HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE MONTH

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE MONTH

New measures to cool Singapore housing mart
Dec 09, 2011
SINGAPORE: Singapore yesterday announced new measures to cool the city-state’s housing market, saying foreigners who buy private homes will have to pay an additional stamp duty equal to 10 per cent of the property value. 

Permanent residents who already own a Singapore home will pay an additional stamp duty of three per cent when they buy a second and subsequent properties, while citizens who purchase a third and subsequent homes will pay three per cent.-Reuters

 

Zeti denies Nomura report

Saturday December 10, 2011

By EDY SARIF 
edy@thestar.com.my

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz has dismissed a report by Nomura International which said the European banks' exposure to Malaysia amounted to US$50bil (RM155bil) or about 19% of the country's gross domestic product.

“The figure is not correct as our foreign banks are locally incorporated and, therefore, they have less exposure compared to other places where they are not locally incorporated,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the central bank's MobileLINK.

The MobileLINK is part of Bank Negara's efforts to promote financial inclusion by extending the outreach to a wider community.

Zeti said the central bank would issue the correct numbers but later said it was “something like less than 5% or so and is very low”.

Zeti posing in the central bank’s mobile customer service coach MobileLINK.

A Nomura economist said recently that Malaysia was one of the economies that would weaken the most as it was in the group of weaker economies.

Malaysia was reported to rank third in Asia, excluding Japan, in terms of exposure to European bank claims after Hong Kong and Singapore, which could mean the drying up of liquidity should European banks start cutting their exposure to this region.

When asked later on the current eurozone crisis and its impact on Malaysia, Zeti said the country now had a strong domestic economy.

“The eurozone crisis has generated tremendous uncertainty and volatility. However, our market now is more developed and our financial institutions are stronger. The central bank has built up buffers and our reserves are very high and by these, we can intermediate this volatility much better,” she said.

Zeti said Malaysia would somehow be affected, probably through trade channels and financial market, but the country was now in a much better position to withstand it.

“Our economy is more diversified now and we have a strong domestic economy,” she said, adding that Malaysia's export sector would be affected but the domestic economy would remain strong, growing at between 6% and 7%, supported by robust investment and consumption.

Zeti said the Government was now implementing many projects and Malaysia had been getting inflow of foreign direct investment into new areas of growth.

“All these will support us in a more challenging time and we also have policy flexibility. Our corporate and household sectors are not over leveraged,” she said, noting that these were the issues faced by the crisis-affected countries. “We are not facing these and have continued access to financing,” she said.

Zeti said the country never faced any interruption or disruption in credit flows and all these were very critical in supporting Malaysia's availability to withstand the challenging environment.


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Datuk Lee Heng
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Muthu & Lee
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