Thursday, January 18th, 2018

 

Taiwan chip ‘godfather’ bullish on cryptocurrency despite volatility

TAIPEI, Jan 18 — The revered head of Taiwan’s semiconductor giant said cryptocurrencies would be a key driver for growth despite a bitcoin slump due to the threat of stricter regulations. Morris Chang’s Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing…


PNB, EPF keen to take over phase two of Battersea Power Station project

SHAH ALAM: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and the Employees Provident Fund, (EPF) long-term investors in the Battersea Power Station project in London, have shown interest in taking over the commercial assets being developed by Battersea Phase 2 Holding Co Ltd for £1.61 billion (RM8.8 billion).

Today, Sime Darby Property Bhd and SP Setia Bhd, both 40% interest holders in Battersea Phase 2, announced that Battersea Phase 2 Holding had entered into a heads of agreements with PNB and EPF to explore the terms of a potential sale on completion of the commercial assets currently being developed within Phase 2 of Battersea Power Station project, to a joint venture company to be formed between PNB and EPF.

Battersea Phase 2 Holding Co is a wholly owned subsidiary of Battersea Project Holding Co Ltd.

PNB and EPF expressed their interest to explore the transaction following strong progress made to date in Phase 2 with over 90% of residential units having been presold and the letting of the entire office space in the Power Station Building (about 470,000 sq ft) to Apple.

Sime Darby Property said in its statement the proposed transaction would provide increased certainty of investment return to Sime Darby Property and SP Setia as development partners earlier than would otherwise be the case, and enable both parties to focus on securing the development profit and investment returns from the remainder development in Phases 3 to 7 of the Battersea Power Station, which is estimated to be completed in 2028.

“The proposed transaction, once completed, would augur well with our business plans as it will enhance our investment returns and allow SP Setia to capitalise on arising opportunities as a property developer while continuing to play a significant role in the overall development of the project,” SP Setia said in a statement.

It added that the proposed transaction demonstrates the strong direct commitment by the ultimate institutional shareholders in the project.

The shareholdings in Battersea Project Holding will remain unchanged between Sime Darby Property, SP Setia and EPF. SP Setia remains committed to and is positive on the long-term prospects of the Battersea Power Station project.

Phase 1 (known as Circus West Village), which consists of 12 residential blocks and 100,000 sq ft of high-quality restaurants, shops, offices and leisure accommodation was handed over to the purchasers and tenants over the course of last year.

The Battersea Power Station project covers 42 acres and includes 3.5 million sq ft of mixed commercial space, together with 4,364 new homes.


Stocks In Focus (19-1-2018)

1130-malaysiastock_0

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 17): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus on Thursday (Jan 18) may include the following: Atta Global…


US jobless claims hit 45-year low as labour market tightens

WASHINGTON DC, Jan 18 — New claims for US unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level in nearly 45 years last week, a fresh sign of the increasingly tight American labour market, according to weekly data released today. The figures,…


Opec sees more oil supply from rivals, countering its cuts and Venezuelan woes

LONDON, Jan 18 — Opec has raised its forecast for oil supply from non-member countries in 2018 as higher prices encourage US shale drillers to pump more, offsetting an Opec-led deal to clear a supply glut and a deepening plunge in Venezuelan…


Chemical Company of Malaysia to reactivate Pasir Gudang plant

PETALING JAYA: Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd’s (CCM) wholly owned subsidiary CCM Chemical Sdn Bhd (CCMC) has approved the reactivation of its Pasir Gudang Works 1 plant, in a bid to grow its chlor-alkali business.

The group’s board of directors said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that the reactivation will cost the group RM68.5 million, which also includes equipment purchase and installation cost.

The project is expected to begin in the first quarter of this year and scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2019, with a project duration of 18 months. It will be funded by a combination of internal and external funds.

“The reactivation of PGW1 is expected to increase the production capacity for chlor alkali products by about 50% and will potentially fill in the gap in the market which is currently filled by imports and thereby increasing CCMC’s market share in the chlor-alkali products,” the group said.

The move will also enable CCMC to shorten its lead time and ensure a lower cost while increasing its production capacity, while also putting it in a better position to take advantage of the current market demand.

CCM’s shares remained unchanged at RM2.16 with some 779,700 shares done.


CCM to reactivate Pasir Gudang plant

PETALING JAYA: Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd’s (CCM) wholly owned subsidiary CCM Chemical Sdn Bhd (CCMC) has approved the reactivation of its Pasir Gudang Works 1 plant, in a bid to grow its chlor-alkali business.

The group’s board of directors said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that the reactivation will cost the group RM68.5 million, which also includes equipment purchase and installation cost.

The project is expected to begin in the first quarter of this year and scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2019, with a project duration of 18 months. It will be funded by a combination of internal and external funds.

“The reactivation of PGW1 is expected to increase the production capacity for chlor alkali products by about 50% and will potentially fill in the gap in the market which is currently filled by imports and thereby increasing CCMC’s market share in the chlor-alkali products,” the group said.

The move will also enable CCMC to shorten its lead time and ensure a lower cost while increasing its production capacity, while also putting it in a better position to take advantage of the current market demand.

CCM’s shares remained unchanged at RM2.16 with some 779,700 shares done.


HSS invited to submit proposal for bridge project

PETALING JAYA: HSS Engineers Bhd’s associate company HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd has been invited by the Federal Territories Ministry to submit its proposal for the provision of consultancy services for the execution of the Labuan-Menumbok Bridge Link feasibility study, which has a ceiling contract value of RM14.31 million.

The group said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that in the event of the appointment of HSS Integrated as project consultant for the job, HSS Integrated and another wholly owned subsidiary of the group, HSS Engineering Sdn Bhd, will collaborate to exclusively execute and complete the contract.

The contract is expected to contribute positively to the revenue and earnings of the group for the financial years ending Dec 31 ,2018 and Dec 31, 2019.

HSS Engineers shares gained 1.92% to close at RM1.59 with some 1.39 million shares traded.


Malaysia, Indonesia slam EU move on palm oil

KUALA LUMPUR: Top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia today criticised the European Union (EU) for backing a ban on the use of palm oil in biofuels, with a Malaysian minister calling the move a protectionist trade barrier and a form of “crop apartheid”.

European lawmakers approved draft measures on Wednesday to reform the power market there and reduce energy consumption to meet more ambitious climate goals. The plan includes a ban on the use of palm oil in motor fuels from 2021.

Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s top two palm oil producing countries, accounting for nearly 90% of global supply.

A large portion of European palm oil imports are used to make biofuels, giving the industry’s top two producers cause for concern as they fear overall demand will fall.

“This vote is very disappointing. It’s a black day for free trade. You are discriminating against palm oil,” Malaysia’s Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong told reporters at an industry conference here.

By allowing other vegetable oils to be used in biofuels, the EU was discriminating against palm oil, he said.

“The EU is practising a form of crop apartheid,” Mah said separately in a statement.

Palm oil exports are a key source of revenue for Malaysia. The EU is its second-biggest market after India.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita told reporters in Jakarta there should be fair treatment for all vegetable oils, and that Indonesia had protested the EU’s “negative campaign” on palm oil on several occasions.

The palm oil industry has come under fire in Europe over its impact on forest destruction and Southeast Asian producers have faced calls to meet higher sustainability standards.

Mah said Malaysia’s ambassadors in the 28 EU member countries will raise objections and that he will work closely with Indonesia to protect the interests of smallholders.

“The government will not tolerate the denigration of the palm oil industry and will ensure Malaysia gives a fitting response to those who harm the palm oil industry,” Mah said. – Reuters


Malaysian palm oil output to rise 3% in 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil production in Malaysia, the world’s No. 2 producer of the commodity, will rise by 3% in 2018, an industry body forecast today.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) expects production to climb to 20.5 million tonnes from 19.9 million tonnes in 2017, the group’s director-general, Datuk Ahmad Kushairi, said at an industry conference here.

“We expect momentum will still be there, that’s why we are forecasting production will be moving forward,” he said.

Malaysian production of the edible oil is widely expected to rise this year as fields continue to recover from the dry weather effects of a 2015 El Nino. The weather pattern can impact fruit yields for up to two years.

Malaysia’s exports are expected to increase 5.1% to 17.4 million tonnes this year, though a stronger ringgit will be a “challenge”, Ahmad said.

MPOB expects the country’s palm oil stockpiles to drop 15.8% to 2.3 million tonnes in 2018, potentially supporting prices. Palm oil stockpiles in Malaysia climbed to their highest in over two years at the end of December.

Earlier, an industry analyst said global palm oil production is expected to rise by 5 million to 6 million tonnes in 2018, slower than last year’s growth of 8 million tonnes.

James Fry, chairman of commodities consultancy LMC International, said “2018 output will be 5-6 million tonnes above the 2017 total, led by Indonesia”, he told Reuters before his speech.