Friday, January 5th, 2018


Wall Street higher despite weak December hiring data

NEW YORK, Jan 5 — Wall Street’s main indexes rose today as investors looked beyond weaker-than-expected US job additions in December and took support from signs of a pick-up in wage growth. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 jobs last…

US gains 148,000 jobs in December, unemployment still 4.1pc

WASHINGTON, Jan 5 — The US economy’s job creation ability disappointed in December, despite solid hiring in manufacturing and construction, according to government data reported today. While the unemployment rate held steady at the 17-year…

MyEG gets six-month extension from Home Ministry for illegal foreign worker repatriation programme

PETALING JAYA: MyEG Services Bhd has been granted a six-month extension by the Home Ministry for the voluntary repatriation of illegal foreign workers programme.

The group said that it had received a letter dated December 20, 2017 from the Home Ministry in relation to the extension of the programme, which was initially scheduled to expire on December 31.

“The extension is from January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018. The extension has no fixed value as it is dependent on the number of foreign workers successfully repatriated,” it noted.

The extension is expected to contribute positively to the earnings of the company for the financial year ending June 30, 2018.

MyEG's shares gained 0.41% to close at RM2.46 with some 17.02 million shares done.

Ringgit ends at 17-month high at 3.9950 versus US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed at a 17 month-high of 3.9950/0000 against the US dollar, a level last seen on Aug 16, 2016, boosted by the recovery in oil prices coupled with rising optimism over robust global growth for this year.

Upbeat economic data released this week particularly in the United States, Europe and China and the recent influx of foreign funds into the domestic equity market was also supportive of renewed confidence in the country's economy.

The local note finished 100 basis points or 0.25% better versus Thursday's 4.0050/0080.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd Research Head Pong Teng Siew said the market saw foreign fund inflow after Bank Negara Malaysia hinted at a rate hike during its Monetary Policy Committee meeting in November.

“Regionally, the ringgit has outperformed its peers including the Thai Bhat.

“In my view, I believe the ringgit will undergo profit-taking after a rally, but movements will be confined within a narrow range of between 4.06 and 4.07.

“That's the lowest level it will go. Overall, there is still more room for the ringgit to appreciate,” he told Bernama.

Traders also said the local currency was fundamentally strong just as the Thai Bhat.

The ringgit also improved against a basket of major currencies.

It climbed against the Singapore dollar to 3.0081/0123 from Thursday's 3.0129/0156 and rebounded vis-a-vis the yen to 3.5279/5333 from 3.5584/5614 yesterday.

The local unit appreciated against the euro to 4.8116/8192 from yesterday's 4.8228/8280 and rose versus the British pound to 5.4048/5132 from 5.4240/4296 yesterday. — Bernama

Bursa Malaysia bull run continues

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — The Bursa Malaysia bull run continued this morning, with the Composite Index (CI) opened firmer as the bullish market sentiment continued to fuel investors’ risk appetite, dealers said. At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE…

Bursa closes higher on the back of bull run

KUALA LUMPUR: The bull run on Bursa Malaysia continued on Friday, pushing the Composite Index (CI) to end at an intra-day high of 1,817.97, while driven by persistent buying momentum across the board, dealers said.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI moved above the 1,800-level throughout the day, closing 14.52 points or 0.81 per cent higher from the 1,803.45 recorded yesterday.

It opened 1.34 points firmer at 1,804.79 and went as low as 1,803.81 at one point.

The barometer index rallied on gains in blue chips led by Axiata, CIMB, Genting Malaysia, Press Metal, Genting and Sime Darby, with a total contribution of 11.26.

Axiata, which is considering an initial public offering of its tower unit, was the biggest contributor to the rise in the composite index with 3.69 points. The wireless carrier's stock bagged 23 sen to RM5.69 with 11.92 million shares changing hands.

A dealer said strong buying in small and mid-caps, amid the bullish market sentiment and on the back of a stronger ringgit versus the US dollar, as well as growing optimism over robust global growth for this year, also helped push Bursa to stage the upbeat performance today.

The ringgit strengthened to a 17th month high of 3.9970 against the US dollar at 10.32 am and appreciated further to 3.9920 at 2 pm, thanks to the recovery in oil prices and weakening US dollar.

Overall market breadth was bullish as gainers outnumbered losers 696 to 405, while 344 counters were unchanged, 367 untraded and 31 others suspended.

The strong bull run resulted in a relatively high turnover of 5.836 billion shares worth RM3.943 billion compared with 5.05 billion shares valued at RM3.28 billion yesterday.

Among heavyweights, Tenaga gained two sen to RM15.42, Public Bank rose four sen to RM20.78, CIMB perked 1.5 sen to RM6.70, while Maybank was flat at RM9.80.

Petronas Chemicals reversed its recent gains to close lower by four sen at RM8.15.

Of the actives, Sapura Energy gained 9.5 sen to 81 sen, UMW Oil & Gas earned 4.5 sen to 41 sen, Vizione added two sen to 18 sen, but DGB Asia shed 4.5 sen to 17.5 sen and Diversified Gateway slipped one sen to 14.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index surged 128.6 points to 13,165.41, the FBMT 100 Index soared 122.97 points to 12,809.68, the FBM Emas Shariah Index climbed 144.25 points to 13,610.74 and the FBM 70 jumped 227.59 points to 16,492.61.

However, the FBM Ace fell 9.93 points to 6,893.97.

Sector-wise, the Finance Index bagged 117.46 points to 17,086.28, the Industrial Index rose 31.79 points to 3,392.18, while the Plantation Index gained 9.94 points to 8,004.76.

Main Market volume rose to 3.836 billion units worth RM3.611 billion from 3.17 billion units valued at RM2.969 billion on Thursday.

Volume on the ACE Market decreased to 1.287 billion shares worth RM236.02 million from 1.335 billion shares valued at RM225.464 million transacted yesterday.

Warrants volume improved to 700.58 billion units worth RM91.53 million from 532.44 billion units valued at RM83.04 million.

Consumer products accounted for 169.56 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (864.56 million), construction (306.96 million), trade and services (2.01 billion), technology (140.45 million), infrastructure (8.53 million), SPAC (16.13 million), finance (88.86 million), hotels (446.700), properties (189.33 million), plantations (37.26 million), mining (23,900), REITs (7.3 million), and closed/fund (10,000).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM163.76 per gramme, down 16 sen from RM163.92 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama

Ringgit closes at 17-month high against dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — The ringgit closed at a 17 month-high of 3.9950/0000 against the US dollar, a level last seen on Aug 16, 2016, boosted by the recovery in oil prices coupled coupled with rising optimism over robust global growth for this…

Scomi Engineering shareholders approve merger exercise with Scomi Group

KUALA LUMPUR: Scomi Engineering Bhd (SEB) will proceed with its merger exercise with parent company Scomi Group Bhd even without Scomi Energy Services Bhd (SESB), said SEB CEO Rohaida Ali Badaruddin.

At today's convened court meeting, 93.52% SEB shareholders voted in favour of the proposed merger after grilling the board members for three hours.

The three-way merger was to see the consolidation of Scomi, SEB and SESB to become a single entity. However, it did not go well as SESB shareholders rejected the merger deal yesterday.

Despite that, Rohaida Ali told reporters that SEB is pleased with the outcome of the meeting, which will see SEB becoming a private entity upon completion of the merger process.

“So for now we will be focusing on going through with the (merger) process and we target to complete the process before the end of February this year,” she added.

Scomi also managed to gain support from its shareholders yesterday, with 99.27% voting in favour of the merger.

Scomi said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that the group will not proceed with the implementation of the proposed merger of SESB.

“The termination of the proposed merger of SESB is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated earnings per share and net assets per share of Scomi for the financial year ending March 31, 2018.”

However, Scomi noted that SEB will be making an application to the court for the sanction of the SEB's proposed merger under Section 366 of the Companies Act 2016 in due course.

SEB, a 72.33%-owned subsidiary of Scomi, provides public transport systems and solutions, centred on rail and commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, SESB, in which Scomi owns a 65.65% stake, provides services to the oil and gas as well as coal industries.

To recap, Scomi plans to consolidate SEB and SESB into the group to create one listed entity, a key move to develop new growth areas in renewables and chemicals business.

It involves the acquisition by Scomi and the transfer of all SEB and SESB shares not already owned by Scomi at an offer price of 30 sen for each SEB share and 12.6 sen for each SESB share.

The proposed merger will enable the Scomi group to leverage on the combined financial resources and strengths to compete in and undertake future business contracts, and pursue growth opportunities in both the transport and energy industries that it is familiar with.

Scomi has been in the red for six consecutive quarters. For the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2017, the group's net loss widened to RM26 million from RM21 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

SEB's net loss also widened from RM2.63 million to RM31.28 million for the six-month period ended Sept 30, 2017.

At today's market close, SEB gained 2% to 25.5 sen with 2.74 million shares done, while Scomi slipped 5.56% to close at 17 sen.

Bank of Thailand ready to intervene if baht moves too fast, affects private sector

BANGKOK, Jan 5 — Thailand’s central bank is prepared to “take care of” the situation if the baht currency changes too fast and affects the private sector, it said today. The currency is strengthening “quite fast” against the US…

AMMB inks agreemet with Amcorp Properties to manage AmFirst REIT

PETALING JAYA: AMMB Holdings Bhd's wholly owned subsidiary AmInvestment Group Bhd (AIGB) has entered into a new shareholders' agreement with Amcorp Properties Bhd in the business of managing AmFirst REIT after the agreement termination with ARA Asset Management (Malaysia) Ltd.

Recall that AIGB and ARA Asset Management had set up a subsidiary known as Am ARA REIT Managers Sdn Bhd to o undertake the management of AmFirst REIT.

Am ARA REIT Managers is 100%-owned by Am ARA REIT Holdings Sdn Bhd.

However, as ARA Asset Management has disposed of its 30% stake in Am ARA REIT Holdings to Amcorp Properties, both AIGB and ARA Asset Management have mutually agreed to terminate the joint venture.

Amcorp Properties is a 71%-owned subsidiary of Amcorp Group Bhd, which is also a substantial shareholder of AMMB.

AMMB's share pice gained 1 sen or 0.22% to close at RM4.60 on some 1.76 million shares done.