Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

 

US stocks add to records ahead of Fed minutes

NEW YORK, Jan 3 ― Shares of technology and energy companies were among the standouts early today as US stocks pushed higher ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes. Leading indices added to records set yesterday amid a…


Singapore-based CopyCash to launch initial coin offering in Malaysia next week

PETALING JAYA: Amid growing concerns over the underlying risks in digital currencies, a Singapore-based blockchain startup looks to be taking its chances with the Malaysian public, with an initial coin offering (ICO) slotted for next week.

According to a media invite sent out today, CopyCash, which claims to be the world’s largest blockchain-based social travesting platform, is set to launch its ICO at Hilton Petaling Jaya next Tuesday.

A total of 50 million CopyCashCoin (CCC) will be released in a token sale, of which 30 million made available through ICO, and the remaining 20 million via private and public pre-sale.

CCC is a standard Ethereum ERC20 token and it serves as the mechanism for payment in the CopyCash ecosystem.

Ethereum is the second biggest digital currency by market capitalisation after Bitcoin. As at 7pm yesterday, Ethereum traded at US$886 (RM3,562), and Bitcoin at US$14,800 (RM59,496). The two digital currencies have jumped 9,100% and 1,334% over the past one year respectively.

Citing larger discounts for early birds, CopyCash’s website shows that 0.1ETH will be entitled to 30 CCC under the ICO. The site also states that a private pre-sale has been completed and under a public pre-sale, 37.5 CCC will be given for every 0.1ETH.

The top management of CopyCash will be present at a press conference here next Tuesday, including its CEO Bobby Lieu, who is the co-founder of the Shenzhen Digital Assets Exchange.

In Malaysia, ICOs fall under the purview of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), which last September cautioned investors on the emergence of digital token-based fundraising activities.

Worth noting is that Koperasi Dinar Dirham Bhd, which created its own cryptocurrency Pitiscoin on the ERC20 platform, was raided by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) last November for alleged illegal deposit-taking.

The case is being investigated under the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The SC urged investors to be mindful of the potential risks involved in ICO schemes as the operators may not have a presence in Malaysia and it would be difficult to verify the authenticity of the scheme and the recovery of invested monies may be subject to foreign laws or regulations.

ICO scheme operators typically raise funds through the issuance and sale of digital tokens, in exchange for investors paying for these tokens through virtual currencies, such as bitcoin or ethereum.

The SC highlighted that these schemes can be structured in many forms, including direct investments in projects that enable token holders to participate in a share of the returns, seeking funding through foundations where investors are not entitled to any returns, and issuance of tokens which entitle the investors to enjoy rights to a future product or service.

Stressing that digital currencies are not legal tender in Malaysia, BNM deputy governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said in a recent media briefing that the central bank will be working closely with the SC on the ICO issue.


Selangor Dredging to pay special dividend of 19 sen after disposing of building

PETALING JAYA: Selangor Dredging Bhd will pay out a special dividend of 19 sen per share, after completing the disposal of Wisma Selangor Dredging in Kuala Lumpur for RM480 million to Golden Eagle Realty Sdn Bhd.

The group’s board of directors said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that the entitlement date for the dividend is Jan 18 while the payment date is set for Jan 29.

The group announced in a filing with the stock exchange on Dec 5 that the disposal had been completed.

Selangor Dredging had previously said the sale price for the building located on Jalan Ampang was at a 20.9% premium to its market value and a 50.9% premium to its net book value as at March 31, 2016.

Its managing director Teh Lip Kim said in September that the sale was a step in the right direction, as it would enable the group to pare down its borrowings of RM248 million and save some RM13 million in cost, which is almost on par with its net rental collection of RM14 million.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Selangor Dredging fell 0.01% to close at RM1.06 with 85,900 shares traded.


Stocks In Focus (04-01-2018)

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 3): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, companies in focus on Thursday (Jan 4) may include Wah Seong, Westports, Kerjaya…


Report: Google moved €16b to Bermuda to avoid tax

THE HAGUE, Jan 3 — Google moved €15.9 billion (RM63.9 billion) to a Bermuda shell company in 2016, saving it billions of dollars in taxes that year, Bloomberg reported today, quoting regulatory filings in the Netherlands.  Google uses two…


Momentum of construction job awards to be sustained

PETALING JAYA: The strong momentum in domestic contract awards in the construction sector is expected to be sustained this year, with a target range of RM25 billion to RM30 billion, from RM29.3 billion worth of contracts awarded in 2017.

In a note today, Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said mega contracts expected to roll out this year include the RM55 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and RM12.6 billion Pan Borneo Highway Sabah projects.

“Momentum of news flow on the RM40 billion Mass Rapid Transit 3 (MRT3) and the RM60 billion High Speed Rail (HSR) project should also gather pace this year but awards are likely to only materialise in 2019,” it added.

In Q4 FY2017, the domestic contract awards to listed contractors grew by 41% quarter on quarter (qoq) and 61% year on year (y-o-y) to RM10.9 billion, driven by RM5.5 billion worth of Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) contracts awarded to Sunway Construction Group, WCT, AQRS, Mudajaya and Econpile.

Foreign job awards picked up in Q4 FY2017 to RM1.5 billion, compared with RM35 million in Q3 FY2017 and RM52 million in Q4 FY 2016. This brings total foreign contract wins for 2017 to RM2.7 billion, increasing 87% yoy, with the bulk of foreign contracts came from IJM’s 4-laning of the Solapur-Bijapur Highway in India.

HLIB Research said although the contracts awarded last year had decreased 48% yoy, it was still the second highest recorded in the past nine years. The decline was expected given the significantly higher base witnessed in 2016 which was driven by several mega contracts such as MRT2 (RM24 billion), Pan Borneo Sarawak (RM10 billion), and other major highways (RM7.5 billion).

HLIB Research maintained its “overweight” rating on the sector, as it expects the strong momentum of contract flows to be sustained over the next one to two years. It favours Gamuda Bhd, given its strong track record with civil rail projects.

“We also like George Kent (M) Bhd as the only local player with expertise in rail-related systems,” it said.


Construction job awards to be sustained

PETALING JAYA: The strong momentum in domestic contract awards in the construction sector is expected to be sustained this year, with a target range of RM25 billion to RM30 billion, from RM29.3 billion worth of contracts awarded in 2017.

In a note today, Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said mega contracts expected to roll out this year include the RM55 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and RM12.6 billion Pan Borneo Highway Sabah projects.

“Momentum of news flow on the RM40 billion Mass Rapid Transit 3 (MRT3) and the RM60 billion High Speed Rail (HSR) project should also gather pace this year but awards are likely to only materialise in 2019,” it added.

In Q4 FY2017, the domestic contract awards to listed contractors grew by 41% quarter on quarter (qoq) and 61% year on year (y-o-y) to RM10.9 billion, driven by RM5.5 billion worth of Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) contracts awarded to Sunway Construction Group, WCT, AQRS, Mudajaya and Econpile.

Foreign job awards picked up in Q4 FY2017 to RM1.5 billion, compared with RM35 million in Q3 FY2017 and RM52 million in Q4 FY 2016. This brings total foreign contract wins for 2017 to RM2.7 billion, increasing 87% yoy, with the bulk of foreign contracts came from IJM’s 4-laning of the Solapur-Bijapur Highway in India.

HLIB Research said although the contracts awarded last year had decreased 48% yoy, it was still the second highest recorded in the past nine years. The decline was expected given the significantly higher base witnessed in 2016 which was driven by several mega contracts such as MRT2 (RM24 billion), Pan Borneo Sarawak (RM10 billion), and other major highways (RM7.5 billion).

HLIB Research maintained its “overweight” rating on the sector, as it expects the strong momentum of contract flows to be sustained over the next one to two years. It favours Gamuda Bhd, given its strong track record with civil rail projects.

“We also like George Kent (M) Bhd as the only local player with expertise in rail-related systems,” it said.


TDM accepts land granted by Terengganu

PETALING JAYA: Terengganu state-owned plantation company TDM Bhd today accepted the plots of land offered by the state of Terengganu via a grant.

In line with TDM’s domestic plantation expansion plan, the company had applied to the state for land in Hutan Simpan Sungai Nipah, Kemaman and Hutan Simpan Rasau, Dungun, measuring 4,515ha.

The state approved TDM’s application for the plots as per the terms and conditions set out in its letters dated Dec 26 and 28, 2017 respectively.

“The lands are alienated to TDM by way of grant from the state to support its operations and expenditures for the financial year 2017,” TDM said in a stock exchange filing.

TDM’s landbank in Terengganu stands at 31,848ha and the acceptance of the plots of land, together with the proposed acquisition of controlling stake in Ladang Rakyat Terengganu Sdn Bhd, which was announced on Feb 27, 2017, will increase TDM’s total land bank in Terengganu to 47,830ha.

TDM closed unchanged at 46 sen with 353,700 shares traded.


Westports container throughput lower in 2017, within expectations

PETALING JAYA: Westports Holdings Bhd has achieved a container throughput of about 9.0 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) for the 12-month period ended Dec 31, 2017, in keeping with its guidance of lower container volume last year.

“The result is within the volume guidance, of being lower by between 7% and 12% when compared to the previous year, provided when Westports announced the second quarter financial report in July 2017,” Westports said in a stock exchange filing.

It said the Ocean Alliance and its members are among the key clients of Westports and the former unveiled its Day One Product before the start of its services on April 1, 2017.

In December 2017, the Ocean Alliance optimised its offerings and announced the Day Two Product by adding new services, additional capacity and container ships. The services will start in April 2018.


Westports container throughput lower in 2017

PETALING JAYA: Westports Holdings Bhd has achieved a container throughput of about 9.0 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) for the 12-month period ended Dec 31, 2017, in keeping with its guidance of lower container volume last year.

“The result is within the volume guidance, of being lower by between 7% and 12% when compared to the previous year, provided when Westports announced the second quarter financial report in July 2017,” Westports said in a stock exchange filing.

It said the Ocean Alliance and its members are among the key clients of Westports and the former unveiled its Day One Product before the start of its services on April 1, 2017.

In December 2017, the Ocean Alliance optimised its offerings and announced the Day Two Product by adding new services, additional capacity and container ships. The services will start in April 2018.