Guan Eng: Malaysia considers introduction of unexplained wealth law
Malaysia is looking at introducing legislation similar to the UK’s Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO), The Malaysian Insight reported, quoting Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. UWO is a court order that compels a person to reveal their sources of unexplained wealth. Those who fail to account for their wealth will have their assets seized by the authorities. The UWO was incorporated into UK law in January as part of its Criminal Finances Act 2017. Malaysia’s attorney-general is now studying this legislation, which will allow the government to seize extraordinary and unexplained assets owned by prominent individuals, especially politicians. (The Edge Markets)

P2P financing framework guidelines out in two weeks
The full guidelines on the peer-to-peer (P2P) financing framework for property ownership will be announced in the next one to two weeks, said Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad. The Government is committed to opening up house ownership for Malaysians by looking at ways to ease financing needs, he said. The House Buyers Association (HBA) recently criticised the move, saying that the real problem was high house prices and not financing options. “Even for the conventional loan scheme, banks are normally very conservative, especially when the economy is not as good as it used to be. But at least we are beginning to get banks to be more open. They are willing to accept applicants with second jobs with approved employment and earnings,” he added. (The Edge Markets)

Budget 2019 measures will kick-start housing market next year
The exemptions and initiatives, in particular the waiver of stamp duty on transfer instruments and loan agreements for residential homes, announced in the 2019 Budget are expected to kick-start the housing market moving into 2019 and beyond, says Knight Frank Malaysia. Managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said first-time homebuyers and the lower income groups were among the big beneficiaries of the budget. He said among the measures benefiting first-time homebuyers would be the government’s approval for private-sector driven property crowdfunding platforms as an alternative source of financing. The two key budget announcements that directly impacted the property sector would be the review of rates for real property gains tax and stamp duty. (NST Online)

Knight Frank: FundMyHome could lead to subprime crisis without care
The government’s introduction of crowdfunding platforms like FundMyHome as an alternative home financing solution to banks is laudable, said property consultancy Knight Frank Malaysia. However, it advised the authorities to be vigilant in checking the profiles of first time home buyers and fund managers to ensure the mortgage crisis that hit the US over too-easy lending does not happen in Malaysia. Its managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam urged the Securities Commission especially to be watchful of such crowdfunding platform managers who may be tempted to build up their portfolios too quickly by lending to first-time home buyers with compromised financial credibility. He advised that the funds’ portfolios should be reviewed regularly to ensure that the investors’ investments are secured. (Malay Mail Online)

Gunman kills 12 at California western bar
Twelve people have been killed in southern California after a gunman opened fire in a crowded bar. Officials identified the gunman as a former US marine, who was found dead inside the bar. Authorities believe he shot and killed himself. Hundreds of people were at the Borderline Bar and Grill, in Thousand Oaks, near Los Angeles, on Wednesday night when the shooter entered and opened fire. A sheriff’s deputy was among the victims. As many as 16 people were injured in the incident. (The Guardian)

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