Sunday, May 6th, 2018

 

Planemakers risk order disruption as Etihad reviews strategy

DUBAI, May 6 — Airbus and Boeing are preparing for possible changes to dozens of plane orders from Middle East carrier Etihad Airways as it presses ahead with a company-wide review, four sources familiar with the matter said. Etihad has been…


Blast from the past – general elections and the local stock market

PETALING JAYA: The local stock market has seen ups and downs in the run-up to general elections as well as after the polls, and SunBiz’s peek into the past shows how equities have performed in the last five general elections (GEs) as Malaysians vote on Wednesday in the “mother of all elections”.

In the 1995, 1999 and 2008 GEs, the stock market took a beating, with the local benchmark index falling 16.42, 11.25 and 123 points to close at 958.63, 734.66 and 1,173 points, respectively.

The key index fell 1.68% or 16.42 points to 958.63 on April 26, 1995, despite the Barisan Nasional (BN) scoring a landslide victory as retail and institutional investors preferred to remain cautious on the backdrop of continuing US currency worries.

In the case of the GE in 1999, although the ruling coalition retained its two-thirds majority, the stock market succumbed to selling pressure given the impressive gains made by opposition party PAS, which triggered concerns among local players who immediately squared their holdings of “sin stocks” – brewery, gaming and tobacco stakes.

This was exacerbated by the selldown that came from foreigners who were clearing their holdings in anticipation of the Y2K or Year 2000 computer crisis.

As for the historical GE12 in 2008, which saw the BN losing its customary two-thirds majority with five states going off its hands, the local equity market reacted to the results by staging a huge sell-off.

Nonetheless, in 2004 (GE11) and 2013 (GE13), the stock market breathed a sigh of relief after the elections with gains of 0.5% and 3.38%, respectively. Worth noting is that the FBM KLCI hit an all-time high of 1,826 points in early trade on May 6, 2013, the day after GE13, surging over 130 points or 7.75%, in the wake of BN’s victory.

Since GE13, the FBM KLCI has risen close to 90 points, or over 5%. Last Friday, the FBM KLCI closed down 9.97 points or 0.5% at its intraday low of 1,841.83 points.


General elections and the ups and downs of the local stock market

PETALING JAYA: The local stock market has seen ups and downs in the run-up to general elections as well as after the polls, and SunBiz’s peek into the past shows how equities have performed in the last five general elections (GEs) as Malaysians vote on Wednesday in the “mother of all elections”.

In the 1995, 1999 and 2008 GEs, the stock market took a beating, with the local benchmark index falling 16.42, 11.25 and 123 points to close at 958.63, 734.66 and 1,173 points, respectively.

The key index fell 1.68% or 16.42 points to 958.63 on April 26, 1995, despite the Barisan Nasional (BN) scoring a landslide victory as retail and institutional investors preferred to remain cautious on the backdrop of continuing US currency worries.

In the case of the GE in 1999, although the ruling coalition retained its two-thirds majority, the stock market succumbed to selling pressure given the impressive gains made by opposition party PAS, which triggered concerns among local players who immediately squared their holdings of “sin stocks” – brewery, gaming and tobacco stakes.

This was exacerbated by the selldown that came from foreigners who were clearing their holdings in anticipation of the Y2K or Year 2000 computer crisis.

As for the historical GE12 in 2008, which saw the BN losing its customary two-thirds majority with five states going off its hands, the local equity market reacted to the results by staging a huge sell-off.

Nonetheless, in 2004 (GE11) and 2013 (GE13), the stock market breathed a sigh of relief after the elections with gains of 0.5% and 3.38%, respectively. Worth noting is that the FBM KLCI hit an all-time high of 1,826 points in early trade on May 6, 2013, the day after GE13, surging over 130 points or 7.75%, in the wake of BN’s victory.

Since GE13, the FBM KLCI has risen close to 90 points, or over 5%. Last Friday, the FBM KLCI closed down 9.97 points or 0.5% at its intraday low of 1,841.83 points.


Houses priced RM300,000 and above cannot be termed ‘affordable’, says Bank Negara

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said property priced RM300,000 and above should not be called “affordable housing” considering the median monthly household income of merely RM5,228 in 2016.

The central bank was responding to the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association’s (Rehda) statement that property priced RM300,000 to RM500,000 is considered affordable housing.

“The definition of affordable house price quoted in the article is inaccurate. Houses in the price range of RM300,000 to RM500,000 are beyond what is affordable to the households earning the median income in Malaysia,” BNM said its FactWatch website last Friday.

It said based on international standards using the Housing Cost Burden approach, the maximum price of an affordable home is estimated to be only RM282,000, given the median household income of RM5,228 in 2016 as published in the Household Income and Expenditure Survey by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia.

BNM said there remains a mismatch between the profiles of new housing supply and demand by households.

“According to the 4th quarter 2017 data by National Property Information Centre (Napic), only 39% of new housing launches were priced up to RM300,000 over the years 2016-2017. This is insufficient to cater to the demand by 50% of households in Malaysia earning up to the median income.

“Napic data also suggests that the issue of unsold affordable homes priced below RM300,000 is the least severe compared to other price ranges. As at 4th quarter of 2017, unsold residential units priced below RM300,000 constitute the lowest share (20%) of total unsold residential properties under construction in Malaysia (RM300k-500k: 35%; above RM500k: 45%).”

The central bank said establishing an integrated housing supply and demand database is important given the challenges of identifying the right price points in the right location for new housing supply.

“This is to ensure new housing supply is tailored towards the income and demographic profile of households across different locations. Beyond prices of new launches, equally important are other aspects of what constitutes an affordable home (e.g. connectivity from centres of employment, sufficient living space).”


TH Properties plans foray into Bangkok market

KUALA LUMPUR: TH Properties Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH), is expanding its business by venturing into the property market in Bangkok, Thailand, after growing rapidly in Australia.

TH Properties group managing director Datuk Roszali Othman said the group is looking into opportunities in the residential market in the neighbouring country as it offers a huge market potential.

“We have met potential partners, we are looking at the market in Bangkok as it has a huge market potential, like Jakarta.

“We are conducting a study and will submit it to the board of directors for approval,” he told Bernama in Bangkok recently.

Roszali was in Bangkok to receive awards at the Asia-Pacific Property Awards 2018-2019 for the TH Hotel and Convention Centre KLIA project last Friday.

The project bagged the five-star award in the Best New Construction and Design Construction category, and was nominated for the Asia-Pacific and international levels at the International Property Awards in London in December.

Roszali said the group has seven residential projects in Sydney and one in Perth through a 50:50 joint venture with local developers.

He said the Sydney projects are Bay Pavilions (with a gross development value of A$199.3 million), Hurstville (A$201 million), Wentworth Point (A$499.6 million), Rockdale (A$56.2 million), Lidcombe (A$97.7 million), North Strathfield (A$97.2 million), and St Leonards South Precint (A$445.5 million).

The project in Subiaco, Perth, involves a gross development value of A$176.8 million and all of the projects involve the construction of apartments.

Roszali said overseas projects contribute 60% to the group’s income.

On the home front, Roszali said, TH Properties will launch the first phase of an 80-unit affordable housing project in Bandar Enstek, Nilai, Negri Sembilan, in the third quarter of next year.

He said the project comprises one-storey and two-storey terrace houses, divided into three types, namely 25 units priced at RM80,000 each, 25 units of RM250,000 and 30 units of RM400,000.

“We do not focus only on luxury projects, but also take into account all levels (of properties). We will build more affordable units as we progress,” he added.


Khazanah recognised in Bretton Woods II Leaders List

KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Khazanah Nasional Bhd has been recognised in the Bretton Woods II Leaders List as one of the 25 Most Responsible Asset Allocators globally, a testimony to Malaysia’s solid economic progress. Managing Director Tan Sri Azman…


Manipal Hospitals ups the ante, sweetens offer for Fortis

MUMBAI: India’s privately-held Manipal Hospitals sweetened its bid for rival Fortis Healthcare Ltd yesterday, offering to inject 21 billion rupees (RM1.23 billion) to help the ailing hospital operator meet its immediate cash needs.

Manipal and its consortium partner TPG Capital are offering 160 rupees per share for the acquisition, according to a letter from Manipal posted by Fortis on the stock exchange feed.

Manipal, which plans to merge its business with that of its rival, said its offer values Fortis at 83.58 billion rupees. In its previous offer, Manipal had offered to buy Fortis’ hospitals for 63.22 billion rupees.

Fortis has been the target of five companies and investment groups, who are vying for control of its 30-odd hospitals in India. It has set up an advisory committee to evaluate the binding offers. Its board plans to meet on May 10 to consider the recommendations.

Manipal has proposed to provide 21 billion rupees through preferential allotment of equity shares by Fortis, which needs funding to repay its existing loans and other commitments, the letter said.

Earlier this month, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd lifted its offer to 175 rupees a share, while Indian businessmen Sunil Munjal and Anand Burman increased their combined offer to invest in the company to 18 billion rupees. Both these bidders are vying for partial equity stakes in the company.

Radiant Life Care, backed by private equity firm KKR & Co, has also made a binding offer to acquire Fortis’ Mumbai-based Mulund Hospital for an enterprise value of 12 billion rupees and a separate non-binding offer involving spin-off of diagnostic services arm SRL.

China’s Fosun International, the only one to have not revised its initial offer, had made a non-binding offer last month to invest up to US$350 million (RM1.38 billion) subject to due diligence for a stake that would be less than 25%. – Reuters


Med-Bumikar challenges Mara’s lawsuit

PETALING JAYA: MBM Resources Bhd’s major shareholder Med-Bumikar Mara Sdn Bhd will oppose the application filed by its single largest shareholder Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) to challenge the validity of the appointment of two new directors by Med-Bumikar.

Mara, the single largest shareholder of Med-Bumikar, had filed an originating summons against six directors of Med-Bumikar and the company to challenge the appointment of Datuk Mohd Ridzuan Abdul Halim and Sharifuddin Shoib. Mara had contended that the appointment of the two directors was through a circular resolution and not through a properly convened board meeting.

Med-Bumikar said at an EGM held on April 30, Mara and the five members from the Wong and Looi families agreed to sell Med Bumikar and its wholly owned subsidiary Central Shore Sdn Bhd’s 50.07% stake in MBM to UWM Holdings Bhd.

The jewel in MBM is its 22.58% effective equity interest in Perodua. UMW has recently extended its takeover offer period for MBM Resources Bhd and a 10% direct interest in Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) by six months, from April 30 till Oct 31 after numerous rejections by Med-Bumikar.

Med-Bumikar noted that besides the acceptance of the offer, the six directors also resolved to request the board of Med-Bumikar to reconsider the offer and form a board task force committee comprising at least two members from Mara to negotiate with UMW for a better price, ostensibly in the best interest of the company.

“Appropriate actions will be taken by the board, including but not limited to, initiating the necessary proceedings in court with regard to the passing of the resolutions,” Med-Bumikar said, adding that the move is to preserve the sanctity of Med-Bumikar’s commitments to its principals and partners, namely Daihatsu Motor Corp of Japan and Mitsui & Co Ltd of Japan, being the shareholders of Perodua Sdn Bhd and Hino Motors Ltd of Japan.


Maybank launches RM30m programme to upgrade staff’s digital skills

PETALING JAYA: Maybank has allocated RM30 million for the launch of its “FutureReady” digital upskilling programme which aims to increase its employees’ digital literacy and equip them with capabilities that will ensure their relevance now and in the future.

The training, made mandatory for all employees, is part of Maybank’s continuous commitment to humanising people development, and enabling them to meet customers’ needs more effectively in the fast-changing digital world.

The training programme’s comprehensive curricular is anchored on six key areas of skills namely digital awareness, data-driven decision making, human-centred design, agile, future communication and risk & governance in the digital world.

Maybank Group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the programme was developed to future-proof employees digitally to support the bank’s aspiration to be the “Digital Bank of Choice”.

“Technology is rapidly changing the way we do business today and the future, and it is important that our employees are kept abreast of new developments.”


Maybank programme to upgrade staff’s digital skills

PETALING JAYA: Maybank has allocated RM30 million for the launch of its “FutureReady” digital upskilling programme which aims to increase its employees’ digital literacy and equip them with capabilities that will ensure their relevance now and in the future.

The training, made mandatory for all employees, is part of Maybank’s continuous commitment to humanising people development, and enabling them to meet customers’ needs more effectively in the fast-changing digital world.