Multiple notices issued across Malaysia as smoking ban at eateries flouted

There are still people who refuse to abide by the smoking ban at all eateries on the first day of full enforcement of the ruling across the country on Jan 1. In fact, many still claimed that they were still unaware of the ban despite the educational enforcement that had been done over the past 12 months. Under the new ruling, those found smoking in prohibited areas including all eateries will be subjected to a compound of RM250. A total of 5,000 personnel have been deployed by the Health Ministry nationwide to implement the no-smoking ban. (Malay Mail)

E&O, Mitsui Fudosan to develop luxury residences in Damansara Heights

Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) and Japan’s largest property developer Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd are teaming up to build luxury residences in Damansara Heights. E&O’s indirect unit KCB Holdings Sdn Bhd (KCBH) and Mitsui’s indirect unit Mitsui Fudosan (Asia) Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MFAM) would be involved in the joint venture. KCBH will hold a 51% stake in the new JV company and MFAM the remaining 49% in the JV. The land is slated to be developed into three-storey villas/ condominiums totalling 54 units with a GDV of RM348mil. It is expected to be launched in the second half of 2020. (The Star Online)

Developers with overseas exposure to see better prospects

Despite the challenging property outlook in the next 12 months, developers with overseas exposure are expected to do better in the medium term especially in China and Singapore, according to AmInvestment Bank Research (AmResearch). “Sunway Bhd and IOI Properties are well positioned in this area and their property launches have been generally well received both locally and overseas,” it said in a report. The research house is maintaining a “neutral” call view on the property sector given the challenging outlook. It does not expect surprises in earnings for the next 12 months, but the affordable segment remains to be the key focus for the sector. It also expects the REIT sector to remain stable in the short to medium term, especially shopping malls. (The Sun Daily)

E-wallets to carve up more market

The year 2020 and beyond will see the continued rise in popularity of e-wallets which stole the financial technology limelight in 2019. Last year has been an aggressive one in terms of user acquisition. There is also a thrust by the government to push for a cashless nation through the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative, which will see a disbursement of RM450mil starting 15 Jan. All these efforts are in line with Bank Negara’s vision to make e-payments the preferred medium of economic transactions in Malaysia. There are close to 50 e-wallet providers in the country, both closed loop and open loop. E-money is the most widely used electronic payment method in Malaysia in terms of transaction frequency, followed by credit cards. However, credit card transaction values were higher. (The Star Online)

VM2020 kicks off Malaysia’s tourism calendar

The launch of Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VM2020) opens the country’s tourism calendar with the target to attract 30 million international tourists and generate revenue for the nation. With the target of RM100 billion income from the country’s tourism industry, various programmes have been planned to draw tourists from the main international market such as China, Japan and United Kingdom. Held with much festivities, the launching of VM2020 by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the start of the new year 2020 at Dataran Merdeka, was also held in Kelantan, Pahang, Melaka, Johor, Penang, and Terengganu. (Malay Mail)