Malaysia stocks fall as federal government reveals ‘windfall’ tax on business

People using face masks stroll in front of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan. 29, 2021.

Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Malaysia stocks fell on Monday as the federal government revealed a one-off “windfall” tax on business to raise profits for the coming year.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index fell around 2.2% and was amongst the worst-performing stock exchange throughout Asia-Pacific.

Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz on Friday provided the federal government’s budget plan for 2022, that includes the biggest ever investing strategy worth over 332 billion ringgit ($80 million) to leap begin an economy weighed down by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zafrul revealed a number of procedures to raise federal government profits, consisting of increasing the tax rate on business earnings of more than 100 million ringgit from 24% to 33% in 2022.

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Analysts stated that tax boost would be the focus of financiers.

“The windfall tax is slated to be a one-off initiative, due to the high expenditure requirement of the government given the pandemic situation. Still, it would come as quite a bit of a bite for some companies,” stated Wellian Wiranto, an economic expert at Singapore’s OCBC bank.

Overall, the boost in federal government costs will assist Malaysia’s financial healing to continue into 2022, stated Wiranto.

The Southeast Asian economy is anticipated to grow by 3.5% this year and 6% next year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Malaysia’s economy contracted 5.6% in 2020.  

The nation needed to reimpose lockdown procedures this year to combat a sharp increase in the variety of Covid cases, which moistened financial activity. The variety of daily reported cases has actually been boiling down while the vaccination rate increased, triggering the federal government to raise most social-distancing procedures.

Malaysia appears on track to resume totally by early 2022, stated Denise Cheok, economic expert at Moody’s Analytics.

“The expansionary budget for next year supports our brightening outlook for the Malaysian economy. The resumption of domestic and international travel, as well as rising commodity prices, will help lift the economy out of its pandemic-induced funk,” stated Cheok.


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