Monday, October 20, 2014

EBOLA outbreak: WHO missed 'the disaster of our time' claimed aid agencies

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/ebola-outbreak-who-missed-the-disaster-of-our-times-say-aid-agencies-9804285.html

EBOLA outbreak: WHO missed 'the disaster of our time' claimed aid agencies

After the shock of Ebola comes inevitable blame and recrimination. This weekend questions are being asked about who is to blame for a collective failure to recognise and respond to what was, and remains, West Africa's tragedy.

At the centre of the growing outrage is the World Health Organisation (WHO) which, as the UN's health agency, is charged with "providing leadership" world health matters.

Aid agencies, such as Oxfam yesterday, are warning that Ebola will become the "disaster of our time". It is being compared with the HIV/Aids epidemic, having already accounted for more than 4,500 confirmed deaths, with the true mortality toll estimated by some at more than 12,000.

The voices of concern were not always so strong. In April, the health charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned that the outbreak, which had emerged a month before, was unprecedented. Geneva-based WHO, which had declared a global pandemic of swine flu in 2009 that, in fact, caused fewer deaths than seasonal flu, denied this, saying that there were only sporadic cases within a limited geographical area.

One of the organisation's communications officers, Gregory Härtl, warned MSF not to "exaggerate" Ebola's effects. He later went further, questioning the sense of imposing travel bans in the three affected countries. "You want to disrupt the economic life of a country, a region becuz [sic] of 130 suspect and confirmed cases? #Ebola," he tweeted.

It is now known that the Ebola outbreak began in December, but the first cases were reported only in March. WHO's regional office in Africa stands accused of failing to properly monitor the outbreak, perhaps explaining the three-month delay in identifying the virus that was killing Guineans.

WHO waited until August before declaring a public health emergency, outlining a "road map" to tackle the disease. "Huge questions remain about who will implement the elements in the plan," responded MSF's director of operations, Brice de la Vigne, at the time.


According to an internal WHO document that emerged on Friday, experts should have realised that traditional containment methods would not stop the disease. "Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall," the WHO report, obtained by Associated Press (AP), noted. "A perfect storm was brewing, ready to burst open in full force."

The agency's bureaucracy was part of the problem, the report found. Country office heads were "politically motivated appointments" made by its regional director for Africa, Luis Sambo, who did not answer to WHO's chief, Margaret Chan.

In the earlier stages of the outbreak, messages from Dr Sambo's office were sometimes out of step with Geneva's party line. His tenure finishes at the end of this year.

The African WHO office declared Ebola to be "pretty much contained" in Senegal and Nigeria on 22 September, a claim not backed up by Dr Chan's office, which declared Senegal to be Ebola-free only on Friday and has yet to say the same about Nigeria.

The leaked document also said that one of Dr Chan's senior officials, Bruce Aylward, had warned her by email that some of WHO's partners felt it was "compromising rather than aiding" the Ebola response and that "none of the news about WHO's performance is good".

WHO said that the report obtained by AP was a working document. "WHO will not do interviews or explain details on this document until it is completed," it said in a statement yesterday. "WHO believes in transparency and accountability and will release this review when it is fact-checked. For now, WHO's focus is to obtain the resources needed to successfully fight this Ebola outbreak."

It added: "A full review and analysis of global responses to this, the largest-ever Ebola outbreak in history, will be completed and made public once the outbreak is under control. We are a public health organisation and our focus right now must be to stop this outbreak and save lives."

Meanwhile, the Canadian government has said it will ship 800 vials of its experimental Ebola vaccine to WHO in Geneva from tomorrow.

WHO, in consultation with health authorities in the countries most affected by the outbreak, will decide how the vaccine, which is undergoing clinical trials at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the US will be distributed and used, the Public Health Agency of Canada said.

In April, as the Ebola outbreak began to spread in Guinea, little went smoothly. WHO's office there, according to the leaked report, was accused of not helping experts get visas to that country. Some $500,000 (£311,000) in aid was said to have been held up by red tape.

Speaking to The Independent on Sunday yesterday, one aid worker described WHO's approach as "institutional arse-covering".

"There are definitely going to be recriminations and soul searching and an investigation into how this went so wrong," the worker said.

Vickie Hawkins, director of MSF UK, was more guarded. "We are frustrated and angry that the global response to this outbreak has been so slow and inadequate," she said yesterday. "For months, we have been pleading for more help and watching the situation deteriorate. When the outbreak is under control, we must reflect on how national and global health systems can have failed quite so badly. We at MSF will also look at our own operations and what we could have done and said differently."

She added: "Right now, our main concerns are not about what went wrong at the beginning, but what is still going wrong today. There are still very significant gaps in the field in all three countries. The job ahead of us is very large and difficult, but we simply cannot afford to fail."

That job was continued yesterday as another UN agency, the World Food Programme, delivered emergency food rations to 265,000 people, many of them quarantined in Sierra Leone, where 1,200 people have so far died.

That came as the country's president, Ernest Bai Koroma, announced a shake-up of the body in charge of fighting Ebola . A new National Ebola Response Centre replaced the previous body, the National Operations Centre, with "immediate effect".

Almost 4,500 miles away, another president, Barack Obama, urged Americans to remember that Ebola, although a global concern, was a West African tragedy. He ruled out a travel ban on people arriving from the three worst-hit countries. "We can't just cut ourselves off from West Africa," he said. "This is a serious disease, but we can't give in to hysteria or fear."

Friday, October 17, 2014

MALAYSIA'S 10 HIGHEST PAYING JOBS!!! from Iris lee

Malaysia’s 10 highest paying jobs



By: Iris Lee, Malaysia
Published: 4 hours 33 min ago
Malaysia – I always wanted to be pilot when I was a kid, and after seeing this list, I regret not pursuing my dream.
   
If you are rethinking your career, here is where the big bucks are according to SalaryExplorer.com.
1) Pilot
A pilot earns RM35,000 on average per month, on top of travelling around the world.


2) Senior accountant
You probably spend the extra off-work hours crunching numbers to manage your huge paycheck of RM30,000 a month.

 
3) Materials engineer
A materials engineer earns about RM28,000 a month. That’s a lot for just testing materials used to create products.

 
4) Government affairs director
Being in the public sector not only gives you great benefits, but also a high salary at RM27,000 a month.

5) Team Leader in oil & gas, energy or mining industry
You will be compensated for being in a high-risk job, with team leaders in these industries earning about RM26,500 a month.

6) Recruiting manager
Bring in human resources, particularly in recruiting, can rake in the big bucks. The average pay for a recruiting manager stands at around RM25,500 a month.









7) Regional manager in banking
The banking industry has always been known for its perks. A regional manager for any bank in Malaysia can earn an average of RM25,000 a month.
Appeard in HRSG Mar 10
8) Chief operating officer
A COO of a company earns an average of RM24,722 a month.
9) Regional director
Being the regional director is the next best thing after COO, as this position rakes in about RM24,583 a month.
10) Geotechnical engineer
And last but not least, traipsing around in dirt as a geotechnical engineer brings in about RM22,833 a month.
The list above is generated through information submitted by SalaryExplorer.com users and also a database of salary information gathered from requirement agencies, companies and employers.
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Broad sell-off on Bursa Malaysia -- The Star

I consider myself very daring at this point of time still trade the stocks.Oh, No! I am actually changing counter and fighting together with our Mr ONG!

 

Broad sell-off on Bursa Malaysia

Friday, 17 October 2014
 
 
KUALA LUMPUR: Fund selling of index-linked stocks on Bursa Malaysia saw nearly 20 points erased from the FBM KLCI while the broader market came under pressure with 1,001 counters in the red.
 
The selling pressure saw the KLCI closing down 19.07 points or 1.07% to 1,767.77 yesterday – the lowest since Sept 19 and it is down 5.31% year-to-date.
 
Declining counters beat advancers 15 to one or 1,001 to 64, reflecting the cautious market sentiment.
At press time, key European markets were in the red while regional markets posted losses of between 0.25% and 2.22% with Japan’s Nikkei 225 the worst performer.
 
Reuters reported the Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index surged to 35.5 yesterday, its highest level since mid-2012, signalling a sharp rise in risk aversion on the back of worries over the strength of the global economy.
Malaysia’s stock market, which had been underpinned by oil and gas stocks, came under pressure also as weaker global growth saw oil prices sliding. At 5pm, US light crude oil fell US$1.28 to US$80.50 and Brent lost 62 cents to US$83.16.
 
Oil and gas heavyweight SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd fell 25 sen to RM3.16 in active trade.
The double whammy was also from the weaker ringgit, which was trading at 3.2835, the lowest since April 2014.
 
Insurers and banks were among the major losers. Allianz Malaysia Bhd fell 46 sen to RM10.84 and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd was down 42 sen to RM11.38. CIMB Group Bhd fell 29 sen to RM6.19, RHB Capital Bhd 15 sen lower at RM8.36 and Malayan Banking Bhd lost 13 sen to RM9.45.
 
BIMB Securities Research, had in its strategy report, said foreign fund flows had been quite erratic this year purely dictated by the expectations in the United States.
 
“After some nominal movements during the June/August period, foreign outflow gathered in September when a whopping RM1.5bil exited the local bourse.
 
“At time of writing, foreign outflow remains evident of around RM300mil thus ramping up total net outflows to RM3.5bil year-to-date. Looking ahead, we reckon foreign fund outflows to persist as there is still an ample amount of short term ones in the local bourse estimated to a tune of RM16bil,” it said.
 
BIMB Research said the recent market selldown did not bode well for the local market as most investors preferred to wait and see.
 
“Meanwhile, we believe any absence of window dressing activity during the quarter may see the KLCI ending 2014 on a flat note,” it said, adding its fair valuation for the KLCI was 1,830.
 
The research house believed there could be some year-end buying hence its liquidity induced target for 2014 at 1,900.
 
“As for 2015, we have a preliminary target of 1,960 premised on 16.5 times price-to-earnings and a 10% earnings growth,” it said.
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2015 Budget: People Economy -- from KENABGA

2015 Budget: People Economy
Muted To Equity Market
By Chan Ken Yew / kychan@kenanga.com.my

2015 Budget. Prime Minister announced the 2015 Budget last Friday (10/10/14). We understand
that this budget is the final budget to complete the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) and serves as basis
for planning and preparation of programmes and projects under the forthcoming 11th Malaysia
Plan (11MP) that will be launched in May 2015. In this Budget, seven (7) main strategies were
highlighted. These strategies are (i) strengthening economic growth, (ii) enhancing fiscal
governance, (iii) developing human capital & entrepreneurship, (iv) advancing bumiputera agenda,
(v) upholding role of women, (vi) developing national youth transformation programme and (vii)
prioritising well-being of the Rakyat. The Budget has allocated a total of RM273.9b. Out of which,
RM223.4b is set for operating expenditure, RM48.5b is prepared for development and RM2.0b is
served as contingency fund. In the Budget, corporate and personal income tax cuts were
announced and additional items that exempt from Goods & Services tax (GST) were clarified. It
was announced that a new mechanism to provide petro subsidies to be developed as well.
Within expectations, hence muted to equity market. In a nutshell, we believe that this Budget announcement springs no surprises on the local equity market. This is because most of the “goodies” have no significant impact to corporate earnings.
Besides, the “goodies” for the Rakyat may also be neutralised by the implementation of GST in early-2Q15. Furthermore, both tax cuts had also been announced in the 2014 Budget and the positive impact could have factored into analysts’ forecasts earlier. Thus far, we maintain our FY14E and FY15F net earnings growth rates of 4.9% and 11.3% respectively.
We also do not foresee strong inflow of foreign capital in the near-term, as the prospect of stronger sovereign rating inline with the continued improving fiscal deficit could have largely priced in as well. As for impacts to various sectors (see Appendix for details), we believe the Budget is generally NEUTRAL to most of the sectors.

However, we do see some sectors with positive tone. These sectors are: (i) Building Materials, (ii) Construction, (iii) Gloves, (iv) Plastic Packaging, and (v) Semicon and Telco. Both building materials and construction sectors are believed to be beneficiaries from a number of major infrastructure projects including: (i) 4 new expressways, (ii) upgrade of east coast railway line and (iii) expansions of MRT & LRT light rail services. Gloves, packaging and semicon players are expected to benefit from an automation capital allowance of 200% that will be provided on the 1st RM4m expenditure incurred within the period from 2015 to 2017. Telco, on the other hand, is expected to benefit from the High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) project and the building of 1,000 telecommunication towers as well as the laying of undersea cables.

On the contrary, against market expectations, we did not see much catalyst for the property sector. The announced Rakyat-friendly measures such as: (i) Youth Housing Scheme, (ii) PR1MA housing, and (iiI) People Housing Programme, are likely to have no meaningful impact to developers under our coverage. Recall that the market was expecting the relaxation of DIBS (Developer Interest Bearing Scheme) for 1st home buyers to purchase affordable housing and a review of RPGT (Real Property Gain Tax).
All in all, 2015 Budget is a non-event to the local equity market. We believe the direction of local equity hinges on external uncertainties and volatilities going forward. Thus far, FBMKLCI declined by 2.0% since end-September 2014 inline with the decline of 2.9% in Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Having said that, our view and year-end target of 1,910 remains unchanged. We believe the domestic market will still be supported by the strong domestic liquidity position and the favourable seasonal pattern. Besides, as FBMKLCI is traded at 7% discount to its consensus target price of 1,945, the downside could be limited. Based on the track records between FBMKLCI and its consensus target, we believe any dips below 1,830 should serve as “Buying On Weakness” (B.O.W.) opportunities.

Apart from YTD underperformers / laggards, we still like BARAKAH (OP, TP: RM1.74), COASTAL (OP, TP: RM5.94), GAMUDA (OP, TP: RM5.52), KSL (TB, TP: RM6.63), MUHIBAH (OP, TP: RM3.55), SIME, (OP, TP: RM10.10), SUPERMX (OP, TP: RM3.23) and VS (TB, TP: RM3.16). Our other 2 Top Picks - MBSB (OP, TP: RM2.65) and RHBCAP (OP, TP: RM10.00) – have performed well after the recently announced CIMB-MBSB-RHBCAP merger structure. As such, we are replacing these 2 Top Picks with MPI (OP, TP: RM6.72) and PMETAL (OP, TP: RM8.87).

Friday, October 10, 2014

PJD-OSK Property merger ‘quite soon’, no privatisation of merged company

PJD-OSK Property merger ‘quite soon’, no privatisation of merged company
KUALA LUMPUR: A merger and consolidation exercise between PJ Development Bhd (PJD) and OSK Property Holdings Bhd is expected to materialise soon.

Veteran stockbroker Tan Sri Ong Leong Huat said the exercise “will be quite soon”.
Ong is chairman of PJD as well as the managing director and chief executive officer of OSK Property.


He added that once consolidated, the entity would be able to do bigger things and deliver better results.

“If you have two companies doing the same thing, and if it can be consolidated into a bigger entity, you can have more power, more efficiency, and more economies of scale,” he told a press conference after PJD’s EGM yesterday. “It is not our intention to privatise but rather to synergise.”

The consolidation will result in the creation of a first-tier property developer.
“At the moment, we are second-tier developers, but combined, we will be a first-tier property developer,” he said.

‘First-tier’ constitutes a company with an annual turnover of RM3bil, Ong said.

Talks of the merger first surfaced when Ong emerged as the largest shareholder in PJD in November 2013. Ong has a 21.4% stake and 62.65% in PJD and OSK Property respectively.

Meanwhile, he expects PJD’s net profit to grow by 20% for the financial year ending June 30, 2015. “This will be backed by the advancement of certain projects, with the majority of it coming from YOU City @ Cheras, among others,” he said.

He added that PJD had RM1bil in unbilled sales, which would be realised within the next two years.
The company, with total gross development value (GDV) currently at between RM5bil and RM6bil, is expected to launch a few projects in Kuantan, Gohtong Jaya, as well as the third phase of YOU City in the next few months.

PJD has some 1,000 acres of landbank, which will be developed over the next five years.
“We have got enough for us to continue launching projects, while not being over burdened by landbanking costs,” said Ong.

Yesterday, PJD received unanimous shareholder approval to purchase about 2ha of freehold land in Melbourne, Australia for RM432.1mil, equivalent to RM21,307 per sq m. The land, which is its first major project overseas, has been earmarked as a mixed development with a GDV of between RM8bil and RM9bil, said Ong.

He added that the project would comprise residential blocks, office towers, a retail mall and a boutique hotel. He expected development works to commence late next year and be completed within five to seven years

Ong said once completed, PJD would retain some of the commercial units to generate recurring income for the group.

He said PJD would be funding the acquisition primarily via internally generated funds while the remainder would be through bank borrowings. Ong said that historically profit margins were much higher in Australia. “In Malaysia now, they are between 15% and 20%. Margins are much higher there,” he said.

He added the company would continue looking for opportunities around the region.
“The movement of people is very fluid these days. Businesses have to follow where the demand is. We want to go to areas where we can get better pricing and demand for our projects,” he said.

















Thursday, October 9, 2014

Malaysia's CIMB, RHB, MBSB reach merger deal: source

Malaysia's CIMB Group, RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) have agreed on a merger deal that will create the country's biggest banking group, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said - PHOTO: REUTERS 

so, did you get some rhb, cimb, mbsb,or osk?

Malaysia's CIMB, RHB, MBSB reach merger deal: source

9 Oct8:55 AM

[SINGAPORE] Malaysia's CIMB Group, RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) have agreed on a merger deal that will create the country's biggest banking group, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The deal will involve a share swap between Malaysia's second-biggest lender CIMB and its fourth-largest bank RHB, the source said, adding that an announcement is expected later on Thursday.

The deal will still require approval from Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank, the source said, who asked not to be identified ahead of the formal announcement.

A combination of the three lenders would give birth to a banking group with assets totalling around US$190 billion, surpassing the country's largest lender Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and making it Southeast Asia's fourth-biggest lender.

Shares of the three banks were suspended on Thursday pending an announcement. - Reuters

Saturday, October 4, 2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Malaysian REITs Now

5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Malaysian REITs Now

Malaysian property investments have become less attractive these days due to the skyrocketing prices and also the various cooling measures implemented by the authorities. This has set many people from the middle and lower income groups back from buying their first home or investing in property.
However, other than investing in physical properties, Malaysians can consider investing in Malaysian Real Estate Investment Trusts (MREITs). Unlike business trusts, Malaysian REITs are trusts which invest in properties only. They are traded on stock exchanges and are eligible for special tax exemption.
Here are five reasons why you should invest in REITs in Malaysia:

1. Small starting capital

Most property investments require a significant amount of money to start. Even with 90% loan, a RM500,000 property would require at least RM50,000 down payment plus extra for legal fees and stamp duties. For MREITs, you can start investing with as little as RM140 (100 shares of Pavilion REIT at RM1.40).

2. Get exposure to the top shopping malls and commercial buildings

With MREITs, you will be able to buy into the top shopping malls in Malaysia. Malls such as Pavilion (Pavilion REIT), MidValley Megamall (IGB REIT), Sunway Pyramid (Sunway REIT) are all available on Bursa Malaysia. As an individual property investor, you would have little chance of owning such popular shopping malls, other than certain strata title types like Berjaya Times Square. With MREITs, your dream of owning a part of these popular commercial properties can be a reality.

3. Earn regular dividends

Like property rentals, MREITs also generate income in the form of dividends. Since MREITs are usually diversified, vacancy rates are generally low so they are a more stable form of income as compared to physical properties which could have vacancy periods.
The frequency of dividends payout for REITs is quarterly or bi-annually, making them an ideal investment for retirement income. To make it even more attractive, the dividend payout for REITs tend to be pretty high as they need to pay out at least 90% of their net income to be eligible for tax treatment.

4. Ease of buying and selling MREITs

As MREITs are exchange traded, buying and selling them is generally easier compared to physical properties. MREITs are bought and sold like normal stocks so the prices are transparent and the transactions take place instantly. For property transactions, it is normal to take between six to 12 months at least to find the right buyer at the right price and go through the sales and purchase agreement (SPA) process.

5. Minimal effort required

One of the key advantages of MREITs is that there is minimal effort required to maintain these investments. MREITs hire professional management teams to manage the tenants and upkeep of the properties, leaving you to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Anyone familiar with property investments will know that there is in fact a lot of work involved in managing your own properties.
At current market condition, dividend yields of most MREITs are pretty attractive compared to other investments, ranging from 5% to 6%. Given the stability of the dividend income and quality of the properties, MREITs are generally good investments to consider.
About the Author
Calvin Yeo, CFA, CFP is the Managing Director of DrWealth. Dr Wealth is ASEAN’s leading site on personal finance. We offer users high quality articles and research on all areas of Personal Finance including Retirement Planning, Investments, Savings, Insurance etc. In addition, we provide effective and simple to use mobile and desktop software tools that help you track, model and plan all your finances
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