Friday, March 30th, 2018


Abolishing GST ‘not easy’, says World Bank rep

KUALA LUMPUR, MARCH 30 — World Bank Poverty and Equity Senior Economist Kenneth Simler today said abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Malaysia will not be easy as it will have an impact on the country’s economy. He said Malaysia…

Ringgit to reach 3.75 against US dollar by year-end, StanChart economist predicts

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― The ringgit is expected to reach between 3.70 and 3.75 against the US dollar in the second half of the year on the back of the country’s solid economic fundamentals. Standard Chartered Bank Chief Economist for Asean…

FGV claiming RM45.2 million outstanding payment from Safitex

PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd's (FGV) subsidiary Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd (DOP) is seeking US$11.7 million (RM45.2 million) from Safitex General Trading LLC in Dubai.

DOP is also demanding 12% interest per annum from the date of the filing of the Safitex suit until payment is made in full.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, FGV said DOP has commenced legal proceedings against Safitex by filing a statement of claim in the Dubai Court of First Instance upon the receipt of a preliminary registration number for the purposes of reviewing the claim against Safitex.

FGV noted that the litigation against Safitex may have a material financial impact on the group as a favourable outcome may reverse the earlier impairment provisions made, but an unfavourable outcome will result in further losses to the group.

Safitex operates in the United Arab Emirates and had entered into contracts with DOP for the purchase of refined crude palm oil and margarine.

Although DOP has provided Safitex with all products required in accordance with its contractual obligations, Safitex has failed to complete its contractual obligations and owes US$11.7 million to date.

FGV's shares rose 2.41% or 4 sen to close at RM1.70 with a total of 5.35 million shares traded.

Minetech Resources unit inks 21-year power deal with TNB

PETALING JAYA: Minetech Resources Bhd's 70%-owned subsidiary Coral Power Sdn Bhd has entered into a 21-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) in relation to the generation and sale of solar photovoltaic energy to TNB's grib system at the Pantai Remis main distribution sub-station.

The solar photovoltaic energy will be generated from its 9.99 MWac solar photovoltaic energy generating facility, which is to be located at Pengkalan Baharu, Manjung, Perak.

The project is estimated to cost RM62 million, which will be financed via a combination of borrowings and shareholders' equity.

Minetech said in a stock exchange filing that the project which is being undertaken pursuant to the second phase of the large-scale solar open tender undertaken by the Energy Commission, will be one of the first systems in Malaysia to utilise floatation devices on a pond.

It's also part of the group's strategy to diversify the earnings base by including renewable energy, which it views as a stable source of recurring revenues. The project is expected to contribute positively to Minetech's earnings and net assets in 2020.

The stock gained 5% to close at 10.5 sen with 70,000 shares traded.

India’s ONGC ordered to pay RM19.8m to Sime Darby, Swiber over claim dispute

PETALING JAYA: The Arbitral Tribunal has ordered India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) to pay US$5.13 million (RM19.8 million) to Sime Darby Bhd's indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Sime Darby Engineering Sdn Bhd (SDE) and Swiber Offshore Construction Pte Ltd in relation to a dispute over a field development job in India.

However, ONGC filed an application at the High Court in Mumbai, India on March 27 to set aside the decision.

Sime Darby said it is seeking legal advice from its lawyers on the next course of action.

“The Tribunal's decision is not expected to have a material effect on the earnings and the net assets of the Sime Darby group for the financial year ending June 30, 2018,” it noted.

SDE and Swiber had entered into a consortium agreement dated May 19, 2010 for the execution of the project for a total contract price of US$618.38 million. The consortium and ONGC had executed the contract for the project on July 3, 2010. Disputes relating to the project have since arisen.

Ringgit ends higher as US dollar continues retreat

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― The ringgit closed marginally higher against the US dollar today as the greenback continued to retreat amid the low yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond. At 6pm, the local note was quoted at 3.8620/8650…

Berjaya Corp registers RM2.17 billion revenue in Q3

PETALING JAYA: Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) saw a slight dip of 2.25% in revenue to RM2.17 billion for the third quarter ended January 31, 2018 from RM2.22 billion a year ago, mainly due to lower revenue achieved by the property investment and development segment.

In the quarter under review, the group recorded a pre-tax profit of RM6.35 million against the RM83.86 million reported in the previous year's corresponding quarter due to the lower net investment related income.

For the cumulative period of nine months, BCorp recorded a pre-tax loss of RM84.86 million against a pre-tax profit of RM563.95 million, due to the provision for impairment on a portion of the balance of Berjaya (China) Great Mall Co Ltd (GMOC) project sales proceeds, unrealised forex loss, higher pre-tax loss of the retail distribution business as well as lower pre-tax profit reported by the property investment and development business.

Revenue for the period fell 5% to RM6.56 billion from RM6.9 billion on the back of lower contribution from the property investment and development segment and marketing of consumer products and services segment.

The retail distribution business also reported lower revenue due to weak consumer spending sentiment as a result of unfavourable economic conditions in China, Malaysia and Hong Kong, as well as the intense competition in China.

Given the prevailing economic conditions and global financial outlook, BCorp is of the view that the operating environment will be challenging going forward.

Ringgit ends marginally higher vs US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed marginally higher against the US dollar today as the greenback continued to retreat amid the low yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond.

At 6pm, the local note was quoted at 3.8620/8650 against Thursday's close of 3.8660/8700.

Oanda Head of Trading Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yields were moving lower due to the flight-to-quality hedge.

“Investors were in fear of further equity markets losses, primarily in the technology sector, following concerns over Facebook and other big tech companies' security issues emerging,” he told Bernama.

Innes said the lower US yields had benefitted Malaysian Government Securities' (MGS) carry trade, as investors looked for yields in ringgit exposure.

Meanwhile, another dealer said firmer crude oil prices, where benchmark Brent crude oil was traded at US$69.34 per barrel as at 6.10pm today, also lent support to the ringgit performance.

However, the local unit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

It fell against the yen to 3.6369/6404 from 3.6253/6294 on Thursday, slid against the Singapore dollar to 2.9476/9511 from 2.9473/9506 and depreciated against the euro to 4.7603/7659 from 4.7598/7663.

Vis-a-vis the pound, the ringgit was higher at 5.4246/4307 from yesterday's 5.4375/4443. — Bernama

Carlsberg chairman to step down after Apr 12 AGM

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Lim Say Chong will step down as Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd's chairman after the group's AGM on April 12, while independent non-executive director Datuk Toh Ah Wah will take over the reins.

The group said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that following the appointment, Toh will also take on the position of chairman of the remuneration committee and chairman of the nomination committee from Lim.

“It has been a privilege for me to be part of the transformation journey of the group, especially the product innovations launched in the recent years namely Carlsberg Smooth Draught, Somersby cider, Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc and Connors' Stout Porter. I am pleased that it is to Datuk Toh that I am handing over the chairmanship, (as) he has vast experience and a sound understanding of consumer businesses, not only in Malaysia but also in the Asia Pacific region. This makes him the ideal candidate to bring the group to greater success,” said Lim, who has served the group for 15 years.

Carlsberg shares gained 0.11% to close at RM18.88 with 432,100 shares traded.

Bursa Malaysia ends on positive note

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended its trading session in the first quarter of the year on a positive note today, with persistent gains in selected heavyweights and mid-capitalisation stocks, dealers said.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended 0.38% or 7.11 points stronger at 1,863.46 from Thursday's close of 1,856.35, after opening 3.02 points higher at 1,859.37.

The key index moved between 1,856.30 and 1,866.35 throughout the day.

Market breadth was positive, with 476 gainers against 384 losers, while 396 counters were unchanged, 656 untraded and 57 others suspended.

Volume declined to 1.82 billion units valued at RM1.90 billion, from 1.88 billion units valued at RM2.09 billion on Thursday.

A dealer said the local stock market rebounded, taking the cue from the higher close of Wall Street, even though some regional markets were closed due to the Good Friday holiday.

Among heavyweights, Maybank and Tenaga advanced eight sen each to RM10.60 and RM16.24, respectively, Public Bank was flat at RM24.00, CIMB rose three sen to RM7.19, and Petronas Chemicals firmed up 11 sen to RM8.26.

Of the actively-traded stocks, Sapura Energy recovered half-a-sen to 50.5 sen, DBE was flat at 3.5 sen and Ekovest gained 4.5 sen to 31.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index bagged 60.08 points to 13,045.59 as the FBMT 100 Index rose 63.34 points to 12,849.02 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 68.10 points higher at 13,230.74.

The FBM 70 jumped 125.92 points to 15,601.39 and the FBM Ace surged 82.76 points to 5,455.89.

Sector-wise, the Finance Index went up 92.79 points to 18,227.97, the Plantation Index increased 15.83 points to 8,001.38 and the Industrial Index added 11.05 points to 3,237.67.

Main Market volume fell to 1.18 billion units valued at RM1.80 billion from 1.28 billion units worth RM1.96 billion on Thursday.

Volume on the ACE Market increased to 411.93 million shares valued at RM67.92 million from Thursday's 206.67 million shares worth RM45.39 million.

Warrants' volume dipped 223.22 million units valued at RM22.59 million from 388.65 million units worth RM80.44 million.

Consumer products accounted for 54.36 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (292.70 million), construction (80.73 million), trade and services (461.44 million), technology (41.71 million), infrastructure (8.28 million), SPAC (95.74 million), finance (50.73 million), hotels (1.71 million), properties (70.50 million), plantations (16.13 million), mining (127,800), REITs (11.88 million), and closed/fund (40,000). — Bernama