Wednesday, July 18th, 2018


Nigeria announces new national airline

LONDON, July 18 — The Nigerian government launched plans today to create new flag carrier airline Nigeria Air by the end of this year. Aviation minister Hadi Sirika revealed the news in a press conference at the biennial Farnborough Airshow, which…

Sapura Energy shareholders vote for re-election of directors despite MSWG’s concerns

KUALA LUMPUR: Majority shareholders of Sapura Energy Bhd pushed through resolutions to re-elect independent directors and payment of directors' fees and benefits, despite the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) throwing its support behind the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group's (MSWG) call to reject the resolutions for failing to keep president and CEO Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin's pay package in check.

MSWG openly urged shareholders to vote against the re-election of two independent directors, namely Mohamed Rashdi Mohamed Ghazalli and Datuk Muhamad Noor Hamid, as well as the payment of directors' fees and benefits up to RM5.6 million.

EPF, a substantial shareholder of Sapura Energy with a 5.21% stake, voted against the resolutions and even went a step further to vote against the re-election of Shahril.

Shahril was paid a bonus of RM55 million for the financial year ended Jan 31, 2018 (FY18). The company also paid RM43.4 million and RM12.5 million to Sapura Holdings Sdn Bhd and Kencana Capital Sdn Bhd respectively, as intellectual property rights, trademarks and branding fees in the same financial year.

MSWG general manager Lya Rahman said the company's board of directors have not been performing their fiduciary duties in safeguarding the interests of shareholders as the issue of excessive remuneration has been ongoing for several years.

“We recommended to all shareholders to vote against the re-election of the independent directors as well as the remuneration of the directors. We don't have the opportunity to vote against the CEO's remuneration but that's what we can do to show to the directors, look here, what we want you to do is be serious in looking into our grievances,” she told reporters after the AGM today.

Shareholders holding 81.7% of voting rights voted for the re-election of Shahril, 54.4% for Mohamed Rashdi Mohamed Ghazalli, 76.6% for the re-election of Datuk Muhamad Noor Hamid and 73.2% for the payment of directors' fees.

In a letter to the company prior to the AGM, MSWG highlighted concerns over the bonus payment to Shahril despite the group's pre-tax loss of RM2.32 billion for the financial year ended Jan 31, 2018 (FY18). In addition, there was no dividend payment recommended for FY18.

It also asked the company to justify the payments made to Sapura Holdings and Kencana Capital respectively.

According to its annual report, Shahril's total remuneration amounted to RM71.9 million, of which RM55 million was in the form of a bonus. In its response to MSWG, the company said that the bonus payment was based on the group's performance and achievements for FY17 as measured by the key performance indicators set by the board.

It said the board is satisfied that its decision made on the bonus at that time commensurated with Shahril's performance and contributions for FY18, and highlighted his voluntary salary reduction for the third year running.

Lya, who opined that the response was non-committal, disagreed that Shahril's performance commensurated with the remuneration and added that excessive remuneration has been an issue on a yearly basis.

18/07/2018 23:36:55

US stocks flat on solid earnings, weak housing data

NEW YORK, July 18 — Wall Street stocks were little changed early today following lacklustre housing data and a batch of mostly good earnings reports. About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up slightly at 25,124.31. The…

Amazon sells more than 100 million products on Prime Day event

LOS ANGELES, July 18 — Inc said online shoppers purchased more than 100 million products worldwide during its Prime Day sale, despite glitches on its mobile app and websites that prevented customers from placing orders. The company’s…

Tek Seng feels the heat in solar power business

PETALING JAYA: Penang-based Tek Seng Holdings Bhd is planning to suspend its photovoltaic solar business in the wake of intense market competition.

This comes on the heels of India’s plan to impose a 25% duty on imports of solar cells and modules from Malaysia and China.

Tek Seng told Bursa Malaysia that its 50.69%-owned subsidiary TS Solartech Sdn Bhd (TSST) decided to halt its entire production activities this quarter.

TSST is mainly involved in the manufacturing and sale of photovoltaic products and is a major Tek Seng subsidiary.

For the first quarter ended March 31, it incurred a net loss of RM11.1 million. Last year, it reported a net profit of RM22.2 million against RM16.7 million in 2016.

According to Tek Seng’s latest annual report, besides photovoltaic solar, the group is also involved in polyvinyl chloride sheeting, PP non-woven and PVC leather segments.

Tek Seng revealed that the suspension will result in the redundancy of a total of 118 production workers. However, the provision of the activities regarding 1.1766MW feed-in tariff solar system will continue to operate.

Detailing the rationale behind the suspension move, Tek Seng said the tough and challenging operating environment for TSST was due to the continuing tense competition in the solar industry as well as price erosion for the solar cells as a result of excess inventory in the supply chain.

“Further, the export sales of TSST have been significantly affected due to the US safeguard tariffs over a period of four years and India safeguard tariffs over a period of two years, on importation of solar cells and modules from Malaysia.”

Tek Seng opined that TSST’s prospects remain very challenging and is not expected to improve in the near future.

It foresees a financial impact on the group for the financial year ending Dec 31 on the back of the one-off redundancy cost and impairment loss on assets to be incurred.

“At this juncture, TSST is unable to ascertain the extent of the cessation costs, as such, TSST will made the corresponding announcements to Bursa Securities in due course.”

Tek Seng was unchanged at 29.5 sen today on 555,000 shares traded.

APFT takes legal action against former director

PETALING JAYA: APFT Bhd’s board of directors are taking legal action against its former director Datuk Faruk Othman for allegedly misappropriating funds, causing the company’s fall into the Practice Note 17 (PN17) category and breach Main Market Listing Requirements.

Its board of directors told the stock exchange that the company has filed a Writ and Statement of Claim on July 18 against the former director.

The company had also filed a Notice of Application to seek a statutory injunction against Faruk who resigned as an executive chairman in November last year.

The injunction includes, barring Faruk and his representatives or nominees from participating in the management of the company as well as to restrain him from exercising his voting rights attached to the company shares.

“As the time of this announcement, the Cause Papers of this Suit had not been sealed yet. The company will make further announcement once the Cause Papers are sealed and extracted,” the board added.

APFT Bhd is involved in flight training and aircraft maintenance services.

Its shares fell 16.67% to 2.5sen with 83.73 million shares done.

18/07/2018 21:27:06

After record Google fine, EU’s Vestager says she likes the US

BRUSSELS, July 18 — EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she “very much liked” the United States, countering a reported remark by President Donald Trump that she “hated” the country because of her antitrust actions against…

Revenue Group posts premium in Bursa debut

PETALING JAYA: Cashless payment solutions provider Revenue Group Bhd ended its first day trading on the Ace Market of Bursa Malaysia today with a premium of 25.5 sen, over its offer price of 37 sen per share.

The shares opened at 55 sen and closed at 62.5 sen.

The counter, which reached a high of 69 sen and a low of 49.5 sen, was the most actively traded for the day, recording total volume of 188.3 million shares.

In a statement today, the group said it will leverage on the growing electronic payment (e-payment) transactions segment under the government’s push for a cashless society by 2020.

Its three business segments include the distribution, deployment, and maintenance of electronic data capture (EDC) terminals, electronic transaction processing services for credit and debit cards as well as solutions and services related to payment infrastructure.

Through its revPAY platform, it offers a single platform which facilitates the acceptance of payment transactions across various payment channels.

Its managing director and group CEO Eddie Ng Chee Siong said by 2020, there will be 800,000 EDC terminals in Malaysia, processing one billion transactions.

Ng said that this augurs well for the group as the deployment of more EDC terminals shall translate to higher revenue for the group, from the rental or sale of terminals as well as electronic transaction processing services.

Additionally, Ng said the group targets to expand its IT team to 50 employees from 35 currently within 24 months after listing to enhance the technology of its revPAY platform to keep up with global standards and cater to higher volume electronic transactions.

“The expansion of the IT team, which is core to our business, will help to support our business expansion and to pursue research and development on new products,” he added.

Currently, the group is working on QR Code payment for UnionPay in Malaysia and also researching on e-wallet solutions for issuers.

On its overseas expansion plan, the group said it has identified Cambodia and Myanmar, citing the e-payments system in these countries were still at the infancy stage and it could provide its e-payment solutions.

Revenue’s initial public offering (IPO) exercise was to raise RM20.61 million proceeds, of which RM8.1 million (39.3%) will be used mainly for capital expenditure to purchase approximately 9,000 units of new digital EDC terminals with the capability to accept QR Payment.

It will further utilise RM4.04 million (19.6%) to upgrade and enhance revPAY platform and recruit additional IT personnel; RM2.5 million (12.1%) to repay bank borrowings; RM1.5 million (7.3%) for business expansion to Cambodia and Myanmar; RM1.77 million (8.6%) for general working capital requirements while the remaining RM2.7 million (13.1%) to be used for listing expenses.