Thursday, March 8th, 2018

 

National Higher Education Fund Corp, Prestariang team up for job-matching initiative

PETALING JAYA: National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is working with Prestariang Bhd to launch a job-matching platform called “Job Matching PTPTN” in a bid to get borrowers to pay up after securing employment.

As of November last year, almost half a million of the education fund’s borrowers have not repaid a single sen of their loans, amounting to RM2.79 billion.

The job-matching platform is a collaboration between PTPTN and ICT-based company Prestariang Bhd, which provides talent and software solutions.

In a statement today, Prestariang said phase one of the collaboration will begin with Job Matching as the pilot programme targeted at upskilling and reskilling of current PTPTN borrowers.

It said the programme will launch the PTPTN borrowers into the job market through a “Place & Train” model, which will include job matching to industry requirements through talent profiling and a series of soft skills and communications training.

“Job Matching is the first of its kind where our existing borrowers will first be provided with a job that matches industry requirements through a stringent talent profiling and thereafter training to enhance their potentials and employability,” PTPTN chairman Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said.

“This will provide immediate job opportunities to seekers and vice versa, provide immediate suited talent to the employment market. This will increase the employment rate and boost the country’s economy,” he added.

Prestariang president and group CEO Abu Hasan Ismail said the group will host Job Matching under its end-to-end student digital engagement platform, called Educloud. It is a single services-based digital platform to support learning, engagement and innovation in education in Malaysia and Asean.

EduCloud is the group’s latest offering via cloud introduced under its successful transformation into a pioneering technology and talent player.

“We are pleased that this is our first project with PTPTN and they have trusted us to lead this initiative,” Abu Hasan said.

Industry partners supporting the Job Matching programme through their industry courses and talent opportunities include Prestariang’s global IT partners such as Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud, CXS Analytics, Encap, MasterCard, Microsoft, OpenLearning, Skillsoft, UNIMY and many others.

PTPTN borrowers can apply to be part of Job Matching through www.jobmatchingptptn.my.


Participation in The Exchange 106 a predetermined deal: MoF Inc

PETALING JAYA: The Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc), which confirmed the acquisition of a 51% stake in The Exchange 106 tower at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) through Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd, said its participation in the project was a predetermined deal.

“The MoF Inc’s participation in the development of The Exchange 106 was agreed at the onset to only materialise when the project has reached certain development milestone,” it said in a statement today.

“The strategic location of The Exchange 106 and the iconic nature of the development gave strong impetus for the MoF Inc to participate in the development and management of the tower,” it added.

The Exchange 106, which boasts a net lettable area of 2.8 million square feet, is expected to be completed by the second half of this year.

Upon completion, it will be one of Malaysia’s three iconic structures, the other two being the Petronas Twin Towers and Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s Merdeka 118.

MoF Inc’s acquisition of the stake in Mulia Property was done through its wholly owned subsidiary, MKD Signature Sdn Bhd, in July 2017. The Mulia group owns the remaining 49% interest in The Exchange 106.

Mulia Property was incorporated in Malaysia in April 2015 and has a paid-up share capital of RM500,000. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016, it reported a narrowed net loss of RM3.52 million against RM78.78 million a year ago.

The company’s directors are Lai Weng Hoo, Datuk Yusof Ismail, Datuk Asri [email protected], Mohd Hisyamuddin Awang Abu Bakar, and Harianto Muljohardjo.
MoF Inc said the cost of the development of The Exchange 106 will be borne by the Mulia group and MKD based on their respective proportions of shareholding in the joint venture (JV).

MKD has made arrangements with HSBC Bank for a standby line to finance its proportional construction cost of 51% without any added premium by the JV company.

Recall that Mulia Property bought the 3.42-acre land for RM665 million in May 2015 from TRX City Sdn Bhd. MoF Inc stressed that the sale of land to Mulia was done on commercial terms with no discount accorded to Mulia.

Judging from the huge potential from the entire TRX development with an expected gross development value of RM40 billion, MoF Inc said it is vital for it to secure another strategic position in the progress and success of TRX development.

Besides that, MoF Inc had also entered into a partnership with Lendlease (Australia) to develop the Lifestyle Quarter, a 17-acre mixed-use development area within the TRX. Lendlease and MoF Inc own 60% and 40% equity interest in Lifestyle Quarter.

A number of organisations have committed to take up commercial plots within the TRX, such as HSBC, Prudential Insurance, Affin Bank Bhd, Tabung Haji and Lendlease (Australia). Negotiations are under way to rope in other international organisations, according to MoF Inc.


DRB-Hicom exits hospitality business, swaps land with Syed Mokhtar firm in RM1.9b deal

PETALING JAYA: DRB-Hicom Bhd is disposing of a large portion of its non-industrial property assets and its entire hospitality portfolio to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s privately held company, in a deal estimated to be worth RM1.9 billion.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the group said it will dispose of several subsidiaries owning some 2,200 acres of land as well as its entire equity in Horsedale Development Bhd and Rebak Island Marina Bhd to Prisma Dimensi Sdn Bhd.

The transaction will be satisfied via a cache of landbank in Johor totalling 1,243.45 acres belonging to Prisma Dimensi and Kelana Ventures Sdn Bhd, and a cash payment of RM289 million.

The sale of the companies and the land, which is subject to regulatory and governmental approvals, is expected to net DRB-Hicom a one-time gain of RM849 million.

Upon completion of the deal, the group’s industrial landbank will increase to 1,800 acres. It currently has 600 acres of industrial landbank in Kedah, Perak and Malacca, some of it already under development as industrial parks. This includes the recently launched National Automotive Cluster @ Proton City in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

The group said in a statement yesterday the disposal is part of its strategy to take advantage of its 30-year experience in the development of industrial properties.

“With the incoming landbank in Johor, the group is in an advantageous position to tap into the high demand of industrial parks, especially from Singapore, and DRB-Hicom intends to develop this into a high-tech and modern industrial park once the property market recovers from its current slumber,” said group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.

In its exit from the hospitality industry, the group will sell Rebak Island Marina, the owners of Vivanta Rebak Island Resort by Taj located on Rebak Island, Langkawi, Holiday Inn Glenmarie Kuala Lumpur and Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, both located in Shah Alam. The Lake Kenyir Resort Taman Negara in Terengganu, which was closed in 2016, is also part of the asset disposal.

“Having a core focus for each of our main sectors is important. While there is potential of course in the hospitality industry, we feel that DRB-Hicom’s strengths lie in different areas. This exit will allow us to have a leaner and more focused properties portfolio, making it easier to harness these strengths and push towards excellence in industrial property development,” said Syed Faisal.

The group expects the transaction to be completed within the first quarter of 2019, subject to obtaining all regulatory approvals.

On Bursa Malaysia today, DRB-Hicom rose 0.43% or 1 sen to RM2.33 with 8.43 million shares traded.


US stocks rise on softer Trump trade tone

NEW YORK, March 8 — Wall Street stocks rose early today following more benign commentary from the White House on international trade, while pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts surged on its takeover by insurer Cigna. About 15 minutes…


France to ‘name and shame’ companies that pay women less

PARIS, March 8 — French President Emmanuel Macron today marked International Women’s Day with a pledge to “name and shame” companies that pay women less than men for the same work. On a visit to a Paris-based property management firm…


Trump vows ‘flexibility’ for ‘real friends’ in tariff row

WASHINGTON, March 8 — President Donald Trump pledged today the United States will show “flexibility” to “real friends” as the White House prepares to roll out steel and aluminum tariffs that have sparked fears of a global trade war….


SP Setia becomes sole owner of Bangsar land

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd today acquired the remaining 50% stake of Setia Federal Hill, which owns 51.57 acres of leasehold land in Bangsar, from Mekar Gemilang Sdn Bhd for RM431.89 million cash.

The group said the price is a premium of 10.9% to the unaudited adjusted net asset value of Setia Federal Hill as at Dec 31, 2017 of RM778.64 million.

The purchase is expected to be funded via cash proceeds from the issuance of Islamic Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (RCPS-i A) by SP Setia, which was completed on Dec 6, 2016, and/or bank borrowings.

Setia Federal Hill is a joint venture company, which was established to undertake a development project on the land, held equally by SP Setia and Mekar. The land was obtained via a privatisation agreement in 2012 involving a land swap with the government, in return for the transfer of 41.5 acre land in Setia Alam for the the planning and development of a health research facility complex and construction of a clinic and 24 apartments in Bangsar.

The land is planned for an integrated development project, which comprises residential and commercial components and a mall with a gross development value of RM20.19 billion over a 15-year period.

“The proposed acquisition is expected to enhance the consolidated net assets of SP Setia Group and net assets per share of SP Setia in the future in view of the potential future profit contribution arising from the proposed development on the land.”

In the event the purchase is partially funded via bank borrowings, the gearing of the SP Setia Group will potentially increase.

The exercise would require approval from the Public Private Partnership Unit and if required, the Economic Planning Unit, to effect a change in the shareholding and equity structure of Setia Federal Hill. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the application to the relevant authorities in relation to the proposed acquisition is expected to be made within one month.

The exercise is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2018.


Aeon expects sales to increase 10-20% during promotion period

KUALA LUMPUR: Aeon Co (M) Bhd expects sales to grow between 10% and 20% during its promotion period, the Aeon Day and Thank You Day sales promotions.

Executive director Poh Ying said the “Aeon Day” sales promotion would be held on every 8th and 28th day of the month while the “Thank You Day” on every second and last weekend of the month.

“These promotions will benefit 1.2 million Aeon members who have played a pivotal role in spurring our growth,” he told reporters after launching the Aeon 2018 Promotions today.

He said for “Aeon Day”, members would receive RM5 cash vouchers for every RM100 spent or RM3 cash vouchers for every RM60 spent, while for “Thank You Day”, they would receive RM5 cash vouchers for every RM80 spent, RM10 cash vouchers for every RM150 spent and RM30 cash vouchers for every RM300 spent, all excluding the Goods and Services Tax.

“With the rising cost of living and the inflation, many consumers are looking for more ways to stretch their money, especially for groceries.

“The cash vouchers can help our customers obtain greater savings in the long-run,” he added.

Poh said that consumer spending sentiment this year was expected to be good due to the upcoming election as well as the implementation of measures to curb inflation.

“Along with the consumer-friendly 2018 Budget and the better ringgit, I believe these factors will drive consumer spending and the growth of the retail industry,” he added.

Meanwhile, Poh said Aeon had allocated between RM400 million and RM500 million in capital expenditure this year to be used, among others, to renovate new and existing stores in Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Johor.

To date, Aeon operates 33 departmental stores cum supermarkets and manages and operates 26 shopping malls, three MaxValu and three MaxValu Prime supermarkets, nationwide. – Bernama


Aeon expects 2018 sales to increase 10-20%

KUALA LUMPUR: Aeon Co (M) Bhd expects sales to grow between 10% and 20% this year, thanks to the “Aeon Day” and “Thank You Day” sales promotions.

Executive director Poh Ying said the “Aeon Day” sales promotion would be held on every 8th and 28th day of the month while the “Thank You Day” on every second and last weekend of the month.

“These promotions will benefit 1.2 million Aeon members who have played a pivotal role in spurring our growth,” he told reporters after launching the Aeon 2018 Promotions today.

He said for “Aeon Day”, members would receive RM5 cash vouchers for every RM100 spent or RM3 cash vouchers for every RM60 spent, while for “Thank You Day”, they would receive RM5 cash vouchers for every RM80 spent, RM10 cash vouchers for every RM150 spent and RM30 cash vouchers for every RM300 spent, all excluding the Goods and Services Tax.

“With the rising cost of living and the inflation, many consumers are looking for more ways to stretch their money, especially for groceries.

“The cash vouchers can help our customers obtain greater savings in the long-run,” he added.

Poh said that consumer spending sentiment this year was expected to be good due to the upcoming election as well as the implementation of measures to curb inflation.

“Along with the consumer-friendly 2018 Budget and the better ringgit, I believe these factors will drive consumer spending and the growth of the retail industry,” he added.

Meanwhile, Poh said Aeon had allocated between RM400 million and RM500 million in capital expenditure this year to be used, among others, to renovate new and existing stores in Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Johor.

To date, Aeon operates 33 departmental stores cum supermarkets and manages and operates 26 shopping malls, three MaxValu and three MaxValu Prime supermarkets, nationwide. – Bernama


KESM profit up 12% in Q2

PETALING JAYA: KESM Industries Bhd reported a 12.1% rise in net profit to RM11.18 million for the second quarter ended Jan 31 compared with RM9.98 million in the previous corresponding period, driven by higher demand for burn-in and testing services.

Revenue for the quarter under review expanded 10.1% from RM83.12 million to RM91.47 million.

KESM’s six-month net profit increased 12.8% from RM19.99 million to RM22.55 million, while revenue was 11.6% higher at RM182.18 million versus RM163.23 million it made a year ago.

Looking ahead, the group said it is intensifying its efforts to improve production efficiency in light of recent capacity expansion.

“This effort and the positive industry trend as well as the improving world economy will continue to drive our business forward.”

KESM’s share price gained 34 sen or 1.8% to close at RM19.50 today on some 98,100 shares traded.