Breakfast briefing: Friday, September 15

Breakfast briefing: Friday, September 15

MarketWatch: Rising shares of Boeing pulled the Dow Jones Industrial Average up to a record high on Thursday, while the S&P 500 fell as investors saw higher-than-expected increasing the chances of an interest rate hike. The DJIA rose 0.2% to end at 22,203.48 points, the S&P 500 lost 0.11% to 2,495.62 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.48% to 6,429.08, hurt by a 0.86% decline in Apple. – Reuters


Oil prices rose on Thursday, with Brent briefly touching a five-month high, a day after the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast the market would continue to tighten as fuel demand increased. Benchmark Brent settled up 31 cents at US$55.47. – Reuters

Top foreign stories

Trump says no decision yet on Fed chair: President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he has yet to make up his mind about who should succeed Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen when her term expires in February and said he has respect for the incumbent. – Reuters

Oracle’s profit, cloud growth forecasts drag down shares: Oracle Corp forecast current-quarter adjusted profit largely below Wall Street’s estimates and indicated to slowing growth in its soaring cloud business, sending the company’s shares down as much as 5% in aftermarket trading. Oracle said it expected adjusted profit to be between 64 cents per share and 68 cents per share for its second quarter ending November. – Reuters

to brew high-end coffee with Blue Bottle buy: Nestle has bought a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, marking a first step by the packaged coffee leader into the hipster world of speciality bars that serve high-end, single-origin and cold brewed coffees. The company behind Nescafe instant coffee and Nespresso brewers announced the purchase of a 68% stake of Blue Bottle on Thursday without disclosing financial terms. The price was around $425 million, sources said. – Reuters

Aramco says IPO on track after report it is preparing for possible delay: Saudi Aramco’s planned initial public offering remains on track, the company said on Thursday, after Bloomberg reported that the oil company is preparing contingency plans for a possible delay by a few months into 2019. – Reuters

Top local stories

Steel stocks resume climb on ’s move to cut output and clamp down on illegal mills: Steel prices are on an uptrend following China’s move to slash output and clamp down on more illegal steel mills. Steel stocks on Bursa continued their steady climb on the news. – StarBiz

Eco World Development’s 9-month earnings up 76%: Eco World Development Group Bhd ’s nine-month net profit jumped 76% to RM175.94mil on the back of a 12% higher revenue of RM2.03bil. The company said its third-quarter earnings were 41% lower at RM26.09mil due partly to finance costs incurred on new term loans taken to fund the investments in and advances to JVs and associated companies. Revenue was 5% higher at RM762.92mil. – StarBiz

Malaysia palm oil prices may fall 17%: Benchmark Malaysian prices for crude palm oil are likely to fall nearly 17% to below RM2,400 (US$572) per tonne from current levels by November or December as overseas appetite for the commodity falters over the winter, leading industry analyst James Fry said. – Reuters

TNB unit to issue up to RM4bil : Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) subsidiary Southern Power Generation Sdn Bhd has proposed a sukuk issue to raise up to RM4bil to part finance the long-delayed 1,440-MW gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. – StarBiz

MD-led group boosts stake in AbleGroup , triggers general offer: Parallel Pinnacle Sdn Bhd, controlled by AbleGroup Bhd managing director Datuk Allan Lim Kim Huat and his wife Datin Chan Shiou Bin, are buying 28.3 million shares, or a 10.72% stake, in AbleGroup for 13 sen per share. The deal effectively raises the duo’s  stake in AbleGroup to 43.97% from the 33.25%, triggering a mandatory takeover offer for all the remaining shares in the company. – StarBiz

Astro’s Q2 net profit almost doubles: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit nearly doubled to RM246.3mil in the second quarter despite flattish revenue, as favourable currency movement drives down its finance cost. Revenue was 0.6% lower at RM1.42bil due to the end of a one-off

sports channel sub-licensing, as well as marginally lower contribution from subscriptions and e-commerce. Astro declared  an interim dividend of three sen for the second quarter. – StarBiz

Suncon clinches RM582m contract: Sunway Construction Group Bhd (Suncon) unit Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd has signed a RM581.66mil construction contract with Liziz Standaco Sdn Bhd for the proposed 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Project. – Bernama

TRC Synergy and partner win RM348m rail job: TRC Synergy Bhd and its partner have secured a RM348.3mil contract from Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp), lifting its to an all-time high. The latest project involves the construction of a maintenance depot in Serdang and other associated works for the MRT Sungai Buloh- Serdang-Putrajaya Line. – StarBiz

Selangor Dredging seeks shareholder approval to sell HQ: Selangor Dredging Bhd will seek shareholder approval for the disposal of a piece of freehold commercial land together with its headquarters, Wisma Selangor Dredging, in for RM480mil in cash at its EGM on Sept 29. – StarBiz

SC signs fintech agreements with HK, Dubai and Singapore: The Securities Commission (SC) has established financial technology (fintech) cooperation agreements, also known as fintech bridges, with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Dubai Financial Services Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. – StarBiz

Source: The Star

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