Monday, January 15th, 2018


Britain’s Carillion collapses after banks pull the plug

LONDON, Jan 15 — Carillion collapsed today when its banks pulled the plug, triggering Britain’s biggest corporate failure in a decade and forcing the government to step in to guarantee public services from school meals to road works. The…

Airbus wins 2017 order race after last-gasp sales spree

PARIS, Jan 15 — Frenetic selling in the closing weeks of 2017 saw Airbus overhaul Boeing’s recent lead in the global jet market to win their annual order contest for a fifth year in a row, though doubts remain over the future of its flagship…

i-VCAP to roll out more, different types of ETFs

KUALA LUMPUR: i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ValueCAP Sdn Bhd, plans to launch up to six exchange-traded funds (ETFs) this year, including in different currencies, to provide more options or investment alternatives for investors to boost ETF trading volume in Malaysia.

i-VCAP CEO Khairi Shahrin Arief Baki said at the moment, the volume of ETFs in Malaysia is still not at its expected level, thus there is a need to have more products in the market.

“If we look at the developed markets, such as in the US with the likes of BlackRock, they come up with a lot of products every year and that has spurred the market.

“We’re looking at launching more products at our side, which we believe will help to build the ETF volume with more offerings and we’re looking at different types of products,” he told a press conference after the prospectus launch of its fifth Islamic ETF, the MyETF Dow Jones US Titans 50 (MyETF-US50) here today.

i-VCAP head of business development Zulkifli Ishak said there is a lack of foreign currency-denominated instruments out of Malaysia and those planned should be attractive to foreign investors.

“The target market is not only Malaysia, we’re also targeting Europe and the Middle East because they lack syariah-compliant investments, especially those denominated in dollar.”

Zulkifli said it is working with its syariah advisers to consider the possibility of launching inverse and leveraged ETFs and to address related issues as such investment instruments use futures contracts, which are considered not syariah-compliant.

It is also looking to collaborate with other players in this area as inverse and leveraged ETFs can create interest and liquidity in the market.

Zulkifli noted that in Taiwan, the growth of ETFs came after the introduction of inverse and leveraged ETFs.

“If the syariah-compliant issue is not addressed, we hope other players will come and launch inverse and leveraged ETFs,” he said.

MyETF-US50 will be the first US dollar-denominated syariah-compliant security to be listed on Bursa Malaysia, scheduled for Feb 28. Upon listing, it will be the 10th ETF listed in Malaysia, and the country’s sixth syariah-compliant ETF.

MyETF-US50’s initial approved fund size is up to 500 million units, with an initial issue price of US$1 (RM3.96) per unit. The minimum size of a subscription application under the initial subscription is 100 units.

MyETF-US50 aims to provide investment results that closely correspond to the performance of its benchmark index, the Dow Jones Islamic Market US Titans 50 Index (DJIM US Titans 50). This gives investors exposure to the 50 largest syariah-compliant US companies by float-adjusted market capitalisation with a single investment.

“With (US President Donald) Trump pushing for a tax reduction agenda, we see that the earnings per share for listed companies will improve by 7%-9%. This will translate into better revenue for companies and give good returns to investors,” said Zulkifli.

Ringgit strengthens to 18-month high against US dollar

PETALING JAYA: The ringgit reached a high of 3.9525 against the US dollar today, the strongest since mid-July 2016, fast approaching the 3.950 level.

Analysts said the current rally in the ringgit looks sustainable, with further upside on the cards if the dollar continues to weaken.

As at 5pm today, the local unit was up 0.35% at 3.9575 against the dollar.

The ringgit traded below the 4.000 mark for the whole of last year. The Malaysian unit started its uptrend in the first week of 2018, to 3.9888 on Jan 8, and then to 3.9732 last Friday.

FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said there is a suggestion that the combination of stronger crude oil prices and ongoing dollar weakness will continue to support the ringgit. The ringgit’s impressive resurgence could also be linked to prevailing bullish sentiment towards the Malaysian economy.

“The ringgit remains buoyed by dollar weakness, rising commodity prices and market expectations of an OPR (Overnight Policy Rate) hike by Bank Negara Malaysia. As long as these key themes persist, the ringgit is likely to witness further upside in the near term,” he told SunBiz.

“If the dollar remains depressed amid low inflation concerns in the US, then emerging markets, including Malaysia, will likely feel the benefit. Alternatively, an appreciating US dollar could halt the upside and pressure emerging market currencies,” he added.

Lukman said investors will continue to pay close attention to US tax reforms as the greenback remains at threat of suffering steeper losses if the impact of US President Donald Trump’s US$1.5 trillion (RM5.9 trillion) plan fails to meet market expectations.

Over at Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI gained 3.24 points or 0.18% to 1,825.91 points today. However, overall market breadth was negative with 378 gainers and 685 losers.

Foreigners increase holdings in Bursa for third week in a row

PETALING JAYA: Global funds continued to increase their holdings in stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia for the third uninterrupted week, mopping up RM772.2 million net equities, which excluded off-market deals.

This was lower than the RM915.5 million taken up in the preceding week.

Foreign participation remained vibrant as the foreign average daily trade value (ADTV) stood above the RM1 billion mark at RM1.38 billion. The retail ADTV was also impressive, reaching RM2.13 billion last week, a level not seen since February 2012.

Last week, foreign investors were net buyers on four out of five trading days. Foreign investors heavily entered into Bursa on Monday with a net buying totalling RM369.2 million, the highest acquisition in a day since April 28, 2017.

“We ascribe the intense foreign buying on Monday to the strengthening of the ringgit to a 16-month high of USD/MYR3.9975 and firmer oil prices,” MIDF Research said in its weekly report.

Thereafter, the foreign inflows began to gradually taper until Wednesday when it went below RM100 million net, in tandem with a decline in the FBM KLCI from 1,832 points on Monday to 1,823 points on Wednesday.

Nonetheless, foreign buying regained its momentum on Friday with a net inflow of RM182.3 million which coincided with a 0.32% gain in the FBM KLCI.

CIMB-Sun Life offers retirement savings plan with guaranteed yearly income

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd and its bancassurance partner Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Bhd today launched Sun Income Secure, a regular premium investment-linked insurance and retirement savings plan with a guaranteed yearly income.

“Sun Income Secure is yet another innovative solution that provides protection, investment and savings in one simple plan to help our customers achieve their dream retirement,”said CIMB group consumer banking CEO Samir Gupta.

This forms part of CIMB’s holistic offerings to support and forward all our clients’ financial dreams and ambitions, backed by a digital proposition to deliver a delightful customer banking experience” he added.

The plan offers a guaranteed yearly income (GYI) stream of up to 20 years and clients will be able to choose their predetermined retirement age, which ranges from 50, 55, 60 or 65.

On top of that, an additional 50% of the GYI will be paid on annual basis for the first three years immediately after the predetermined retirement age.

The plan also offers a lump sum payment in the event of death or total and permanent disablement as well as potential upside returns through investment in a series of professionally managed investment-linked funds.

Bursa reprimands Ajiya over errors, omissions

PETALING JAYA: Ajiya Bhd has been publicly reprimanded by Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd for errors and omissions which led to a 22.54% deviation between its unaudited net profit and audited figure for its fourth quarter results for the financial year ended Nov 30, 2016.

The group said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that it was reprimanded by the stock exchange regulator for failing to ensure that the announcement took into account the adjustments announced on April 4, 2017 in relation to dividend payment at subsidiary level, additional provisions for bad debts, foreign exchange loss, administrative expenses and taxation.

Ajiya reported an unaudited net profit amounting to RM18.71 million in its quarterly results announcement dated Jan 19, 2017, which was 22.54% higher than the audited net profit of RM14.49 million in March 29, 2017.

“Ajiya was also required to review and ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of its financial reporting function and carry out a limited review on its quarterly report submissions. The limited review must be performed by the company’s external auditors for four quarterly reports commencing no later from the quarterly report for the financial period ended Feb 28, 2018,” Bursa Malaysia said.

The group’s directors and relevant personnel are also required to attend a training programme in relation to compliance with the Main Listing Requirement pertaining to financial statements.

Paragraph 9.16(1)(a) of the Main LR states that a listed issuer must ensure that each announcement made is factual, clear, unambiguous, accurate, succinct and contains sufficient information to enable investors to make informed investment decisions.

The stock gained 0.77% to close at 65.5sen with some 420,600 shares done.

Khazanah and Temasek deliver iconic joint development projects

SINGAPORE: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today witnessed the successful completion and official opening of Marina One and DUO, worth a combined S$11billion (RM32.9 billion) in gross development value, jointly developed by the two countries state investment arms.

The development of Marina One and DUO, located in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor respectively, was undertaken by M+S Pte Ltd, which is owned 60:40 by Khazanah Holdings Bhd and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd respectively.

Marina One and DUO are integrated developments with office, retail and residential components.

M+S was established in 2011 to develop land parcels in the Marina South and Ophir-Rochor areas, following the full implementation of the Points of Agreement between Malaysia and Singapore in 2011.

In addition, Khazanah and Temasek are undertaking joint developments in Iskandar Malaysia through Pulau Indah Ventures Sdn Bhd, a 50:50 joint venture that is developing the Afiniti Medini and Avira integrated wellness projects. Afiniti Medini was completed in 2016.

ABM says banks may have to trim and realign workforce

KUALA LUMPUR: In line with digitalisation and emergence of financial technology in the banking sector, the Association of Banks in Malaysia said that banks may have to trim its workforce in certain areas and realign some of its manpower to key areas of focus.

Responding to media reports on banks offering voluntary separation scheme to employees, the association said in a statement that these initiatives were part of the banks’ effort to realign their strategies in relation to manpower requirements to enhance efficiency and to suit their respective business objective.

“To remain competitive in the digital banking sphere, banks have also initiated efforts with staff retraining, upskilling and/or redeploying opportunities in order to meet current demands of the banking industry,” the association said on other efforts banks are embarking on in terms of managing its manpower.

Our member banks place great emphasis and investment in providing continuous training for the development of their workforce. They also remain committed to delivering quality banking services,” it added.

As at end November 2017, there were over 4,000 vacancies in the banking industry while more than 4,500 new jobs were created between January to November 2017.

Most of the new jobs created were in the areas of automation and information technology which is crucial to meet the demands of the evolving dynamics of the digital banking eco-system.