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nazrey Apr 27, 2021 10:38 AM

Towards high income nation
Malaysia expected to cross high-income threshold by 2025 — World Bank
Syahirah Syed Jaafar March 16, 2021 12:17 pm +08


KUALA LUMPUR (March 16): Malaysia is expected to cross the high-income country threshold by 2025 under a baseline scenario, on the basis that the economy continues to expand healthily in the next few years, said World Bank.

Under a high case scenario, this could be achieved earlier in 2024, whereas under a low case scenario the achievement could be later in 2028, World Bank said in a new report released today.

According to World Bank, the baseline projections are premised on assumptions that Malaysia’s economy will continue to expand at around its potential growth rate, with the ringgit-US dollar exchange rate remaining unchanged at around RM4 per US dollar throughout the forecast period.

The high case scenario assumes stronger profiles for gross domestic product (GDP) growth and ringgit exchange rates, while the opposite is the case for the low episode scenario.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance is targeting for the economy to grow between 6.5% and 7.5% in 2021.

“Malaysia’s per capita income has increased nearly four-fold since joining the upper middle-income country group in 1992.

"Since then, progress has slowed despite continued growth in ringgit-denominated incomes, largely due to the weakness of the ringgit relative to the US dollar in recent years. In 2020, Malaysia‘s average gross national income (GNI) per capita is estimated to reach US$11,200, only US$1,335 short of the current threshold level that defines a high-income economy,” the report said.

World Bank noted that one factor that would make the low case scenario more likely would be a prolonged negative impact from the Covid-19 pandemic on Malaysia’s rate of economic growth.

Loss of competitiveness in the electrical and electronics sector, and in manufacturing and exports more generally, has also given rise to concerns that Malaysia is deindustrialising prematurely, which has the potential to undermine the country’s long-term growth prospects.

It said a revamp of the “growth with equity” model through timely reforms can substantially improve Malaysia’s growth potential.

nazrey Apr 27, 2021 10:40 AM

Malaysia to Achieve High Income Status Between 2024 and 2028, but Needs to Improve the Quality, Inclusiveness, and Sustainability of Economic Growth to Remain Competitive
MARCH 16, 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, March 16, 2021 – Malaysia is likely to transition to a high-income economy between 2024 and 2028, a reflection of the country’s economic transformation development trajectory over past decades. However, further reforms are required to successfully join the ranks of other leading and developed economies, according to a new World Bank report - Aiming High – Navigating the Next Stage of Malaysia’s Development launched today.

Malaysia‘s GNI per capita is at US$11,200 according to latest estimates, only US$1,335 short of the current threshold level that defines a high-income economy. Progress towards the threshold has been slowed by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the country has the opportunity to undertake bold reforms to sustain future growth and to ensure that the proceeds of growth benefit all segments of the population.

GNI per capita 2019
ASIA PACIFIC (some emerging market nations)

Singapore $59,590
Australia $55,100
Hong Kong $50,800
New Zealand $42,760
Japan $41,710
South Korea $33,790
Brunei $32,230
Malaysia $11,200
China $10,390
Thailand $7,260
Fiji $5,800
Indonesia $4,050
Sri Lanka 4,020
Philippines $3,850
Vietnam $2,590
India $2,120

Nations in-between high income and upper middle income!

New World Bank country classifications by income level: 2020-2021
High income > 12,535

nazrey Apr 27, 2021 8:06 PM

List of countries by credit rating

This is a list of countries by credit rating, showing long-term foreign currency credit ratings for sovereign bonds as reported by the largest three major credit rating agencies: Standard & Poor's, Fitch, and Moody's.

Standard & Poor's (S&P)

Australia AAA
Singapore AAA
New Zealand AA+
Hong Kong AA+
South Korea AA
Taiwan AA
China A+
Japan A+
Malaysia A-
Philippines BBB+
Thailand BBB+
Indonesia BBB
India BBB-
Vietnam BB

Australia AAA
Singapore AAA
New Zealand AA+
Hong Kong AA-
South Korea AA-
Taiwan AA-
China A+
Japan A
Malaysia BBB+
Thailand BBB+
Philippines BBB
Indonesia BBB
India BBB-
Vietnam BB

Australia Aaa
Singapore Aaa
New Zealand Aaa
Hong Kong Aa3
South Korea Aa2
Taiwan Aa3
China A1
Japan A1
Malaysia A3
Thailand Baa1
Philippines Baa2
Indonesia Baa2
India Baa3
Vietnam Ba3


nazrey Apr 27, 2021 8:17 PM

Record trade expansion signals Malaysia's recovery speed: Moody's Analytics
By NST Business
March 30, 2021 @ 12:08pm


KUALA LUMPUR: The strong expansion in February exports and imports is a welcome sign that Malaysia's economic recovery is gaining speed, Moody's Analytics said.

The country's trade performance reached a new high last month as it continued its positive growth momentum and outperformed all expectations.

Exports accelerated by 17.6 per cent year/on-year (y-o-y) to RM87.57 billion, and imports increased 12.7 per cent to RM69.7 billion despite the high base effect from February last year, before the pandemic hit the country in March.

The trade surplus widened to RM17.86 billion last month.

The firm said since the start of the year, Malaysia's exports had recorded double-digit growth of 11.7 per cent to RM177.19 billion compared with the same period in 2020.

The strong export performance was mainly thanks to higher demand for semiconductors in smart devices and the automotive industry as global economic activities continue to recover.

"On the other hand, a surge in imports signaled strengthened domestic demand for consumption goods and investments."

Moody's Analytics said exports had maintained positive year-over-year growth for six consecutive months.

The manufacturing sector, which contributes almost 90 per cent of exports, drove the growth.

Exports expanded on the back of increased global demand, notably for electrical and electronic products, mainly semiconductors and rubber products.

nazrey Apr 27, 2021 8:22 PM

Government's debt still under 60pct limit: Tengku Zafrul
By Ayisy Yusof March 24, 2021 @ 4:32pm

KUALA LUMPUR: The government's debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is likely to reach 58.5 per cent by the year-end and not exceed the statutory limit of 60 per cent, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said the collective amount for the government-issued instruments from Malaysian Government Securities (MGS), Malaysian Government Investment Issues (MGII) and Malaysian Islamic Treasury Bills (MITB) stood at 58 per cent of GDP as at end-December.

Limits for these types of debts are stipulated in specific Acts and have been applied since 2009, and not my own personal interpretation. Simply stated, the definition of statutory debt has not changed since 2009.

"Government debt is still below the statutory limit as stipulated by law. As at end-February 2021, the government's total debt was 54 per cent of GDP," Tengku Zafrul said in his 46th edition of the Laksana report today.

nazrey Apr 28, 2021 9:27 PM

World's largest sovereign fund invests in 145 Malaysia-listed firms
By Azanis Shahila Aman March 18, 2021 @ 9:13am

KUALA LUMPUR: Norway's Government Pension Fund Global, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund with a market value of about RM5.48 trillion, has invested in 145 Malaysia-listed companies as at December 31 last year.

This included Genting Malaysia Bhd, MR DIY Group (M) Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd, according to latest updates by the Norwegian central bank's asset management unit on its website.

Norges Bank Investment Management is the asset management unit of Norwegian central bank Norges Bank, which has been tasked to manage the pension fund, often referred to as Norway's oil fund.

On Genting Malaysia, Norges Bank Investment said the fund owned a 0.7 per cent stake worth US$26.35 million and 0.26 per cent stake in MR DIY worth US$12.83 million as at December 31, 2020.

The fund held a 0.89 per cent stake in Top Glove worth US$108.68 million, it added.

The fund's Malaysia-listed equity portfolio includes a 0.35 per cent stake in Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, 0.74 per cent in Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, 0.86 per cent stake in Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd and 2.59 per cent in Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

Norges Bank Investment said the investments were spread across most markets, countries and currencies to achieve broad exposure to global growth and value creation.

Overall, it said the fund had invested in 9,123 companies at the end of 2020, down from 9,202 a year earlier.

nazrey Apr 28, 2021 9:32 PM

Malaysia needs to work on its human capital development, female labour force participation and productivity — World Bank
Justin Lim March 16, 2021 17:13 pm +08

KUALA LUMPUR (March 16): Malaysia, which is on the verge of crossing the high-income nation threshold, needs to implement strong reforms by investing in human capital, increasing female labour force participation and implementing policy changes that improve productivity growth to boost the country's economic growth in the long run, according to the World Bank.

These are the three areas where it currently lags behind others and requires reforms to mitigate its declining growth rates.

Based on the growth experiences of today’s high-income countries, the World Bank’s long-term growth model suggests that a strong reform package could roughly double Malaysia’s future economic growth rate compared to a projected baseline.—-world-bank

nazrey Apr 29, 2021 2:35 AM

Malaysia should transform to break out of middle-income trap — PM
Bernama March 05, 2021 11:25 am +08


KUALA LUMPUR (March 5): Malaysia needs to transform into a global exporting player, grow its manufacturing capabilities and create its home-grown multinational companies (MNCs) to break out of the middle-income trap, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The prime minister said historically, most countries grew rich by learning to produce new, higher-value products for export.

“Hence, entrepreneurs with global ambitions will be critical to drive growth,” he said in his opening remarks at the virtual Youth Economic Forum 2021, themed “A Brave New World”, today.—-pm

nazrey May 3, 2021 8:50 AM

Malaysia's first sukuk in five years overwhelmed, asserts status as world's biggest market
By Ayisy Yusof - April 23, 2021 @ 9:01am

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's first global sukuk issuance since 2016 has been an overwhelming success, with the US$1.3 billion offering oversubscribed by 6.4 times.

The offering, which is the world's first sovereign US dollar sustainability sukuk, reflected strong appetite for Malaysian debt and asserted the country's status as a global leader in Islamic finance, economists said.

The government initially targeted a size of US$1 billion but due to overwhelming demand, the sukuk was upsized to US$1.3 billion, the Finance Ministry (MoF) said in a statement today.

The issuance comprised a US$800 million 10-year Trust Certificates and a US$500 million 30-year Trust Certificates.

"The strong demand has also resulted in the lowest ever yield and spread for a US-dollar sukuk issuance by Malaysia, with the 10-year and 30-year Trust Certificates priced at 2.070 per cent (T + 50 basis points) and 3.075 per cent (T + 80 basis points) respectively," the MoF said.

More importantly, the MoF said this demonstrated the market's confidence in Malaysia's economic recovery and growth prospects, despite a challenging past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both tranches have been assigned a rating of A3 by Moody's Investors Service and A- by S&P Global Ratings.

The MoF said the sukuk was unique as its underlying assets were sustainable assets, being vouchers representing travel entitlement on Malaysia's Light Rail Transit, Mass Rapid Transit and KL Monorail networks.

As the first sovereign issuance with such assets in a sukuk structure, the issuance sets a new benchmark and showcases Malaysia's global leadership in Islamic finance, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said.

This reinforced the country's position as the world's largest sukuk market, he added.

"We are extremely pleased and honoured by the investors' vote of confidence in our maiden sustainability sukuk issuance, which also reflects their belief in Malaysia's strong economic fundamentals and solid prospects for growth," Tengku Zafrul said.

Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the oversubscription rate showed that the investors, be it domestic or foreign, were more than comfortable with the government's ability in managing its debt.

"In other words, the credit risks are fairly low and therefore, it make sense to purchase the sukuk. Obviously, the oversubscription rate is creditable," Afzanizam told the New Straits Times.

"We have seen ownership by the foreign investors in the Malaysian Government Securities have been steady at around 40 per cent. Therefore, the oversubscription rate indicates that Malaysian govvies looks favourable with interest rate differential with the US rates are obviously in favour of Malaysia's rate," he added.

Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd senior economist and head of research Firdaos Rosli said the warm response demonstrated ongoing strong appetite for Malaysian debt despite the spike in yields seen for local currency debt.

This was evidenced by the cumulative foreign inflows in the local bond market during May 2020 till March 2021, amounting to RM53.9 billion, the longest monthly streak on record.

"Malaysia continues to assert its position as a global leader in Islamic Finance and the world's largest sukuk market. Year-to-date, the total outstanding sukuk issued by Malaysia stood at US$286.8 billion or an equivalent of 39.6 per cent of global total outstanding. This put Malaysia well ahead of Saudi Arabia's US$163.7 billion and Indonesia's US$100.5 billion sukuk markets," Firdaos said.

Elaborating on the offering, the MoF said it issued via a special purpose vehicle, Malaysia Wakala Sukuk Bhd.

Subsequent to a virtual roadshow covering Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the US, the sukuk attracted a diverse group of investors.

The allocation was well-spread globally, with 55 per cent of the principal amount of the 10-year sukuk distributed to investors in Asia, 33 per cent to Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) and 12 per cent to the US.

Forty-six per cent of the principal amount of the 30-year sukuk was distributed to investors in Asia, 33 per cent to EMEA and 21 per cent to the United States.

By investor type, the distribution of the 10-year tranche was 67 per cent to fund managers and insurance companies, 18 per cent to central banks and governments, 14 per cent to banks and one per cent to others investors.

For the 30-year tranche, 83 per cent was to fund managers, 10 per cent to banks, four per cent to central banks and governments, and three per cent to other investors.


Sukuk is the Arabic name for financial certificates, also commonly referred to as "sharia compliant" bonds. Sukuk are defined by the AAOIFI (Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions) as "securities of equal denomination representing individual ownership interests in a portfolio of eligible existing or future assets." The Fiqh academy of the OIC legitimized the use of sukuk in February 1988.

nazrey May 3, 2021 9:08 AM

Strong sukuk interest shows Malaysia's ability to raise capital in reserve currencies: Moody's
By Azanis Shahila Aman - April 27, 2021 @ 11:17am

KUALA LUMPUR: The strong interest in its international sustainability sukuk has demonstrated Malaysia's ability to access market financing in reserve currencies, according to Moody's Investors Service.

Moody's said this complemented Malaysia's access to deep domestic capital markets, supporting its assessment of the government's low liquidity risk even as financing needs rose because of wider fiscal deficits.

On April 22, the government successfully issued two tranches of its first sovereign international sustainability sukuk, comprising US$800 million of 10-year trust certificates and US$500 million of 30-year trust certificates.

The increased issuance, which was originally slated for just US$1 billion combined, in part reflected investor interest in sustainability-linked Shariah-compliant products, Moody's said.

This issuance would pave the way for other Malaysian issuers to tap into this funding base to address ESG concerns, it added.

The agency also said the issuance also reinforced Malaysia's leading position in Islamic finance.

Since issuing the world's first sukuk in 1990, the country has become the largest sukuk market, accounting for 32 per cent of total global sukuk issuance in 2020.

Moody's expects the government's fiscal deficit to be around six per cent of gross development product (GDP) in 2021, narrowing to about five per cent in 2022-2023, but still wider than the deficits of around 3.0-4.0 per cent before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Moody's assess Malaysia's exposure to environmental risk to be moderate, reflecting the government's exposure to petroleum-related income, which accounts for around a fifth of total revenue.

"A global transition away from hydrocarbon fuels threatens the long-term viability of this income stream.

"Malaysia is also exposed to deforestation stemming from the expansion of palm oil plantations and mining and logging activity, which contributes to flooding."

Green projects that effectively addressed some of these vulnerabilities could help reduce Malaysia's exposure to environmental risk, it added.

Moody's said the focus on social projects supported its view that Malaysia's exposure to social risk was neutral to low.

This reflects favorable demographics, the access to quality education, housing, healthcare and basic services, as well as policies that address the needs of the B40.

"These strengths help to offset social issues that could arise from systematic policies that are designed to promote the economic interests of the ethnic Malay majority (bumiputera policies), including the use of quotas in university admissions, public service recruitment, housing and other areas," it added.

nazrey May 11, 2021 10:04 PM

Malaysia's exports breach RM100bil in March, total trade to rebound in 2021, say economists
By FARAH ADILLA and AYISY YUSOF April 29, 2021 @ 1:32pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports have surpassed RM100 billion mark for the first time as the total trade soared 25.6 per cent year-on-year in March.

Exports skyrocketed by 31 per cent y-o-y, the fastest pace since July 2017 and an all-time high in terms of value at RM104.9 billion.

nazrey Jun 22, 2021 10:41 PM

BNM's international reserves up at US$111b as at June 15
Bernama June 22, 2021 15:44 pm +08


KUALA LUMPUR (June 22): Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves stood at US$111 billion (about RM460.93 billion) as at June 15, 2021, up from US$110.9 billion as at May 31.

In a statement today, the central bank said the reserves position is sufficient to finance 8.2 months of retained imports and 1.1 times total short-term external debt.

It said the main components of the international reserves were foreign currency reserves (US$102.3 billion), its International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserves position (US$1.4 billion), special drawing rights (SDRs) (US$1.2 billion), gold (US$2.1 billion) and other reserve assets (US$4 billion).

nazrey Jun 26, 2021 1:45 AM

Approved investments in Malaysia to rise by 13pct to RM185bil in 2021: UOB Malaysia
By Ayisy Yusof May 19, 2021 @ 10:10am

KUALA LUMPUR: Approved investments in Malaysia is projected to increase by 13 per cent to RM185 billion in 2021, according to UOB Malaysia.

Of the total, 40 per cent will be attributed to foreign direct investment (FDI), with China, Europe and the United States (US) expected to remain among the top sources of FDI.

UOB Malaysia said capital is likely to be channelled mainly into the high-value-added sectors, including electrical and electronics (E&E), chemical, manufacturing and industrial.

Malaysia recorded RM164 billion in total approved investments, of which RM64.2 billion were from FDI sources, despite the challenging economic environment in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

China is Malaysia's main source of FDI equivalent to 28.2 per cent or at RM18.1 billion.

Other contributors included Singapore which recorded RM10 billion in FDI, The Netherlands with RM7.0 billion and the US at RM4.3 billion.

UOB Malaysia facilitated FDI inflows from China last year, an increase of about 20 per cent compared to 2019.

It also supported a steady flow of new investments from European companies, particularly from France, Germany and the United Kingdom, which grew close to 10 per cent annually.

nazrey Jun 26, 2021 1:50 AM

Foreign inflows into Malaysian bonds continue: RAM
By Farah Adilla May 21, 2021 @ 5:35pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Net foreign purchases of Malaysian bonds continued in April, accelerating to RM6.4 billion from RM5.9 billion in March.

RAM Rating Services Bhd said this extended the current streak of foreign buying to 12 months for a total of RM60.2 billion.

The firm said more than 90 per cent of the total purchase had gone to government bonds, mainly underpinned by "sticky" investors such as central banks, governments, pension funds and insurers.

nazrey Jun 26, 2021 2:38 AM

Classification 2021

nazrey Jul 7, 2021 12:06 PM

nazrey Jul 7, 2021 12:11 PM

National Recovery Plan seen as timely, will lead Malaysia towards normalcy
Bernama June 17, 2021 01:44 am +08


KUALA LUMPUR (June 16): The Government announcement of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) is viewed as a strategic initiative and timely and will direct the country towards normalcy and sustainable economic development.

Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd (BPMB) president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Arshad Mohamed Ismail said the comprehensive measures introduced, particularly the acceleration of the nationwide vaccination programme are certainly critical to national recovery.

"The four-phase exit strategy provides a clear and concrete direction for the economy.

nazrey Aug 15, 2021 3:42 AM

Investors attracted by Malaysia's improving economic performance, says economist
Anas Abu Hassan Bernama August 13, 2021 19:27 pm +08

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 13): Malaysia’s improving economic performance will boost investors' confidence and portray a good indicator that the country is going in the right direction, an economist said.

Putra Business School Associate Professor Abu Sofian Yaacob said the strong growth of the Malaysian economy and the increasing gross domestic product (GDP) are positive signs to would-be investors that the country is doing well amid rising cases of Covid-19 infections.

"Although Malaysia is still facing a high Covid-19 infection rate at the moment, we have proven that we managed to increase our GDP, along with the confidence that the vaccination rate is on track towards herd immunity," he told Bernama today.

Earlier, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced that the Malaysian economy grew by 16.1% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, supported mainly by the improvement in domestic demand and continued robust exports performance.

nazrey Aug 17, 2021 12:08 AM

Azmin: MIDA identifies 325 foreign investment projects worth RM97.4b
Adam Aziz August 16, 2021 16:16 pm +08

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 16): The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has identified 325 foreign investment projects in the manufacturing and services sectors with a combined potential investment value of RM97.4 billion, said outgoing international trade and industry minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

In a statement today on Malaysia's second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, Azmin said MIDA is also evaluating a total of 835 projects with proposed investments of RM76.7 billion in the manufacturing and services sectors.

"In terms of investment performance, Malaysia charted a jump in private investment in 2Q21 (second quarter of 2021) of 17.4% totaling RM59.3 billion compared to corresponding period last year.

"This is a positive reflection of enhancement in capital expenditure in the services and manufacturing sectors, which is crucial for not just the preservation of jobs but creation of new job opportunities," Azmin said.

"Foreign direct investment (FDI) net inflow totalled RM8.2 billion in 2Q21 driven by larger reinvestment of earnings mainly in the manufacturing sector and higher equity injections, underscoring that Malaysia continues to remain as a preferred investment destination in the region.

"The manufacturing sector remains a key economic sector contributing 79.3% of the FDI inflow in 2Q21 and propelling it to be the largest recipient of FDI inflow in the first half of 2021," he added.

In the first half of 2021, Azmin said Malaysia secured a total committed investment of RM35.97 billion with potential exports value of RM3.4 billion.

"Export performance in 2021 is forecast for further growth with the manufacturing sector ramping up production capacity to meet expansion in external demand.

"Performance in the E&E, rubber gloves and medical devices sectors is expected to be given a further boost on account of continued robust demand for these products arising from the pandemic," he said.

Malaysia recorded a 16.1% year-on-year growth in GDP in 2Q21 amid a low base due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March to May last year. The headline figure however showed a quarter-on-quarter contraction of 2%, following the impostion of Full MCO in June 2021.

nazrey Aug 25, 2021 1:49 PM

Malaysia's Leading Index rises by mere 0.5% in June 2021, signifying continued economic challenges in near term
Tan Siew Mung August 25, 2021 12:38 pm +08

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 25): The Leading Index (LI) rose by a mere 0.5% year-on-year in June, compared with the 6.9% annual growth registered in the previous month, signalling continued challenges for Malaysia's near-term economic prospects, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a statement that the LI, which is used to anticipate economic upturns and downturns an average of four to six months ahead, continued to register growth, to 105.6 points from 105.1 points in the same month last year.

According to him, the increase was mainly contributed by real imports of other basic precious and other non-ferrous metals driven by imports of copper-based metals.

However, the LI declined 2.8% month-on-month (m-o-m), reflected by the reduction in all of LI components, mainly the number of housing units approved, which contracted by 0.9%.

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