Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

 

Bitcoin surges past US$11,000 as bubble warnings can’t cool market

NEW YORK, Nov 29 — Bitcoin surpassed US$11,000 (RM45,144) in a matter of hours after hitting the US$10,000 milestone, taking this year’s price surge to almost 12-fold as buyers shrugged off increased warnings that the largest  digital currency…


US stocks mostly up after strong Q3 growth

NEW YORK, Nov 29 — Wall Street stocks were mostly higher early today after government data showed the economy grew at its fastest pace in three years, but shares of high-flying technology companies retreated, hitting the Nasdaq. The US economy…


EPF’s Q3 investment income up 5%, thanks to global equities rally

PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) registered a 5.13% increase in investment income to RM12.95 billion for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 from RM12.32 billion a year ago.

“The EPF’s overall portfolio performance benefited from the rally in overseas equity markets in Q3 2017. We did not see similar returns from the domestic equities market as the FBM KLCI’s performance was flat compared to other markets, which recorded between 2% and 5% growth,” deputy CEO of investment Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif said in a statement today.

The EPF recorded higher net impairment of RM791.55 million during the quarter, compared with RM349.59 million a year ago due to the higher provision recorded for domestic equities in the telecommunications and oil and gas sectors.

Equities, which made up 41.86% of the EPF’s total investment assets, contributed RM7.91 billion of income or 61.09% of the total investment income. The income recorded was 12.75% higher than RM7.02 billion posted a year ago.

As at September 2017, a total of 50.45% of the EPF’s investment assets were in fixed income instruments which recorded an income of RM4.49 billion, equivalent to 34.63% of the total quarterly investment income.

Of the RM4.49 billion, Malaysian government securities (MGS) and equivalent stood at RM2.17 billion, an increase of 10.96% from RM1.95 billion a year ago, in line with the growth of the portfolio.

However, loans and bonds generated lower investment income of RM2.32 billion compared with RM2.56 billion a year ago.

Investments in money market instruments and real estate and infrastructure each represented 3.53% and 4.16% of total investment assets, and contributed an investment income of RM274.27 million and RM263.83 million respectively during the quarter.

“Our current investment in money market instruments is above the targeted 3% under the Strategic Asset Allocation due to ongoing regulatory restrictions in new overseas investments. Over the long run, the EPF must continue to expand our foreign assets portfolio as it is key to our diversification and allows us to meet our return targets,” said Mohamad Nasir.

As at Sept 30, 2017, the EPF’s overseas investments, which accounted for 30% of its total investment asset, contributed 48% to the total investment income during the quarter.
Diversification into different asset classes in various countries and currencies had helped the EPF to record higher income for the quarter, despite significant differences in market performance globally.

Out of the total RM12.95 billion investment income for Q3 2017, a total of RM860.83 million was allocated for Simpanan Shariah, which derives its income solely from its portion in syariah assets, while RM12.09 billion income was allocated for Simpanan Konvensional, which is generated by its share of both syariah and non-syariah assets.

The value of the EPF’s investment assets rose 5.48% to RM771.20 billion from RM731.11 billion as at Dec 31, 2016. Of the total investment assets, RM370.10 billion or 48% were in syariah-compliant investments and the balance in non-syariah assets.


US Q3 economic growth raised to 3.3pc

WASHINGTON, Nov 29 — The US economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, notching its quickest pace in three years, as increases in business investment in inventories and equipment offset a moderation in consumer spending….


Lloyds to cut 49 branches, adding to record closures across Britain

LONDON, Nov 29 — Lloyds Banking Group is closing 49 branches of Lloyds Bank and Halifax Bank of Scotland citing more customers banking online, it said today. The closures at Britain’s biggest mortgage lender follow 100 announced in April…


AirAsia’s Q3 net profit rises 42% to RM505.3m

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 rose 42.79% to RM505.33 million from RM353.89 million a year ago due to lower deferred tax expenses.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said its deferred tax was 80% lower at RM23.79 million during the quarter compared with RM118.70 million a year ago.

Net operating profit for the quarter was 6.99% lower at RM374.21 million, compared with RM423.02 million for the corresponding quarter in 2016 on higher operating expense.

This was despite revenue jumping 45.13% to RM2.45 billion for the quarter from RM1.69 billion a year ago due to a 12% increase in total passengers carried, despite a marginal decrease in load factor to 87% from 88% a year ago. Total passengers carried rose 12% to 9.89 million from RM8.83 million a year ago.

Average fare decreased 2% to RM172 from RM176 a year ago while the overall revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) of the group remained flat at 14.76 sen during the quarter against 14.98 sen a year ago.

During the quarter, the group increased its seat capacity by 14% from a year ago, delivering an additional 1.43 million seats. This was on the back of 4% increase in total fleet size to 110 aircraft from 106 aircraft a year ago.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2017, net profit fell 19.44% to RM1.27 billion from RM1.57 billion a year ago while revenue rose 41.05% to RM7.05 billion from RM5 billion a year ago.

For the fourth quarter ending Dec 31, 2017 (FY17), the group expects to achieve an average load factor of 87% based on existing forward booking trend. It plans to add 12 aircraft via operating leases during the quarter.

The group said its overall results for FY17 may be better than FY16. Its share price rose 9 sen or 2.92% to close at RM3.17 with a total of 6.71 million shares traded.


AirAsia’s Q3 net profit rises 42%

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 rose 42.79% to RM505.33 million from RM353.89 million a year ago due to lower deferred tax expenses.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said its deferred tax was 80% lower at RM23.79 million during the quarter compared with RM118.70 million a year ago.

Net operating profit for the quarter was 6.99% lower at RM374.21 million, compared with RM423.02 million for the corresponding quarter in 2016 on higher operating expense.

This was despite revenue jumping 45.13% to RM2.45 billion for the quarter from RM1.69 billion a year ago due to a 12% increase in total passengers carried, despite a marginal decrease in load factor to 87% from 88% a year ago. Total passengers carried rose 12% to 9.89 million from RM8.83 million a year ago.

Average fare decreased 2% to RM172 from RM176 a year ago while the overall revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) of the group remained flat at 14.76 sen during the quarter against 14.98 sen a year ago.

During the quarter, the group increased its seat capacity by 14% from a year ago, delivering an additional 1.43 million seats. This was on the back of 4% increase in total fleet size to 110 aircraft from 106 aircraft a year ago.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2017, net profit fell 19.44% to RM1.27 billion from RM1.57 billion a year ago while revenue rose 41.05% to RM7.05 billion from RM5 billion a year ago.

For the fourth quarter ending Dec 31, 2017 (FY17), the group expects to achieve an average load factor of 87% based on existing forward booking trend. It plans to add 12 aircraft via operating leases during the quarter.

The group said its overall results for FY17 may be better than FY16. Its share price rose 9 sen or 2.92% to close at RM3.17 with a total of 6.71 million shares traded.


News report on financial performance misleading, Khazanah says

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Khazanah Nasional Bhd says a recent news report on its financial performance headlined “Khazanah Feels The Heat Amid Push To Change Its Investment Strategy”, and subsequently covered by the other media and social media…


7-Eleven’s Q3 earnings up 38%

PETALING JAYA: 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 rose 38.14% to RM16.10 million from RM11.65 million a year ago due to higher revenue, gross margin improvement and other operating income.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the group said its gross margin improved by 0.9 percentage points due to higher sales contribution from the categories with higher gross profit margins.

Revenue for the quarter rose 2.8% to RM563.12 million from RM547.81 million a year ago driven by growth in new stores, higher average spend per customer and better consumer promotion activity.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2017, net profit fell 19.70% to RM34.25 million from RM42.66 million a year ago due to higher selling and distribution expenses which increased 11.1% and higher administrative and other operating expenses which increased 5.8%.

However, revenue for the period rose 3.87% to RM1.64 billion from RM1.58 billion a year ago due to growth in new stores, improved merchandise mix and consumer promotion activity.

The group expects to see continued improvements in the next quarter by pursuing its core strategy pillars of operations excellence, cost management and commercial innovation despite trading conditions that are expected to remain challenging.


Puncak Niaga narrows losses in third quarter

PETALING JAYA: Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd narrowed its losses to RM25.38 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 compared with a net loss of RM102.38 million a year ago, mainly due to reversal of provision for foreseeable loss in previous year realised upon revenue and cost recognition, and fair value gain on investment properties.

Revenue was up 25% to RM37.27 million compared with RM29.75 million in the previous year’s corresponding period.

For the nine months period, its net loss narrowed to RM98.49 million from RM166.18 million a year ago, mainly due to reversal of provision for foreseeable loss in previous year realised upon revenue and cost recognition, and fair value gain on investment properties.

Revenue rose 64% to RM87.21 million compared with the nine months net profit of RM53.20 million in the previous year mainly due to higher revenue contribution from the construction and water and wastewater segments and the new plantation segment.

Puncak Niaga said it is continuously looking to expand its operations in areas related to its core businesses and competencies in the water and wastewater, sewerage, environmental engineering and construction, both locally and abroad and has recently ventured into the oil palm plantation sector on July 3, 2017 with the completion of the acquisition of Danum Sinar Sdn Bhd, an oil palm plantation company.

This new business sector has the ability to generate a steady flow and recurring source of income which will contribute positively to the group’s earnings in the long term. The group remains cautious in managing the various challenges in the oil palm plantation sector such as fluctuations in crude palm oil prices, labour shortage and adverse weather conditions.

Puncak Niaga 0.75% down at 66 sen today with 425,400 shares traded.