Dr M seeks support for non-partisan government

As the nation waits for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to determine who commands the numbers to form the new government, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he would be willing to reassume the premiership if he still has the majority support. If this pans out, the interim prime minister said he would establish a non-partisan national administration to govern the country in the “best interests of the people”. In his five-minute speech, Dr Mahathir said he wanted a cabinet shaped by capable individuals who prioritise national interests instead of their parties. His address came amid news that the remaining Pakatan leaders have nominated PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as their candidate for prime minister, in what is seen to be a move to reject a “unity government” that includes the previous Umno-led administration. (The Edge)

Interim PM to announce Malaysia’s economic stimulus package today

Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to announce the economic stimulus package at 4pm today. It was reported that Malaysia was not the only Asean nation planning a stimulus package as Thailand’s Finance Ministry would also be proposing a new economic stimulus package to the cabinet in mid-March. Malaysia’s economic stimulus package, focusing on tourism, consumption and investment, is aimed at stimulating domestic travel, which has been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. With the ongoing political situation, businesses were said to be concerned if the stimulus package which is originally scheduled to be announced tomorrow (Feb 27) would be affected. Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid had said the economic stimulus package must happen due to heightened economic uncertainties, which had seen expenditure from businesses and consumers decline. (NST Online)

EXSIM launches RM3b sukuk programmes

EXSIM Group has established a RM2 billion Islamic Medium-Term Note (IMTN) programme and a RM1 billion Islamic Commercial Papers (ICP) programme. The property developer said the two programmes will be used to refinance existing borrowings, as well as to purchase new land and refinance working capital requirements. The IMTN programme is the first sukuk structure in Malaysia to monetise the future sales earnings of a commercial real estate development project — with each tranche under the programme secured against a specific commercial development project. The first tranche under the IMTN programme will be backed by executed sales and purchase agreements of Scarletz Suites @ KL City Centre located on Lorong Yap Kwan Seng. EXSIM managing director Lim Aik Hoe said the property group is targeting 30% sales growth this year, from the approximately RM1.5 billion in sales registered in 2019. He added that the group is looking to expand its footprint into Penang, Ipoh and Johor. (The Edge)

China-based group offers RM382mil to buy Avillion Port Dickson

Avillion Bhd said it has received an unsolicited RM382mil offer from Guangxi East Hangyang Investment Group purchase its hotel and land in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. The indicative price mentioned in Guangxi East Hangyang’s letter of offer dated Feb 21 is subject to due diligence and final agreements such as land purchase agreements to be signed. “The Board will proceed to consider the unsolicited offer and make further announcement with regards to this offer, as and when necessary,” it said. It was reported on Saturday that Guangxi East Hangyang had made an offer to acquire six parcels of land that Avillion owns in Port Dickson. The offer includes the piece of land that houses one of Avillion’s main asset, namely the Avillion Hotel Port Dickson. (The Star Online)

Malaysia approves three-year licence for Lynas’ rare earths plant

Lynas Corp Ltd said on Thursday Malaysia has approved a new three-year licence that allows the Australian miner to operate the only major rare earths processing plant outside of China. The licence will allow it to continue processing rare earths at its $800 million plant in Gebeng, Kuantan,Malaysia, but is subject to the company meeting several conditions that it expects to meet. It will have to build a cracking and leaching facility outside the country before July 2023, after which it will not be allowed to import raw materials containing naturally occurring radioactive material into Malaysia. The company, which is the only proven rare-earths miner outside China, would also have to develop a permanent disposal facility for waste from rare-earths processing within the first year from the date of approval of the licence. The miner recently said the Malaysian state of Pahang had approved a permanent disposal site for waste treatment, a big step towards fulfilling one of the key conditions. (The Star Online)