Customs: Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb among 126 registered for 6% digital tax in Malaysia

At least 126 foreign digital service providers including Google, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb have registered with the government for the 6% digital tax to be imposed from January 1, the Customs Department has confirmed. Foreign companies providing digital services are required to register with the Customs Department for the digital tax if the value of such services to Malaysian consumers exceed RM500,000 a year. Digital services are categorised by the Customs Department as including software, applications, video games, online subscriptions, streaming services, online advertisements, online trading platforms, online training, payment processing services, search engines and social networks, database and hosting services and internet-based telecommunication. It was previously reported that the digital tax could boost the Malaysian government’s tax revenue by RM2.4 billion a year. (Malay Mail)

Shah Alam the most-searched area for houses in 2019

A local property portal has revealed that Shah Alam in Selangor is the most-searched area by Malaysian house buyers on its website in 2019. With a search percentage of 17.14%, Shah Alam, located in the Klang Valley, is the top pick for people who want to live in a greener, quieter surroundings, yet has easy access to multiple amenities. Besides Shah Alam, areas such as Ara Damansara (16.98%), Cheras (13.15%), Bandar Utama (12.22%), Semenyih (11.96%), Petaling Jaya (7.91%), Rawang (5.50%), Subang Jaya (5.19%), Johor Baru (5.16%), and Puchong (4.79%) were the top areas ranked according to consumers’ search behaviour data captured by the portal from January to November 2019. (The Sun Daily)

Visa-free 2020 entry for tourists from China and India

Tourists from China and India will be able to visit Malaysia without a tourist visa next year. Throughout 2020, they will be able to enter the country for up to 15 days by using the electronic travel registration and information system – either individually or through travel agencies in their respective countries. However, the tourists must enter and exit Malaysia only through authorised airports or entry points. Upon arrival, they must produce proof of sufficient cash for expenses, credit card or bank card, and produce their travel itinerary in Malaysia. They should also have a valid return ticket. According to a statement from the government, these tourists will be able to travel to Malaysia three months after registration. In addition, the 15-day period cannot be extended and these tourists cannot apply for any other passes under the Immigration Regulations 1963. (The Star Online)

Atrium REIT buys Shah Alam factory from PNB for RM45m

Atrium REIT has acquired a factory building in Shah Alam from Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) for RM45 million cash. The single-storey factory building and ancillary area including a single-storey office cum canteen, is located at Persiaran Raja Muda in Section 16. The purchase will be funded via 20% internally-generated funds and 80% borrowing. “The manager is currently negotiating with the potential tenants on the tenancy terms to lease the property. The manager expects the lease agreement with the identified potential tenant to be executed, prior to completion of the proposed acquisition,” Atrium REIT said. (The Edge)

Seaports the bright spot for transport sector

AmInvestment Research sees the seaport segment as the bright spot for the transportation sector, forecasting a container volume growth of 4% to 5%. It said the prospects of airlines and airport operators are favourable, backed by tourist arrivals projected to reach 30 million in 2020. “There have been significant relocations of the manufacturing bases by multinational companies out of China to the region due to the rising labour and land costs, exacerbated by the US-China trade war,” it said. In addition, it noted that an added competitive advantage of seaports in Malaysia is its low port charges, bolstered further by a weak ringgit. (The Sun Daily)