Bank Negara’s reserves rise to US$103.3bil
Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves increased to US$103.3 billion as at Oct 15, 2019 from US$103.0 billion as at Sept 30, 2019. The central bank said the reserves position is sufficient to finance 7.6 months of retained imports and is 1.1 times the total short-term external debt. BNM said the main components of the international reserves comprised foreign currency reserves at US$96.7 billion, International Monetary Fund reserves position (US$1.1 billion), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (US$1.1 billion), gold (US$1.9 billion), and other reserve assets (US$2.5 billion). It said assets included gold and foreign exchange and other reserves, including SDRs, which amounted to RM432.65 billion, Malaysian government papers (RM2.51 billion), loans and advances (RM6.81 billion), land and buildings (RM4.16 billion), and other assets (RM14.03 billion). (NST Online)

Melaka woos foreign investors with cheap land, water rates
Competitively priced land and low water tariffs for industry are the main drawcards for foreign investors to choose Melaka as an investment destination. “With these advantages we can make Melaka a prime industrial area,” Melaka Industry, Trade and Investment Committee chairman Mohd Rafiq said. He said Melaka’s strategic location mid-way between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and its proximity to the two main ports of Port Klang and Port of Tanjung Pelepas are drawcards. Melaka’s Tanjung Bruas Port is being expanded and commercially developed, while state is also working to add new routes connecting the Melaka International Airport to other cities. (Malay Mail)

SLGG plans seafront project in Kuching
High-end property developer Sanctuary Lakes Global Group (SLGG) is planing to develop a high-end seafront residential development in Kuching, Sarawak, the company’s second in the East Malaysian city. SLGG director Leo Tan said currently the company is in talks with several potential partners in finding a strategic masterplan for the development. While there was no timeline given, it was made to understand that the development will comprise of resort-style low-rise residential and will be situated on the coastal area of the city. SLGG already had its footprint in East Malaysia back in 1990, having completed Kasuma Resort, a lakeside residential project in Kuching. In Kuala Lumpur, SLGG recently launched Santuari Park Pantai, a low-density freehold residential development on a 38-acre freehold plot in Kuala Lumpur, which is targeted to be completed by June 2020. (NST Online)

Govt developing legal framework for bike e-hailing, says deputy minister
The Ministry of Transport is in the process of developing a legal framework and terms for ‘bike e-hailing’ or motorcycle taxi services. Its deputy minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said this was to facilitate the government in regulating the service to ensure that licensing terms and conditions were in line with regulations enforced on e-hailing services. “A legal framework is necessary to safeguard the welfare and safety of the public who use the service, apart from establishing a transport ecosystem with uniform and fair rules,” he said. In addition, Kamarudin said delivery services using motorcycles would also be regulated and licenced which would involve amendments to existing laws. (Malay Mail)

China plans to replace HK leader Lam with ‘interim’ chief executive
China is drawing up a plan to replace Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam with an “interim” chief executive, the Financial Times reported, citing people briefed on the deliberations, which would bring to a close Lam’s rule after months of often-violent pro-democracy protests. Although the bill was finally withdrawn, the protests have continued, defying police rulings banning them. Lam has become a lightning rod for protests over fears that Beijing is tightening its grip, limiting the freedoms enjoyed under the “one country, two systems” principle enshrined when colonial ruler Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997. Sources said officials in China want the situation in Hong Kong to stabilise before making a final decision, as they do not want to be seen to be giving in to violence. If Chinese President Xi Jinping decides to go ahead, Lam’s successor would be appointed by March and cover the remainder of her term, which ends in 2022. (The Star Online)