Wednesday, July 11th, 2018


Bank Negara could lower OPR next year, Bank Islam economist says

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will likely lower the overnight policy rate (OPR) next year, especially if uncertainties surrounding the trade war between China and the United States continue to escalate,…

Murdoch’s Fox ups Sky bid to US$32.5b, all eyes on Comcast

LONDON, July 11 — Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has raised its offer for Britain’s Sky in an agreed deal valuing the pay-TV group at US$32.5 billion (RM130.8 billion), seeing off rival bidder Comcast for now. Fox, which has been trying to…

Bank Negara Malaysia maintains OPR at 3.25 pct

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has maintained the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 3.25 per cent after the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting which ended today. In a statement today, the central bank said at the current OPR level, the degree of monetary accommodativeness is consistent with the intended policy stance. “The MPC will continue to monitor […]

Bursa resumes afternoon trading session lower

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Bursa Malaysia resumed the afternoon trading session lower across the board amid the weak global market sentiment. At 3.03pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 1.49 points easier at 1,685.64 from…

Bank Negara maintains benchmark interest rate at 3.25%

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) kept the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) unchanged at 3.25% at its Monetary Policy Committee meeting yesterday, the first held after Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus took over as governor on July 1.

The central bank said in a statement that the degree of monetary accommodativeness at the current level of OPR, is consistent with the intended policy stance, taking into account monetary and financial conditions.

However, BNM cautioned that the intensification of global trade tensions could affect sentiments and weigh on trade, investment and consumption.

“Coupled with ongoing monetary policy normalisation in the advanced economies, shifting investor expectations and sentiments could lead to further capital outflows and financial market adjustments in some emerging economies.”

For the Malaysian economy, BNM saw continued expansion in the first half of 2018, supported by private sector activity with additional impetus from net exports. “The positive growth performance is expected to be sustained, driven by both domestic and external demand.”

According to BNM, private consumption will be underpinned by continued wage and employment growth, with an additional lift from higher household spending due to the tax holiday.

Meanwhile, investment activity is projected to be supported by capacity expansion especially by the export-oriented industries and ongoing infrastructure projects, particularly in the transport and utilities sub-sectors.

BNM foresees the external sector to continue to benefit from sustained global growth momentum, with the growth outlook to be further supported with greater certainty in domestic policy in the coming months.

“Overall, the Malaysian economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path.”

BNM expects headline inflation for 2018 to be lower than the earlier forecast after taking into consideration the impact of recent policy measures on domestic cost factors.

“The impact of these measures on inflation however, is transitory. Headline inflation is likely to turn negative in some months and remain low in the first half of 2019 before trending upwards as these transitory effects lapse. Core inflation is nevertheless expected to remain relatively stable in line with sustained domestic demand.”

The central bank opined that Malaysia’s fundamentals will continue to be supported by positive domestic economic outlook, sound financial sector and improving current account surplus of the balance of payments.

“Domestic financial markets have remained resilient despite non-resident portfolio outflows. The ringgit exchange rate would be more reflective of the underlying fundamentals of the economy, when the external and domestic uncertainties recede.”

Amid positive direction of economic indicators, MIDF Research maintains its baseline view of a one rate hike in 2018.

“We expect domestic economy will continue to expand at a moderating pace this year. Hence, we maintain that Bank Negara will keep the OPR unchanged for the rest of 2018. However, future developments in both internal and external fronts will determine the upcoming outlook of Malaysia monetary stance.”

FXTM global head of currency strategy and market research Jameel Ahmad said trade war remains the major concern for the local market for the time being, and it is difficult to gauge if Bank Negara will keep the OPR unchanged at the current till year-end period.

“Trade war is the biggest risk to the global economy and the central banks might be more negative over the medium term.”

BNM says OPR kept at 3.25%

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced that the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) will remain unchanged at 3.25%.

The decision was made after its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting today.

The central bank said in a statement at the current level of the OPR, the degree of monetary accommodativeness is consistent with the intended policy stance, taking into account monetary and financial conditions.

“The MPC will continue to monitor and assess the balance of risks surrounding the outlook for domestic growth and inflation.”

Alliance Bank eyeing 10% net profit growth for FY19

KUALA LUMPUR: Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd is targeting a net profit growth of 10% for the financial year ending March 31, 2019 (FY19), driven by its asset growth and transformation initiatives.

At a press conference after its AGM here today, group CEO Joel Kornreich said the bank is also eyeing a revenue growth of 6% and loan growth of 10%.

For FY19, it will scale up growth of its core transformation initiatives, which are SME banking expansion, Alliance One account and [email protected]

The bank anticipates that these strategic business focuses will help to achieve its FY19 targets.

Handbags and cameras hit as Trump tariffs target consumers

NEW YORK, July 11 — The Trump administration’s promise to keep consumer products out of the trade war — so shoppers wouldn’t take a hit — may be falling by the wayside. The US Trade Representative released a new round of proposed tariffs…

Handal Resources unit to develop subsea technology solution with Petronas

PETALING JAYA: Handal Resources Bhd's unit is partnering with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) for a joint development of subsea technology solution.

The group told Bursa Malaysia that its 51%-owned subsidiary Handal Simflexi Sdn Bhd had received the letter of award from Petronas' research and development arm Petronas Research Sdn Bhd for the initial stage of technology collaboration.

Handal said the contract is for a fixed period commencing from June 13, 2018 until August 12, 2018.

“The contract rates to be charged for the services to be rendered will be in accordance with the payment terms and conditions as detailed in the term sheet that the service is being provided during the tenure of the contract.”

Handal expects the contract to contribute positively towards its earnings and net assets for the duration of the contract.

At 2.32pm, its shares were unchanged at 44 sen on 96,500 shares done.

China vows fightback against Trump’s proposed US$200b tariff threat

HONG KONG, July 11 — China vowed to fightback against the Trump administration’s plans to impose tariffs on an additional US$200 billion (RM805.6 billion) in Chinese goods, escalating a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies….