July, 2017


Wall Street opens higher, Dow rises to record high

NEW YORK, July 31 — US stock indexes opened higher today, with the Dow hitting a record high, as investors remained optimistic on corporate earnings in the second quarter. Investors have been counting on earnings to support the relatively high…

Discovery buys Scripps for US$11.9b, creating cable giant

NEW YORK, July 31 — Discovery Communications Inc agreed to buy Scripps Networks Interactive Inc for US$11.9 billion (RM50.9 billion) in a bet that uniting ownership of cable channels like Animal Planet and HGTV will help the company adapt to the…

Teh to step down as Public Bank chairman on Jan 1, 2019

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow (pix) plans to relinquish his position as non-executive chairman Public Bank Bhd (PBB) on Jan 1, 2019.

In a statement yesterday, the bank said Teh will be bestowed the title of chairman emeritus on Jan 1, 2019 and appointed adviser. He will provide guidance to support the continued growth of PBB and the PBB Group. It is unclear whether he will remain on the board of directors.

Teh founded PBB on Dec 30, 1965 and has been with the group for 51 years. He will retire as chairman of Public Islamic Bank Bhd (PIBB) and Public Investment Bank Bhd (PIVB) on Jan 1, 2018 and stay on as non-executive director.

Teh is currently the non-executive chairman of PIBB and PIVB, two wholly owned subsidiaries of PBB.

“The smooth transitions of the succession of the chairmanship of PBB, PIBB and PIVB are in place. The details relating to the appointment of the new chairman of PBB will be announced at an appropriate time,” said PBB.

PBB’s shares fell 1.27% to close at RM20.28 yesterday with a total of 11.48 million traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM79.55 billion.

Auditor qualifies Iris’ FY17 accounts on lack of info on subsidiaries

PETALING JAYA: Iris Corp Bhd’s external auditor Messrs Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng has expressed a qualified opinion on the company’s financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2017 (FY17) on lack of information on subsidiaries.

In the independent auditors’ report dated July 31, 2017, it said it was unable to perform appropriate audit procedures to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence that it considers necessary for the company’s subsidiaries during its audit.

“Therefore, we could not determine whether any adjustments were necessary in respect of the unaudited management accounts of the subsidiaries and the effects, if any, on the financial position of the group as at March 31, 2017 or on its financial performance and cash flows for the financial year then ended,” it said.

These include the impairment loss of property plant and equipment of RM50.98 million and the impaired goodwill of RM17.15 million in respect of the Koto Industrial Building Systems and education segments.

The auditors said that the audited financial statements of the group have been consolidated using the unaudited management accounts of the subsidiaries for FY17, as the audited financial statements and auditors’ report of the subsidiaries were not available.

Key audit matters highlighted by the auditors are the group’s ability to continue as a going concern, the arrest of Iris’ deputy managing director and investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, trade receivables amounting to RM215.61 million after recognising impairment loss of RM94.43 million in FY17 and goodwill amounting to RM128.27 million.

The auditor also highlighted the group’s divestment of non-core activities in FY17 which saw the group recognising impairment losses of RM14.56 million for other investments and RM63.19 million for other receivables, deposits and prepayments in relation to the potential foreign property development investments.

The group’s inventories amounting to RM72.48 million were also highlighted. The auditors said the group’s inventories are measured at the lower of cost or net realisable value and judgement is required in estimating their net realisable values and identifying slow-moving inventories.

Iris’ share price closed unchanged yesterday at 17 sen with a total of 7.94 million shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM420.22 million.

SC reprimands China’s Telent Outdoor, bans two of its directors for life

PETALING JAYA: Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has reprimanded Telent Outdoor (Hong Kong) Technology Co Ltd and imposed a lifetime ban on two of its directors for submitting false information in an application for listing submitted in 2014.

In a statement yesterday, SC said the two directors are Hui Tang Tat and his father Hui Chi Keung, the executive director and the managing director of the China-based sports equipment company respectively.

A draft prospectus on the company was published on the SC’s website in December 2014. Details of the misleading information were not provided.

The two are permanently banned from being a promoter and being involved in any submission for corporate proposals to the SC, where they would emerge as a major shareholder of a listed company in Malaysia. The life ban is the first of such action the SC has taken against a person who breached securities laws here. The two individuals are from Hong Kong.

The SC commended the actions of the independent directors of Telent for the unwavering discharge of their duties and responsibilities.

“The independent directors provided independent oversight on the investigations carried out by the advisers and also fully cooperated with SC. Their proactive actions are in line with what is expected of independent directors,” it said.

Asia Brands’ auditors say losses and net current liabilities hurt ‘going concern’ status

PETALING JAYA : Asia Brands Bhd's external auditors Messrs. UHY, have expressed concern over the company's ability to continue as a going concern due to losses and net current liabilities the group and company posted for the financial year ended March 31, 2017.

The group and company incurred a net loss of RM58.5 million and RM32.9 million respectively during the financial year ended March 31, 2017 and net current liabilities of RM47.3 million and RM26.3 million for the group and company, respectively.

“The group had a net current liabilities due to the reclassification of Islamic Medium Term Notes (IMTN) to current liability as a results of non-compliance with financial covenants as required in IMTN. The non-compliance of financial covenants as required is mainly due to losses incurred. These conditions indicate that there is a material uncertainty on the group's and the company's ability to continue as a going concern,” the auditors said. They have an unqualified opinion of the financial statements.

The group's board said Asia Brands has started showing positive results and generating positive cash flow as a result of streamlining our business by disposing off loss making divisions and re-channelling management time and energy to turnaround the remaining two divisions.

It has also put in place initiatives to temporary lease 'pop-up' stores in order to take advantage of retail oversupply and availability of space in shopping malls.

The stock was untraded.

China central bank to ensure smooth, orderly deleveraging, says assistant governor

BEIJING, July 31 — China’s central bank will continue to force financial institutions to cut debt but ensure the process is smooth and orderly to limit its impact on market liquidity, an assistant central bank governor said in remarks…

Texchem Q2 losses almost double on Tim Ho Wan closure

PETALING JAYA: Texchem Resources Bhd, which saw its losses almost double in the second quarter, said the RM5.3 million closure costs from the Dim Sum Delight Sdn Bhd business, the operator of Tim Ho Wan restaurants in Malaysia, were provided for in the second quarter of 2017.

“As Dim Sum Delight is a 51% subsidiary of the company, the impact to profit after tax and non-controlling interests is RM2.7 million. There is no impact on the share capital and substantial shareholders' shareholdings, earnings and earnings per share and net assets and gearing for the group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017,” Texchem said in a stock exchange filing.

It added that the closure of Dim Sum Delight and the subsequent appointment of interim liquidator do not have operational impact on the group.

Early this month, Dim Sum Delight ceased operations of its two restaurants in Malaysia to minimise losses. It had incurred losses for the year of RM895,642 amid the soft and competitive retail market.

For the second quarter ended June 30, 2017, Texchem saw its net loss widen to RM6.11 million from a net loss of RM3.52 million a year ago, mainly due to its restaurant division.

Its revenue rose 9% to RM270.93 million compared with RM248.47 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

For the six month period, Texchem's net loss also widened to RM6.69 million from a net loss of RM5.73 million a year ago, while it posted a revenue of RM541.91 million compared with a negative revenue of RM505.30 million in the previous year.

Texchem closed unchanged at RM1.29, with 6,900 shares traded.

Palette aborts plan to acquire majority stake in Genopharma

PETALING JAYA: Palette Multimedia Bhd, which recorded a net profit of RM512 million for the fourth quarter ended June 30, has aborted its plans to acquire 51% equity interest in Genopharma Sdn Bhd (GSB).

The company's board of directors said in a filing with the stock exchange, it has decided to not proceed with the proposed acquisition as the current financial performance of GSB is below expectation.

Palette announced on November 24, 2016 it had entered into a term sheet with Liu Zhen and Tan Yi Wen to acquire the equity interest for RM1.53 million.

It's revenue for the quarter under review stood at RM4.19 million.

The company which is predominantly involved in designing, developing and marketing of information technology related products's recorded a net loss of RM954,000 for the current financial year.

Its cumulative revenue on the other hand stood at RM5.71million.

Its shares were up 15.38% to close at 7.5 sen with some 1.22 million shares changing hands.

Germany open to class action lawsuits in emissions scandal

BERLIN, July 31 — Germany is open in principle to class action lawsuits against carmakers engulfed in the diesel emissions cheating scandal, the Transport Ministry said today ahead of a diesel summit this week. Representatives of the federal…