1,321 submissions received for ECRL civil works
A total of 1,321 local firms have submitted their interest in participating in the civil works portion of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project. During the pre-qualification exercise on May 29 and 30, local companies were invited to put their names in the running for a share of the civil works portion of the RM44bil mega-project. The exercise was open to all experienced local contractors that had a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grade of G3 to G7 with a minimum two-star SCORE rating. “(This) augurs well with the increase in civil works participation for local contractors from 30% to 40% of the ECRL project as per the (agreement),” said said project owner Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) in a statement. Local industry players are encouraged to proactively seize any opportunities to participate in the ECRL project as not just contractors but also as suppliers, consultants and in other relevant scopes. (The Star Online)

Federal govt should utilise NCIA for development projects
An NGO has suggested that the federal government should coordinate all projects in the northern states under the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA). Penang Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) adviser Yan Lee said the projects implemented under NCIA should also include the Kulim International Airport (KXP), the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) projects. He said in the new Malaysia there should not be any fragmentation between the states, especially in the implementation of projects. KXP is one of seven mega projects worth RM3 billion recently announced for Kedah, while the RM46bil PTMP is Penang’s answer to traffic woes. Lee said by coordinating the projects it was hoped that they could be carried out at less cost. (NST Online)

Penang’s approved investment of RM8.8 billion in Q1 highest in Malaysia
Penang recorded RM8.8 billion of total approved manufacturing investment in the first quarter of this year, up 76.8% year-on-year and surpassed 2018’s amount of RM5.6 billion. Of the total, RM8.47 billion were manufacturing foreign direct investments (FDIs), up 1,360% year-on-year, representing 42% of Malaysia’s total FDI. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said between January and March, Penang had garnered 41 projects amounting to RM8.85 billion, representing 35% of Malaysia’s total approved manufacturing investment. “The optimal combinations of robust supply chain, strong talent pool, well-established infrastructure, and the state’s support services to investors makes Penang a preferred destination for investments,” he said. However, he pointed out that while Penang could be a preferred investment destination in the mid to long run, the state was cautiously optimistic in the near-term outlook due to the latest trade war development. (NST Online)

HSBC unveils Malaysia’s first ESG Islamic structured product
HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd has launched the first environmental, social and governance (ESG) Islamic structured product in the Malaysian market. The launch reflects the group’s aspiration in sustainable investment and is in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s value-based intermediation initiative. ESG factors can be used to drive portfolio outperformance and investors should consider these factors when making investment decisions. The ESG product, which is 100% principal protected if held to maturity, pays a fixed coupon of 3.90% annum (three years tenor) and 4.50% per annum (four years tenor) in the first two years of the investment. The product is open for subscription by HSBC/ HSBC Amanah Premier customers from June 10 to June 21, 2019. (The Edge)

Azmin denies sex video, corruption accusations
Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali denies the accusation made by an individual who had attempted to link him to a sex video which is going viral. “I categorically deny this vicious libel upon me,” the Economic Affairs minister said in a statement. This follows a “confession” posted on Facebook by one Muhammad Haziq Abdul Aziz, the senior secretary to a deputy minister. He also named Mohamed Azmin as the other man in the video and then abruptly urged the MACC to investigate the federal minister over corruption. Prior to the “confession”, a short clip of two men having sex was leaked online. The PKR deputy president informed that he had instructed his lawyers to initiate legal action against the individuals behind these accusations. (NST Online)