Monday, January 8th, 2018


Bursa Malaysia ends sharply higher on bullish external sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — The bull run continued on Bursa Malaysia with the key index sharply higher today buoyed by bullish external factors, dealers said. At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI ended at its intraday high of 1,832.15, up…

Mydin puts Sam’s Groceria stores up for sale

KUALA LUMPUR: Retailer and wholesaler Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd is seeking a buyer for its premium chain of Sam’s Groceria stores as part of its…

Yong Tai secures funding from China for Impression City Malacca development

KUALA LUMPUR: Yong Tai Bhd has secured further funding for the RM7 billion gross development value Impression City project in Malacca which has been delayed since 2013, due to financing issues.

In a strategic alliance signing ceremony today, the group entered into a heads of agreement with Hong Kong listed Kirin Group Holdings Ltd for a proposed investment of not less than RM400 million.

Additionally, it has secured a RM100 million facility from the Bank of China to partly finance the Encore Melaka theatre, which is also Malaysia's first standard indoor theatre.

The funding was supposed to come through in 2013 but was delayed due to the fallout between Malaysia and China following the disappearance of flight MH370.

This is the latest round of funding to come through in addition to a RM500 million secured previously.

On top of that, the group has also signed ticket sales agreements with six travel agents for the sale of one million tickets for the Impression Series-Encore Melaka.

Ticket sales for the series which is targeted to be launched in the second quarter this year, is expected to bring in about RM120-140million.

Global markets extend 2018 rally with fresh records

NEW YORK: The 2018 global equity rally continued apace Friday, with Asian and European markets posting healthy gains and Wall Street powering to fresh records once again.

One day after the Dow finished above 25,000 for the first time, the blue-chip index moved higher still, picking up momentum throughout the day before finishing at 25,295.87, up nearly one percent.

The rise came despite a disappointing US jobs report. The US added just 148,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported, far below expectations, although unemployment held steady at its 17-year low of 4.1%.

But investors, who opened 2018 in a fever pitch to buy equities, were unfazed by the lackluster data, much as they have also overlooked any concerns about US-North Korea tensions or domestic political controversies.

“Whatever the news, the reaction thus far continues to be more of what we have been seeing,” said Adam Sarhan, founder of 50 Park Investments.

“Investors are buying, dismissing all negative news, whether economic or geopolitical and they are just buying stocks.”

All main European markets were higher at the close, with standout Frankfurt clocking up a gain of just under 1.2% despite a share price plunge for heavyweight Deutsche Bank after a profit-warning.

Paris followed not far behind with a 1.1% rise.

London hit a new intra-day record peak at 7,727.73 points, and also set a new closing high, buoyed by the weak pound, which lifts the share prices of multi-national companies.

In Asia on Friday, Tokyo stocks ended up 0.9% at a 26-year high following its more than three percent jump Thursday, while Sydney added 0.7%.

Seoul rose 1.3%, with dealers buoyed by news that North Korea had accepted the South's offer of talks next week, further easing geopolitical tensions in the region.

Hong Kong gained 0.3% to chalk up a ninth-straight gain.

'Economic strength'

Equity optimism has been fueled by US tax cuts, healthy corporate profits and strong manufacturing figures worldwide.

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note that data from the manufacturing and services sectors “suggests economic strength across the globe remains robust.”

He noted that an index of world factory activity was at its highest level in seven years.

While oil prices inched down, they remain elevated after recent rises to around three-year highs thanks to Middle East tensions.

Crude futures have also been boosted this week on keen US demand as the nation's stockpiles fall on the back of a severe cold snap.

Key figures around 2140 GMT

New York – DOW: UP 0.9% at 25,295.87 (close)

New York – S&P 500: UP 0.7% at 2,743.15 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.8% at 7,136.56 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4% at 7,724.22 points (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.2% at 13,319.64 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.1 percent at 5,470.75 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.1% at 3,607.63

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.9% at 23,714.53 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.3% at 30,814.64 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.2% at 3,391.75 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at US$1.2030 from US$1.2068 late on Thursday

Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.3564 from US$1.3552

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.10 yen from 112.72 yen

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 45 cents at US$67.62 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 57 cents at US$61.44 per barrel

Never lose touch with target market or business philosophies: Keith Loh

THIS week we get thoughts and views from CoolBlog Sdn Bhd, a dessert and beverage specialist, owned by Ekuiti Nasional Bhd CEO Keith Loh

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I had the opportunity to work with great mentors and business leaders who believed in me from a young age. I grew from where I was to where I am now learning, not only business skill sets but empathy, leadership and life principles from people I admire and respect.

What traits do you look for in your talent or how do you decide who is right for a job?
I never look much into qualifications. I look for talent and believe in the key principle that learning never ends and the willingness to grow – it mirrors my own beliefs in whichever brand I build or help build.

How do you think the industry you are in will evolve in the future?
I think convenience will be the key. As the growth on online platforms accelerate, the customer experience, the ability to be present and cater that immediate need for instant gratification will be key to evolution.

What advice can you offer those looking to start their career/own business?
Be relevant and always never lose touch with your target market or your business philosophies. The best brands or the best entrepreneurs put forth their ideals/principles of their business proposition and it's their passion that helps makes it appealing to their customers.

We all know about the industrial revolution, are we in for a technological revolution? Your thoughts.
I think we are always on the brink of something new nowadays. I, for one believe we will get there sooner or later.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional life?
I must say mentorship has surely made a big difference to me. I think it was more of the catalyst of changing how I viewed building businesses and a corporate career. It was also generally a new perspective on life and living it to its fullest. If it wasn't for my mentors, I honestly wouldn't be the entrepreneur and CEO I am today.

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
Build a stable of great local brands meant for the regional and international stage. Five years is a short period but I believe with the right team and the right formula, CoolBlog could be one that hits the heights. For me personally, the next few years will be important for my personal growth and I intend to keep building on my knowledge and skills.

Best piece of advice you ever got on your career.
Life is like a treadmill. Sure it's hard, you keep running and it seems endless but you get better, fitter, faster every day. Keep moving forward and the results will come. Stop and one thing is for sure, you will see life's opportunities pass you by and the next thing you know you are falling backwards and it's going to hurt.

Most admired business leader? Why?
Richard Branson – man is a legend – he's done everything possible in as many industries that I can recall. More importantly – he's got a humorous take on life and I too believe that you should always be much as you can be but the important thing is to remember to enjoy the ride.

How do you stay abreast of issues affecting your industry?
I tend to read a lot and dedicate time to research trends online. Most importantly, I stay in touch with people in my network from current and previous industries I've been in. Nothing like first-hand socialising that helps you keep up with the latest.

If you could have an hour with any thought leader in the world, who would it be and why?
In today's world I'd take an hour with President Trump. There must be some genius behind the madness. I've got to understand how this maniacal strategy works, it's not making any sense but it's happening so there must be some master plan I'm not tuned into.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced ? And what did you learn from it?
When I started out my first brand, Snowflake, I was completely out of my depth. Personal cash strapped, first time business owner, first mover when no one even knew what the product was, working a day job while going to the shop after work. In the first few months, it looked like a mistake and something that would cause me paying more debts. However, we persevered, we made it happen and we will soon be celebrating a decade of operations.

What was the most outlandish business proposal you have ever heard of?
Luckily most people I know are pretty sane. Don't have a really outlandish proposal to date. Someone did offer me a durian orchard back in the day before current prices. That was a bad call on my part.

What man made innovation confounds you? Why?
Motored-powered bicycles. Just choose between a bicycle or a motorcycle – it bothers me that people want half of each.

Malaysia's greatest brand.
In recent times? AirAsia. Changed the face of travel in South East Asia and for Malaysians and Malaysian businesses

A must-read for every business owner/manager is ..

How do you expect policies on climate change to impact businesses in the future?
I think we will have to adapt sooner than later. The more restrictions and policies, the more cost of business will go up until a time when sustainable pricing is achieved on renewable resources. It, however has to happen, the planet cannot keep going at this rate. We as business owners will have to make that change first of being sustainable and getting our customers on board with that program.

What are the top three factors you would attribute to your success?
Being afforded good opportunities, making the best of them and always believing that in one lifetime, anyone can create more for themselves and for others.

Tell us a joke.
Claustrophobic people are more productive thinking out of the box.

AmBank predicts 5.5pc domestic economy growth in 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — AmBank Research projected today that Malaysia’s domestic economy would grow around 5.5 per cent this year, while export was expected to grow around 5 to 6 per cent. The research house said exports and imports continued…

Malakoff partners Meccanica on Pahang energy projects

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Malakoff Corp Bhd, a member of MMC Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Touch Meccanica Sdn Bhd to develop several energy projects in Pahang. Malakoff chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Fuaad said…

Malakoff partners Meccacina on Pahang energy projects

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Malakoff Corp Bhd, a member of MMC Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Touch Meccanica Sdn Bhd to develop several energy projects in Pahang. Malakoff chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Fuaad said…

Bursa continues uptrend at mid-afternoon

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Bursa Malaysia continued its uptrend at mid-afternoon today, led by gains on Petronas-related counters. At 3pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,826.65, up 8.68 points from last Friday’s close of…

RHB Bank officiates 21st branch in Southern region

JOHOR BAHRU: RHB Bank Berhad, Malaysia’s fourth largest fully integrated financial services group, today officiated its 21st branch in the Southern Region with the opening of its branch in Bandar Penawar, the 210th nationwide.

“The opening of the Bandar Penawar Branch marks another milestone for the RHB Banking Group as we strengthen our footprint in the local market while offering our customers greater accessibility to reliable and value-added financial services. Our presence in this township is part of our strategy to enhance our network in the eastern region of the state of Johor. Through Bandar Penawar Branch, we will be able to bring our services and products closer to Johor’s key growth areas and serve customers better,” RHB Islamic Bank Managing Director Datuk Adissadikin Ali said in a statement.

The RHB Bandar Penawar Branch which started operations on Jan 1, is run by Mohd Ali Basha and his team of seven personnel.

The branch is equipped with self-service terminals and offers products and services such as savings and investment accounts, home financing, auto loans, financial supply chain (FSC) offerings and SME loans.