Friday, July 7th, 2017

 

[Hot] Buffett bets big on energy with US$9b Oncor buy

NEW YORK, July 7 — Warren Buffett’s move to spend US$9 billion on his largest energy sector acquisition reflects his long-standing drive to diversify his Berkshire Hathaway Inc and deepens his commitment to electricity as a means to boost…


Eurozone approves Greek €8.5b bailout payment

BRUSSELS, July 7 — The eurozone approved the latest €8.5 billion-bailout disbursement to Greece today, just in time for Athens to meet major debt repayments and avert default. “The Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism…


Wall Street higher after strong US jobs report

NEW YORK, July 7 — Wall Street was higher today after the US economy created far more jobs than expected in June, underscoring labour market strength that could make the case for a third interest rate hike this year despite benign inflation….


US jobs report keeps stock markets on edge

LONDON, July 7 — World stock traders were scratching their heads over an inconclusive US jobs report today as they pored over conflicting clues to future interest rate moves, resulting in little market direction. While the US economy generated…


US job creation surges in June, unemployment ticks up

WASHINGTON, July 7 — US job creation rebounded in June while the unemployment rate ticked higher as more people entered the work force in search of jobs, the Labor Department reported today. The US economic engine created another 222,000 jobs…


Tencent to launch mega-hit game in US, EU amid regulatory chill in China

BEIJING, July 7 — Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd will launch its mega-hit smartphone game “Honour of Kings” in the EU and United States this year, a person familiar with the plans said, amid a backlash in China over its addictive…


Only World Group plans to raise RM36.92 mil through private placement

PETALING JAYA: Only World Group Holdings Bhd (OWG) is looking to raise up to RM36.92 million by undertaking a private placement exercise, which will see the issuance of new shares equivalent up to 10% of its share capital.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said the exercise entails the issuance of some 24.29 million shares at an indicative issue price of RM1.52 per share for placement to third party investors.

Approximately RM25 million or 67.7% of the proceeds will be deployed for business expansion over the course of two years, which entails the setting up of at least three new food service outlets and four new family attractions in Resort World Genting, Genting Highlands.

OWG will be channeling 30.11% of the proceeds amounting to RM11.12 million into working capital, while the remaining RM800,000 will be used to foot expenses arising from the placement exercise.

The exercise, which is expected to be conducted in one or more tranches within a period of six months, is slated for completion by the third quarter of 2017.

OWG shares remained unchanged at RM1.70 on Friday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM412.9 million.


AirAsia board approves purchase of 14 A320ceo aircraft

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Bhd has obtained approval from its board of directors for the purchase of 14 Airbus A320ceo aircraft at an undisclosed sum to meet higher than expected near-term growth.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the airline said that the purchase agreement with Airbus S.A.S. has also been signed. The purchase of the aircraft was announced last month.

In a separate filing, AirAsia said 43.93% of the issued and paid-up share capital of its 3.34 billion ordinary shares (excluding 100,000 treasury shares) were held by foreigners as at June 30, 2017.

It said that the percentage of ownership of shares in the company by foreigners has not exceeded the limit of 45% of its total issued and paid-up share capital.

AirAsia shares closed unchanged at RM3.15 on Friday, with some 4.09 million shares traded. It has a market capitalisation of RM10.5 billion.

Ends…


Genting Malaysia works with US tribe to recover RM1.49 billion notes

PETALING JAYA: Genting Malaysia Bhd (GENM), which had subscribed to the promissory notes issued by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in the US last year for a gaming resort development in the US, said it will work with the tribe to review all options available for its investment in the promissory notes.

The total amount invested in the interest bearing promissory notes (including accrued interest) as at June 30, 2017 amounts to US$347.4 million (RM1.49 billion).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Genting said it is supportive of the tribe's endeavour to protect its land base and their associated development rights and will work with the tribe to assess the recoverability of the promissory notes and impact to the group's consolidated earnings and net assets for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017.

The group had earlier disclosed in its 2016 annual report that the recoverability of the promissory notes is dependent on the resolution of the legal case that the tribe is currently embroiled in.

To recap, the group announced on April 1, 2016 its subscription to the promissory notes issued by the tribe to finance the pre-development expenses of an integrated gaming resort in Taunton, Massachusetts in the US. The 900-room resort casino is to be opened in phases.

Although GENM Group does not have any equity interest in the project or the tribe, which is sovereign, the investment in notes allows the group to enhance the returns expected from its involvement in the Project.

Prior to that, in September 2015, the US Department of Interior (DOI) had issued a record of decision (ROD) to take the tribe's aboriginal lands in Taunton and Mashpee into trust for the tribe, enabling them to pursue the development of the resort on its initial trust land in Taunton.

However, in February 2016, a group of local Taunton residents took legal action against the DOI for issuing a ROD to hold the tribe's reservation lands in trust. A judge of the US District Court in Massachusetts subsequently ruled against the DOI in July 2016 but allowed the tribe's land to remain in trust while the DOI and the tribe decide how to move forward.

The tribe chose to appeal the case to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, where it remains pending today.

“Given that the lawsuit remains pending and further rulings are expected to be made, construction of the integrated gaming resort has been put on hold pending further court developments and/or actions by the DOI or other relevant governmental authorities that will enable the tribe to ultimately proceed with the integrated gaming resort project,” said GENM.

In December 2016, at the request of the tribe, the DOI initiated a review process to determine whether it would continue to hold the tribe's lands in trust under a different legal category, join the tribe in its appeal of the US District Court's adverse ruling or take the tribe's lands out of trust.

The DOI eventually decided in April 2017 to continue evaluating its ability to keep the lands in trust under a different legal category.

Last month, the tribe said it requested a suspension of the DOI's review of its submissions, to preserve the tribe's rights to seek further review and consultation at a later date and investigate all options available to secure the tribe's land base.

However, the request to suspend the review process was declined by the DOI, who decided to extend and expand its review process by requesting further materials on whether the tribe's history supports its rights to trust land.

The tribe and the local Taunton residents are required to submit materials to facilitate the additional analysis by Aug 31, 2017 and reply to the opposing submissions by Oct 30, 2017. The tribe's lands remain in trust unless ordered by a court to take it out of trust.

GENM shares fell 1.74% to close at RM5.66 last Friday, with a total of 2.39 million shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM32.08 billion.


Sunzen to diversify into Chinese medicines manufacturing biz

PETALING JAYA: Sunzen Biotech Bhd has proposed to acquire a 70% stake in Ecolite Biotech Manufacturing Sdn Bhd for RM12.05 milllion, in line with its plans to diversify into manufacturing and trading of Chinese medicines business.

The purchase is to be satisfied through an issuance of more than 37.65 million shares priced at 32 sen per share.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Sunzen said it had entered into a share sale agreement with Chum Mun Cuan and Lim Poh Chuw for the acquisition.

Currently, Sunzen is involved in biotechnology research and development manufacturing and marketing of animal feed supplements and animal health care products.

Meanwhile, Ecolite is involved in the manufacturing and sales of herbal drinks, food stuffs and related health products. It is one of 16 companies in Malaysia approved by the Chinese authorities to export clean edible bird's nests into China.

Sunzen said the acquisition provides the group with an opportunity to diversify its earnings base and to reduce its reliance on
its existing core business.

The group believes it has the capacity, capabilities and resources to diversify into this new business after taking into consideration the track record, competencies and experiences of the existing management team of the Ecolite Group.

Sunzen's may proportionately diluted as a result of the increase in the number of shares after the proposed acquisition.

The stock closed 1.5 sen higher at 34.5 sen on Friday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM166.22 million.