Muhyiddin announces new RM15 billion Permai stimulus package

An additional stimulus package worth in excess of RM15 billion was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday. The Malaysian Economic and Rakyat Protection Assistance Package, dubbed the Permai aid package, will include 22 new initiatives that Muhyiddin said will put money in people’s pockets and ensure the survival of businesses. The government had already announced four economic stimulus packages worth RM305bil previously. “The Permai initiative will be based on three main objections, which are to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the welfare of the people, and to support the survival of businesses,” he said. The announcement comes off the back of a movement control order (MCO) implemented across seven states for two weeks from January 13, which bars non-essential activities and movement in the affected areas, aimed at combating the Covid-19 outbreak. (Malay Mail)

Southeast Asia’s Grab, which began in Malaysia, considering US IPO this year

Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab is exploring a listing in the United States this year, encouraged by robust investor appetite for initial public offerings (IPOs), three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Grab’s IPO could raise at least $2 billion, one of the sources said, which would likely make it the largest overseas share offering by a Southeast Asian company. “The market is good and the business is doing better than before. This should work well for public markets,” the source said. The plans, including the size of the issue and timing, have not been finalised and are subject to market conditions, said the sources. Singapore-based Grab declined comment on the potential IPO. (The Star Online)

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Knight Frank Malaysia: Residential property market to remain challenging in 1H21

The anticipated commercial rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine by the first half of 2021 (1H21) will boost the hopes for the country’s economic recovery and lift overall consumer sentiment, said property consultancy Knight Frank Malaysia. Managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said, however, that due to the current ongoing political uncertainties amid the worsening Covid-19 crisis, the residential market is expected to remain challenging in 1H21. “This had led property buyers as well as developers to rethink their future plans and strategies,” he said. On the retail and hospitality segment, the report said transactional activity remained lacklustre as investor confidence and sentiment continue to be undermined by the pandemic. Values of prime grade retail assets should remain relatively stable despite the rental decline, given their more resilient tenant and lease profiles. (The Sun Daily)

EcoFirst to buy Sungai Buloh land for RM550m mixed development

Property developer EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Opal Horizon Sdn Bhd, is buying seven parcels of land in Sungai Buloh, Selangor for a combined RM70 million. The land is intended to be developed into a mix development project with an estimated GDV of more than RM550 million, which is slated to commence by the end of this year. EcoFirst said the proposed land acquisition has come at an opportune time for the group to increase its landbank within an area currently being developed to incorporate a MRT2 station, adding that it is confident that the development of the land will bode well for the group’s earnings. The proposed land acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. (The Edge)

Almost 27 million Malaysians to receive COVID-19 vaccine by 2022

Almost 27 million or over 80 per cent of Malaysia’s population are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first quarter of next year, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He said the first batch of vaccines was expected to be received by the end of this February, with the group to be vaccinated by early March and the vaccination programme implemented in phases over a period of 12 months. “Through the established Special Committee on Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply, the government will ensure transparency in the procurement of vaccines and give utmost priority to the National Immunisation Programme. A total of RM3 billion has been allocated specifically for this purpose. The guidelines and methods on receiving the vaccine will be announced soon,” he said during the PERMAI announcement. (Bernama)