Wednesday, February 7th, 2018


US dollar holds onto gains as Wall Street trades higher

NEW YORK, Feb 7 — The US dollar rose today against most major currencies, even as gains on Wall Street dimmed the greenback’s safe-haven allure after days of equities volatility. The dollar was 0.35 per cent higher to 89.895 at 10.12am EST…

GlaxoSmithKline sees light at end of Advair tunnel

LONDON, Feb 7 — GlaxoSmithKline sees growth strengthening over the next few years as the drugmaker weathers increased competition in its core respiratory and HIV businesses that could cause earnings to dip this year. Prospects hinge on the…

Boeing says key issues remain in Embraer tie-up talks

SINGAPORE, Feb 7 — Boeing said today there are still issues to address before a partnership can be agreed with Brazil’s Embraer SA, stressing the price must make sense as outlines emerged of a deal that may give the US planemaker control of…

Stocks in Focus (08-02-2018)

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 7): Based on corporate announcements and newsflow today, companies in the spotlight tomorrow (Feb 8) may include: Benalec, Spring Gallery, MMHE, Hibiscus,…

Mexico aims for EU free-trade deal by end of February

BRUSSELS, Feb 7 — Mexico believes it can conclude a new free-trade agreement with the European Union before the end of February, a Mexican official close to the talks said today. The EU and Mexico intend to update a trade deal agreed 21 years…

S&P, Dow rise as industrial, consumer stocks gain

NEW YORK, Feb 7 — US stocks overturned early losses to trade broadly higher today as some buyers returned to a market still shaking from a record fall for the Dow Jones Industrial Average earlier this week. Falls for major technology stocks…

Creative economy to boost GDP

KUALA LUMPUR: A five-year action plan formulated by Kuala Lumpur as a Cultural and Creative City Report is set to increase the current Gross Domestic Products (GDP) contribution of KL from RM11.2 billion to RM19.4 billion.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, who launched the report, said the creative economy is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy.

“It is highly transformative in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings.

“At the same time, it also generates non-monetary value that reflects a nation's capacity to express itself artistically and creatively through its home-grown culture and heritage – be it films, music, literature, theatre and the arts, which can be shared with the world,” Salleh said prior to launching the report today.

The report was undertaken by several parties including the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana), Communications and Multimedia Ministry, Yayasan Hasanah, Yayasan Sime Darby, Think City, MyCreative Ventures, British Council Malaysia, Frost & Sullivan Malaysia, My Performing Arts Agency and Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy.

Salleh said there is even a direct link between the cultural sector and creative industries, whereby the cultural sector is the heartbeat of the creative economy.

“It is also the fuel to the creative sector and will nurture the soul of the nation.”

Cendana chief executive officer Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin said the report also outlines key sectors in the art scene, detailing the overview, challenges and opportunities; sharing case studies as well as providing an overview on what drives Malaysians to engage in the arts.

Manulife warns of overvaluation risk for Malaysian stocks

KUALA LUMPUR: A key risk to the Malaysian equity market is overvaluation that can cause volatility, even though the market is not in such a situation now, said Manulife Asset Management head of total solutions & equity investments, Malaysia, Tock Chin Hui.

“You have capacity expansion (by Malaysian corporates over the past two years) so 2018 will see earnings growth. But if valuation goes up above what’s expected, that’s a major risk,” she told a media briefing on the 2018 market outlook here today.

“The equity market is not just affected by economics, it's also affected by the perception of valuation,” added Tock.

On the global equity market selldown affecting the local bourse, Tock opined that the local equity market takes cue from the rest of the world markets, hence it is sentiment-driven.

The FBM KLCI rebounded 24.23 points or 1.34% to 1,836.68 points today after the heavy sell-off two days ago. Market breadth was positive, with gainers outpacing losers by 625 to 460.

The total market capitalisation returned to above the RM1.9 trillion level to RM1.916 trillion after RM43 billion was wiped off on Tuesday.

The ringgit, meanwhile, strengthened 0.2% to 3.9065 against US dollar as at 5pm today.

“If you focus on buying fundamentals and the reasons why you want to invest in the equity market (because global growth is synchronised, coupled with corporate earnings growth and buying into Malaysian companies that are niche in the global supply chain), then you won’t (go wrong) and a sell down like that will give opportunity from a valuation angle,” Tock said.

Malaysian corporate earnings growth momentum is expected to pick up this year as several corporates have undergone capacity expansion and are now well positioned to benefit from the anticipated demand recovery amid synchronised global growth.

Tock said part of its strategy is to focus on Malaysian companies that will benefit from cyclical opportunities such as robust economic backdrop, against which corporate earnings are set to catch up with economic growth and strong commodity prices.

“Longer term, we look to invest in innovative companies that owned niches in the global supply chains as well as those that focus on serving the needs of millennials and the ageing population.”

She said Malaysia will also stand to benefit from capital flows into Asia, as the country’s strong exports and benign inflation provide a conducive environment for investment.

Meanwhile, it expects the Malaysian corporate bonds sector to perform well this year, driven by stable economic growth, corporate bond yields being less vulnerable to external shock and market volatility as well as demand for corporate bonds to continue to hold up, supported by ample liquidity in the local market and local investors demand for yield pick-up.

Berjaya Hotels & Resorts acquiring two ATR 42 aircraft

PETALING JAYA: Berjaya Hotels & Resorts (BHR) will be acquiring two pre-owned ATR 42-500 aircraft to launch air services from Subang Airport to Redang Island.

ATR said in a statement today that Berjaya Hotels & Resorts’ decision to buy ATR 42-500s is testimony to the versatility of the ATR 42.

ATR is the only aircraft maker in the world that makes 50-seat commercial aircraft.

“In the Malaysia market, and elsewhere in Asia Pacific, we can see that governments want to develop their tourism industries and the broader economy, but one of the impediments they face is lack of air connectivity. ATR is the solution to regional air connectivity in the region,” said ATR CEO Christian Scherer.

Meanwhile, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts CEO Hanley Chew said: “We chose the ATR 42 because it is the right size aircraft for our needs and it can take off and land on short runways. The airport runway on Redang Island is only 1,100 metres long, so the ATR 42’s capabilities in short runways are very important. The ATR 42 was also selected because this aircraft type is very well supported in Malaysia and the wider Asia Pacific region in terms of spare parts, maintenance support and training programmes”.

Going forward, Berjaya Air is also looking to launch services linking Redang Island to Singapore.

Malaysia will continue to deliver robust growth: World Bank

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will continue to deliver robust growth, well backed by its diversified economy, a wide range of reform initiatives and strong macroeconomic policy frameworks to withstand external shocks, said World Bank Group.

Its Development Prospects Group director, M. Ayhan Kose, said the Malaysian economy has been doing well and the real growth rate for 2017 would likely be better than 2016.

“Over the longer term perspective, Malaysia has undertaken a wide range of reforms and these had created the type of benefits that you (can) expect in an economy.

“The economy is more diversified today than it was 20 years ago, (with) institutions stronger and so are the macroeconomic policy frameworks. So the potential growth is still at higher respectable level,” he told reporters after a briefing on the “Global Economic Prospect” today.

Last month, the World Bank, in its Global Economic Prospects report, said Malaysia’s gross domestic product growth was expected to grow at 5.2% this year.

Kose said the report also emphasised the repetition of the global crisis history and recession.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean (that) there will be another recession soon. At the same time, given the fact that history repeats itself, it’s a good to make sure that the financial system is resilient and policy space available to implement the type of policies necessary to stimulate the economy if that type of crisis happens.” – Bernama