Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

 

Britain to offer North Sea tax relief to spur investment

LONDON, Nov 22 — Britain plans to introduce tax changes to oil and gas companies operating in the North Sea, finance minister Philip Hammond said today, in a bid to spur investment in the ageing basin. Presenting Britain’s budget for next…


Irish minister floats Hong Kong solution for post-Brexit N.Ireland

BELFAST, Nov 22 — Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney today said the arrangement linking Hong Kong with China could be a possible solution for addressing the fate of Northern Ireland after Brexit. The border between EU member Ireland and…


Prosma may take up unsold PR1MA units for own RTO scheme

PETALING JAYA: Little-known Prosma Bhd, which has received a fresh mandate from the Finance Ministry, is exploring the possibility of buying unsold PR1MA homes for its rent-to-own (RTO) scheme.

Prosma CEO Zamri Abdullah said the company has been instructed by the Finance Ministry to engage with Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia to discuss the possibility of injecting these assets into the RTO scheme.

“We will meet PR1MA on Nov 29. This is just a discussion, nothing has been decided. We will discuss with PR1MA whether or not to acquire the unsold units for our scheme,” he told SunBiz.

Asked how many units Prosma may acquire from PR1MA, he said that will depend on talks with the corporation. He said he was not informed about the number of available units for sale to Prosma but was told that PR1MA has “a lot of unsold units” in various stages of construction.

PR1MA recently announced that 12,640 units of 25,132 PR1MA homes open for sale have been sold.

On whether PR1MA’s own RTO scheme may be scrapped following the possible arrangement with Prosma, Zamri said he is unsure but believes that PR1MA will continue with its own RTO scheme, which differs from Prosma’s.

“PR1MA’s RTO scheme is for five years or 10 years while Prosma’s scheme is up to 30 years,” he added.

Zamri said if discussions are successful, Prosma will acquire PR1MA’s unsold units and offer them under its RTO scheme. The same requirements and process apply for these units, including eligibility criteria and interview of applicants.

Prosma’s RTO scheme is targeted at those with a monthly household income of RM5,000 and above. The units offered must be at least 900 sq ft with prices ranging from RM300,000 to RM500,000 depending on location.

Prosma started promoting the scheme in 2015 and began the interview process last year. As of Aug 1, it has signed 70 contracts valued at RM10 million in total. It aims to sign 500 contracts in total this year.

PR1MA homes are targeted at households with a monthly income of RM2,500 to RM15,000. Eligible applicants who are unable to obtain end-financing for these homes have the option to participate in the RTO scheme.

However, a check on PR1MA’s RTO scheme website revealed that applications for the programme are unavailable at the moment and will be made available soon. As at press time, PR1MA had not responded to queries from SunBiz.

Meanwhile, Prosma is considering a sukuk to fund its acquisition activities and has started the documentation process.

“We have met with Danajamin and have submitted our documents to them … they are carrying out due diligence and verifying our documents,” said Zamri.

As the entire process, including obtaining approval from the Securities Commission Malaysia, will take at least three to four months, the sukuk will be launched only in the first quarter of 2018 at the earliest.


Britain slashes growth forecasts over five years

LONDON, Nov 22 — Britain’s economy will grow far more slowly than expected over the next five years as it faces Brexit uncertainty and weak productivity, finance minister Philip Hammond said today. Gross domestic product will expand 1.5 per…


UK slashes growth forecasts, sees higher borrowing

LONDON, Nov 22 — Britain slashed its growth forecasts for its Brexit-bound economy and expects to borrow a lot more going into the next decade, finance minister Philip Hammond said today as he delivered a gloomy budget statement in parliament….


Malaysia’s economy to grow 5.3pc in 2018, predicts economist

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Higher trade volume and strong investment recovery will help boost the country’s economy next year, with gross domestic product (GDP) expected to grow 5.3 per cent from an estimated 5.8 per cent this year, said an…


Batu Kawan pretax profit declines in FY17

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Batu Kawan Bhd’s pre-tax profit eased to RM1.62 billion for the financial year ended Sept 30, 2017, from RM1.82 billion recorded in the same period last year. Revenue, however, jumped to RM21.55 billion from RM16.97…


Weak sentiment on Bursa has much to do with foreign selling

PETALING JAYA: Weakened market sentiment surrounding the local equity market has much to do with net foreign selling in the local bourse, which contributed to the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI emerging as the worst-performing Asian equity gauge this year with less than 5% growth, TA Securities Holdings Bhd head of research Kaladher Govindan said.

He explained that a tightening of monetary policy in the United States coupled with the weakened ringgit and upcoming elections weighed in, despite stocks having attractive valuations of price-to-earnings ratio of 15.1 times compared with Indonesia, Philippines and Thai stocks.

The selling is expected to taper off in the near term though with Kaladher rooting for the bourse to hit 1,800 points by year-end.

“If you look at this region developing economies like Thailand, the Phillippines and Indonesia, they are only trading at around 16.4 times on average but we are trading on an 8% discount compared to these markets. In terms of price-to-book, we are even cheaper,” Kaladher noted.

The price-to-book ratio for the aforementioned markets is 2.1 times compared to the 1.5 times of Malaysian equities.

Kaladher’s stock picks are Gamuda Bhd, Sunway Construction Group Bhd, Chin Hin Group Bhd and Ann Joo Resources Bhd.

Meanwhile TA Global Bhd, which received shareholders’ nod to dispose of its development project in Australia, does not foresee any impact in the near future from the recent freeze on unapproved luxury properties above RM1 million.

“From the statement that was made, it will not affect the projects that already have building permits. For next year, two of the projects that we want to launch already have the permits, so in the short-term I don’t think it will affect us because our projects will be moving ahead. Depending on how they (government) will execute, it is hard to say,”said TA Global CEO Tiah Joo Kim at a press conference after the company’s EGM today.

He opined that the move could even be good for the market as there is certainly oversupply in certain segments of the market.

The group via its subsidiary TA Little Bay Pty Ltd is disposing its 24.26 acres of undeveloped land comprising eight development lots and 26 house lots in Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia to Karimbala Properties Pvt Ltd for a cash consideration of A$245 million (RM794.02 million).

The property developer which has a landbank of 746 acres both abroad and domestically has two launches in the pipeline for 2018, namely a RM2.1 billion GDV mixed development project known as TA Tower 3 and 4 and a RM482 million GDV residential project known as “Dutamas”.

TA Global’s shares closed up half a sen at 35 sen with some 693,600 shares done.


Linked to foreign selling

PETALING JAYA: Weakened market sentiment surrounding the local equity market has much to do with net foreign selling in the local bourse, which contributed to the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI emerging as the worst-performing Asian equity gauge this year with less than 5% growth, TA Securities Holdings Bhd head of research Kaladher Govindan said.

He explained that a tightening of monetary policy in the United States coupled with the weakened ringgit and upcoming elections weighed in, despite stocks having attractive valuations of price-to-earnings ratio of 15.1 times compared with Indonesia, Philippines and Thai stocks.

The selling is expected to taper off in the near term though with Kaladher rooting for the bourse to hit 1,800 points by year-end.

“If you look at this region developing economies like Thailand, the Phillippines and Indonesia, they are only trading at around 16.4 times on average but we are trading on an 8% discount compared to these markets. In terms of price-to-book, we are even cheaper,” Kaladher noted.

The price-to-book ratio for the aforementioned markets is 2.1 times compared to the 1.5 times of Malaysian equities.

Kaladher’s stock picks are Gamuda Bhd, Sunway Construction Group Bhd, Chin Hin Group Bhd and Ann Joo Resources Bhd.

Meanwhile TA Global Bhd, which received shareholders’ nod to dispose of its development project in Australia, does not foresee any impact in the near future from the recent freeze on unapproved luxury properties above RM1 million.

“From the statement that was made, it will not affect the projects that already have building permits. For next year, two of the projects that we want to launch already have the permits, so in the short-term I don’t think it will affect us because our projects will be moving ahead. Depending on how they (government) will execute, it is hard to say,”said TA Global CEO Tiah Joo Kim at a press conference after the company’s EGM today.

He opined that the move could even be good for the market as there is certainly oversupply in certain segments of the market.

The group via its subsidiary TA Little Bay Pty Ltd is disposing its 24.26 acres of undeveloped land comprising eight development lots and 26 house lots in Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia to Karimbala Properties Pvt Ltd for a cash consideration of A$245 million (RM794.02million).

The property developer which has a landbank of 746 acres both abroad and domestically has two launches in the pipeline for 2018, namely a RM2.1 billion GDV mixed development project known as TA Tower 3 and 4 and a RM482 million GDV residential project known as “Dutamas”.

TA Global’s shares closed up half a sen at 35 sen with some 693,600 shares done.


IJM secures RM1.5b India highway project

PETALING JAYA: IJM Corp Bhd has been awarded a INR2,325 Crores (about RM1.49 billion) project which includes rehabilitation, upgrading, construction and widening works for the four laning of Solapur-Bijapur section of National Highway, NH-13 (New NH-52) connecting Maharashtra and Karnataka in India.

The group announced in a filing with Bursa Malaysia, it had received the letter of award for the project which falls under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-III on Nov 22.

The project is to be executed in Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) (Toll) Mode on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) Basis.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will provide the group a grant of INR367 Crores (about RM235.86 million) for the project which has a concession period of 20 years including construction period of 30 months from financial closure.

The scope of work of the project includes rehabilitation, upgrading and widening of the existing two lane carriageway to four lane standards with the construction of new flexible pavement, constructing and/or rehabilitating structures to cater for six laning consisting of major and minor bridges, flyovers, railway overbridge, culverts, road intersections, interchanges, drains, two toll plazas, the operation and maintenance thereof.

The group’s share price fell 0.65% to RM3.05 with some 4.45 million shares done.