Friday, March 2nd, 2018


US stocks join global selloff on trade war fears

NEW YORK, March 2 — US stocks tumbled early today, joining a global selloff amid fears of a trade war after President Donald Trump vowed to impose reciprocal tariffs on all imports in addition to steep tariffs on steel and aluminum. About 20…

Trump threatens ‘reciprocal taxes’ on trade partners

NEW YORK, March 2 — President Donald Trump said today he plans to impose “reciprocal taxes” on imports to reduce the US trade deficit — a move sure to ratchet up tensions with Washington’s trading partners. “When a country Taxes our…

Hap Seng Consolidated sells unit, cuts stake in another

PETALING JAYA: Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd is disposing of a unit and a stake in another to Hong Kong-based Lei Shing Hong Capital Ltd for RM1.68 billion.

Hap Seng is selling a 20% interest in Hap Seng Credit Sdn Bhd for RM906 million cash, while its unit HSC International Ltd is selling its entire interest in HSC Sydney Holding Ltd for US$196.50 million (RM771.16 million) cash.

HSC Sydney has a wholly owned subsidiary HS Credit (Sydney) Pty Ltd, which provides financial services. HSC Sydney was incorporated on Aug 18, 2017 and it reported a net loss of US$2,787 for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017.

The HSC Sydney disposal, which was valued at a price-to-book ratio of 3.11 times, is expected to give rise to a gain of RM507.72 million to Hap Seng, which intends to use the proceeds to repay borrowings, for working capital, investments and expenses.

Hap Seng’s earnings per share is expected to increase from 42.36 sen to 63.38 sen following the proposed HSC Sydney disposal.

The proposals are subject to the approval of Hap Seng’s shareholders at an EGM and are expected to be completed by second quarter of 2018.

On Bursa Malaysia on Friday, Hap Seng fell 7 sen or 0.7% to RM9.55 on 548,600 shares traded.

Hap Seng Consolidated sells stake in two units for RM1.68b

PETALING JAYA: Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd is disposing of its stake in two units for RM1.68 billion.

Its wholly owned subsidiary HSC International Limited (HSCI) has entered into a conditional share sale agreement with Lei Shing Hong Capital Ltd (LSHCL) for the proposed disposal of its entire stake in HSC Sydney Holding Ltd (HSH) for US$196.50 million (RM771.16 million) cash.

Hap Seng also entered into a conditional share sale agreement with LSHCL for the proposed disposal of a 20% stake in Hap Seng Credit Sdn Bhd (HSCSB) for RM906 million cash.

HSH has a wholly-owned subsidiary HS Credit (Sydney) Pty Ltd, which is involved in the provision of financial services. HSH was only incorporated on August 18, 2017 and it reported a net loss of US$2,787 for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.

The proposed HSH disposal, which was valued at a price-to-book ratio of 3.11 times, is expected to give rise to a gain of RM507.72 million to Hap Seng, which intends to utilise the disposal sum for the repayment of borrowings, working capital requirements, investments purposes and estimated expenses.

Meanwhile, Hap Seng said the proposed HSCSB disposal is an opportunity for the group to bring a strategic business partner with diversified business operations within the region to participate in the expansion of HSCSB's credit financing business.

Hap Seng's earnings per share is expected to increase from 42.36 sen to 63.38 sen following the proposed HSH disposal.

The proposals are subject to the approval of Hap Seng's shareholders of HSCB at an EGM to be convened and are expected to be completed by second quarter of 2018.

Hap Seng's share price fell 7 sen or 0.7% to close at RM9.55 on some 548,600 shares done.

Takeover offer for OldTown fair and reasonable

PETALING JAYA: The RM1.47 billion takeover offer from Jacobs Douwe Egberts Holdings Asia NL. B.V. (JDE) for OldTown Bhd is fair and reasonable, said AmInvestment Bank Bhd.

In its independent advice letter, AmInvestment Bank recommended OldTown shareholders to accept the offer from the Dutch coffee company.

It said the offer price of RM3.18 is fair as it represents a premium of 27 sen to 54 sen (9.3% to 20.5%) to the ascribed valuation range of RM2.64 to RM2.91 per OldTown share.

AmInvestment Bank also noted that the offer is reasonable as OldTown shares have never traded above the offer price for the past three years, except for a brief period in May 2017.

The offer price represents a premium ranging from 30 sen to 55 sen (10.4% to 20.9%) over its volume weighted average prices for the one-day, five-day, three-month and six-month period.

OldTown received a takeover notice from JDE in December last year and the offer will be open for acceptance until March 13. JDE does not intend to maintain the listing status of Oldtown.

Oldtown's share price closed unchanged at RM3.16 with a total of 239,100 shares traded.

Malaysia Airlines sees decline in Q4 load factor, passengers carried

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Bhd's (MAB) passenger load factor for the fourth quarter (Q4) ended Dec 31, 2017 dipped to 77% from 81% a year ago with a 10.5% drop in the number of passengers carried from 3.8 million to 3.4 million.

Despite that, Q4 passenger yield was the highest during the year at 23.6 sen, which offset the slight reduction in load factor and also resulted in a 2% improvement in revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) from 21.6 sen to 22.1 sen.

Domestic and international passenger load factor stood at 70.5% and 78%, respectively.

Malaysia Airlines Group (MAG) CEO Izham Ismail said in a statement that the group is firmly anchored to the MAS Recovery Plan and he is happy to see steady progress continue in the fourth quarter.

“A concerted focus on yield in the second half of the year has seen an overall improvement in yield and RASK bucking the general downward trend of other regional players.”

Overall he said the airline underperformed against budget compared to the previous year, due to a weaker first half impacted by a weak pricing strategy as well as the hike in exchange rates and fuel.

“MAB did recover in the second half with closer oversight on yield management and ended the year in a stronger position. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on and drive yield to cushion the group from rising fuel costs and forex volatility,” he added.

On outlook, Izham said Southeast Asia has strong traffic growth, but overcapacity remains a challenge, pressuring yields.

“MAB maintains its cautious outlook in the fiscal year of 2018. While the economy is anticipated to be resilient, MAG anticipates that supply and capacity pressure will continue to put a stress on yields although the effect for 2018 is expected to be moderate. The group will continue to be prudent and agile in controlling capacity and has already scaled back on domestic route frequencies allocating aircraft where the best potential returns are seen.”

Cryptocurrencies are failing as money, BoE chief says

LONDON, March 2 — Cryptocurrencies are failing as a form of money and have shown classic signs of being a financial bubble, requiring regulators to protect consumers and stop their use for illegal activities, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney…

Bursa Malaysia finishes lower as global sell-off continues

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia finished the week lower today, tracking the extended global sell-off as trade war worries emerged following US President's hefty steel and aluminium import tariff decision.

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Vice-President/Head of Retail Research Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said investor sentiment had already been clouded by the recent US Federal Reserve Chair's hawkish monetary policy that hinted for a faster pace of interest rate increase.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) closed 4.79 points or 0.26% lower at 1,856.07 from Thursday's close of 1,860.86.

The benchmark index opened 3.05 points easier at 1,857.81 and moved between 1,854.25 and 1,860.64 throughout the day.

Market breadth was negative as losers led gainers 656 to 291 with 411 counters unchanged, 501 untraded and 20 others suspended.

Volume fell to 2.55 billion units worth RM2.41 billion against 3.39 billion units worth RM2.51 billion yesterday.

Nazri Khan said US President Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports had triggered trade war worries involving countries like China and European countries.

“Investors believed the move would have a spillover effect on emerging markets like Malaysia and turn away from the equity market,” he told Bernama.

Regionally, Japan's Nikkei dipped 542.83 points or 2.5% to 21,181.64, Hong Kong's Hang Seng erased 485.37 points or 1.56% to 30,558.88 and the Shanghai Composite Index eased 19.23 points or 0.59% to 3,254.53.

Among heavyweights, Press Metal was the top loser, declining 32 sen to RM5.47 following Trump's steel and aluminium import tariff hike announcement on Thursday.

Axiata and Maxis gave up nine sen each to RM5.33 and RM5.81, respectively, Genting Malaysia erased 11 sen to RM5.20 and Genting was 12 sen lower at RM9.00.

Among the active counters, HB Global reduced 2.5 sen to 25.5 sen, Sapura Energy slid two sen to 62.5 sen, Daya Materials and Asia Poly gained half-a-sen each to 4.5 sen and 12.5 sen, respectively, while DBE Gurney was flat at 3.5 sen.

Of losers, Heng Yuan fell 62 sen to RM12.18, United Plantations lost 38 sen to RM28.30, Genting Plantations trimmed 34 sen to RM9.88, KESM declined 30 sen to RM20.10 and Annjoo fell 25 sen to RM3.44.

The FBM Emas Index dropped 63.30 points to 13,173.95, the FBMT 100 Index was 58.31 points weaker at 12,892.74 and the FBM Emas Syariah Index shed 60.37 points to 13,372.35.

The FBM 70 dipped 157.23 points to 15,978.48 and the FBM Ace edged down 9.48 points to 6,154.67.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Index eased 14.76 points to 3,215.45, the Plantation Index dropped 3.97 points to 8,079.99, while the Finance Index rose 4.97 points to 18,228.07.

The Main Market volume decreased to 1.67 billion units worth RM2.27 billion from 2.22 billion units worth RM2.34 billion on Thursday.

Volume on the ACE Market was lower at 506.19 million shares valued at RM81.95 million against 672.33 million shares valued at RM88.52 million yesterday.

Warrants' volume fell to 373.62 million units worth RM65.08 million from Thursday's 494.96 million units worth RM77.90 million.

Consumer products accounted for 368.15 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (311.20 million), construction (60.31 million), trade and services (628.44 million), technology (82.30 million), infrastructure (10.94 million), SPAC (677,100), finance (58.58 million), hotels (532,000), properties (119.48 million), plantations (19.28 million), mining (578,800), REITs (6.12 million), and closed/fund (26,700).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM160.47 per gramme, up 43 sen from RM160.04 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama

Singapore sees ‘strong political will’ to conclude China-backed trade talks by end-2018

SINGAPORE, March 2 — Countries engaged in negotiations over a China-backed free trade pact have a “strong political will” to conclude the talks by the end of 2018, Singapore’s trade minister said today. The talks on the Regional…

Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor to see higher gearing with RM120 million facility

PETALING JAYA: Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd's (KPS) gearing is expected to rise from 0.2 to 0.52 times with the acceptance of RM120 million facility from Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.

It told Bursa Malaysia that its 51%-owned subsidiary KPS-HCM Sdn Bhd had on March 2 accepted a Business Cash Line-I (Tawarruq) facility of RM120 million for a period of one year, subject to yearly review.

The facility is intended to be used to part finance KPS-HCM's infrastructure works for the development of Phase 3C of the Pulau Indah Industrial Park, which was awarded by Central Spectrum (M) Sdn Bhd in June last year.

KPS shares were unchanged at RM1.28, with some 110,700 shares changing hands.