Finance minister: Banks to waive compounded interest, penalty charges over moratorium

Banks will waive the compounded interest and penalty charges incurred during the six-month loan moratorium under the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih), said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz. “Report and complain if the banks raise a compound (interest) and charge a penalty (on the moratorium),” he said. Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin announced a six-month moratorium on loan repayments for individual borrowers across all income brackets. Tengku Zafrul advised borrowers to approach their banks regarding the method of repayment if they wished to apply for the moratorium. The minister said the moratorium under Pemulih could help individual borrowers s well as small and medium enterprises in managing their cash flow during this challenging period. “From my discussions with the banks, they are also affected, but I think this (moratorium) is something that needs to be done to support the people in need,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Tencent-backed Linklogis, Sunway to jointly seek Malaysia digital bank licence

Malaysian conglomerate Sunway Bhd has teamed up with Tencent-backed Chinese fintech firm Linklogis Inc and Bangkok Bank PCL to apply for a Malaysian digital bank licence, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. Sunway will hold a majority stake in the venture, according to the sources who requested to remain anonymous. Malaysia is the latest to embrace online-only banking services after Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong and other Asian countries, with the entry of technology firms seen shaking up their often staid markets. Malaysia’s banking sector is dominated by Maybank, CIMB Group Holdings and Public Bank Bhd. The country’s central bank has said it would issue up to five licences by early 2022 and the deadline for the applications is the end of this month. Linklogis was part of a consortium that was granted a Singapore digital wholesale bank licence. The bank is due to be launched in 2022. (Reuters)

Naza TTDI planning six launches from 2022 to 2024

Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd plans to launch six property development projects between 2022 and 2024, with a GDV of RM3.7 billion. Its CEO Daniel Lim Hin Soon said out of the six projects, two are from its flagship development – the KL Metropolis, with a GDV of RM2.62 billion. The two developments in KL Metropolis that Naza TTDI planned to launch are the Met 7, a serviced residence and Met 9, a six-star hotel. The RM21 billion GDV KL Metropolis township, launched in October 2011, spans 30.55 hectares, with the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) at its centre. In April this year, Naza TTDI announced that it had established a Sukuk Murabahah programme of up to RM300 million in nominal value via its wholly-owned subsidiary Naza TTDI Capital Bhd. Proceeds will be used to develop KL Metropolis and other general corporate purposes, mainly on plans for expansion and growth, future launches for the next five years. Meanwhile, Lim said the company’s land bank currently stands at 378.4ha, with a GDV of RM18 billion, which would keep the company busy for at least 10 years. (NST Online)

Dr Noor Hisham: Latest projection shows Malaysia’s Covid-19 infections to rise

The trend of declining Covid-19 cases since June was reversed, based on the Health Ministry’s latest projection for infections to climb in coming weeks. According to the current Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) projection Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shared this morning, Malaysia’s average cases have deviated from the curve plotted for an effective reproduction number (Rt) of 0.95. Dr Noor Hisham also reported that the current Rt was 1.04. This number must be below 1.0 for Covid-19 to be suppressed in Malaysia. Yesterday, Malaysia reported 6,437 new Covid-19 patients or a 23% increase from Monday. However, Malaysia was not alone in seeing recent spikes in Covid-19 infections which have been attributed to the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19. “One dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine only provides around 33% protection against symptoms from Delta variant, two doses provide between 88% (Pfizer) and 60% (AstraZeneca) protection against symptoms,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Malaysians start #benderaputih movement to signal distress without humiliation

Malaysians on social media have come up with the #benderaputih (white flag) movement for those in dire need of food and essentials to indicate this to neighbours without needing to beg for help. The movement suggested that those who desperately needed assistance fly a white flag or cloth outside their homes, which would let those able to help know which households could be facing extreme difficulties. The initiative arose amid growing reports of Malaysians being pushed to their breaking points by the near-total and indefinite closure of the economy due to the pandemic. Malaysians online have slowly begun adopting the movement and spreading it, with some describing the initiative as “heartwarming” and timely. Others emphasised that waving a white flag should not be interpreted in its traditional sense of indicating defeat or surrender, but to view it purely as a means to signal their need for support. Over recent weeks, tragic reports have emerged of Malaysians being forced to and past the brink of despair due to their loss of livelihoods as a result of the strict measures implemented to suppress Covid-19 in the country. (Malay Mail)