Friday, January 26th, 2018

 

Trump in Davos: ‘America First does not mean America alone’

DAVOS, Jan 26 — President Donald Trump today offered “America’s friendship and partnership” to the world in his debut appearance before the global business elite in Davos, arguing: “America First does not mean America alone.” “The…


Dagang Nexchange buying 51% stake in Genaxis for RM10 million

PETALING JAYA: Dagang Nexchange Bhd (DNeX) is buying a 51% stake in Genaxis Group Sdn Bhd for RM10 million to expand and strengthen its information technology and e-services business segment.

Genaxis is a consulting firm delivering training and consulting services in transformation activities.

DNeX told the stock exchange it has entered into a conditional share sale and purchase agreement and shareholders' agreement with Genaxis' owner Nuraslina Zainal Abidin for the proposed acquisition.

The proposed acquisition will be funded through bank borrowings and/or internally generated funds and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2018.

Upon completion of the transaction, DNeX will hold 51% stake in Genaxis, while Nuraslina will hold the remaining 49%.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group said the agreement is expected to contribute positively to its future earnings and net assets.

DNeX's share price closed unchanged at 50 sen with 7.73 million shares traded.


Melati Ehsan sells land to Kimlun for RM68 million

PETALING JAYA: Melati Ehsan Holdings Bhd (MEHB) is disposing of 47 vacant detached lots and 30 leasehold building lots in Shah Alam to Kimlun Corp Bhd for RM68.41 million cash.

Melati Ehsan's wholly owned subsidiary Bayu Melati Sdn Bhd has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Kimlun's wholly owned subsidiary Kimlun Land Sdn Bhd for the exercise.

Melati Ehsan said proceeds derived from the proposed disposal will be utilised as working capital and the estimated gain from the exercise is RM1.15 million.

“The proposed disposal will enable the group to unlock capital resources from being tied up as long term assets and realise the value of the property at a fair market value whilst enhancing the group's liquidity and strengthening its financial position,” it noted.

Meanwhile, Kimlun said the proposed acquisition provides an opportunity for the group to increase the size of its land bank in strategic location in order to enhance its future revenue and earnings.

It plans to carry out some enhancements on the 30 detached houses, and build bungalow units on the 47 vacant lots after the completion of the exercise.

Given the strategic location of the properties, Kimlun is confident that the housing development to be carried out on the properties will be well received by the general public.

Melati Ehsan's share price fell 1.9% to close at 76 sen, while Kimlun declined 0.4% to RM2.25.


Ringgit extends uptrend against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended its trend to appreciate against the US dollar today, to 3.86, a level that was last seen in April 20, 2016, on the back of the overnight policy rate increase yesterday by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) with local financial stocks reaping the benefit.

At 6 pm, the local note ended at 3.8690/8720 against the greenback from 3.8840/8870 on Thursday.

OANDA Head of Trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes, said the ringgit has shown little sensitivity to the overnight blustery US dollar trading conditions as investors' confidence remained solid in favour of the Malaysian capital markets.

“With oil prices holding on to weekly gains and on the backdrop of a comprehensive global growth, the ringgit should continue to move higher despite the US dollar retracement overnight after US President Donald Trump said that his administration supports a strong dollar,” Innes told Bernama.

On Thursday BNM raised OPR by 25 basis points to 3.25%.

The last time it changed its OPR was in July 2016 when it made a 25-basis-point cut.

Meanwhile, FXTM Research Analyst, Lukman Otunuga, said the week has been incredibly positive for the ringgit.

“It remains clear that the improving sentiment towards the Malaysian economy continues to heavily support the local currency.

“From a technical standpoint, the sustained weakness of the greenback at 3.90 level, could invite further declines moving forward,” said Lukman.

The ringgit was also traded against a basket of major currencies.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9607/9648 from Thursday's 2.9746/9781 and gained versus the yen to 3.5456/5490 from 3.5630/5661 yesterday.

It went up against the euro to 4.8185/8234 from 4.8286/8327 yesterday and gained against the British pound to 5.5160/5222 from 5.5491/5537 on Thursday. — Bernama


LB Aluminium to diversify into property development

PETALING JAYA: LB Aluminium Bhd, which is involved in the manufacturing, marketing and trading of aluminium extrusions, is planning to venture into property development to diversify its income stream as well as to reduce reliance on its manufacturing business.

The group told the stock exchange that approximately 75% of its current revenue is generated from domestic sales while the remaining 25% comes from export sales.

Its products are used in industries such as transport, construction, consumer goods, packaging as well as electrical engineering.

“The board anticipates that LB Aluminium's property development business may in future result in a diversion of 25% or more of the net assets of the group and/or may contribute 25% or more of the net profits of the group,” said LB Aluminium in a Bursa Malaysia filing.

It noted that the proposed diversification will allow it to take advantage of investment opportunities and to reduce dependence on its manufacturing business, which is becoming increasingly competitive and subjected to the volatility of raw material prices as well as currency fluctuation as aluminium is imported and denominated in US dollars.

An EGM will be convened to seek shareholders' approval for the proposed diversification.

The stock was unchanged at 64.5 sen, with some 247,500 shares changing hands.


Sunzen Biotech revives deal to acquire herbal products manufacturer for RM12 million

PETALING JAYA: Sunzen Biotech Bhd has revived the deal to acquire a 70% stake in herbal and health products manufacturer Ecolite Biotech Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, following the termination of a previous share sale agreement last November.

In conjunction with the proposed acquisition, the company is also undertaking the proposed diversification of the business activities to include the manufacturing and trading of traditional Chinese medicines and herbal health foods and beverages.

Sunzen said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that the due diligence issue which resulted in the termination of a previous share sale agreement with Chum Mun Cuan and Lim Poh Chuw, has been resolved.

Hence, it had on January 26 re-entered into a new SSA with Chum and Lim to acquire the 70% equity interest in Ecolite for the same purchase consideration RM12.05 million.

The consideration is to be satisfied through the allotment and issuance of 40.85 million new shares in Sunzen to the sellers at an issue price of 29.5 sen per share.

Sunzen's shares rose 1.67% to close 30.5 sen on some 70,000 shares done.


TNB’s earnings soar 23.6% on forex gain for three months ended Nov 30

PETALING JAYA: Tenaga Nasional Bhd's (TNB) net earnings jumped 23.6% to RM2.15 billion in the three months period ended Nov 30, 2017, from RM1.74 billion in the previous corresponding quarter, mainly due to foreign exchange gain amounting to RM293.9 million.

Revenue for the quarter increased 3.3% from RM11.24 billion to RM11.61 billion, mainly driven by the increase in group's sales of electricity as compared to the last corresponding quarter.

“The higher group profit after tax was mainly due to favourable foreign exchange translation, boosted by the strengthening of the ringgit,” its president and CEO Datuk Seri Ir Azman Mohd said in a statement.

He said this indicates positive macroeconomic development in the country, which benefits the group in terms of electricity demand. Electricity demand growth in Peninsular Malaysia for the period was at 1.2%, mainly contributed by the continuing upward trend in the industrial sector since the fourth quarter ended August 2017.

Therefore, the group expects the unit electricity demand growth as well as its 2017 results will remain stable.

Meanwhile, TNB said it has invested substantially in capital expenditure to match the nation's energy capacity requirement. Currently, it said there are three generation projects with almost 3,500 megawatt capacities due to be commissioned within year 2018 to 2020.

These generation projects represent 70.9% of the group's total capex investment of RM3.71 billion during the three months period ended Nov 30, 2017.

These investments had also contributed to strengthening the group balance sheet with total group asset base increasing to RM146.10 billion as at the same period, it added.

TNB's share price closed two sen or 0.13% lower to RM15.84 with 7.16 million shares traded.


Securities Commission, Youth and Sports Ministry collaborate in “TN50 PRS”

PETALING JAYA: The Securities Commission (SC) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports today announced a new collaboration under the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) called “TN50 PRS Youth Incentive” (TN50 PRS), to encourage Malaysian youths to save and invest for the future.

SC said in a statement that TN50 PRS aims to enhance greater awareness and understanding on the importance of early retirement planning and to encourage participation in Private Retirement Schemes (PRS) among the youths.

Under TN50 PRS, Malaysians between the age of 20 and 30 who contribute RM1,000 to any PRS fund will receive a matching contribution of RM1,000 from the government in 2018. This is a continuation of the government's incentive which was first announced under Budget 2014 by the Prime Minister.

Introduced in 2012, PRS is a voluntary retirement savings scheme that complements the mandatory occupational scheme of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

PRS Online, an online platform that allows direct subscription for PRS schemes through the Private Pension Administrator Malaysia (PPA) website (www.ppa.my), was also launched today.

New PRS subscribers aged 30 years and below will enjoy zero sales charges with selected PRS providers when they sign up via PPA Online. PPA also launched a new mobile application for members to manage their PRS accounts.

Meanwhile, SC chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh said 2017 was a record year for PRS with the highest number of new members since it was launched five years ago.The total number of members grew 36% to 301,279 in 2017, from 221,235 in 2016.

Total asset under management (AUM) of the 56 existing PRS funds also rose 47% to close the year at RM2.23 billion, from RM1.51 billion in 2016.

The youth segment accounted for 7% of total PRS membership in 2013, but the figure increased significantly to 28% as at December 2017.


AirAsia, AirAsia X log increase in passenger volume, load factor in Q4 2017

PETALING JAYA: Budget airlines AirAsia Bhd and its long-haul carrier counterpart AirAsia X Bhd registered higher year-on-year passenger volume and load factor in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Air Asia carried 10.44 million passengers between October and December 2017, which is a 17% increase from the previous year's 8.25 million, in line with the 16% seat capacity increase to 11.93 million.

The low-cost carrier, which saw an expansion to its fleet to 116 aircraft, also saw its load factor improve by 1% to 88% against the 87% registered in the same quarter in 2016.

Meanwhile, its Malaysian operations reported a 15% increase in passenger volume to 7.79 million from 6.76 million in the quarter under review.

AirAsia commenced 10 new routes, five originating from Malaysia, two from the Philippines and three from India, while AirAsia Japan commenced its first flight on October 29, 2017, flying between Nagoya and Sapporo.

On another note, AirAsia X carried 1.54 million passengers in the last quarter of 2017, translating into a 12% increase from the fourth quarter of 2016. Load factor improved 2% to 83% while capacity expanded 10% to 1.87 million from 1.7 million.


AirAsia, AirAsia X see increase in passenger volume, load factor in Q4 2017

PETALING JAYA: Budget airlines AirAsia Bhd and its long-haul carrier counterpart AirAsia X Bhd registered higher year-on-year passenger volume and load factor in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Air Asia carried 10.44 million passengers between October and December 2017, which is a 17% increase from the previous year's 8.25 million, in line with the 16% seat capacity increase to 11.93 million.

The low-cost carrier, which saw an expansion to its fleet to 116 aircraft, also saw its load factor improve by 1% to 88% against the 87% registered in the same quarter in 2016.

Meanwhile, its Malaysian operations reported a 15% increase in passenger volume to 7.79 million from 6.76 million in the quarter under review.

AirAsia commenced 10 new routes, five originating from Malaysia, two from the Philippines and three from India, while AirAsia Japan commenced its first flight on October 29, 2017, flying between Nagoya and Sapporo.

On another note, AirAsia X carried 1.54 million passengers in the last quarter of 2017, translating into a 12% increase from the fourth quarter of 2016. Load factor improved 2% to 83% while capacity expanded 10% to 1.87 million from 1.7 million.