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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wooing first-home buyers

FOR EASIER OWNERSHIP: MBSB calls for more perks such as stamp duty waiver and tax breaks

The government should introduce fiscal measures such as stamp duty waiver on first-home scheme and certain tax breaks for the developers in order to encourage more first-home buyers, says Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) chief.

"First-time house buyers are an important area, and the government should look at how to encourage first-time house owners.

"How you encourage developers to provide a certain portion of the scheme to be affordable for first-time house owners is also important," MBSB president and chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman said after launching MBSB Cheeky Savings Club's "Over the Top" programme here yesterday.

MBSB expects to rope in 50,000 new Cheeky Savings accountholders in a year from about 16,000 presently.

The savings club targets young savers to open a savings account with MBSB, enjoy good returns and be part of a club membership that offers activities and benefits.

"With a minimum of RM50, our young customers can open an account at any of our 35 branches nationwide and earn 2.5 per cent profit rate per annum," Zaini said.

He said it is important to educate the next generation on savings from a very young age as the latest statistics shows that gross savings in Malaysia have decreased from its highest point of 40 per cent to the gross domestic product in 1998 to around 30 per cent in 2010. Besides, adolescents (between 10 and 19 years old) make up 19 per cent of the country's population.

MBSB, in collaboration with Island Talk Asia Sdn Bhd, has also developed a reality television programme called "Over The Top".

"Over the Top is a one-of-a-kind children reality television show which aims to challenge a contestant's physical strengths, money management skills and ability to make important decisions in urgent situations," said Ahmad Zaini during the launch.

Chief executive officer and acting executive producer of Island Talk Asia Sasidharan Chandran said "Over The Top" was conceptualised based on MBSB Cheeky Savings Club's aspiration to foster a healthy financial future among the youths.

The grand prize for the winning team will be an all-expenses paid trip to Warner Bros Movie World in Gold Coast, Australia, as well as RM30,000 prize money (RM10,000 per team member deposited into their MBSB Cheeky Savings Account).

By Business Times

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