Monday, July 24th, 2017


Wall Street opens flat as tech earnings awaited

NEW YORK, July 24 — US stock indexes opened little changed today, ahead of Google parent Alphabet’s earnings report and a two-day Federal Reserve meeting, which kicks off tomorrow. Analysts have raised their expectations for S&P 500 earnings…

IMF upgrades outlook for Malaysian economy

KUALA LUMPUR: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its forecast on Malaysia’s economic growth to 4.8% for 2017 based on favourable economic data so far this year.

“We have upgraded Malaysia’s growth outlook to 4.8% for this year. We see a successful effort to increase the sustainability of debt which is on a downward path and a very steady hand in monetary policy for Malaysia. There are upside risks to this forecast so we are optimistic here in Malaysia,” said IMF chief economist Dr Maurice Obstfeld.

Speaking at a press conference on the World Economic Outlook Update yesterday, he said Malaysia’s growth forecast for 2018 has also been revised upward to “close to 5%”. IMF’s initial forecast for Malaysia’s economic growth was 4.5% and 4.7% for 2017 and 2018 respectively.

On international trade and the issue of protectionism, he said it is not a recent problem as an upsurge in barriers and protectionism measures across many, if not all the G20 countries has happened since the global financial crisis.

Although the coverage of those measures is still not that high, he said it has not been a major drag on world trade, which the IMF thinks is due to slow growth and investment seen over the last period since the global financial crisis.

“What will happen in the future, we don’t know. There has, of course, been rhetoric from several corners but we haven’t seen a lot of action with the major exception of the US withdrawing out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which for a number of countries in this region and also for countries like Indonesia which might have hoped to join later, is a big setback in my opinion,” he added.

Obstfeld said with investment picking up, IMF expects to see more trade globally and also inter-regionally.

“In this particular region, TPP would have been a major stimulus to trade in the region but it is not going to happen. But there are other initiatives out there that might go further in promoting trade in the region. We always prefer more multilateral solutions and bigger deals because with regional agreements there is always the danger of trade diversion, overwhelming trade creation,” he added.

He said initiatives to lower barriers are welcomed but cautioned against discriminatory initiatives.

IMF maintained its global growth projections at 3.5% and 3.6% for 2017 and 2018 respectively. For Asean-5 countries namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, the growth projection was up 0.1 point to 5.1% for 2017 and unchanged at 5.2% for 2018.

On issues that could derail its projected growth rate for 2017, Obstfeld said problems in the area of trade policy are definitely a risk.

“We identified high valuations in asset markets, the possibility of a correction. We identified the risk of a sudden financial tightening which might particularly have an adverse effect on emerging markets but might also impinge on highly indebted corporates and sovereigns elsewhere in the world,” he said.

Bursa reprimands Eksons over errors in accounts for quarter ended Dec 31 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd (Bursa Securities) has publicly reprimanded Eksons Corp Bhd for errors and amendments revealed for its third quarter ended Dec 31, 2014 (Q3’14) accounts, almost four months after it was first published.

The company announced its financial statements on Feb 26, 2015, however on May 28, 2015 a further announcement was made citing errors and amendments for the accounts ended Dec 31, 2014.

Paragraph 9.16(1)(a) of the Main LR states that a listed issuer must ensure that each announcement made is factual, clear, unambiguous, accurate, succinct and contains sufficient information to enable investors to make informed investment decisions.

“The public reprimand was imposed according to Paragraph 16.19(1) of the Main LR after taking into consideration all facts and circumstances of the matter including the materiality of the breach and upon completion of due process,” Bursa Securities said.

Eksons is also required to review and ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of its financial reporting function and carry out a limited review on its quarterly report submissions. The limited review must be performed by the company’s external auditors for four quarterly reports commencing no later from the quarterly report for the financial period ended Sept 30, 2017.

In addition, Eksons must ensure all its directors and relevant personnel attend a training programme pertaining to financial statements.

The board of directors of Eksons at the material time were Tan Sri Amar (Dr) Haji Abdul Aziz Husain, Tay Hua Sin, Sui Uh Hing, Tang Seng Fatt, Dr Lai Mei Ling and Datuk Philip Chan Hon Keong.

“Bursa Securities views the contravention seriously as the timely and accurate submission of financial statements to enable investors to make informed investment decisions is one of the fundamental obligations of companies listed on the official list of Bursa Securities.”

Eksons closed 1.04% lower yesterday at 95.5 sen with 141,000 shares traded.

MIGHT to study impact of disruptive technology

CYBERJAYA: The Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) is collaborating with several industry stakeholders to run a pioneer project on disruptive technology.

MIGHT CEO Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, said the collaboration involved a study to assess the level of disruption of new technologies on the industry and the community, in line with the government’s effort in exploring the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

“The Industry 4.0’s sphere is too wide, involving artificial intelligence, genomics, Internet of Things (IoT) and many other technology which can be categorised as disruptive industry, but bodes a promising outlook for the industry,” he told reporters yesterday.

Also present was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Mohd Yusoff said just like how Uber and Grab had changed the landscape of taxi service today, a study on IoT was also being conducted to forecast technological changes.

“We will also see how IoT can affect people’s daily transactions in terms of financial or non-financial transactions,” he said.

He said MIGHT, an agency under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department, was also in the midst of discussion with the government on the policies and laws which should be customised according to technological developments.

“We should also create a group of youngsters with technological skills to introduce new products and services to the community, thus transforming ‘disruptive technology’ to ‘assisting technology’,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nancy said, the second reading for the Land Public Transport (Amendment) Act, which aimed to regulate Uber and Grab services using the e-hailing application, would be presented at the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow. – Bernama

Rohas Technic to buy 75% in EPCC player HG Power for RM91.66m

PETALING JAYA : Loss making Rohas Technic Bhd plans to buy a 75% stake in HG Power Transmission Sdn Bhd for RM91.66 million in cash and shares, to expand its existing business in the power and telecommunication industries.

It plans to issue new shares in the group at 95 sen a piece. The RM22.5 million cash portion will be funded internally. Rohas Technic's share price closed unchanged at RM1.15, with some 209,200 shares changing hands.

The deal will see the entry of vendors, PT Safe Tower Systems Sdn Bhd (PTSTS) and and Kemuncak Agresif (M) Sdn Bhd, as substantial shareholders in Rohas Technic with a 15.4% interest. It will hold the most shares after prominent businessman Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah, should the deal go through.

HG Power is a Malaysia- based engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning company which has been involved in the construction of more than 4,700 kilometres of transmission lines in Malaysia and overseas, with design capability for transmission lines of up to 500 kilo volts and substations of up to 275 kilo volts.

It has been profitable in the last three financial years and for FYE 31 Dec 2016, recorded a revenue of RM211 million and a profit after tax of RM10.2 million. Rohas Technic in the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 registered a net loss of RM20.3 million on revenue of RM53.25 million.

Foreign net buying below RM100m mark last week

PETALING JAYA: Foreign investors bought RM76.3 million net of Malaysian equities last week, marking the first time the weekly inflow fell below the RM100 million level this year, said MIDF Research.

In its fund flow report yesterday, it said the RM76.3 million net purchased makes up a quarter of the inflow in the week before, based on preliminary data by Bursa in the open market and excluded off-market deals.

The amount is also the lowest recorded for the year so far. However, it noted that international investors continued to pump liquidity into stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia although it was a challenging week for emerging markets due to the build-up of political uncertainty in the US.

“Net foreign purchases were recorded in three out of five trading days. Net buying intensity was generally low and did not exceed RM150 million. We note that foreign buying peaked on Monday at RM110 million net amid bolstering optimism in Asia coming from China’s positive gross domestic product data,” it said.

Despite the tapering of foreign purchases last week, the cumulative year-to-date inflow remained above the RM10 billion mark at RM10.35 billion (about US$2.35 billion), the highest among Southeast Asian markets.

Foreign participation rate was rather sluggish, as the average daily trade value (ADTV) fell by 17% for the week, from RM893 million to RM739 million, below RM1 billion for the third week.

After four lacklustre weeks, retail participation rate inched higher to a moderate level, as ADTV increased by 17%, above the RM700 million level to RM778.4 million from RM665.4 million.

IMF raises Malaysia’s growth forecast to 4.8%

(File pix) IMF Economic Counsellor and director of Research Department Dr Maurice Obstfeld said the upward revision is based on the country’s steady hand in its monetary policy. KUALA LUMPUR: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today revised Malaysia’s 2017 growth forecast to 4.8 per cent, up from the 4.5 per cent it announced in May. IMF Economic Counsellor and director of Research Department Dr Maurice Obstfeld said the upward revision is based on the country’s steady hand in its monetary policy. “We have upgraded Malaysia’s growth outlook for 2017 asRead More

Ryanair says makes ‘non-binding’ offer for Alitalia

LONDON, July 24 — Ryanair has made a “non-binding offer” for its loss-making Italian rival Alitalia, the Irish no-frills carrier said today. “We have made a non-binding offer for Alitalia. As the largest airline in Italy, it’s…

Ringgit ends higher on weaker dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — The ringgit ended higher against the US dollar today as the greenback was weighed down by the soft US Treasury yields, political uncertainties and weak data, dealers said. At 6pm, the local unit stood at 4.2760/2800…

Helpr announces Malaysia’s first gifting marketplace

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — Helpr, one of Malaysia’s first on-demand concierge service, has launched Giftr, the first local gifting marketplace. Helpr also announced a fresh round of funding from SEGNEL Ventures, an investment firm based in…