Thursday, June 28th, 2018


Dollar rally sputters as euro rises after German data

NEW YORK, June 28 — The US dollar dipped against a basket of currencies today as upbeat German inflation data prompted some traders to buy the euro and data showing the US economy slowed more than earlier estimated in the first quarter weighed on…

Latvian central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics to face prosecution

RIGA, June 28 — Ilmars Rimsevics, a member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, will face prosecution for bribery in Latvia, further tainting the nation’s reputation in a year that’s already brought US money-laundering…

Any proposal for new LCCT must be resubmitted: Loke

SEPANG: Any proposal for a new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) to be developed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) must be resubmitted to the Transport Ministry, Minister Anthony Loke said today, and confirmed that one was made by Citaglobal Airports Sdn Bhd.

He was responding to a SunBiz report which detailed Citaglobal Airports' development plan for the new terminal last year, which had the backing of the AirAsia group, the largest user of klia2, a terminal built to replace the previous LCCT.

Documents sighted by SunBiz revealed that the company's director, Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria, had proposed to then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, via a letter dated Nov 24, 2017, a new LCCT that would be able to accommodate higher passenger numbers, especially with the establishment of the Digital Free Trade Zone.

“They have to resubmit (any plans) to the new government and, of course, we will study.
“If there is fresh proposal we will study it, the ministry and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom),” Loke told reporters after launching the FlySmart interactive platform here.

Loke said the proposal for a new LCCT was submitted to the Economic Council under the previous government.

“The decision by the Economic Council was to appoint Pemandu to study the feasibility of Terminal 3 (new LCCT) but, as of now, there is no decision yet. There was no approval given, it was just a study,” he said.

Citaglobal Airports was incorporated just weeks before the proposal for the new LCCT was presented to Najib in a letter. Citaglobal Airports said it would be able to generate the required funds for the project from the private sector and only required for land to be delineated by the government for the terminal's development.

In addition to that, it said UK-based Manchester Airports Group Plc indicated interest in managing and operating the new LCCT.

AirAsia Bhd issued a letter of support for the plan via a letter dated Nov 2, 2017 which coincided with Citaglobal Airports' incorporation date. The letter signed by executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said it would support Citaglobal Airports by making the new LCCT the base for AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd operations, have all flights operated by AirAsia group operate at the new LCCT and participate to generate non-aeronautical revenue.

Icon Offshore awarded multiple contracts worth RM275m

PETALING JAYA: Icon Offshore Bhd has clinched several contracts with a total value of RM275 million.

The oil and gas service provider said it will provide offshore support vessels to oil and gas companies to support their production operations in Malaysian waters for RM169 million.

The long-term contracts are for a primary period of three years with an extension option of up to two years of one year each.

In a separate filing with the stock exchange, Icon Offshore said it had received a conditional award to provide two platform supply vessels to ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc for its production operations for RM106 million. The contracts are inclusive of two optional extensions.

Icon Offshore expects these contracts to contribute positively to the group’s earnings, order book and net assets for the financial year ending December 31, 2018 and beyond.

Icon Offshore shares fell 4.2% to 11.5 sen today, on 3.4 million shares traded.

Aeon Credit posts higher Q1 earnings

PETALING JAYA: Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd reported a 30.9% rise in net profit to RM99.24 million for the first quarter ended May 31, 2018 against RM75.81 million in the previous corresponding period, driven by higher income and lower operating expenses.

Revenue for the quarter under review rose 7.8% to RM325.72 million from RM302.28 million.

The group told Bursa Malaysia that total transaction and financing volume during the current quarter was RM1.095 billion against RM1.051 billion in the preceding corresponding quarter.

Its financing receivables stood at RM6.92 billion as at May 31, 2018, 3.8% higher than the RM6.669 billion it made a year ago. Non-performing loan ratio, however, declined to 2.26% from 2.43%.

Other income was recorded at RM29.25 million, mainly comprising bad debts recovered, commission income from sale of insurance products and loyalty programme processing fees.

Aeon Credit expects the group to be able to maintain its financial performance for the financial year ending February 28, 2019, based on the scheduled implementation of its business plan.

As at market close, Aeon Credit’s share price gained 10 sen or 0.7% to close at RM13.90 on 93,800 shares done.

Central Industrial unit bags RM71.55m construction job in Penang

PETALING JAYA: Central Industrial Corp Bhd has clinched a RM71.55 million contract for the construction of a 30-storey SOHO building in Penang.

The group told Bursa Malaysia that Proventus Bina Sdn Bhd, a 51% owned subsidiary of its wholly owned subsidiary CIC Construction Sdn Bhd had on June 28 accepted the letter of award from Aspen Vision Builders Sdn Bhd.

The contract is expected to commence on July 2 and to be completed within 24 months.

Central Industrial said it will enlarge the group’s order book and provide a steady stream of revenue over the next two years.

Crest Builder disposes of Mont Kiara land for RM34m

PETALING JAYA: Crest Builder Holdings Bhd is selling a piece of land measuring about 1.189 hectares in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur for RM34 million.

The group said its wholly owned subsidiary Nepfield Sdn Bhd had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Sunrise Pioneer Sdn Bhd for the disposal.

Crest Builder is expected to realise a gain of RM15.24 million. The disposal proceeds will be used for working capital.

Its shares closed unchanged at 94.5 today on 29,200 shares done.

Pharmacy shares dive as US stocks open lower

NEW YORK, June 28 — Shares of pharmacy retailers were hammered early today as Amazon entered the market and as Wall Street stocks retreated amid worries over trade tensions. About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down…

Renamed ‘FGV’ to distance group from Felda’s woes

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly renamed FGV Holdings Bhd (formerly Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd) will rename all companies under the FGV group with an 'FGV' prefix in an effort to distance itself from controversies surrounding its 33% shareholder Felda Land Development Authority (Felda).

FGV chairman Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid said it will spend up to RM2 million in the remaining months this year for its rebranding exercise, including for signages. He said FGV is also looking for locations for its own head office.

“It's not just to enhance (business prospects), it's also an avoidance (of confusion) issue. When news comes out about FIC (Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd), our share price takes a hit. It's not just about the financials, but also about perception. When people talk about the hotel in London (FIC's purchase), they say FGV. But it's not ours,” Azhar told a press conference after its AGM and EGM here today.

“Anything (hopefully positive) that happens to FGV will benefit Felda but anything that happens to Felda shouldn't impact FGV, because we're not the same entity. These are the corrective measures that we're taking. FGV is a pure commercial listed entity and we have to be fair to our shareholders to make sure we can bring in a strong brand and value,” said Azhar.

Despite its initiatives to minimise confusion, he said it still wants to stay close to Felda because of its origin.

Meanwhile, Azhar said decisions by the government to raise the minimum wage will significantly impact FGV and the industry, as every RM100 increase will incur an extra RM33 million in production cost for FGV per year and a RM500 increase will translate to a RM165 million additional cost per year.

He said FGV is paying its workers RM1,300 in basic salary. In addition, it provides workers with other benefits like housing, insurance and levy.

As government-appointed directors in the board of FGV, alongside Datuk Zakaria Arshad and director Datuk Siti Zauyah Md Desa, Azhar explained that it will let the government decide if the appointees on the board should be maintained, but stressed that there is no political interference in FGV.

“In the past, there has not been much interference. The only issue was, the previous chairman created the confusion and dragged FGV into the political arena. Issues in the past have clouded and marginalised the returns and rewards that should go back to all stakeholders.

“Since September 2017 (Azhar's appointment as chairman), I have not had any instructions or interference from the government. The government wants to see FGV do well,” he said.

US manufacturers, steel makers battle over tariff relief

NEW YORK, June 28 — The flood of requests from US manufacturers with the Commerce Department to exempt them from the Trump administration’s hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports is exposing competitive information to rivals, customers and…