Malaysian economy expands 5.2% in Q3

Updated 17 November 2012

Malaysian economy expands 5.2% in Q3

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's economy grew a better-than-expected 5.2 percent in the third quarter as domestic demand continued to compensate for a slowdown in exports, the government said yesterday.
The central bank said Southeast Asia's third-largest economy expanded due to private consumption and private and public investment in such sectors as transportation, oil and gas, and public utilities.
This managed to offset a further decline in demand abroad for the export-reliant country's goods and services as its key partners, such as the US and Europe, are struggling amid the global economic crisis.
"Going forward, the more challenging international environment would present risks to Malaysia's growth prospects," Bank Negara said in a statement.
"Nevertheless, domestic demand is expected to continue to be the anchor of growth, supported by the expansion in private consumption and investment. Public spending and investment activity are also expected to lend support to growth," it added.
Malaysia's economy grew a faster-than-expected 5.4 percent in the second quarter, and a revised 4.9 percent in the first quarter.
Bank Negara has previously forecast full-year growth between four and five percent, slower than the 5.1 percent seen last year.
Alan Tan, an economist with Affin Investment Bank, said he was revising his expectations for full-year growth to five percent as the third quarter figure was better than the 4.9 percent that had been expected.
"The 5.2 percent is driven mainly by healthy domestic demand driven by private investment and consumption. We expect this trend to continue into the fourth quarter," he said.
Inflation moderated to 1.4 percent in the third quarter, down from 1.7 percent in the second quarter, the central bank said.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, who must face a strengthening opposition in elections by mid-2013, has set a goal of Malaysia becoming a "high-income developed nation" by 2020. He has previously said the economy needs to expand six percent annually to reach that target.

Financial crime leads to billions of lost business in Middle East, survey finds

Updated 24 May 2018

Financial crime leads to billions of lost business in Middle East, survey finds

  • Some 45 percent of MENA respondents in Thomson Reuters victims of fraud, corruption and bribery
  • 77 percent of MENA respondents deliberately avoided customers, suppliers, countries or industries viewed as most exposed to financial crime.

LONDON: Middle Eastern companies are losing billions of dollars in business opportunities because of fears about financial crime, according to a Thomson Reuters survey published on Thursday.

Concern about the possibility of severe financial and reputational damage due to regulatory breaches leads foreign investors and firms to shun companies and entire regions where they see “heightened risk.”

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 77 percent of survey respondents said that they deliberately avoided customers, suppliers, countries or industries which they viewed as most exposed to financial crime.

“The impact in terms of lost opportunities at both organizational and national level is difficult to quantify, but likely to impact productivity and economic development,” Thomson Reuters said.

The report was conducted online by an independent third party in March 2018. More than 2,000 senior managers at large global organizations completed the survey, from 19 countries.

In a hard-hitting conclusion, the report said: “For the first time our research has put a price on financial crime: three and a half percent of corporate turnover for the 2,373 large companies in our survey alone. That adds up to a staggering $1.45 trillion.”

Financial crime was said to blight individual lives and undermine the ability of governments to provide key services such as education and health. The IMF has shown that it reduces economic growth and social cohesion.

Che Sidanius, global head of financial crime regulation at Thomson Reuters, said that financial crime caused “incalculable” harm around the world. The proceeds of activities spanning bribery, corruption, fraud, and narcotics trafficking have been implicated in the financing of terrorism, human rights abuses such as slavery and child labor, and environmental crime.

“This has serious economic and social costs in terms of the lost revenues to national exchequers that could be invested in social development, and in terms of the impact on individual lives,” Sidanius said.

Other key findings were that 45 percent of MENA respondents had been a victim of financial crime as opposed to 47 percent globally; 96 percent believed that bribery and corruption was an important issue to tackle; 57 percent indicated that the consequences of bribery and corruption meant less government revenue; only 59 percent said that they fully conducted due diligence; and only 60 percent fully conducted due diligence, the report said.