Gong Xi Fa Cai and Happy Holidays to all. I hope everyone drives patiently and arrive in your destination safely. Perhaps this year the jam is lesser because the number of cars on the road in KL was already fewer since 13th February 2018 (Tuesday). On 14th February, it was a breeze to my office too. I am already home to Ipoh. It’s that time of the year where EATING starts and will go on until end of the Chinese New Year (CNY). Burp… Anyway, I must watch what I eat these days. Already 41 this year and metabolism is getting slower which meant that whatever I eat is usually not ‘spent’ and will remain in my body for a long time. Let’s talk about four positives this Chinese New Year in 2018. POSITIVE ones ONLY.
Ringgit is up. Compared to last February 2017. Just take a look at the image for the exchange rate one year ago. From RM4.45 to US$1, it closed at RM3.91 to US$1 yesterday. 14 percent up. No comments on why those retailers are still NOT reducing their prices when they increased it last year because of ringgit’s depreciation. Perhaps they will reduce it next month? Depends on consumer lah. If you are still willing to pay higher, they will charge you higher lah. One real example? Many developers are no longer launching those over RM700,000 properties and are now focused on below RM500,000 ones instead. Consumer power matters! It helps to determine the final prices being offered to us.
GDP is up. 5.9 percent for 2017 is a good number no matter how we look at it. Some comments? Here’s two from the Asia.Nikkei.com Alex Holmes, Asia Economist from Capital Economics says, “We expect the economy to lose a little more steam over the coming quarters against a backdrop of moderating export growth and tighter monetary conditions. Overall, we expect growth to ease to 5.5% this year, which is still strong by the standards of recent years.” Meanwhile Sanjay Mathur, Chief Economist for Southeast Asia and India from ANZ Research says, “The outlook for 2018 is positive, reflecting a combination of favourable external and domestic demand conditions. For full year 2018, we expect growth to remain solid at 5.8% y/y. (I am not an economist but these two are definitely positive for 2018. Let’s agree with them!)
Chinese $$$ is up. Nope, not Malaysian Chinese. We are talking about Chinese from China. In January, a total of 327,000 visa and entry passes were issued to the Chinese nationals. What this tells us is that the travel abroad during the CNY period is not confined to just Malaysians but also the Chinese. This also tells us that the hotels would be fully booked, shopping malls would receive more visitors than usual and well, there would be jams in some touristy destinations like Penang or Kota Kinabalu or even Kuala Lumpur! In brief, I think the Q1 economy numbers as well as the retail numbers would be good. Many studies have shown that the Chinese tourists spends MORE than most other tourists. (Keep them coming, especially now that applying for visa and entry passes are hassle free. By the way, they dominate the number of MM2H applications too.Here’s one recent article in South China Morning Post)
The stock market is up. For this however, always be cautious in the stocks that we buy because there are already stock prices which are pretty high. Whether big names or no names, buying beyond their one year valuation is not a good idea. There are definitely gems out there which are still overlooked. 🙂
Property market is NOT UP, yet. This is definitely a good news for working professionals like me. Please give me some time to save enough for downpayments lah. As for those who has set their sights on that home sweet home, I am happy for you too.
Happy eating (and exercising it off). Happy receiving angpows (for singles). Happy giving angpows and make kids happy (including me). Happy holidays to everyone and please, please, please DRIVE SAFE. Wishing everyone “Sam Seong Si Seng!” (Whatever the heart yearns will come true)
written on 15th February 2018
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