30 August 2019: Banks see OPR cut soon; RapidKL minibus trial run

Banks see another 25bps cut in OPR before year end
Two Malaysian banking giants, namely Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, are expecting another 25 basis points (bps) cut in the overnight policy rate (OPR) to 2.75% by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) by the end of the year, as headwinds in the global economy continue to rage on. CIMB is expecting another rate cut this year, against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the US and China and its impact on the global economy. Central banks around the world are cutting interest rates, with BNM reducing its OPR in May. The central banks of India, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines also announced rate cuts early this month. (The Edge)

Gamuda, MoF seek more time for highway talks
The Malaysian government and Gamuda Bhd are seeking more time to hammer out the details of the proposed acquisition of four toll concessionaires linked to Gamuda for RM6.2 billion, which was first announced in February this year by the finance ministry, sparking speculation that the deal may be in jeopardy. Apart from the extensions, Gamuda said all other terms in the offers, which have been accepted by the boards of directors of Gamuda and all the concession-holding companies, continue to be in full force and effect. The deal is also still subject to the Cabinet’s approval and satisfactory due diligence findings by MoF Inc. Gamuda’s announcement came amid reports that there are now several proposals on the table for the government on the takeover of the country’s tolled highways. (The Edge)

Minibus returns as RapidKL looks to solve first-mile coverage for commuters
RapidKL wants to solve the first-mile coverage for commuters with its trial run of minibuses that will ply Route T300. “We are looking at opportunities for us to use a smaller bus so that we can reach more areas especially at PPRs (people’s housing project) as larger buses can’t enter. This is because most of the time those lanes have cars parked on the left and right side of the road,” said Rapid Bus CEO Muhammad Yazurin Sallij. On Wednesday (Aug 28), RapidKL announced that it would be running a trial mini bus service on Route T300 from Bukit Indah hub to Ampang Point via Jalan Rasmi. The announcement received lots of excitement on social media, with many reminiscing the old mini-bus days of the 80s and 90s. Three mini buses will ply the route from Sept 1 to Nov 29. (The Star Online)

RapidKL buses (Source: The Star Online)

Move to help PTPTN borrowers
An estimated one million National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers could land better jobs and experience a higher standard of living, thanks to an agreement between PTPTN and the private sector. PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the corporation signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at boosting employability and quality of employment of loan borrowers, which in turn would increase loan repayment performance. “The MoU signed today is a framework on collaboration between PTPTN and companies. The actual process and steps will be announced when we start to implement the plan, ” he said. Wan Saiful also called on more private companies to join the initiative. (The Star Online)

Perak launches new logo for Pangkor Island
The Perak government today launched a new logo for Pangkor to promote it as a duty-free island which takes effect on January 1 next year. State Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing said new logo is aimed at giving fresh breath to the tourism industry in the island resort when promotion campaigns and programmes are launched. The new logo gives Pangkor Island the identity of a holiday destination with blue eyed anchovies which is popular marine product of the island as well as hornbills which can be seen on the island. The government had allocated an initial budget of RM10 million for infrastructure development and to beautify and improve structures in Pangkor. This included the passenger and cargo jetties in Pangkor and the jetty in Kampung Acheh on the mainland to facilitate the movement of people and goods. (Malay Mail)

The new Pangkor Island logo launched (Source: Bernama)

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