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Shopping in Malaysia now a bargain

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Malaysia is now Asia's cheapest shopping destination due to the weaker ringgit, according to Nomura Research.

Nomura ASEAN property analyst Sai Min Chow said he expected the weak ringgit and relatively

attractive pricing of goods and services in Malaysia to attract more visitors, especially for shopping, in the next 12 months.

Mr Sai, who authored the report, said prices in Kuala Lumpur were between 10 per cent and 20 per cent cheaper, compared to other Asian cities, reported The Star.

He said they had surveyed 10 items, such as accommodation and entertainment, in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur.

He said: "Even if we were to take into account the impending Goods and Services Tax in Malaysia, prices still look relatively cheap.

"The outlook for Malaysia's retail market therefore remains positive."

'SPILLOVER'

The Japanese brokerage said that Singapore hotels could pick up some "spillover" business if Malaysia's weak ringgit attracts more tourists, particularly those from China, reported the Straits Times last week.

Malaysia Shopping Malls Association adviser H.C. Chan said Nomura's findings did not come as a surprise.

He pointed out that Malaysia had been ranked fourth as a shopping destination by CNN for two consecutive years, coming in behind New York, London and Tokyo.

"The weaker ringgit only makes Malaysia more cost competitive," he said.

He said the ringgit, currently trading at about RM3.7 to the US dollar, has lost about 20 per cent of its value.

"For tourists, that amounts to an additional 20 per cent discount for goods," he said.

Mr Chan, who is also the CEO of Sunway Shopping Malls, said that aside from shopping, Malaysia also offered affordable accommodation, food and travel.


This article was first published on Mar 23, 2015.
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