Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

 

Trump touts ‘very big’ trade deal with Britain

WASHINGTON, July 25 — US President Donald Trump touted the prospects of a “very big” trade deal with Britain today as the minister tasked with clinching accords for the post-Brexit era met officials in Washington. “Working on major Trade…


US consumer sentiment recovers in July

WASHINGTON, July 25 — US consumer sentiment recovered to near record levels in July after falling for two months in a row, according to a monthly survey released today. Consumers reported rosier outlooks for the present and in the months…


McDonald’s, Caterpillar power S&P to record high

NEW YORK, July 25 — A set of strong earnings from companies, including Caterpillar and McDonald’s, lifted the Dow and drove the S&P 500 to a record high, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq was dragged lower by losses in Google parent Alphabet Inc….


MCCM to focus on digital economy to empower Malay entrepreneurs

MELAKA, July 25 — The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM) will be focusing on the development of the digital economy industry in its effort to empower the Malay entrepreneur’s economy in the nation. President Rizal Faris Mohideen Abdul…


All GLCs to have Integrity and Governance Unit

KUALA LUMPUR: An Integrity and Governance Unit will be established at all government-linked companies (GLCs) as well as state and ministry-owned business entities in order to boost confidence in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

“The government has, in principle, agreed to the establishment of an Integrity and Governance Unit at all GLCs, and state and ministry-owned business entities, under the supervision of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), precisely to strengthen the confidence all can, should, and do have in Malaysia,” he said in his keynote address at Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 2017 yesterday.

Najib said the markets, business community and companies like strength and stability, and seek certainty provided by a government that is business-friendly.

“The business community wants the certainty of knowing that the government is committed to the necessary reforms and is committed to fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and to transparency, accountability and good regulation,” he added.

He said the confidence and certainty that global businesses have in Malaysia will bring jobs, lift wages and help the workforce upskill.

“Under this government, we are cracking down on crony capitalism. No more sweetheart deals. No more national follies kept going to stroke the ego of one man. No more treating national companies as though they were personal property,” Najib said.

Conglomerates that have appeared in the news for being involved in integrity and governance issues include Sime Darby Bhd, whose former CEO Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid was arrested by MACC for alleged criminal breach of trust and more recently, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd whose CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad is being investigated for alleged discrepancies.

MACC currently has a Corruption-Free Pledge and participation is voluntary. – by Eva Yeong


Govt may study having single authority for affordable housing

KUALA LUMPUR: The government may look into having a single authority to oversee the property market in the near future, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

He said every where people are talking about affordable house, but the definition of affordable housing from one developer to another, tends to differ greatly.

“All this happens because there’s no single authority to supervise. This is something that the government may look into in the near future to see how we can consolidate. Otherwise, the private sector will build their affordable house, while the government companies like 1Malaysia People’s’ Housing (PR1MA), Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB), UDA Holdings Bhd, 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Project (PPA1M) (will build theirs). There are so many companies building affordable house, so much so that some of these houses are not built at the right location where people need a house, and you will have a mismatch,” he said at a plenary session, “Spotlight on Malaysia’s Fundamentals” at Invest Malaysia 2017 here yesterday.

He said more and more people are thinking about affordable house at the range of RM300,000 but according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s survey, the real affordable house is in the region of RM200,000 and below, as that is the level where a first time buyer will be able to get 90% or 100% financing. Nevertheless the supply is not there and most of the supply in the market is RM300,000 and above.

“You talk to the the private sector, the affordable house is RM500,000 and you have an issue of oversupply of property. Today, if you look at all the high-end properties in Kuala Lumpur at night, only 10% of the total units is lighted (occupied). The rest in non-productive. You can’t even get tenants. This is unproductive investments of our money in our economy. It’s something that we need to address,” stressed Johari.

He also urged support for BNM’s ideas to relook on this matter and engage all financial institutions to see which segment should enjoy more flexibility and which segment should be tightened.


Crisis-hit investee companies – how top institutional investors handle the situation

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s top institutional investors shared views on their approach to managing crisis plagued investee companies, citing its mandate and its holdings in the company, in the manner in which they choose to approach the issue.

Asked on the recent issue of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) and whether an institutional investor’s decision to stay in FGV could have prevented the crisis, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) CEO Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad said every investor will look at the situation differently.

“We’re advised to look at it objectively. Ultimately the decision to increase (stake) or stay (in the company) depends on a collective decision. We prefer to stay because ultimately we still think there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It is a GLC. There’s a lot of support from the government because this is something that will affect shareholders and stakeholders,” he said at a plenary session titled : Plans to Raise Returns for Shareholders at the Invest Malaysia 2017” here yesterday.

Other panelists included Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, Permodalan Nasional Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad and Khazanah Nasional Bhd Executive Director Investments and Head of Strategy Ahmad Zulqarnain.

“KWAP always remain as a portfolio investor and we don’t take any controlling interest in any investee companies. We cap ourselves at 20% max. We don’t get involved in the day-to-day running of the company, we don’t even have board directorship,” said Wan Kamaruzaman, adding that in terms of investments, most of time institutional investors stay invested in investee companies due to liquidity and circumstances.

Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said EPF is a long-term investor, but ultimately it is a portfolio investor. He said the reality is that there is a limit in what an institutional shareholder can do if it does not have direct control over the management of a firm.

“Given the size of EPF and our stakes in so many companies, it’s difficult to try and spend so many management bandwidth changing companies when they refuse to change,” Shahril said.

Citing the example of the former Malaysia Airlines, he said it was difficult to turn around the national carrier and at some point, EPF decided to cut its losses and put the money to better use elsewhere.

“We take some losses on some investments but we can reap quite a capital to make some money back. That’s the hard decision you have to take on some mistakes. Sometimes it’s a liquidity issue and you can’t get out (of the company) quickly enough, especially in Malaysia where the (institutional) funds tend to hold fairly concentrated stakes in companies and sometimes it’s impossible to get out fast enough,” said Shahril.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the reason an institutional investor does not persevere in such circumstances is linked to whether it can effect change.

“Malaysia is unique because there are not many companies that are institutionalised. For most companies, there is an onus somewhere. For institutional investors, we’ve to make a choice or judgement whether we can influence the controlling shareholders or management. If we don’t think we’re able to do so, I think it’s only fair for us to exit (the company). Where we do have control, you’ve seen that we persevere to actually try to create value in them,” he said.


Top institutional investors tell of their approach to ‘crisis’ companies

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s top institutional investors shared views on their approach to managing crisis plagued investee companies, citing its mandate and its holdings in the company, in the manner in which they choose to approach the issue.

Asked on the recent issue of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) and whether an institutional investor’s decision to stay in FGV could have prevented the crisis, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) CEO Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad said every investor will look at the situation differently.

“We’re advised to look at it objectively. Ultimately the decision to increase (stake) or stay (in the company) depends on a collective decision. We prefer to stay because ultimately we still think there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It is a GLC. There’s a lot of support from the government because this is something that will affect shareholders and stakeholders,” he said at a plenary session titled : Plans to Raise Returns for Shareholders at the Invest Malaysia 2017” here yesterday.

Other panelists included Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, Permodalan Nasional Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad and Khazanah Nasional Bhd Executive Director Investments and Head of Strategy Ahmad Zulqarnain.

“KWAP always remain as a portfolio investor and we don’t take any controlling interest in any investee companies. We cap ourselves at 20% max. We don’t get involved in the day-to-day running of the company, we don’t even have board directorship,” said Wan Kamaruzaman, adding that in terms of investments, most of time institutional investors stay invested in investee companies due to liquidity and circumstances.

Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said EPF is a long-term investor, but ultimately it is a portfolio investor. He said the reality is that there is a limit in what an institutional shareholder can do if it does not have direct control over the management of a firm.

“Given the size of EPF and our stakes in so many companies, it’s difficult to try and spend so many management bandwidth changing companies when they refuse to change,” Shahril said.

Citing the example of the former Malaysia Airlines, he said it was difficult to turn around the national carrier and at some point, EPF decided to cut its losses and put the money to better use elsewhere.

“We take some losses on some investments but we can reap quite a capital to make some money back. That’s the hard decision you have to take on some mistakes. Sometimes it’s a liquidity issue and you can’t get out (of the company) quickly enough, especially in Malaysia where the (institutional) funds tend to hold fairly concentrated stakes in companies and sometimes it’s impossible to get out fast enough,” said Shahril.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the reason an institutional investor does not persevere in such circumstances is linked to whether it can effect change.

“Malaysia is unique because there are not many companies that are institutionalised. For most companies, there is an onus somewhere. For institutional investors, we’ve to make a choice or judgement whether we can influence the controlling shareholders or management. If we don’t think we’re able to do so, I think it’s only fair for us to exit (the company). Where we do have control, you’ve seen that we persevere to actually try to create value in them,” he said.


25/07/2017 21:52:25

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s top institutional investors shared views on their approach to managing crisis plagued investee companies, citing its mandate and its holdings in the company, in the manner in which they choose to approach the issue.
Asked on the recent issue of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) and whether an institutional investor’s decision to stay in FGV could have prevented the crisis, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) CEO Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad said every investor will look at the situation differently.
“We’re advised to look at it objectively. Ultimately the decision to increase (stake) or stay (in the company) depends on a collective decision. We prefer to stay because ultimately we still think there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It is a GLC. There’s a lot of support from the government because this is something that will affect shareholders and stakeholders,” he said at a plenary session titled : Plans to Raise Returns for Shareholders at the Invest Malaysia 2017” here yesterday. Other panelists included Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, Permodalan Nasional Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad and Khazanah Nasional Bhd Executive Director Investments and Head of Strategy Ahmad Zulqarnain.
“KWAP always remain as a portfolio investor and we don’t take any controlling interest in any investee companies. We cap ourselves at 20% max. We don’t get involved in the day-to-day running of the company, we don’t even have board directorship,” said Wan Kamaruzaman, adding that in terms of investments, most of time institutional investors stay invested in investee companies due to liquidity and circumstances.
Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said EPF is a long-term investor, but ultimately it is a portfolio investor. He said the reality is that there is a limit in what an institutional shareholder can do if it does not have direct control over the management of a firm.
“Given the size of EPF and our stakes in so many companies, it’s difficult to try and spend so many management bandwidth changing companies when they refuse to change,” Shahril said.
Citing the example of the former Malaysia Airlines, he said it was difficult to turn around the national carrier and at some point, EPF decided to cut its losses and put the money to better use elsewhere.
“We take some losses on some investments but we can reap quite a capital to make some money back. That’s the hard decision you have to take on some mistakes. Sometimes it’s a liquidity issue and you can’t get out (of the company) quickly enough, especially in Malaysia where the (institutional) funds tend to hold fairly concentrated stakes in companies and sometimes it’s impossible to get out fast enough,” said Shahril.
Permodalan Nasional Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the reason an institutional investor does not persevere in such circumstances is linked to whether it can effect change.
“Malaysia is unique because there are not many companies that are institutionalised. For most companies, there is an onus somewhere. For institutional investors, we’ve to make a choice or judgement whether we can influence the controlling shareholders or management. If we don’t think we’re able to do so, I think it’s only fair for us to exit (the company). Where we do have control, you’ve seen that we persevere to actually try to create value in them,” he said.


Aturmaju aborts private placement on falling share price

PETALING JAYA: Aturmaju Resources Bhd, which saw its share price gain three sen or 10% today, told Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd it is aborting a private placement exercise to raise RM2.4 million, in view of its deteriorating share price.

The counter closed at 32 sen, with some 16,200 shares changing hands.

The money was to have gone to reconstruct its sawmill, which comprises mainly contractor fees and construction material.

The company announced plans for the placement of shares in April, when the share price was trading at around 43.63 sen. It had announced an indicative issue price of 39.5 sen.

The stock has fallen 20% year-to-date. The board of Aturmaju said it will explore alternative methods of fundraising to meet its funding requirement.