Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

 

Wall Street recovers after historic falls

NEW YORK, Feb 6 —  US stock markets bounced after a torrid opening today, bargain-hunters and gains for Apple pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average into positive territory after two days of heavy losses. Both the…


US stocks fall about 1.0pc in opening moments

NEW YORK, Feb 6 — Wall Street stocks fell sharply in the opening moments of trading today, putting the market on track for a possible third straight session of massive losses. About three minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average…


Brexit may escalate 99pc price jump of Frankfurt’s apartments

FRANKFURT, Feb 6 — The expected onslaught of up to 10,000 Brexit bankers could further exacerbate the already tense situation on Frankfurt’s condominium market. Residential Real estate is often cheaper compared to London, making it more…


Measures lauded but will they benefit Malaysian stock market?

PETALING JAYA: The stamp duty waiver on trading of shares of mid and small-cap companies listed on Bursa Malaysia and the establishment of a stock market trading link between Bursa Malaysia and Singapore Exchange (SGX) by year-end have been lauded by industry players as positive measures, but the benefits to the local stock exchange may be somewhat insignificant.

Inter-Pacific Research head of research Pong Teng Siew expects the stock market trading link to provide a “very small” benefit to the local exchange in the short term, saying he believes Singaporean investors have little interest in Malaysian equities, given that they are well connected globally and prefer to look at shares elsewhere in the world, and that the measure will not significantly help to stimulate interest in Malaysian shares among investors across the Causeway.

“Since the Asian crisis, I’m afraid most of the Singapore investors have sworn off Malaysian shares. Obviously, the authorities would want to do anything that can possibly help to stimulate interest in Malaysian shares. But I can say there is very little interest among Singapore investors for Malaysian shares,” he told SunBiz.

Conversely, Pong said, Malaysian investors are more interested in Singapore shares, due to the strong Singapore dollar.

“They might be tempted to buy Singapore shares so that their wealth could be better preserved since it is denominated in Singapore dollar, which is a more stable currency than the ringgit. But anything is possible in the long term,” he added, noting the direct link might open up the avenues for more securities for investors to choose from.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd director of corporate investment banking Sherilyn Foong said the link will definitely help increase market liquidity and velocity and, to an extent, help cushion the lack of foreign institutional funds in the Malaysian market.

“It’s a win-win situation for all parties, especially the exchanges that will benefit the most,” she told SunBiz, noting the cross participation from the retail sector is currently pretty much insignificant for both markets.

Affin Hwang Asset Management senior portfolio manager Chow Kar Tzen expects the Malaysia-Singapore trading link to spur further retail participation and liberalise access to markets.

“Nonetheless, retail investors can already trade both markets. The proposed trading link comes with a slew of other announcements including relaxation of margin financing rules and to also allow intra-day short-selling which will be positive for asset managers such as ourselves to trade the market more actively,” Chow told SunBiz.

CIMB group chief executive Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said the Malaysia-Singapore Connect share trading initiative will not only attract more new players to participate in the wealth-creation of a total of 1,600 listed companies across both markets, but also encourage financial product creation and diversification.

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced that they will work together to facilitate the trading link between Bursa Malaysia and the Singapore Exchange (SGX). The trading link would allow investors to trade and settle shares listed on each other’s stock market in a more convenient and cost-efficient manner.

RHB Research raised its assumption for 2018 securities average daily traded value to RM2.7 billion, from RM2.58 billion previously. Correspondingly, the research house raised its 2018 net profit forecast for Bursa Malaysia by 4%.
Pong said the stamp duty waiver will help to encourage increased interest and participation in the small to mid cap segment.

“To some extent, it might help to reduce the cost of transactions and opportunity for making profits and certainly, it is a welcome move in this difficult trading environment,” he added.

RHB analyst Lee Seng Choon believes the exemption of stamp duty on shares of mid- and small-cap companies traded on Bursa Malaysia is a positive for trading volume.

The stamp duty chargeable on transactions on the stock market of Bursa Malaysia is RM1 for RM1,000 or fractional part of value of securities effective March 17, 2003. The maximum charge for the stamp duty is RM200.


Analysts laud measures but downplay potential benefits to Malaysian stocks

PETALING JAYA: The stamp duty waiver on trading of shares of mid and small-cap companies listed on Bursa Malaysia and the establishment of a stock market trading link between Bursa Malaysia and Singapore Exchange (SGX) by year-end have been lauded by industry players as positive measures, but the benefits to the local stock exchange may be somewhat insignificant.

Inter-Pacific Research head of research Pong Teng Siew expects the stock market trading link to provide a “very small” benefit to the local exchange in the short term, saying he believes Singaporean investors have little interest in Malaysian equities, given that they are well connected globally and prefer to look at shares elsewhere in the world, and that the measure will not significantly help to stimulate interest in Malaysian shares among investors across the Causeway.

“Since the Asian crisis, I’m afraid most of the Singapore investors have sworn off Malaysian shares. Obviously, the authorities would want to do anything that can possibly help to stimulate interest in Malaysian shares. But I can say there is very little interest among Singapore investors for Malaysian shares,” he told SunBiz.

Conversely, Pong said, Malaysian investors are more interested in Singapore shares, due to the strong Singapore dollar.

“They might be tempted to buy Singapore shares so that their wealth could be better preserved since it is denominated in Singapore dollar, which is a more stable currency than the ringgit. But anything is possible in the long term,” he added, noting the direct link might open up the avenues for more securities for investors to choose from.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd director of corporate investment banking Sherilyn Foong said the link will definitely help increase market liquidity and velocity and, to an extent, help cushion the lack of foreign institutional funds in the Malaysian market.

“It’s a win-win situation for all parties, especially the exchanges that will benefit the most,” she told SunBiz, noting the cross participation from the retail sector is currently pretty much insignificant for both markets.

Affin Hwang Asset Management senior portfolio manager Chow Kar Tzen expects the Malaysia-Singapore trading link to spur further retail participation and liberalise access to markets.

“Nonetheless, retail investors can already trade both markets. The proposed trading link comes with a slew of other announcements including relaxation of margin financing rules and to also allow intra-day short-selling which will be positive for asset managers such as ourselves to trade the market more actively,” Chow told SunBiz.

CIMB group chief executive Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said the Malaysia-Singapore Connect share trading initiative will not only attract more new players to participate in the wealth-creation of a total of 1,600 listed companies across both markets, but also encourage financial product creation and diversification.

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced that they will work together to facilitate the trading link between Bursa Malaysia and the Singapore Exchange (SGX). The trading link would allow investors to trade and settle shares listed on each other’s stock market in a more convenient and cost-efficient manner.

RHB Research raised its assumption for 2018 securities average daily traded value to RM2.7 billion, from RM2.58 billion previously. Correspondingly, the research house raised its 2018 net profit forecast for Bursa Malaysia by 4%.
Pong said the stamp duty waiver will help to encourage increased interest and participation in the small to mid cap segment.

“To some extent, it might help to reduce the cost of transactions and opportunity for making profits and certainly, it is a welcome move in this difficult trading environment,” he added.

RHB analyst Lee Seng Choon believes the exemption of stamp duty on shares of mid- and small-cap companies traded on Bursa Malaysia is a positive for trading volume.

The stamp duty chargeable on transactions on the stock market of Bursa Malaysia is RM1 for RM1,000 or fractional part of value of securities effective March 17, 2003. The maximum charge for the stamp duty is RM200.


AirAsia bullish on India market

JAIPUR: Low-cost, long-haul carrier AirAsia X Bhd, which has started operating its Kuala Lumpur-Jaipur route, is hoping to increase its services in and out of India, a market in which it sees potential.

“We would love to put a lot more flights if regulators allow us to. Right now we are having trouble getting slots into India, with a lot of Malaysian carriers going into India as opposed to Indian carriers coming into Malaysia. That is the challenge,” said AirAsia Bhd executive chairman and AirAsia X group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

On top of that, he said, AirAsia X is looking to increase the frequency of the Kuala Lumpur-Jaipur route to daily from the current four times a week.

With a potential annual seat capacity of over 156,800 seats, it is eyeing a load factor of 75-80% for the route this year.

Kamarudin was speaking to reporters at the inaugural flight celebration ceremony here today. The Kuala Lumpur-Jaipur route is the second direct flight service connecting India and Malaysia offered by AirAsia X after the launch of the Kuala Lumpur-New Delhi direct service in February 2016.

The Jaipur-Kuala Lumpur service brings the total weekly flights connecting India to Malaysia under AirAsia group to 110 times with a total capacity of 22,755 seats.

AirAsia X Malaysia has carried over 184,000 passengers in and out of India since the introduction of the Kuala Lumpur-New Delhi route.

AirAsia group, which comprises AirAsia X and short-haul arm AirAsia, currently serves a total of 19 cities.

Recently, AirAsia Bhd group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was quoted as saying that the group is looking to buy Boeing 787s to expand the fleet of its long-haul unit.

On this, Kamarudin said it is “still under discussion”.

“At this stage I think it’s premature to talk about it. We are evaluating from a technical aspect and pricing and all those. To confirm it is premature.”


RAM reaffirms UEM’s Islamic bond’s ‘AA2/stable’ rating

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — RAM Rating Services Bhd has reaffirmed the ‘AA2/stable’ rating of UEM Group Bhd’s Islamic medium-term note programme of up to RM2.2 billion (2012/2042), issued through funding vehicle, United Growth Bhd. In a…


No strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading for now: Singapore

SINGAPORE: The central bank of Singapore has been studying the potential risks posed by cryptocurrencies, but there is as yet no strong case to ban trading of the digital coins in the city-state, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said.

“Cryptocurrencies are an experiment. The number and different forms of cryptocurrencies is growing internationally. It is too early to say if they will succeed,” he said.

“If some do succeed, their full implications will also not be known for some time,” the deputy prime minister said in a written answer to questions from members of parliament on banning the trading of bitcoin or cryptocurrency.

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore has been closely studying these developments and the potential risks they pose. As of now, there is no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading here.”

In another development, the head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said central banks must prepare to act against cryptocurrencies to ensure they do not become entrenched and undermine trust in central banks.

Agustin Carstens, general manager of the BIS, an umbrella organisation for the world's central banks, said in a speech that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin were “probably not sustainable as money” and failed the “basic textbook definition” of being a currency.

“There is a strong case for policy intervention,” he said, speaking at Frankfurt's Goethe University today.

“These assets can raise concerns related to consumer and investor protection. Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act.”

“Private digital tokens masquerading as currencies must not subvert this trust (in central banks)”, he warned, but stopped short of suggesting what concrete measures should be taken.

Carstens described bitcoin as “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”. The last refers to the energy-intensive process of “mining” the digital currency.

To prevent cryptocurrencies from becoming “parasites” on existing financial infrastructure, Carstens said that only those exchanges and products which met accepted standards should be given access to banking and payment services.

“This means same risk, same regulation. And no exceptions
allowed,” he added. – Reuters


06/02/2018 21:09:00

SINGAPORE: The central bank of Singapore has been studying the potential risks posed by cryptocurrencies, but there is as yet no strong case to ban trading of the digital coins in the city-state, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said.

“Cryptocurrencies are an experiment. The number and different forms of cryptocurrencies is growing internationally. It is too early to say if they will succeed,” he said.

“If some do succeed, their full implications will also not be known for some time,” the deputy prime minister said in a written answer to questions from members of parliament on banning the trading of bitcoin or cryptocurrency.

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore has been closely studying these developments and the potential risks they pose. As of now, there is no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading here.”


F&N profit down 16% in first quarter

PETALING JAYA: Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd’s (F&N) net profit for the first quarter ended Dec 1, 2017 fell 16% to RM106.83 million from RM127.28 million a year ago due higher input cost for its business operations.

Revenue declined marginally by 2% to RM1.07 billion compared with RM1.09 billion in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

F&N said the Malaysian business environment is expected to remain challenging amid market contraction in the beverages categories and intense competitive price pressure in the coming festive seasons.

However, it said operational cost savings from the transformation initiatives and efficiency through process improvement are expected to contribute positively to the Malaysian operations in the coming quarters.

Meanwhile, F&N said the business outlook in Thailand is positive but the management remains cautious about the state of consumer sentiment.

“Our Malaysian and Thai businesses are expected to benefit as a net importer from the strengthening ringgit and Thai baht. However, this may present a challenge to our export business.”

“The board and management will continue to be vigilant and take decisive actions to ensure sustainable growth for our businesses and expand our global reach for our exports pillar.”