Fitch’s stable outlook drives ringgit higher against the USD


he ringgit opened sharply higher against the US dollar this morning, bolstered by strong demand for the local note after the positive announcement by Fitch Ratings, which revised Malaysia’s outlook to stable.

As reported by local media, at 9 am, the local currency was quoted at 3.7330/7380 against 3.7740/7770 yesterday.

The global rating agency also affirmed the country’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) at ‘A-’ and local currency IDR at ‘A’.

Meanwhile, the issue ratings on Malaysia’s senior unsecured local currency bonds was also affirmed at ‘A’ while the outlook for long-rerm IDRs was revised to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’.

Against other major currencies, the ringgit was also traded higher. It rose against the Singapore dollar to2.7720/7775 from 2.8028/8061 on Tuesday and strengthened versus the yen to 3.0454/0507 from yesterday’s 3.0889/0921.

The local note significantly appreciated against the pound sterling to 5.8589/8690 from 5.9286/9348 and improved against the euro to 4.1567/1634 from 4.2076/2114 yesterday.



Malaysia is one of the ‘seven emerging markets worth putting your money in’

Malaysia is one of the ‘seven emerging markets worth putting your money in’, reported a popular business publication, Fortune Magazine.

“In Malaysia, the incumbent (Barisan Nasional) government is trying to stay ahead of increased demand for change,” penned Ian Bremmer.

Bremmer wrote Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak scrapped fuel subsidies and will enact a six per cent Goods and Services Tax in April to improve his government’s fiscal position.

He believed that Najib will likely accelerate his Economic Transformation Programme by introducing further tax incentives for foreign investors.

“Further liberalisation of the manufacturing and financial services sectors is likely as well.

“It is a fair bet that as growth tapers in China (and the impact of that slowdown is felt in Malaysia), Najib’s government will feel pressured to boost public spending on infrastructure, education and health care.

“That is a good thing, particularly if authorities, as expected, continue to advance a broad fiscal reform agenda, with support from the middle class, to balance the nation’s budget by 2020,” he wrote.

The other emerging markets that Fortune Magazine described as the ‘lucky seven’ are India, Indonesia, Mexico, Columbia, Poland and Kenya.

The full story is published in the February 2015 issue of Fortune.


To Buy or To Rent

There will come a time in your adult life when you will have to make one of your biggest financial decisions. That is, to buy a home or to rent one. There are many variables to consider when it comes to choosing between buying a home and renting one. Be it owning a home or renting a place, each has its own advantages as well as disadvantages associated with them. While having a permanent roof over your head is definitely a good idea, mortgage financing has since become difficult especially with today’s home prices. On the other hand, renting a home allows you the freedom to uproot easily should the neighbourhood is not as desired.

We have put together some factors for you to consider for both buying and renting options, breaking down the pros and cons for each option.

Top 5 considerations for buying 1st property


  • PROS
  1. Low Level of Commitment

Renting gives you the flexibility of changing your living space and environment every now and then. You can move any time, before or after your lease expires, with the former option requiring the forfeit of your deposit.

  1. Low Maintenance

Renting a home is certainly a cheaper choice, more so if you are sharing the rental with other people. Besides, property taxes and maintenance fees will be the least of your worries as it is your landlord’s responsibility, not yours.

  1. Lower cost upfront

Tenants usually pay a security deposit of two to three months’ gross rental and another half a month of rent as utility deposit. Rent is usually paid one month in advance.




  • CONS
  1. Limited Décor Flexibility

Landlords usually limit the extent to which cosmetic alterations can be done to your rental home. Landlords generally try to refrain from doing extra work into making the rental home rentable again as most turnover rate of new tenants is high.

  1. No Equity

Your rental home only provides you with a place to live hence you do not get to build equity. Your monthly rent payments are not an equitable long-term investment and thus will not provide you with an asset to sell when you are ready to move.

  1. Instability

Rental home is for you to stay on a temporary basis only and the landlord has the capacity to remove you with a 30-day notice, should he intend to sell or take back the house.



  • PROS
  1. Pride of Ownership

Perceived as the number one reason why everyone aspires to own a home, home ownership provides you and your family a sense of stability and security. It is an achievement after all. Additionally, as opposed to rental homes, you are allowed to do anything you deem fit to your home.

  1. Potential Appreciation

Although largely unpredictable, real estate has consistently appreciated over the years. Therefore owning a home is like making an investment in your future.

  1. Gain Privacy

You are the owner of your home, so no owners will come knocking on your door to check on you and the house. Thus you have nothing to worry about with your newfound independence in your own property.



  • CONS
  1. Hefty Down Payment

One of the first steps to owning a home is to pay a substantial amount of down payment, which is at least 10% in cash.

  1. Less Mobility

As a homeowner, you will most probably need to sell your current home first before being able to buy a new one, which subsequently results in a longer delay in moving homes or environment.

  1. High Maintenance

You will be responsible for all the upkeep of your home, in which maintenance works might include inexpensive repairs to costly repairs.


Top 5 Considerations for Buying Your First Property



Top 5 considerations for buying 1st property

Buying a home is a huge commitment, so make sure you are ready before making that big leap. Evaluate to see if you have the capabilities, or the need to purchase a home. Check out mortgage calculators to see how much are your monthly loan repayments. As a general rule of thumb, monthly loan repayments should not exceed 1/3 of your monthly income.

Why do you buy a property?

People buy properties for many different reasons. These reasons will influence the type of property that would be suitable for you. For example, a studio apartment would be ideal for a single working adult who wants to have a place of his own. However, a bigger apartment would be more suited for a newly married couple.

If you have just welcomed your first child, then you might want to opt for a landed residential property with more space for your child to play and grow. Then, there are also investors who seek out specific properties to fulfil their investment goals. Whatever your reason may be, it is crucial to find a property that suits your unique lifestyle and needs.

Who can buy a property?

In Malaysia, as long as you are a citizen aged 21 years old and above, you can purchase any property in the country. However, there are certain properties which are only reserved for Bumiputeras.

How to find a property?

There are several channels to find properties for sale. You can browse through the classified sections in the local newspapers. This medium is also a good source to find newly launched properties in the market.

Another option is online property portals. Some of these internet property portals such asPropertyGuru allow you to customise your search according to location, type, price, and size, which makes it much easier to find the property you want. Alternatively, you can also hire a property agent to do the legwork for you.

Picking the right place

Location is the key to finding the perfect property. Ideally, your house should not be too far from your work place. This would help you cut down on travel time and expenses. For those who depend on public transportation, finding a house near a train station or bus stop would be great.

You also need to consider the amenities in the area. Is it near shop lots, eateries or clinics? Young working adults might want a place in town where the popular entertainment spots are mostly located. For families with children, you may want your home to be near some reputable schools. It is also good to check that the neighbourhood you pick is safe and has a good reputation.

You would want a property that will increase in price, and the factors stated above will definitely help with the appreciation in value of your home. Another notable factor is to see if there are any on-going or upcoming developments in the surrounding area of the property you intend to purchase. Based on the fundamentals of supply and demand, an over-supply of houses will cause slower appreciation in prices. Hence, be sure to do research on developments surrounding your property area that can potentially affect the price of your home.

When to buy?

Like all major decisions in life, you would want to plan ahead before purchasing a property. If you are buying a newly launched house, it will take at least two years to complete. Buying an existing house would mean you can move in almost immediately but you might also need some time for repairs or renovation. The waiting period must be factored in to determine the timing of your purchase.

Then, there is also the age factor. Most financial institutions only offer a housing loan tenor of up to 35 years or a maximum age of 65 years old for the borrower. Based on this calculation, it is best to buy your first property before the age of 30 so that you can benefit from the maximum loan tenure.

How To Find A Good Property Negotiator



Choosing and buying the right property as well as selling your own property have never been an easy task, especially if you are doing so without engaging in any form of help. The process of buying and selling properties is not only time-consuming but also requires lots of your energy as many of the tasks that a property negotiator would usually do for you, will require your own effort in order to be done. Buying and selling without a negotiator might pose as a challenge for many, which is exactly why you need a property negotiator, particularly a good one.

When it comes to choosing property negotiators, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. He/She Must Have Your Best Interests At Heart

The property negotiator must have your best interests in mind, above all, instead of trying to hastily close the deal. This ensures not only the property negotiator’s good reputation, but also encourages repeat buyers and recommendations.


  1. He/She Must Have Closed Many Properties’ Deals

The property negotiator must have had worked for at least a few years, preferably full time. More closings are equivalent to more experiences.


  1. He/She Must Be Online

Property negotiators in today’s digital landscape must be internet savvy for most buyers tend to search for properties online first. Therefore, agents today must be skilled in email, text as well as be available online to both buyers and sellers.


  1. He/She Must Be Knowledgeable

In order to find out whether or not the property negotiator you are about to engage is a seasoned one, remember to ask questions about real estate in which you might have probably learned beforehand. They should be experienced in their field so as to guide you through the complexities of the buying and selling process.


  1. He/She Must Be Able To Communicate Clearly

Communication is undoubtedly vital in any relationship, especially so when you are considering to buy or sell properties in which involve a lot of money. Hence, make sure your property negotiator is fully aware of your requirements.


We are here to hear, to understand and to keep everything simple for you. Best of all, we fit all of the requirements listed above. Contact us today for a non-obligation discussion!

☼ +60 19 718 7004

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