Tuesday, December 5th, 2017


Bursa ends higher despite weak sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Bursa Malaysia closed lower but the benchmark index ended at an intra-day high of 1,724.84, up 11.71 points, led by Hong Leong Bank and Maybank, as investors reacted positively to the re-balancing exercise carried out by…

EU adopts blacklist of 17 tax havens

BRUSSELS, Dec 5 — European Union finance ministers adopted today a blacklist of tax havens which includes 17 extra-EU jurisdictions seen as not cooperative on tax matters, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. American Samoa,…

EU to decide on tax haven blacklist, assess US tax reform

BRUSSELS, Dec 5 — European Union finance ministers plan to adopt a blacklist of tax havens and assess the impact of the United States’ planned tax overhaul in a meeting today in Brussels. After multiple disclosures of offshore tax avoidance…

Pharmaniaga to spend RM100m to develop halal and cost effective vaccines

KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaceutical player Pharmaniaga Bhd will spend RM100 million over a period of five years to develop halal and cost-effective vaccines for the public.

This was announced after the company signed a collaboration agreement with Technology Depository Agency (TDA) and India-based Hilleman Laboratories today.

Hilleman is a vaccine research organization.

Under the partnership, Pharmaniaga said it will establish the halal vaccines manufacturing facility in the country, conduct clinical trials, manage regulatory matters and facilitate products’ commercialisation.

“We already have the building located at our existing plant in Puchong. Now we are just going to put the facilities in, which include all the equipments,” Pharmaniaga’s Managing Director Datuk Farshila Emran told reporters at the ceremony.

“We are hoping that we can have the facility (ready) between two to three years from now and by then we can start to produce the vaccine,” she added, noting the group will use its own cash to fund the initiative.

Petronas unit agrees share swap with Shell’s Africa operator

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s South African unit, Engen, and Vivo Energy Holding BV agreed to a deal worth as much as 3.5 billion rand (RM1.04 billion) to combine some of their African fuel-retail assets, according to people…

YTL Corp may consider share buyback with falling share price

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Corp Bhd’s managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh today said that he may consider a share buyback with the recent beating the group’s share price has taken in the market.

He does not see a specific reason for the selldown, which started in earnest towards the end of October and declined to elaborate further on the matter. One of the resolutions for its AGM to be held on Dec 12, 2017 is for the renewal of a share buyback programme.

The group’s share price closed one sen lower to RM1.15 with some 5.27 million shares changing hands. In the last one year, it has lost close to 20% of its share price.

“Nothing’s going to change in terms of policy or what YTL stands for. YTL’s business models are long term in nature,” said Francis when asked to comment on the group’s standing with the passing of his father Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, who also founded YTL Corp.

He added that the next generation is in place, adding that YTL Corp has a long term footprint in its businesses and has been paying dividends yearly since its listing.

Francis was speaking at the signing of agreements between YTL Hotels and Marriott International to develop four hotels in Malaysia and Japan today.

YTL Hotels and Marriott International signed management contracts to develop two new luxury hotels in Malaysia under the JW Marriott and Edition brands, and a memorandum of understanding for another two hotels in Japan.

The new collaborations in Malaysia and Japan will expand the strategic relationship to 15 international properties across six brands.

In Malaysia, YTL Hotels’ second JW Marriott hotel will be located near KL Sentral. The Edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s first, will be located near KLCC.

YTL Hotels executive director Datuk Mark Yeoh said the approval process will take some 18 months before construction can start, which will take two to three years.

In Japan, it is planning for an Edition and a W Hotel in Niseko Village, Hokkaido. It did not disclose the investments involved.

Francis said its 20-year relationship with Marriott International has been pivotal to the growth of YTL Hotels in Malaysia, Asia and in the UK.

YTL Hotels has 11 Marriott International hotels in its portfolio of 32 hospitality assets.

YTL Hotels also today relaunched its 578-room JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur after having undergone a refurbishment exercise.

YTL Hotels, Marriott International sign agreements for new hotels across Asia

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Hotels and Marriott International have signed agreements to develop two new luxury hotels in Malaysia under the JW Marriott and Edition brands, and two hotels in Japan.

In Malaysia, YTL Hotels' second JW Marriott hotel will be located near KL Sentral. The Edition in KL, Malaysia's first, will be located near KLCC.

In Japan, it is planning for an Edition and a W Hotel in Niseko Village, Hokkaido.

YTL Hotels has 11 Marriott International hotels in its portfolio of 32 hospitality assets.

Singapore stocks gain, Philippines set to snap losing run

SINGAPORE, Dec 5 — Singapore shares edged higher today, led by gains in top lenders, while the Philippines rebounded, on track to snap a five-session losing streak. Singapore shares climbed 0.4 per cent after a survey showed late yesterday…

S. Korean won, ringgit lead gains as US dollar ascent stalls

SINGAPORE, Dec 5 — Asian currencies firmed today as last week’s ascent of the US dollar on the back of positive tax reform news stalled. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell about…

Hibiscus gets Petronas’ blessings

KUALA LUMPUR: Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, which has ruled out a dividend payout to shareholders in the short term, now has Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd’s blessing to acquire a 50% participating interest in North Sabah Enhanced Oil Recovery (North Sabah EOR) production sharing contract (PSC).

Hibiscus Petroleum’s non-independent and non-executive chairman Zainul Rahim Mohd Zain said the group will not be considering a payout to reward shareholders in the near-term, because whatever profits made will be re-invested to grow the business.

“It is a very capital intensive business. We would love to pay dividends, but only when we can afford it,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference after the group’s AGM today, managing director Dr Kenneth Gerard Pereira said Hibiscus Petroleum has been profitable in the past seven quarters despite a backdrop of low oil prices which ranged between US$45 and US$51 per barrel.

He said the group, which saw its net profit plunge 86.57% in the first quarter ended Sept 30, could see an encouraging year ahead if it is able to manage its cost price and keep production at reasonable levels.

For the time being, Hibiscus Petroleum will be focusing on its 50% owned key operating asset in the Anasuria Cluster and in completing the acquisition of 50% participating interest in North Sabah EOR.

The Anasuria Cluster is its key operating asset located in the United Kingdom and jointly operated with Ping Petroleum Ltd.

Hibiscus Petroleum’s indirectly owned subsidiary SEA Hibiscus Sdn Bhd received “unconditional consent” from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd to acquire 50% participating interest in North Sabah EOR from Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd and Shell Sabah Selatan Sdn Bhd.

“We are talking to financial institutions for general funding and North Sabah may be a recipient of some of the funding,” Pereira said when explaining its funding requirements.