Malaysia is the world’s fourth-largest economy, and its economic fortunes have been steadily improving in recent years, especially in the last two years.
But with the economy growing at an average rate of 3.7%, the country has struggled to keep pace with the rise of China and other emerging economies.
The economy grew by 6.3% last year and 7.4% in 2018.
Malaysia’s most profitable businesses, by value, were listed in the top 100, with two listed companies making the list: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Malaysia Construction (MCA).
MCA’s portfolio includes three of Malaysia’s most successful construction projects, including the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Kuala Lampung International Airport.
MAS also owns and operates the Kuala Kota International Airport, Kuala Lumpur’s second busiest airport.
The airline has made headlines in recent weeks over its contract with a Chinese company to supply the airline with aircraft engines.
The contract is worth $US2.6 billion ($2.5 billion) and the contract is subject to approval by a committee.
Meanwhile, MAS’s share price rose in recent months, hitting an all-time high on Tuesday.
In a separate report, S&P Global Ratings (SPG) said MAS and its parent company, Malaysian Airlines Group, were “likely to be underperform” in 2018, and that “the market may have been overly optimistic in the year-end outlook”.
The S&s forecast for the Malaysian economy in 2018 was that growth would slow to 2.6% for the year from 3.6%, while the government was looking to slash corporate taxes.
SPG’s “forecast of a contraction in the country’s GDP growth of 0.4 percent in 2018 compared with the prior year has been reinforced by negative developments in the manufacturing sector,” the report said.
As of August 31, the S&ams ratings agency said MAS was valued at $2.2 billion ($1.7 billion), with the Malaysian Construction group valued at about $2 billion, and the MAS Group valued at less than $500 million.
Malay’s central bank has cut interest rates by 25 basis points this year to 6.25%, and the government has promised to lower the price of petrol to 3.2 cents per litre from the current 3.8 cents.
A key focus of the government, which is in charge of the countrys monetary policy, is the country s debt burden, which stands at $US1.2 trillion ($1 trillion) after borrowing for $US900 billion ($907 billion) in fiscal year 2018.