SOME EARLY RESPONDENTS WEIGH IN ON THE IMPACT OF THE 2019 FISCAL PLAN
BY Zoe Phoon
FXTM’s Global Head of Currency Strategy & Market Research Jameel Ahmad, in a note to Property360, said some elements of the budget statement are representative of the challenges many emerging markets are facing today.
Therefore, he’s not surprised that the statement highlighted the risks that external challenges are bringing to the Malaysian economy.
According to him, these external uncertainties are not anything that any government can do about them because areas like trade tensions between the US and China are completely isolated from what is happening domestically, but it’s a serious threat to global market growth.
Malaysia’s national minimum wage being raised and fiscal deficit narrowed are reasonably positive news.
The narrowing of the fiscal deficit can be more positively looked upon by international investors while raising the minimum wage increases consumer spending and confidence at a time when the global economic outlook is at threat to a wide range of different uncertainties.
The ringgit is, at time of writing, just over 0.45%. However, this move has very little to do with the budget news flow and is strictly linked to a broadly weaker dollar across the global markets after the unexpected news early Friday (Nov 2) that US President Trump has asked his cabinet to draft a possible trade deal with China.
This has encouraged a jump in other currencies around the world, especially those in emerging markets, he added.
Public Bank founder and chairman Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow said the Pakatan Harapan government’s maiden budget has been crafted with inspiring approaches to enhance the people’s wellbeing and to promote the entrepreneurial culture among businesses for Malaysia to return to the “Asia Tiger” status.
Specifically, towards strengthening the country’s fiscal management, he applauded the unprecedented institutional reform initiatives proposed such as the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Government Procurement Act and zero-based budgeting.
In promoting housing for all, he lauded the proposed measures that would benefit the low-income group, first-time homebuyers, civil servants as well as address the current residential property overhang.
He said Public Bank will explore the possible role in participating in the innovative property crowdfunding under the peer-to-peer financing framework as an alternative financing source for first-time homebuyers.
Country Garden Malaysia and Forest City director of strategy Ng Zhu Hann told EdgeProp.my that the peer-to-peer lending scheme is an extremely forward-thinking initiative that will benefit the rakyat.
Overall, Ng said Budget 2019 shows the government’s commitment to attract foreign investments and to promote a positive business environment.
There is sufficient development allocation and incentives to promote growth in the manufacturing and export industry.
He noted the government is also encouraging the promotion of Industry 4.0 “which is in line with our Industry Integration Blueprint 2020 where we aim to attract more high-technology manufacturing plants to our Forest City industrial hubs”.
Ng also believes the increase in RPGT is not expected to deter investors as they have confidence in Malaysia as an emerging growth market with a stable political landscape.
Titijaya Land Bhd deputy group MD Lim Poh Yit said the property crowdfunding model will be a totally new alternative for people to own their first home without high commitment owing to bank loans.
Gamuda Land CEO Ngan Chee Meng said the scheme needs to be properly regulated as it involves public money.
He added that the budget announcements have answered the prayers on affordable housing provision and financing for the B40 group.
Mah Sing Group Bhd group MD Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the government’s openness to innovative funding options to help buyers own property is laudable.
The group is committed to be one of the first adopters of this programme when more details flow in.
IJM Land Bhd MD Edward Chong said it supports the government’s initiatives to facilitate homebuyers to realise their aspiration to own a home.
It applauded the government’s focus on the rakyat’s needs with measures to encourage homeownership particularly for the affordable housing category.
Meanwhile, Titijaya Land’s Lim also welcomed the stamp duty exemptions for first-time homebuyers, noting the total value of unsold properties in Malaysia has reached RM22 billion as of end-March 2018.
Therefore, such steps taken will help to boost the buying interest of people and ease the burden on developers regarding their overhang units, he added.