Thursday, January 11th, 2018

 

Most Asian currencies firm, ringgit leads gains

SINGAPORE, Jan 11 — Most emerging Asian currencies firmed slightly today, as the US dollar lost steam overnight after a report that China was ready to slow or halt its US Treasury purchases, pushing up yields. Chinese officials reviewing the…


Putin says Russia to raise minimum wage from May 1

TVER, Jan 11 — Russia will raise its minimum wage from May 1 this year, President Vladimir Putin, who is running for re-election in March, said yesterday. Putin said the monthly minimum wage should be raised from 9,489 roubles (RM666) at…


KESM out to maintain strong sales momentum

KUALA LUMPUR: Chip-testing company KESM Industries Bhd, which surpassed its RM300 million sales target last year, aims to maintain the sales momentum for its current financial year ending July 31, 2018 (FY18).

KESM provides burn-in, testing and electronic manufacturing services for the semiconductor industry. Burn-in is a process to detect early failures in semiconductor devices, which are used mostly in cars and personal computers.

For FY17, the group’s sales improved 18% year on year to RM338 million as a result of higher demand for burn-in and test services.

“We exceeded our sales target last year, and if you look at the track record that we have, we will try to keep up with that rate,” its executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim told reporters after the group’s AGM and EGM today.

KESM achieved sales of RM285 million in FY16 and RM263 million in FY15.

Asked about the group’s capital expenditure (capex) plan for FY18, Lim declined to comment on the amount, saying it will not be less than last year’s. It is understood that the group allotted RM140.2 million for capital investments in FY17.

Nevertheless, he said the group’s capex this year will mainly be used to enhance its existing plants, upgrading them into “smart factories” in order to improve the quality of KESM’s products and to test more complex semiconductors.

“We just started (the initiative) recently and it will be accelerated to our factories in Kuala Lumpur and China, which will bring even better value to our customers.

“Smart factory is beyond automation. It provides manufacturing information online, such as quality and production volumes. And those information will be given to the management to analyse and decide on what to do,” he said.

The group has three semiconductor testing plants, one each in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Tianjin, China.

Besides that, Lim said, the group is planning to increase its investments in automation to enhance the production process by increasing the level of automation.

Other than that, the group’s strategies this year include increasing its technical resources, developing programmes to optimise production process and improving product quality.
On the strengthening of the ringgit against the US dollar, Lim noted that the group is not affected by the currency movement at the moment.

For the first quarter ended Oct 31, 2017 (Q1FY18), the group’s net profit increased 13.6% to RM11.38 million, from RM10.01 million in the previous corresponding quarter. Revenue for the quarter grew 13.2% to RM90.7 million, against RM80.1 million previously.

On Bursa Malaysia today, KESM’s share price, which has been on an uptrend since last August, fell 28 sen or 1.31% to RM21.02 with 27,300 shares traded. The stock has climbed more than 50% in the past five months.


KESM Industries sees 2018 another good year

KUALA LUMPUR: Semiconductor burn-in and test specialist KESM Industries Bhd (KESM), which surpassed its RM300 million sales target last year, aims to maintain the sales momentum for its financial year ending July 31, 2018 (FY18).

For FY17, the group's sales improved 18% year-on-year to RM338 million, as a result of higher demand for burn-in and test services.

“We have exceeded our sales target last year, and if you look at the track record that we have, we will try to keep up with that rate,” its executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim told reporters after the group's AGM and EGM today.

KESM achieved sales of RM285 million in FY16 and RM263 million in FY15.

At the noon break, the stock, which has been on an uptrend since last August, fell 30 sen or 1.41% to RM21 with 11,300 shares changing hands. It has climbed more than 50% in the past five months.


Hyundai Motor invests in ride-hailing firm Grab (VIDEO)

SEOUL, Jan 11 — Hyundai Motor Co said today it had invested in Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab, in the South Korean automaker’s first foray into the rapidly growing sector as it tries to diversify following a sales slump in China. Grab…


KTC’s units bags distributorship from five companies

KTC says the distributorships are estimated to contribute combined monthly internal target revenue of RM14.7 million, translating to RM71.6 million for the financial year ending June 30, 2018 for the Group. (Logo taken from KTC’s website) KUALA LUMPUR: Three subsidiary companies of Kim Teck Cheong Consolidated Bhd’s (KTC) have been appointed as distributor for Nestle Products Sdn Bhd, Heineken Marketing Malaysia Sdn Bhd, L’Oreal Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Oriental Food Industries Sdn Bhd and Sincere Match & Tobacco Factory Sdn Bhd. KTC said the subsidiaries are Kim Teck Cheong (Sarawak) SdnRead More


Malaysian businesses enter 2018 in more upbeat mood: RAM survey

KUALA LUMPUR: The business confidence of large corporations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is positive going into 2018, even though the larger businesses look to exude more optimism than their smaller counterparts, according to the quarterly RAM Business Confidence Index.

The survey took into account factors such as turnover, profitability, hiring intentions, business expansion, capacity utilisation, investment intentions and access to bank financing. Jointly produced by RAM Holdings and RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd, a total of 3,500 respondents comprising 974 corporates and 2,500 SMEs were surveyed.

It showed that both large corporations(55.6) and SMEs(52.4) had scored above the benchmark 50 points, whereby corporates appeared to be more bullish on turnover, profitability and business expansion.

In terms of hiring, albeit marginally lower than a year ago, large corporations and SMEs both still indicated interest in increasing headcount. This was especially notable among agriculture, mining and manufacturing firms in line with the output recovery in palm oil sector and external demand for manufactured goods.

SMEs projected weaker sentiments in terms of expectations for profit and turnover, due to uncertainties and limitation to economies of scale, operational flexibility and bargaining power. This is exacerbated by revenue collection punctuality and visibility on future contract awards.

RAM Holdings Bhd Group CEO Datuk Seri Dr. K. Govindan said the struggle faced by local SMEs in financing, economies of scale and others is not unique to Malaysia.

On the domestic front, large and medium-capacity firms are more likely to be the ones steering Industry 4.0 rather than SMEs, which are in the smaller size bracket, given the advantage larger firms have in capacity, productivity and labour.

Industry 4.0 refers to the trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It is described as the fourth industrial revolution, smart manufacturing or digital factories.

On top of that, Govindan said, a number of the SMEs are not in a position to take advantage of the growth opportunities available to them, because of financing issues, for example, lack of collateral, lack of initiative and access to export opportunities and, to some extent, literacy.

“Smaller ones need attention and the possibility of helping them grow in e-commerce,” he said.

RAM Ratings economist Kristina Fong said the bullishness projected by both large corporations and SMEs going into the first quarter of 2018 is a sign that Malaysia’s economic growth momentum will remain resilient.

RAM is forecasting full-year gross domestic product (GDP) growth to come in at 5.8% in 2017 and 5.2% this year on the back of strong domestic and external demand.

Private investment is expected to grow with companies showing indications of capacity building in terms of business expansion and capital investment as well as a continued interest in hiring, while export growth is expected to moderate.

The ringgit is expected to hover between RM4.10 and RM4.20 to the US dollar throughout the year, while a 25-basis-point increase in Bank Negara Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate is expected sometime in May this year.


RAM: Industry 4.0 likely led by large, medium firms

KUALA LUMPUR: Large and medium capacity firms are more likely to be the ones steering Industry 4.0 rather than small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are on the smaller size bracket, according to RAM Holdings Bhd Group CEO Datuk Seri Dr. Govindan.

Industry 4.0 refers to the trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It is described as the fourth industrial revolution, smart manufacturing or digital factories.

Speaking at a media briefing here today, Govindan said this is more suited for larger firms due to factors such as capacity, productivity and labour.

Meanwhile, he also noted that the struggle faced by local SMEs in terms of financing, economies of scale and others is not unique to Malaysia, as this happens to be the case in other parts of the world.

Earlier, RAM Holdings and RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd unveiled the RAM Business Confidence Index, showing positive business sentiment among corporates and SMEs. A total of 3,500 respondents comprising 974 corporates and 2,500 SMEs were surveyed.


Bursa extends losses at mid-day

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Bursa Malaysia extended losses to mid-day today, weighed on by persistent profit-taking consolidation, dealers said. At 12.30pm, the key FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 7.57 points lower at 1,815.35 from…


Stock With Momentum: Utusan Melayu (M)

chart-utusan-melayu-swm-FD110118_theedgemarkets

Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd (-ve) SHARES in Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd (fundamental: 0/3, valuation: 0.9/3) triggered our momentum algorithm yesterday for the first time this year. Utusan Melayu’s share price gained nine sen, or 20.23%, to 53.5 sen yesterday, after 800,100 shares were traded versus the counter’s 200-day average volume of 21,970 shares. The group’s market capitalisation stood at RM59.24 million. The company is involved in publication, printing and distribution of the Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia and Kosmo newspapers. It is also involved in radio and television advertising. Utusan MelayuRead More