Monday, August 21st, 2017

 

[HOT] AMMB & RHB To Announce Possible Merger

merger

KUALA LUMPUR: AMMB Holdings Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd are expected to announce news on their negotiations for a possible merger on Tuesday. This follows their request for trading in their securities to be suspended with effect from 9 am Tuesday. AMMB Holdings group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Tahir has said that both itself and RHB Bank would submit to the authorities on whether or not to proceed with their merger by the end of August or beginning September. Bank Negara had, vide its letter dated June 1, stated that it hadRead More


US stocks flat ahead of Jackson Hole meeting

NEW YORK, Aug 21 — Wall Street stocks were essentially flat early today ahead of this week’s Jackson Hole summit of central bankers and key US housing data. Trading volume was expected to be light for a period that is traditionally a peak…


Nazir issues ‘call to action’ to Asean

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said Asean needs to focus on more substantive real obstacles to intra-Asean capital flows in both debt and equity markets, such as withholding taxes and settlement processes, and not just high-profile and easier initiatives. At the same time, Asean needs to step up its efforts to promote intra-Asean investment, as most Asean investors tend to instinctively look at developed markets for diversification.

“It’s not all about liberalising, but equally about safeguards and inclusion. The Asean Capital Market agenda now is more realistic. The vision is no longer to have deep, liquid and integrated capital market but separate but interconnected, inclusive and resilient ones.

“If we don’t make the Asean economies of scale worth for Asean interest, we will wake up with corporate Asean being conquered by the Amazons and the Alibabas, the Ubers and not the Grabs. That should be Asean’s call to action in all economic aspects, and not least the capital markets,” said Nazir, speaking at a roundtable discussion titled “Deepening Capital Markets in Asean: Opportunities and Challenges” organised by CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI) here yesterday.

The discussions highlighted that allowing issuers to raise affordable capital at scale and providing investors with viable and diverse options to deploy short and long term domestic savings, are a couple of measures that will help Asean unlock US$50-US$100 billion (RM214.5-RM429 billion) in additional financing that can help address critical funding gaps.

This is a prerequisite to address the disparity in maturity of capital markets across the region and promote better Asean capital market integration.

During the roundtable, McKinsey launched a report titled “Deepening Capital Markets in Emerging Economies”, which assessed capital markets in Asia using its Asian Capital Markets Development Index.

The index measured how accommodative each capital market is in allowing issuers to fundraise at scale and creating investment opportunities, as well as pricing efficiency.

The index ranked Singapore’s capital market as the deepest in Asean with a score of 3.4 out of 5, followed by Malaysia at 3.25, Thailand at 2.8, Philippines at 2.25, Indonesia at 2.2 and Vietnam at 1.2.

McKinsey & Company senior partner and Asia-Pacific Banking Practice managing partner Joydeep Sengupta said building capital markets requires policymakers in Asean to diagnose performance at a granular level, design markets for sustainable rather than fast development and implement a nationwide change-management approach.

He said Asean policymakers can consider introducing a series of measures to develop a liquid government debt securities market; promote the development of a deep and broad investor base for the supply of capital through pension funds and insurance companies; build cornerstone institutions such as credit enhancement agencies to be a catalyst for rapid development of priority sectors and offer tax incentives for promoting the development of priority assets like infrastructure, while removing tax policies that hamper development.

On the Asean capital markets' performance benchmarking, he pointed out that there is a lack of avenues to deploy domestic savings and mediocre risk-reward profile, as well as poor pricing efficiency, leading to inferior resource allocation.

“Deepening of capital markets is critical to support economic expansion of Asean from US$2.6 trillion today to US$5.2 trillion by 2025 and meet annual infrastructure investment of US$160 billion,” said Joydeep.


Nazir’s issues ‘call to action’ to Asean

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said Asean needs to focus on more substantive real obstacles to intra-Asean capital flows in both debt and equity markets, such as withholding taxes and settlement processes, and not just high-profile and easier initiatives. At the same time, Asean needs to step up its efforts to promote intra-Asean investment, as most Asean investors tend to instinctively look at developed markets for diversification.

“It’s not all about liberalising, but equally about safeguards and inclusion. The Asean Capital Market agenda now is more realistic. The vision is no longer to have deep, liquid and integrated capital market but separate but interconnected, inclusive and resilient ones.

“If we don’t make the Asean economies of scale worth for Asean interest, we will wake up with corporate Asean being conquered by the Amazons and the Alibabas, the Ubers and not the Grabs. That should be Asean’s call to action in all economic aspects, and not least the capital markets,” said Nazir, speaking at a roundtable discussion titled “Deepening Capital Markets in Asean: Opportunities and Challenges” organised by CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI) here yesterday.

The discussions highlighted that allowing issuers to raise affordable capital at scale and providing investors with viable and diverse options to deploy short and long term domestic savings, are a couple of measures that will help Asean unlock US$50-US$100 billion (RM214.5-RM429 billion) in additional financing that can help address critical funding gaps.

This is a prerequisite to address the disparity in maturity of capital markets across the region and promote better Asean capital market integration.

During the roundtable, McKinsey launched a report titled “Deepening Capital Markets in Emerging Economies”, which assessed capital markets in Asia using its Asian Capital Markets Development Index.

The index measured how accommodative each capital market is in allowing issuers to fundraise at scale and creating investment opportunities, as well as pricing efficiency.

The index ranked Singapore’s capital market as the deepest in Asean with a score of 3.4 out of 5, followed by Malaysia at 3.25, Thailand at 2.8, Philippines at 2.25, Indonesia at 2.2 and Vietnam at 1.2.

McKinsey & Company senior partner and Asia-Pacific Banking Practice managing partner Joydeep Sengupta said building capital markets requires policymakers in Asean to diagnose performance at a granular level, design markets for sustainable rather than fast development and implement a nationwide change-management approach.

He said Asean policymakers can consider introducing a series of measures to develop a liquid government debt securities market; promote the development of a deep and broad investor base for the supply of capital through pension funds and insurance companies; build cornerstone institutions such as credit enhancement agencies to be a catalyst for rapid development of priority sectors and offer tax incentives for promoting the development of priority assets like infrastructure, while removing tax policies that hamper development.

On the Asean capital markets' performance benchmarking, he pointed out that there is a lack of avenues to deploy domestic savings and mediocre risk-reward profile, as well as poor pricing efficiency, leading to inferior resource allocation.

“Deepening of capital markets is critical to support economic expansion of Asean from US$2.6 trillion today to US$5.2 trillion by 2025 and meet annual infrastructure investment of US$160 billion,” said Joydeep.


Scomi Group to absorb energy, engineering units

PETALING JAYA: Scomi Group Bhd (SGB) plans to consolidate Scomi Energy Services Bhd and Scomi Engineering Bhd into the group to create one listed entity, by swapping new shares of SGB for shares of Scomi Energy and Scomi Engineering, a key move to develop new growth areas in renewable and chemicals, it said.

SGB also plans to consolidate every two existing shares into one and have a bonus issue of seven warrants for every 10 consolidated shares.

The deal values Scomi Energy at RM304.46 million, and Scomi Engineering at RM111.14 million.
Trading in the three companies’ shares has been suspended since 2.57pm last Thursday. SGB last traded at 11.5 sen, Scomi Engineering at 32.5 sen, and Scomi Energy at 13 sen. Trading in their shares resumes today. As at press time, no announcement was made to Bursa Malaysia.

In a press release issued late last night, the group said it would be offering three new SGB shares for every five Scomi Energy shares and 10 new SGB shares for every seven Scomi Engineering shares.

One SGB warrant will be issued for every nine new SGB shares issued to Scomi Energy shareholders, and every 10 new shares issued to Scomi Engineering shareholders.
The new group structure will provide shareholders direct access to group’s business going forward, SGB said.

“For Scomi Energy’s and Scomi Engineering’s shareholders, the privatisation provides them the opportunity to realise value of their equity at a premium and participate in future growth of the new group. This will also provide SGB with a broader shareholders base and better shareholders spread,” it said.


Goods, services must be treated together in Brexit talks, says UK

LONDON, Aug 21 — Britain urged the European Union today not to separate goods from their services in Brexit talks, further outlining its negotiating stance to try to nudge discussions forward to a second phase on future relations. In two…


Prudential to move to Tun Razak Exchange by 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Prudential will be relocating its headquarters to a 27-storey building in the upcoming Tun Razak Exchange here, Malaysia’s first dedicated international financial district.

Slated for opening by 2019, the building will house all of Prudential’s life insurance and asset management businesses in Malaysia under one roof.

Master developer TRX City Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Azmar Talib said it now moves even closer towards realising TRX as a truly international financial district, with the confirmed participation of some of the world’s top banks and financial institutions.

The commercial tower, currently under construction, is developed by TRX. The Prudential plot is adjacent to TRX’s main pedestrian gateway from the Bukit Bintang area.

Currently, Prudential’s offices are spread out across Jalan Sultan Ismail and Bukit Bintang. The move will consolidate all its operations in the new building, which will include a walk-in customer service centre.

Prudential has been in Asia for more than 90 years, with Malaysia as its longest established operation in the region.

To date, TRX has signed global property and infrastructure group Lendlease to jointly develop the Lifestyle Quarter; HSBC Malaysia and Affin Bank Bhd for office towers; Indonesia’s leading property developer Mulia International to build Signature Tower; Lembaga Tabung Haji and WCT Bhd for residential plots, and global leader in water management Veolia Water Technologies as the water treatment and recycling concessionaire.


Trading in RHB, AMMB suspended, groups may be close to merger deal

PETALING JAYA: Trading in shares of RHB Bank Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd on Bursa Malaysia has been suspended today. It is believed that the two banking groups are close to sealing a merger deal.

“The request for suspension was made under Paragraph 3.1(b) of Practice Note 2 of the Main Market Listing Requirements of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad pending a material announcement to be released by the company,” the banking groups said in separate filings with the stock exchange.

RHB’s share price closed seven sen lower at RM4.88 yesterday on 458,200 shares traded, while AMMB’s share price was unchanged at RM4.70 with 4.14 million shares changing hands.

Bank Negara Malaysia granted approval to RHB and AMMB in June for merger talks. The three-month exclusivity agreement on merger talks ends on Aug 30.

The proposed merger is to create the fourth largest banking group in Malaysia in terms of market capitalisation.


McDonald’s to shut 169 outlets in India

NEW DELHI, McDonald’s said today it is shutting 169 restaurants in India after a legal row with a local franchise operator. The fast food chain’s Indian subsidiary said it was terminating its agreement with Connaught Plaza Restaurant Ltd…


Star Media registers RM1.48m Q2 net loss

PETALING JAYA: Star Media Group Bhd saw a net loss of RM1.48 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017 compared with a net profit of RM34.56 million in the previous corresponding period, due to lower profit from print and digital segment.

The net loss was also due to the reclassification of the related assets and liabilities for Cityneon Group as held for sale during the current quarter.

Recall that Star Media had in May announced the disposal of a 52.51% stake in Cityneon Holdings Ltd for S$115.61 million (RM360.18 million).

The group’s net profit attributable to ordinary equity holders of the parent, however, stood at RM8.51 million, 80.5% lower than the RM43.68 million it made in the same quarter last year.

Its second quarter revenue fell 21.8% from RM165.54 million to RM129.38 million.

Star Media said in a filing with the stock exchange that its media related segments will continue to enhance its respective media platforms to extend their reach to wider audiences by continuing to provide more bundled products and creative buys to advertisers as well as organising client driven events.

The group said it will continue to focus and strengthen its key strategies in the media industry.

“We will continue to defend the print segment whilst building on our other media platforms and also continue our prudent cost management,” it noted.

For the first half of the year, Star Media’s net profit slumped 96.4% from RM50.28 million to RM1.83 million, while net profit attributable to ordinary equity holders of the parent was down by 74.4% from RM59.17 million to RM15.16 million.

Six-month revenue declined 19.5% from RM323.44 million to RM260.51 million.

Star Media’s share price rose four sen to close at RM2.38 today on some 273,900 shares done, giving it a market capitalisation of RM1.76 billion.