Thursday, May 11th, 2017


Tech, consumer discretionary stocks drag down Wall Street

NEW YORK, May 11 — US stocks were slightly lower today, with the Dow on track for its third straight day of losses, led by declines in consumer discretionary and technology sectors. Macy’s disappointing profit and a 11 per cent slump in…

SMEs need to embrace ICT to stay competitive: Sabah CM

KOTA KINABALU: Small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs in Sabah need to embrace information and communication technology (ICT) in order to stay competitive and thrive in their business.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (pix) said as online business was preferred by today's consumers, SMEs in Sabah should to take advantage of it by adapting appropriate technologies to improve their business competitiveness.

“The robust ICT sector holds a huge impact on life, including the business sector. The emergence of so many technologies and applications enables the business sector to enhance their operating efficiency,” he said at the launch of the SME BizFest 2017, organised by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), here today.

His speech was read by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who is also State Minister of Industrial Development.

Also present were TM Executive Vice-President of Consumer and SME Imri Mokhtar and TM General Manager Sabah Sukkuriya Masri.

Musa said statistics showed that Internet usage among SME entrepreneurs increased significantly to 90.1% in the first quarter of 2016 compared with 33.3% in the corresponding quarter in 2014.

He said social media usage to promote and market their products and services also increased to 78.2% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to only 12.1% in the first quarter of 2014.

“Today, more than 40% of SMEs have their own websites and this indicates a significant increase over the years,” he added.

Hence, Sabah SME entrepreneurs taking part in the SME BizFest 2017 need to fully harness the digital entrepreneurship development programme to improve their knowledge and skills so as to expand their business potentials through the Internet.

“I believe this will help boost the economic development by galvanising the full potentials of SME entrepreneurs in Sabah,” he added.

The BizFest, themed “Innovate to Dominate: Go Digital” aims to provide the latest digital solutions and products to help SMEs attract more prospects by using digital marketing tools and empowering employees to achieve higher productivity and drive cost effectiveness.

Sabah was the fifth and final stop for the BizFest this year after Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Baru and Johor Baru.

The one-day event, which was supported by SME Corporation Malaysia, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, attracted more than 1,500 SME entrepreneurs. — Bernama

Thailand says US trade deficit ‘not significant’, no unfair policy

BANGKOK, May 11 — Thailand said today the US trade deficit with it was “not significant” and it had not conducted any foreign exchange rate policies to gain an unfair trade advantage. Thailand is among countries that run a trade surplus…

Ringgit ends almost flat against greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed marginally lower against the US dollar today as the greenback continued to surge against other major currencies, a dealer said.

At 6pm, the local note was quoted at 4.3460/3510 against the greenback from 4.3450/3490 on Tuesday.

A dealer said the local currency opened lower against the greenback but improved thereafter due to the steady performance on the equity market following a jump in crude oil prices.

However, the US dollar continued to strengthen against other currencies, bolstered by the surge in oil prices and a modest recovery in US Treasury yields.

At close, the ringgit was traded higher against other major currencies except the Singapore dollar.

It improved versus the British pound to 5.6159/6228 from 5.6172/6228 on Tuesday, was better against the euro at 4.7232/7304 from 4.7378/7435 and rose against the Japanese yen to 3.8059/8113 from 3.8205/8250 on Tuesday.

The local unit fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0849/0893 from 3.0818/0857, previously. — Bernama

Ringgit ends lower on dollar surge

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — The ringgit closed marginally lower against the US dollar today as the greenback continued to surge against other major currencies, a dealer said. At 6 pm, the local note was quoted at 4.3460/3510 against the greenback…

Lloyds Bank says Britain to make at least £500m from bailout

EDIBNURGH, May 11 — The British government will make at least a £500 million pound (RM2.8 billion) profit from its bailout of Lloyds Banking Group, the lender’s chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said today. The government’s stake in…

Bursa closes firmer on buying momentum

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Bursa Malaysia closed firmer on the back of a strong buying momentum in most heavyweights and in line with an upbeat performance in the regional stock markets following improved oil prices, dealers said.  At 5 pm, the…

Bursa Malaysia closes firmer

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia closed firmer on the back of a strong buying momentum in most heavyweights and in line with an upbeat performance in the regional stock markets following improved oil prices, dealers said.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 8.83 points higher at 1,775.39 after fluctuating between 1,774.59 and 1,780.49 throughout the day.

The index opened 9.73 points higher at 1,776.29 from Tuesday's close of 1,766.56. Market breadth was positive with gainers outpacing decliners 560 to 376, while 404 counters were unchanged, 410 untraded and 19 others suspended.

Volume widened to 3.55 billion units valued at RM3.47 billion from 3.23 billion units worth RM2.74 billion on Tuesday.

The local bourse was closed on Wednesday for the Wesak Day celebration.

PChem was the largest contributor to the gain in the composite index, accounting for 2.175 points. The stock gained 16 sen to RM7.32 with 10.85 million shares transacted.

Brent crude increased 1.21% and was traded at US$50.83 per barrel at press time.

Of the top gainers, BAT rose 98 sen to RM46.00 and AEON Credit improved 64 sen to RM18.06. Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd Research Head, Edmund Tham, said the improved sentiment was also lifted by the favourable external news such as the recent winning of centrist Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election and the solid economic data in the United States.

“On the home front, I reckon Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's visit to China would be positive especially for technology industry players as he will also be witnessing first hand the success of the Alibaba group in Hangzhou,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia in a statement today announced that Yen Global Bhd (stock short name Yen) had been changed to G3 Global Bhd with the stock short name G3.

“The company's shares will be traded and quoted under the new name with effect from 9 am on May 16, 2017.

“The company's stock number remain unchanged,” it said.

Among heavyweights, Maybank fell five sen to RM9.31, TNB and Sime Darby each increased two sen to RM13.92 and RM9.33, respectively, while Public Bank eased two sen to RM19.96.

Of actives, Netx was flat at 9.5 sen, AirAsia X added half-a-sen to 50.5 sen, while Glotec lost half-a-sen to 6.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index added 73.52 points to 12,718.89, the FBMT 100 Index increased 71.32 points to 12,349.11 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 78.49 points higher at 13,073.99.

The FBM 70 soared 125.63 points to 15,337.87 and the FBM Ace rose 15.48 points to 6,338.96. Sector-wise, the Finance Index climbed 58.17 points to 16,374.90, the Plantation Index improved 25.19 points to 8,095.11 and the Industrial Index was 35.57 points firmer at 3,269.08.

Main Market turnover expanded to 2.26 billion units worth RM3.29 billion from 2.11 billion units worth RM2.57 registered on Tuesday. Volume on the ACE Market improved to 998.33 million units valued at RM147.10 million from 841.98 million units worth RM137.50 million.

Warrants advanced to 280.38 million valued at RM38.91 million from 268.83 million worth RM33.65 million on Tuesday.

Consumer products accounted for 221.39 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (587.24 million), construction (177.44 million), trade and services (703 million), technology (127.09 million), infrastructure (17.01 million), SPAC (899,800), finance (90.70 million), hotels (784,300), properties (298.21 million), plantations (28.36 million), mining (42,100), REITs (8.96 million), and closed/fund (226,000).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM164.98 per gramme, down 45 sen from RM165.43 at 5pm tuesday. — Bernama

London stocks, pound fall before Bank of England update

LONDON, May 11 — London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped today as investors awaited fresh growth and inflation forecasts from a Bank of England expected to announce that it is holding interest rates at a record low 0.25 per cent. The pound…

Siemens to slash 1,700 German jobs in efficiency drive

FRANKFURT, May 11 — German industrial conglomerate Siemens today said it would slash 1,700 jobs in Germany in the coming years as part of a restructuring and efficiency drive. The sprawling engineering giant also said that it would transfer a…