Rabu, Mac 30, 2011

Learning from others, Bank Negara way

Published: 2011/03/24
Sometime in 2003, I was fortunate enough to have a new South Korean friend during a working trip to Singapore. What amazed me was how she had five credit cards. She assured me it was quite normal as they were pretty easy to get.
It turned out that South Korea plunged into a crisis that year because people got carried away and spent money they did not have. Millions defaulted on their payments, the government had to rescue its biggest credit card company and the economy slowed down significantly.

A crucial aspect of the story is that regulators tried to enforce stricter measures to get a grip on the situation but they were too late.

Without trying to sound too boastful, this is where our central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, has done well. It has been able to learn from the experience of others and applied the necessary preventive measures.

Last year, after slashing interest rates to a record low of 2 per cent to spur the economy amid a global recession, it quickly raised borrowing costs. Keeping rates too low for too long was one of the reasons that led to the financial crisis in the US.

It was also last year that BNM introduced limits on mortgages for those wishing to buy more than two houses, to curb speculation in the property sector. It was evident that prices in selected locations, the Klang Valley, for instance, were too high. Once again, similar measures were adopted before in countries like Singapore and Hong Kong to cool a red-hot property market. But in fact, BNM was dusting off its old playbook and applied what it had already done way back in the mid-1990s.

Last week, BNM announced new rules, making it harder for people to get a credit card while at the same time capping loan limits and the number of cards they can hold.

Now, we can expect more rules for banks to adopt what is called responsible lending practices. What this means is that banks must carry out tests to see if a person can afford the loan that's being applied for. Banks must also be more forthcoming with information and tell customers how much they have to pay when interest rates go up.

This would happen in cases where a loan comes with a promotional cheap rate that's only for a certain time. Then, the higher rate would kick in, meaning higher monthly payments.

What does it mean to the man in the street? It means that the average Ali will have some measure of protection against taking up loans he cannot afford. It also means the consumer will be better informed.

But the bigger picture is that the country hopefully would be able to head off potential problems with household debts in the future with these measures. This means not having to spend taxpayers' money for bailouts, something that South Korea had to do in 2003. A more recent experience is what the US had to go through with its subprime debt crisis.

The fact remains that household debt, while high, is not a major concern for now because the rate of bad loans has been falling since 2007 to about 2 per cent now.

Also, the bulk of household debt comprises mortgages that use property as security, therefore reducing the risk of losses for lenders.

Source: BTIMES

2bz4money: Langkah berhati2 BNM, Cegah sebelum Parah..

Selasa, Mac 29, 2011

New lending rules for banks in Q3




The aim is to inculcate 'responsible lending practices' by financial institutions in dealing with retail customers.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will introduce new lending guidelines to banks in the third quarter of this year as part of preemptive measures to deal with household debt.

Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the aim is to inculcate "responsible lending practices" by financial institutions in dealing with retail customers.

"The new lending practices are to ensure prudent and responsible conduct for retail financing as part of measures to preserve household sector resilience," she told pressmen at the presentation of BNM Annual Report 2010 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

BNM has already issued the concept paper with the banking sector. By the third quarter of 2011, all financial institutions will have to put the proper mechanism in place.

Under the new rules, banks will have to test if a borrower can afford a loan and provide information on the product. This will include its borrowing rate, repayment obligation, applicable charges, implications of non-repayment, risk associated with the product, and assistance and redress mechanism.

The new rules are not intended nor expected to affect the availability of loans or cause delays in processing.

"The banking sector is well-positioned to make the assessment of affordability. They also know the exposure or the credit worthiness of the borrower, and this is important," said Zeti.

BNM noted that the rising trend of household indebtedness could potentially become an area of concern.

During the 2000-2009 period, household debt grew at an annual rate of 13.5 per cent, while household debt-to-gross domestic income ratio increased from 46 per cent in 2000 to 76 per cent in 2010.

During the year, BNM introduced a comprehensive series of policies that included capping mortgage limits, new credit card measures and strengthened requirements for banks to adopt prudent and responsible lending practices.

Source: BTimes
2bz4money: More stringent rules in loan application

Isnin, Mac 28, 2011

Household financial position strong

By Bank Negara Malaysia report 2010 | Mar 24, 2011



Households continued to have a strong aggregate financial position last year, supported by income growth and improved employment conditions. The strong recovery of the domestic economy saw more new job positions created, while unemployment rate continued to improve.
This allowed the majority of households to adjust to the rise in food prices, transportation costs and borrowing costs, while preserving their debt-servicing capacity.
Meanwhile, the household debt level continued to expand at a faster pace of 12.5% in 2010, reflecting a rebound in consumer sentiment. The ratio of household debt-to-gross domestic product remained almost unchanged at 75.9%.
While higher in comparison with other regional economies, risks of financial stress in the household sector remain limited at present, as the debt level is comfortably supported by a high level of deposits and other forms of savings.
Debt coverage, as measured by the household financial asset-to-debt ratio, is more than two times of household debts.
Delinquency rate is also low at 2.3% of total banking system household financing and has been on a sustained improving trend over the recent decade.
Financial assets of households expanded at 13.1% (2009: 14.9%) for the year. The growth in household financial assets was mainly attributed to the strong performance of the equity market, which bolstered market valuations and holdings of equity by households.
With one third of household financial assets in the form of equity, households are susceptible to volatile swings in equity prices as observed in 2008, when a 39.3% fall in the FBM KLCI precipitated a decline in household financial assets.

2bz4money: Better managing their  debts last year. The normalisation rate policy implemented gradually will curb them from over dependent on loan this year.

Ahad, Mac 27, 2011

Keeping debt within means

CREDIT cards are a paradox. On the one hand, they make for an increase in consumption by affording to many a useful, temporary add-on to disposable income. It also allows for economic expansion. On the other, the payback can get ugly for the few who are either bad managers of their personal finances or whose static incomes are just too small and should never have been extended the facility in the first place. Rightly, this latter group is being denied access to credit cards by Bank Negara. The new guidelines to lenders upped the floor for credit card holders from a monthly income of RM1,500 to RM2,000, a regulation intended to curb unmanageable household debts.
Malaysians have a penchant for borrowing, as shown from the country's ratio of household debt to personal disposable income. We are tempted to borrow more than we earn and that demands of the borrower an astuteness in balancing personal cashflows. A low, inflexible income makes loans unaffordable under most circumstances. In fact, extending any loan to someone on an income that cannot support the loan spells trouble, as the subprime mortgage debacle of 2008 in America demonstrated. When banks and other institutions lend to those who do not, for one reason or another, qualify, the debt bubble created poses a serious danger to the greater economy, one made worse by financial innovations such as, in this instance, mortgage-backed securities. Note, too, that what started then is not yet over three years later.

The endgame of greed on the part of lenders is what drives their bad risk management practices and as the American experience suggests, under-regulation of the financial sector is imprudent. To expect self-regulation in an industry that can spin profits any which way is a recipe for disaster. The seemingly increased availability of credit created by financial instruments such as subprime loans is illusory at best and delusional at worst. While increasing the consumer base does indeed make for growth, its soundness depends on good risk management by lending institutions. Of course, the assumption is that nobody wishes to be a bankrupt, a threat that must surely produce good borrowers. There is, to some extent, truth in this as demonstrated by the comparatively small percentage of credit card defaulters. Nevertheless, borrowers can also be ill-informed, misguided and inclined to throw caution to the winds. Given that the impact on banks is likely to be minimal, there is no reason for complaint and every reason to welcome this initiative.

2bz4money: Learn not only to be a good borrower but smart..

Sabtu, Mac 26, 2011

Dilema Pembeli Rumah


Salah sebuah kawasan perumahan di negara ini.


PASARAN perumahan negara masih berada dalam situasi ketidaktentuan. Sejak tercetusnya krisis kewangan Asia pada 1997, pasaran perumahan masih belum stabil akibat tekanan dari faktor dalaman dan luaran. Selepas sembilan tahun krisis kewangan melanda Asia, belum sempat ekonomi negara bernafas lega, krisis gadai janji sub prima Amerika Syarikat (AS) pula berlaku pada tahun 2006 dan terus menular menjadi krisis kewangan global pada Julai 2007.
Kronologi tercetusnya krisis sub prima sewajarnya memberi iktibar kepada kita betapa sensitif dan risikonya sektor perumahan dalam ekonomi negara yang mengamalkan pendekatan ekonomi pasaran. 

Keterbukaan sistem ekonomi pasaran secara global bererti faktor luar kini mampu menggugat ekonomi negara dan sektor hartanah. Ini yang masih berlaku di dunia hari ini. Kenaikan harga minyak dunia kini kembali kepada trend seperti bermulanya krisis sub prima dahulu, berpunca dari krisis politik di Timur Tengah dan utara Afrika yang kembali memberi tekanan kepada pasaran minyak dunia. Ditambah pula dengan malapetaka yang menimpa Jepun, nasib ekonomi dunia dan Malaysia khususnya sebagai negara yang bergantung kepada sektor perdagangan antarabangsa berada di persimpangan.

Apa yang boleh dikatakan sektor perumahan kini berada dalam keadaan tidak menentu dan pasaran hartanah pula menekan permintaan atas alasan tekanan inflasi kos berpanjangan. Dengan trend harga rumah yang meningkat terutama di Kuala Lumpur, Selangor dan Pulau Pinang sejak berlakunya krisis kewangan global 2007 sehingga kini ditambah pula dengan dua krisis terbaharu, maka kesannya sudah dijangka ke atas harga rumah pada masa akan datang. Mereka yang berada dalam industri perumahan dan pembinaan membuat ramalan dan kenyataan berbaur spekulatif mengenai kenaikan ketara dalam harga rumah kesan daripada kenaikan harga minyak dan bahan binaan. Mereka memainkan sentimen pasaran bagi memelihara kepentingan sendiri, seolah-olah walaupun kos pembinaan bakal meningkat akibat kenaikan harga minyak dunia dan bahan binaan, kenaikan harga rumah memang tidak dapat dielak dan akan berlaku secara relatif mengikut hukum pasaran. 

Ini bererti pelarasan harga akan berlaku tetapi tidak akan menjejaskan kepentingan mereka dari segi keuntungan pembangunan. Bagi pemaju perumahan, senario yang berlaku dalam pasaran walaupun lebih didorong oleh tekanan inflasi, faktor kebolehjualan hartanah yang ditawarkan dalam kategori sederhana-tinggi masih terjual memberi rangsangan untuk terus berada dalam pasaran.

Hakikatnya mereka tersalah tafsir tentang faktor yang menyokong permintaan ke atas perumahan selama ini, sebenarnya tidak berlandaskan hukum ekonomi fundamental tetapi lebih kepada faktor artifisial.
Permintaan ke atas perumahan harus didokong oleh pendapatan benar yang menentukan keupayaan membeli. Sebaliknya, permintaan semasa dipacu oleh skim pembiayaan pinjaman yang begitu mudah ditawarkan oleh institusi perbankan seperti kadar pinjaman yang rendah, tempoh pembayaran yang panjang dan peratus pinjaman sehingga 90 peratus harga rumah. Selagi pakej pinjaman menarik masih kekal ditawarkan, selagi itulah pasaran perumahan masih mampu aktif walaupun berada di bawah tekanan inflasi kos yang meningkat.

Pihak pemaju juga sebenarnya masih mudah mendapat pinjaman titian dari bank, selain dari melihat pasaran yang aktif, jumlah pinjaman adalah dalam peratus yang masih rendah dari kos pembangunan antara 30 peratus hingga 40 peratus. Manakala 60 peratus hingga 70 peratus akan dibiaya oleh pembeli melalui pembayaran berkala mengikut progres pembinaan dalam sistem penyampaian beli kemudian bina yang selama ini lebih memihak kepada menjaga kepentingan pemaju. Bagi pihak bank, mereka juga yakin risiko yang ditanggung adalah rendah kerana dengan sistem penyampaian pasaran perumahan jual kemudian bina, kepentingan bank terjamin dalam dua lapisan jaminan, iaitu jaminan dari pihak pemaju dan juga pihak pembeli.

SHAHROM MD. ARIFFIN
ialah Pensyarah Kanan Hartanah Ekonomi, Fakulti Seni Bina,
Perancangan dan Ukur, UiTM
Sumber: UtusanOnline,23/3/2011

Jumaat, Mac 25, 2011

Masalah Nama

Kempunan KWSP
Oleh Azida Shaharuddin

2011/03/23

SIDEK menunjukkan kad pengenalannya dan penyata KWSP yang mempunyai nama berbeza.
SIDEK menunjukkan kad pengenalannya dan penyata KWSP yang mempunyai nama berbeza.
 
Angkara berbeza nama sebenar, timangan bekas pengawal keselamatan gagal berurusan

JOHOR BAHRU: Angkara perbezaan nama sebenar dan timangan, seorang bekas pengawal keselamatan bank terpaksa berputih mata apabila tidak berpeluang mengeluarkan caruman Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) yang diperlukan untuk menyara hidupnya yang kini lumpuh separuh badan.

Nasib malang itu ditempuhi Sidek Aziz, 72, yang turut dikenali sebagai Yusof di kalangan ahli keluarganya dan pernah menggunakan nama timangan, Yusof Abdul Aziz, ketika memohon pekerjaan sebelum ini dan caruman KWSP dibuat atas nama berkenaan.
Sidek tidak dapat mengeluarkan wang simpanannya kerana kehilangan kad pengenalan kira-kira 20 tahun lalu dan tidak membuat laporan polis mengenainya, menyebabkan beliau terpaksa membuat dokumen baru.
Namun, apabila kad pengenalan baru siap atas nama Sidek, timbul masalah berikutan beliau melakukan kesilapan pernah mendaftar nama dengan majikan sebagai Yusof iaitu nama panggilan digunakan ahli keluarganya terhadap beliau, menyebabkan caruman KWSP didaftarkan atas nama berkenaan.

Isterinya, Faridah Basir, 66, berkata masalah itu dikenal pasti akhir tahun lalu, apabila Sidek ingin menuntut wang caruman KWSP miliknya.

“Apabila kami ke KWSP Johor Bahru, kakitangan agensi itu memaklumkan suami saya tidak boleh mengeluarkan wang tanpa kad pengenalan, menyebabkannya dia (Sidek) susah hati dan diserang angin ahmar pada petang hari sama.

“Suami lumpuh separuh kiri badan dan tidak boleh bercakap dengan jelas, selain mengidap darah tinggi, masalah buah pinggang dan rabun teruk kedua-dua belah mata.
“Sejak itu saya terpaksa berhenti kerja sebagai pekerja pembersihan di sebuah kilang untuk menjaga suami, dan pada masa sama bergantung kepada wang simpanan sendiri, selain RM200 hasil sewa tanah di Segamat yang diwarisi suami daripada bapanya,” katanya ketika ditemui di rumahnya di Kampung Melayu Majidee, semalam.

Faridah berkata, beliau dan suami tidak berputus asa sebaliknya mendapatkan bantuan Ahli Parlimen Johor Bahru, Datuk Seri Shahrir Abd Samad, berhubung masalah itu.

Katanya, hasil nasihat dan bantuan Shahrir serta Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Sidek dapat membuat kad pengenalan baru akhir tahun lalu, walaupun sebelum itu wujud masalah pertindihan nombor kad pengenalan dengan seorang wanita yang sudah meninggal dunia.

“Ketika membuat kad pengenalan di JPN, kakitangan jabatan itu tidak membenarkan suami mendaftar dua nama sebaliknya hanya satu nama iaitu Sidek Aziz walaupun kami meminta meletakkan nama panggilannya iaitu Yusof, sekali.

“Namun permintaan ditolak dengan alasan suami boleh membuat pertukaran nama di masa depan. Satu demi satu masalah terpaksa dilalui dan pelbagai usaha diambil namun wang caruman sendiri masih belum boleh dikeluarkan suami, malah menjadi semakin rumit,” katanya.

Faridah berkata, beliau pernah meminta bantuan rakan anaknya pada 2008, untuk memeriksa dan mendapatkan penyata jumlah keseluruhan caruman KWSP yang boleh dikeluarkan Sidek menggunakan nombor kad pengenalan beliau dan jumlahnya mencecah puluhan ribu ringgit.

Katanya, masalah lain turut timbul apabila beberapa geran tanah diwarisi Sidek daripada bapanya turut didaftarkan atas nama Yusof Abdul Aziz.

“Kini suami hendak menjual tanah seluas kira-kira 0.8 hektar di Tunku Tiga, Sungai Segamat Kanan, namun tidak dapat dilakukan kerana bakal berdepan masalah kerana nama pada kad pengenalan tidak sama dengan nama yang didaftarkan,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, suami pernah cuba membuat pertukaran nama pada 4 Januari lalu, namun permohonan itu ditolak JPN dan kelmarin, satu lagi permohonan pertukaran nama sudah dilanjutkan kepada JPN termasuk menyertakan kad pengenalan lima anak mereka berusia antara 25 hingga 39 tahun ketika ini.

“Kami harap JPN prihatin dengan keadaan ini dan mengambil berat permohonan kami. Suami saya bukan pendatang asing tanpa izin tetapi warga negara ini dan berasal dari Kampung Tengah, Segamat.

“Dia (Sidek) setakat hanya mahu merasai wang caruman KWSP yang patut diterimanya di usia lanjut ini, yang diperoleh sepanjang beliau penat bekerja sebelum ini selain hasil jualan tanahnya.

“Buat masa ini, suami masih hidup dan sedang berusaha melakukan pembetulan yang perlu. Saya risau sekiranya apa-apa terjadi kepada suami kelak, bagaimana pula dengan nasib saya dan keluarga apabila tidak mendapat harta yang sepatutnya diwarisi,” katanya.

2bz4money: Gunakanlah nama sebenar dalam urusan rasmi.  Didapati trend masa kini, ibubapa suka memilih 2-3 nama utk anak mereka.  Pastikan nama di surat kelahiran/IC mudah dieja, disebut dan tidak terlampau panjang agar tidak menyulitkan di masa hadapan.

Khamis, Mac 24, 2011

General Election & Stocks

Election boost for Sarawak timber, oil stocks
By Goh Thean Eu and Francis Fernandez
Published: 2011/03/21

A quick check shows that Sarawak stocks have run up quite a bit since last month, including Rimbunan Sawit, Jaya Tiasa, Cahya Mata, WTK, Dayang Enterprise, Hock Seng Lee, Ta Annand Coastal Contract.

Elections in Sarawak will help boost the share price of timber and oil and gas companies from the state, though analysts say that the outcome of the election itself could be a major driver for the equity market here.

"If the ruling party wins big in the election, market anticipation of a general election will drive up the market," said a dealer, adding that extensive speculation of a general election could add anywhere between 100 points and 150 points to the 30-stock benchmark FBM KLCI index.

In the immediate term, analysts say that timber stocks could get an uplift from the election news.

Already, timber stocks are on an upsurge due to anticipated demand for the lumber from Japan, which has been hit by an earthquake and tsunami.

Japan imported nearly 1.2 mi-llion cubic metres of panel pro-ducts worth RM1.7 billion in the 11 months ended November last year, representing almost half of Sarawak's total exports, AmResearch wrote in a March 11 report.

"The retail play for the Sarawak elections could well be in timber," said a dealer, adding that even before news broke out that the Sarawak legislative was going to be dissolved, timber stocks were already active in price movement and also in volume.

A quick check by Business Times shows that Sarawak stocks have run up quite a bit since last month. Among the stocks that have made respectable gains since February 4 are Rimbunan Sawit Bhd (up by 37 per cent to RM2.03), Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd (up by 90 per cent to RM5.44), Cahya Mata Sarawak (up by 45 per cent to RM2.59), WTK Holdings (up by 43 per cent to RM1.58), Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd (up by 8 per cent to RM1.97), Hock Seng Lee (up by 50 per cent to RM1.77), Ta Ann Holdings Bhd (up by 24 per cent to RM5.73) and Coastal Contract (up by 30 per cent to RM2.63).

Those, however, intending to try their luck on Sarawak stocks as an election play, should take stock what OSK Research said last month.

The firm said that past research showed that stocks did indeed outperform six months and three months before the polls but underperformed three months after election. "Investors can consider riding on this election play but we advise that they lock in gains on Nomination Day, which is usually one to two weeks before the actual polls," OSK said.

2bz4money: Bole pakai jugak tips tu utk GE akan dtg..

Rabu, Mac 23, 2011

Gold Investment Accounts

Gold accounts gaining popularity
By Kang Siew Li and Eva Yeong

KUALA LUMPUR (March 20, 2011):
Gold investment accounts are fast gaining popularity among investors as they are comparatively cheaper to invest in than physical gold. Taking a cue from their popularity, a growing number of financial institutions are offering these products to their customers as an alternative investment option.


Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Bhd (KFHMB) CEO Jamelah Jamaluddin said demand for gold has risen significantly as buyers ranging from investors, speculators, hedge funds, central banks and the public, continue to buy gold.
"The reasons for buying vary, but the common underlying theme is the uncertainty in the global economic environment, and the consequent pressure the US dollar has come under. The continued low interest rate regime globally has also built expectations of eventual inflation pressures, and gold has always been viewed as the hedge against inflation," she told SunBiz via email.

"Gold bars, bullions and wafers are alternatives to gold jewellery, especially for investors who wish to invest in gold as part of their financial investment portfolio without having to go through the hassle of holding or verifying the quality of a physical piece of jewellery," she added.

Since KFHMB’s Gold Account-i was launched in February 2010, it has recorded more than 500 new accounts, with a total of more than 200kg worth of gold sold as at Dec 31, 2010. "Gold Account-i customers have contributed to 5% of the bank’s new customers. We anticipate a stronger growth of Gold Account-i this year. "In US dollar terms, the price of gold has appreciated by more than 26% last year. While we expect to see minor adjustments along the way, we see no reason for the price of gold to not continue to remain firm for the rest of 2011. Analysts have expressed expectations that the price of gold will rally between US$1,600 and US$2,000 this year, and we share the same view," said Jamelah.

Generally, investors can open a gold investment account with banks by buying a minimum of 10gm of gold in ringgit. They can then buy and sell at any time with a minimum of 5gm or 10gm and in multiples of 1gm. Customers have the option of withdrawing from these accounts in physical gold bars in the denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 50 grams. There is no minimum holding period before one can sell the gold.

For Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), it has introduced two products for those who want to invest in gold. One is a gold savings account where buying and selling transactions are recorded in the passbook of the investor. Dubbed Gold Savings Passbook Account (GSPA), it is pegged to international gold prices and is comparatively cheaper to invest in than physical gold, said Maybank deputy president and head of community financial services, Lim Hong Tat.

"Through GSPA, investors have the ability to build a personal gold investment portfolio by purchasing gold in small amounts from a minimum 5gm regularly over a period of time and can enjoy capital gains if the price of gold (quoted in the international market) appreciates," he said.  

Another investment product called Kijang Emas comes in the form of gold coins."An investor may purchase or sell Kijang Emas coins at 31 selected Maybank branches nationwide," said Lim. He noted that many investors still prefer to buy physical gold such as jewellery, bars and wafers, not only for investment, but as wedding gifts and fashion accessories as gold reflects one’s status in society.

At Maybank, its GSPA product is more popular than physical gold. "Demand for Maybank GSPA has been growing positively averaging 35% (a month) in the past eight months. For the last FY09/10, Maybank GSPA’s investment value recorded an average monthly growth of about 11%. We are optimistic that demand will continue to be on an uptrend and we hope to register a total of 50% growth in this portfolio in the coming year owing to the infancy of the local market," said Lim. As at February 2011, the total number of Maybank GSPA accounts stood at 29,000.

"GSPA is viewed as an alternative savings cum investment option. We anticipate more investors will go into GSPA as they can be easily purchased or redeemed at any of our branches; more secure as the investor does not need to handle physical gold and be worried about safety issues; and are a cheaper alternative than physical gold as investors do not have to incur additional charges for storage and insurance," said Lim.

CIMB Bank head of retail financial services, Peter England, said the bank has received encouraging response for its first gold investment account since its launch in January this year. "Our product was only launched recently so we cannot provide actual returns over one year. However, the underlying price of gold has appreciated 31% in the last 12 months which is a good proxy for the returns on our gold account. It is also reassuring to know that the price of gold has more than tripled since 2000, and there hasn’t been a year-on-year depreciation for the past 10 years," said England.

"The CIMB Bank Gold Deposit Account (GDA) allows customers to purchase the purest available gold commodity at daily prices. With GDA, customers can buy and sell gold via a passbook account whenever they want, and potentially earn higher returns in the long term from an appreciation in gold price."Investing in gold provides security as the value of gold is usually maintained in times of uncertainty and economic crisis. It also provides a good hedge against inflation as the price of gold is usually not affected by the impact of rising prices of goods and services. "As gold demand continues to rise, outpacing supply and influencing the price of gold, we are positive on the sale of our product," he added. -- theSun

Selasa, Mac 22, 2011

Harder to get credit cards

By LEONG HUNG YEE and ISABELLE LAI
hungyee@thestar.com.my
,Saturday March 19, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: The minimum annual income requirement for credit card eligibility has been raised to RM24,000 from RM18,000 in a move to keep household debt at manageable levels.
For cardholders earning RM36,000 per an-num and less, they can only hold credit cards from a maximum of two issuers.
The maximum credit limit for those earning less than RM36,000 per year has also been capped to double the monthly income of the card holder from each issuing bank.
For example, if a credit card holder earns RM3,000 a month, his credit limit is RM6,000 from one bank.
The same card holder will also be able to get another RM6,000 combined credit limit with another issuing bank.
Thus the maximum credit limit a person earning RM3,000 a month will get is a total of RM12,000 from two issuing banks regardless of the number of cards.
In a briefing yesterday, Bank Negara deputy governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said it was a pre-emptive move although credit card debt in Malaysia remained at a “manageable level”.
As at end-2010, outstanding credit card debt totalled RM30.8bil or 5% of total household debt.
“Although credit card usage continues to increase, the non-performing loan ratio rem-ains low.
“As at end 2010, credit card non-performing loans were only 1.7% of total credit card loans and 2% of the total banking system’s non-performing loans,” Nor Shamsiah said.
She also said that 50% of the 3.2 million card holders in the country earn below RM36,000 while less than 30% of the cardholders own cards from more than two issuers.
Credit card issuers are also required to ad-opt a fair, transparent and responsible practices under the guidelines.
Issuers are not allowed to increase card holders’ credit limit without consent nor are they allowed to offer credit advance in the form of cheques unless requested.
In an effort to further enhance credit card security and to promote public confidence in the usage of credit cards as a safe payment ins-trument, effective Jan 1 next year, transaction alerts via SMS to card holders will be implemented after transactions are performed followed by personal identification number (PIN) verification for all card transactions from Jan 1, 2015.
The Association of Banks in Malaysia said individual financial circumstances would be taken into account in implementing the rev-ised credit card guidelines.
Its executive director Chuah Mei Lin said commercial bank issuers might consider restructuring the credit card facility and/or repayments on a case-to-case basis.

Isnin, Mac 21, 2011

Simpanan awal jadi kunci masa depan

KES: Saya (Arianna Dya) berusia 24 tahun dan baru bekerja dengan pendapatan bersih sebanyak RM2,500 sebulan tanpa sebarang komitmen hutang. Dengan gaji sebanyak itu, saya membelanjakan sebahagian besar wang gaji untuk membeli pakaian, makan di luar dan berhibur. Bagaimanakah dengan pendapatan sebanyak itu saya masih boleh membuat simpanan untuk masa depan tetapi pada masa sama masih boleh meneruskan gaya hidup semasa?

Jawapan
Saya akui individu yang berusia 20an mempunyai bajet yang cukup ketat dan sukar untuk memiliki lebihan pendapatan. Katakanlah siapa dalam lingkungan usia ini tidak suka membelanjakan wang untuk fesyen, hiburan dan gajet terkini? Kebanyakan tidak mempunyai simpanan atau perancangan kewangan kerana ia dianggap ketinggalan dengan tanggapan amalan itu hanya untuk golongan dewasa. Bagi golongan yang berusia 20an, aset yang paling penting bukan wang sebaliknya adalah masa. Tetapi tahukah anda setiap ringgit yang disimpan dalam usia 20an bernilai 10 kali ganda berbanding jika disimpan pada umur 40 tahun. Lantaran itu, usia 20an dan 30an sebenarnya adalah masa terbaik untuk menyimpan bagi masa depan, sama ada bagi diri sendiri atau pendidikan anak-anak atau ketika persaraan. Hakikatnya, mereka yang mula membuat simpanan untuk persaraan ketika berumur 20an akan mendapat banyak kelebihan meskipun dalam jumlah yang sedikit, selagi mereka membuat pelaburan berkala.

Contohnya: Individu yang menyimpan sebanyak RM4,000 setahun untuk persaraan sejak berumur 22 tahun akan memiliki RM1 juta pada usia 62 tahun, dengan mengambil kira purata pulangan sebanyak lapan peratus setahun. Sekiranya anda tidak pernah membuat simpanan dalam masa 10 tahun, anda perlu menyimpan sekali ganda kira-kira RM8,800 setahun, untuk memastikan mendapat jumlah yang sama semasa bersara nanti.
Malangnya, tidak ramai pekerja muda melepaskan peluang untuk membuat simpanan bagi persediaan persaraan awal dengan harapan faedah mampu memberi magis dan memaksimumkan simpanan. Dalam perkara ini sukar untuk menyalahkan sesiapa. Umpamanya dalam kes Arianna, beliau mempunyai minat untuk mengetahui bagaimana yang perlu dilakukan untuk simpanan jangka panjang. Kebanyakan golongan muda seperti beliau yang mendapati sukar merancang kewangan tanpa panduan mengenai wang dan cara menguruskannya. Kecuali terdapat kelas mandatori di peringkat sekolah menengah dan universiti untuk menyediakan pelajar mengenai kewangan peribadi! Di bawah ini adalah disertakan beberapa panduan bagi Arianna dan golongan yang berusia 20an untuk merancang kewangan.

1. Menyimpan selalu, kerap menyimpan.
Tahukah anda ada satu konsep lama yang perlu diketahui mengenai simpanan iaitu membayar kepada diri sendiri terlebih dahulu. Kerajaan amat memahami mengenai konsep tersebut, sebab itu kerajaan akan memotong pelbagai cukai sebelum pendapatan diserahkan kepada anda. Konsep ini boleh digunakan dalam bentuk simpanan bagi untuk manfaat diri sendiri. Tidak dinafikan kebanyakan orang akan berbelanja dahulu pendapatan, kemudian lebihan digunakan untuk simpanan. Tetapi pada realitinya, selalunya kita akan berbelanja sebanyak mungkin berbanding menyimpannya. Seharusnya kita perlu 'membayar kepada diri sendiri' - menyimpan peratusan tertentu untuk simpanan sebelum menggunakan wang anda untuk tujuan lain. Percayalah sekiranya konsep 'membayar untuk diri sendiri' dijadikan amalan, anda tidak akan terlupa untuk menyimpan.
Selain itu, menyimpan wang dalam akaun berbeza juga merupakan idea yang baik kerana ia mengekang untuk kita berbelanja lebih. Sebenarnya tiada satu masa yang boleh dianggap terbaik untuk membuat simpanan, jadi belajar untuk 'membayar kepada diri sendiri'.

2. Berbelanja mengikut kemampuan.
Adakah anda akan menerima gaji untuk kali pertama? Terasa sudah berkemampuan untuk membeli? Kebanyakan golongan muda berbelanja lebih daripada pendapatan. Mereka mahu menggunakan wang untuk membeli kereta, pakaian, makan di luar dan terperangkap dalam kehendak kehidupan. Memenuhi kehendak dalam perbelanjaan akan memberi tekanan kepada kewangan anda. Anda perlu belajar untuk membezakan keperluan daripada kehendak anda. Contohnya pinjaman rumah, bil elektrik dan makanan. Adakah anda perlu menikmati kopi berharga RM15 secawan, telefon baru serta membuat rawatan kuku? Bukan anda mampu menjalani kehidupan tanpa semua itu? Sebenarnya, Sarah, tidak ada penyelesaian mudah bagi menyeimbangkan jaminan kewangan masa depan dan menikmati gaya hidup semasa.
Beberapa disiplin fiskal mungkin diperlukan dan anda akan mendapati ia berbaloi untuk masa depan. Sekiranya anda menyukai sesuatu, paksa diri anda untuk menangguh memilikinya dalam masa dua minggu sebelum terus membelinya. Ini kerana selepas tempoh itu anda akan mendapati anda sebenarnya tidak memerlukannya. Cara lain ialah membelinya secara tunai supaya dapat merasai berbelanja sebenar.

3. Elak daripada terjerumus dalam hutang.
Anda perlu mengelakkan diri daripada membuat hutang yang tinggi. Ia sama seperti meletakkan perbelanjaan sebagai keutamaan, kuasa berbelanja boleh meningkatkan hutang. Oleh itu, membayar kad kredit perlu diletakkan sebagai keutamaan. Syabas kepada Arianna kerana ia tidak memiliki kad kredit. Sekiranya anda mempunyai hutang kredit kad yang tertangguh, elak membuat bayaran minimum. Ia kerana jika anda terikat dengan amalan itu, anda sebenarnya akan menanggung hutang dalam jangka panjang. Mempunyai hutang yang banyak pada usia muda merupakan satu kesilapan besar bagi golongan berumur 20an. Jangan kerana anda layak untuk mendapat pinjaman yang besar, bermakna anda menggunakan seluruh kapasiti untuk membuat hutang. Perlu diingatkan sekiranya anda tersalah membuat keputusan - anda akan menghabiskan usia muda anda dengan membayar hutang. Dalam usia 20an anda perlu mempunyai sejarah kredit yang baik untuk digunakan pada masa depan.

Selain itu, saya turut menasihatkan golongan muda supaya menghindarkan diri daripada terjebak sebagai penjamin. Anda hanya boleh lakukan sekiranya cukup bersedia untuk menghadapi sebarang kemungkinan buruk akan berlaku. Kalau tidak bersedia, jangan sesekali melakukannya!. Yang penting hindarkan diri daripada menjadi 'perangkap wang' yang kerapkali menjadikan golongan muda sebagai mangsa. Sebaliknya dalam usia 20an, anda memiliki banyak peluang untuk menyimpan kerana belum mempunyai tanggungjawab besar dalam kewangan, berbanding ketika usia 30an dan 40an. Ini kerana, pada usia itu anda perlu membayar rumah dan menyimpan untuk pendidikan anak-anak. Dengan memiliki asas simpanan kukuh yang dibuat pada usia 20an, anda akan melalui kehidupan dengan penuh keyakinan.

Sumber: UtusanOnline ,19/3/2011

Ahad, Mac 20, 2011

Warkah dari Wat Siam

Nyaris bunuh diri rugi RM136,292

Oleh Kalidevi Mogan Kumarappa
kalidevi@hmetro.com.my
MANGSA TIPU...Ng sedih rugi RM136,292.
MANGSA TIPU...Ng sedih rugi RM136,292.
KUALA LUMPUR: Seorang wanita warga emas hampir membunuh dirinya akibat tekanan melampau selepas ditipu ‘tok guru’ nombor ekor yang mendakwa beroperasi di sebuah rumah ibadat di Utara tanah air menyebabkannya kerugian lebih RM100,000.
Difahamkan, kejadian bermula selepas mangsa, bekas penjawat awam menerima risalah yang menyiarkan janji kosong untuk memenangi wang RM1.5 juta melalui cabutan empat nombor ekor pada November tahun lalu. Mangsa yang hanya mahu dikenali sebagai Ng, 72, terlalu taksub mempercayai dakwaan itu selepas membaca testimoni yang terkandung dalam risalah terbabit sebelum menelefon nombor telefon tertera bagi mengetahui lebih lanjut bagaimana untuk mengubah nasibnya yang bergantung hidup pada wang pencen.

Menurutnya, gambar patung berhala pada risalah itu serta senarai pemenang nombor ekor menjadikannya yakin untuk menghubungi nombor telefon berkenaan.
“Seorang lelaki yang dikenali sebagai Lee menjawab panggilan itu dan dengan nada meyakinkan, dia menerangkan mengenai skim berkenaan yang akan membolehkan saya memenangi wang RM1.5 juta melalui pembelian nombor ekor.

“Saya memasukkan RM250 ke dalam akaun diberikan untuk mendaftarkan diri pada 15 November lalu,” katanya ketika membuat pendedahan di Biro Pengaduan Awam MCA, di sini, semalam.

Katanya, dia diminta memasukkan lagi RM360 dan RM500 dua hari berturut-turut dan pada 17 November lelaki itu menghubunginya untuk memaklumkan dia sudah memenangi cabutan nombor ekor bernilai RM1.5 juta. Ng berkata, lelaki itu berjanji menghantar slip nombor ekor itu dan dia menerimanya melalui pos beberapa hari kemudian.

Bagaimanapun, katanya, lelaki berkenaan berkata dia perlu memasukkan sejumlah wang lagi bagi bagi urusan ‘sembahyang’, melindungi tiket loteri berkenaan serta mendakwa dia ditahan di Thailand kerana menyimpan nombor loteri yang sudah dimenangi itu.
“Saya yang yakin sudah memenangi wang jutaan ringgit memasukkan lebih banyak wang ke dalam akaun milik seorang lelaki bernama Tan Chung San sehingga kehabisan wang simpanan berjumlah RM136,292.

“Setiap kali dihubungi Lee atau tok guru yang dipercayai berasal dari Thailand dan fasih berahasa Malaysia, mereka turut menyanyikan sebuah lagu berunsur keagamaan dan saya bagai dipukau mengikut setiap permintaan mereka,” katanya.

Katanya, permintaan terakhir Lee adalah memasukkan wang RM52,000 untuk membayar cukai kepada Bank Negara dan disebabkan dia kehabisan wang simpanan, dia membuat keputusan meminjam dengan anak saudaranya.

“Saya hanya sedar selepas anak saudara menyergah ketika meminta wang dan selepas itu, saya menjadi tertekan dan hampir membunuh diri.

“Bagaimanapun, adik saya membantu membuat laporan polis dan laporan kepada Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna berhubung kejadian itu,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Ketua Biro Pengaduan Awam MCA, Datuk Micheal Chong berkata, sebanyak 16 kes membabitkan penipuan menggunakan risalah nombor ekor yang bersifat keagamaan direkodkan pihaknya sejak 2008.

Menurutnya, semua mangsa ditipu melalui modes operandi sama dan ada juga mangsa membuat pinjaman dengan ceti haram semata-mata untuk memenuhi permintaan bomoh nombor ekor itu.

Mangsa yang semuanya warga emas terdiri dari berbilang bangsa dan secara keseluruhan, mereka hilang kira-kira RM2 juta,” katanya.

2bz4money: saya juga ada menerima warkah sebegini dalam edisi Bahasa Melayu dari beberapa tokong siam di negeri Kedah; cuma mengabaikannya sahaja. Jangan bergantung kepada nasib (berjudi), kenalah berusaha..

Isnin, Mac 14, 2011

RM81.6b insurans mangsa gempa

2011/03/14

GEMPA bumi melanda Jepun minggu lalu berserta kemusnahan akibat tsunami dan kebakaran, menjadikan anggaran kerugian diinsuranskan ekoran bencana itu sangat sukar dihitung, kata pegawai kanan di dua firma permodelan risiko bencana.

Kira-kira AS$24 bilion (RM81.6 bilion) harta diinsuranskan terletak di sepanjang tiga kilometer pantai yang paling teruk terjejas oleh gempa itu, kata Jayanta Guin dari firma permodelan bencana, Air Worldwide kepada Reuters.
Ia berkemungkinan bakal muncul sebagai bencana alam paling mahal dalam sejarah industri insurans.
Kira-kira AS$300 bilion harta diinsuranskan di empat kawasan paling teruk terjejas gegaran gempa itu.

Ia sama sekali tidak bersamaan dengan nilai kerugian serupa, kata Guin, sambil menambah ia akan mengambil masa berhari-hari malah berminggu-minggu, sebelum anggaran dibuat.

Satu masalah yang timbul adalah kerosakan itu sukar digambarkan kerana keadaan dan lokasi gempa tidak dijangka, kata Guin.

Eqecat, sebuah lagi firma permodelan risiko berkata, gempa itu sekurang-kurangnya lapan kali lebih kuat daripada yang pernah digambarkannya untuk kawasan itu untuk 30 tahun akan datang.
Firma itu berkata kerugian ekonomi daripada gempa itu dijangka melebihi AS$100 bilion (RM3.04 bilion). Ia tidak mengeluarkan anggaran bagi kerugian diinsuranskan.

Air Worldwide, Eqecat dan RMS adalah tiga firma permodelan risiko utama yang membantu syarikat insurans meramalkan di mana dan berapa yang kerugian yang ditanggung dan berapa banyak kerugian itu.

“Kami tidak pernah berdepan situasi ini, untuk memahami anggaran gempa bumi seperti ini,” kata Guin yang juga Naib Presiden Kanan Bahagian Penyelidikan dan Pemodelan di Air Worldwide.

“Malah, penemuan saintifik termasuk saintis dari Jepun tidak menimbang senario besar seperti itu di kawasan berkenaan,” katanya. – Reuters

2bz4money: Mampukah sykt insuran membuat bayaran penyelesaian utk keseluruhan mangsa? Penyertaan ramai secara Tabarru' dalam skim Takaful membantu setakat kemampuan.

Banks battle for deposits

Monday March 14, 2011,By SHARIDAN M. ALI ,sharidan@thestar.com.my

They provide banks with cheaper source of funds
PETALING JAYA: Banks are engaged in a war for deposits, especially for current accounts, in their drive to build up low-cost deposits as a means of cheaper funding.
“Demand deposits (current account), which were relatively much cheaper than fixed and savings deposits, had been marking a strong year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of about 11% from 2008 to 2010,” RAM Ratings head of financial institution ratings Promod Dass told StarBiz.
“This clearly indicates the drive among banks to build up low-cost deposits for access to cheaper cost of funds. This active strategy of promoting current accounts usually involves corporate clients who utilise the service for their businesses,” he said.
According to Dass, this was in line with the increasing overnight policy rate (OPR) where the average deposit rate had risen since 2009.
“Comparing the composition of deposits between December 2007 and December 2010, the proportion of fixed deposits has declined to 44% from about 48%, with y-o-y growth rates hovering around 6% to 7% since 2007,” he said.
A current account is typically used for securely and quickly providing frequent access to funds on demand, through a variety of different channels such as issuing cheques, arranging standing orders, direct debit and payment via debit card.
Traditionally, a basic current account does not render any interest earnings as opposed to the general 0.25% or higher rates for a basic savings account, depending on the account balance.
But, banks now are aggressively promoting tailor-made current accounts with enticing attractions such as the introduction of interest rates ranging from as high as 2.5% to 0.8% annually depending on the account balance amount.
An analyst said that banks that had higher levels of current and savings accounts (CASA) would usually have a bigger advantage in a rising interest rate environment.
“The banks will have access to a cheaper source of funds, as CASA has lower interest rates compared with the rates they charge for loans rendered to customers,” he said.
However, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd said that its deposits growth strategy was not reactive to funding requirements; it was also to expand the bank's presence in the wealth management landscape.
“Besides the recent global events, accumulation of deposits has always been a cornerstone of the wealth management business at OCBC, as we compete for more of the customer's share of wallet,” said Ong Shi Jie, the bank's head of wealth management.
“With a higher level of aggregation of deposits with one banking relationship, we are able to better assess the customers' overall financial needs and abilities and, hence, serve their needs better,” she said.
Nevertheless, Ong said that current and savings accounts deposits represented inexpensive sources of financing where these deposits were lent out and became income-producing assets.
“The second source of funding is wholesale, which refers to funding other than core demand deposits. This may be secured in the debt markets, for example, through interbank borrowings or money markets.
“If core deposits are such a cheap source of financing, one may ask why anyone would want to even consider wholesale funding,” she said.
(Wholesale funding represents a way for banks to expand or satisfy their funding needs.)
“At times, banks may have trouble attracting new deposits such as during a low interest rate environment, when customers do not find the low rates attractive. In such instances, they may look to wholesale funding,” Ong said.
But, in recent times the US subprime crisis and credit crunch have highlighted the importance of internal sources via customers' deposits rather than just wholesale funding.
“During the credit crunch, wholesale funding in the United States dried up as many banks were perceived to be of high credit risk.
“Recently, the banking industry in Malaysia has responded to this new reality. Increasingly, the acquisition of deposits has become desirable and, thus, more competitive.
“In addition, there is now pressure on banks to maintain or grow the retail funding base because this is viewed as a more stable source of funding during times of crisis. This has played a significant role in encouraging increased competition in this area,” Ong said.
Dass said the trend of the average lending rates (ALR) and deposit rates revealed how the competitive lending environment and rising interest rates had taken a toll on interest margins, especially since 2009.
“This observation can be illustrated by the differential between the ALR and the one-month fixed deposit rate, which has fallen from 2.83% at end-December 2009 to 2.34% at end-December 2010.
“RAM Ratings expects another 50 to 75 basis point increase in the OPR in 2011. In tandem with increasing competition for both loans and deposits, this downward pressure on interest margins would continue in 2011,” he said.

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