy is so good, why have cars sales decreased drastically and high-rise residence property market over-hanged?
7. Do you think the government has lost its sense of social responsibility as privatisation projects only benefit politically-linked personalities?

The honest answers to the above from the people at large will show that the BN government's announcement that 'good times are back' is deceptive and unaccountable for. It is a classic symptom of a coming general election. The national economy has to be supported by fundamental increases in productivity, real values and profitability. The illusion of a 'feel good' feeling created by the Abdullah administration will surely fade away.

= = = == = =

LETTERS: 'Feel good' figures all point towards a general election

Suria Kenchana Feb 28, 07 4:14pm

I refer to the letter Stock market not a yardstick for economic performance and fully agree with the writer on his views. At the same time, I will not question the statistics given by the government here. The reality behind this hotly-debated subject is that the apparently strong macroeconomic aggregates and the rally in the stock market has been driven by the external sector and not by the domestic sector as is normally the case. This fluke of luck happened by default as a substantial amount of FDI and hot money has been deflected from Thailand in view of the recent political developments in that country. Strong performance of the other sectors -particularly in the prices of petroleum, palm oil and tourist arrivals - have further helped to bear the fruit. Aggressive views have also been taken by hedge funds on the exchange rate of the ringgit, up to RM3.20 against the greenback by the end of this year. The massive liquidity in the international money market only helps to fuel the inflow of short-term money into our economy even more. The fact that the total growth of loans and advances last year had been dismal is another telling indicator that the performance of the domestic economy has not been what the statistics suggest. The bottom line is that

the so- called rally in the stock market now is not likely to be sustainable. Alan Greenspan, the former US Federal Reserve chairman, has said that he would not overrule the possibility that the American economy would be moving towards recession by the third quarter of this year. This means that the Malaysia Securities Exchange Berhad (MSEB) index would slide back to about the 950 level by then. So what are the great celebration and jubilation all about? Of course, it is about setting the right tone and tempo for the next general election. The opposition parties seem to speculate that it would be soon. But the question is how soon? The right answer is probably as soon as the non-bumiputeras have sufficiently cooled down after they were insulted and provoked by the Umnoputras during their last annual conference held late last year. How long can Pak Lah wait before calling for the next general election then? Ideally, the target date should be after the celebrations of our nation's 50th anniversary but before the start of the fasting month in October. That a lot of money will be thrown around to celebrate the forthcoming National Day is a forgone conclusion. It would be done in a grand and

colourful way to entertain the tourists while at the same time wooing support from the locals for the impending general election. Meanwhile, whilst the stock market is still strong we should just ride with the tide. Reserve decision-making on your voting rights until the last moment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

BAD is a born denier, a pretender.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...

So... many... colours...

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what colours

12:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Get complete protection against viruses, worms and Trojan horse programs – CA Anti-Virus 2008! Click here for cheap hotels
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Multidimid. Make your own badge here.
Blogroll Me!

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Add to Google Add to Google