Monday, July 23rd, 2018

 

NY Daily News slashes half its newsroom staff

NEW YORK, July 23 — The New York Daily News, the tabloid known for its provocative headlines, made its own news today by slashing half its editorial staff, in the latest retrenchment in the newspaper sector. The century-old daily owned by the…


Chinese aluminium foil maker sues US over anti-dumping duties

BEIJING, July 23 — Chinese aluminium foil producer Shantou Wanshun Package Material Stock Co today said its subsidiary is suing the United States over twin anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties Washington imposed on its shipments. In a statement to…


Papa John’s adopts poison pill to thwart Schnatter takeover

NEW YORK, July 23 — Papa John’s International Inc’s board approved a so-called poison-pill plan to fend off any attempt by founder John Schnatter to gain a controlling interest as the pizza chain seeks distance from its controversial namesake….


Wall Street lower as Amazon, technology stocks drag

NEW YORK, July 23 — US stock indexes dipped today, led by losses in shares of Amazon and technology companies, as investors awaited quarterly reports from a host of marquee names to gauge the impact of an escalating trade conflict between the…


Maxis, Bumi Armada say nothing from India’s CBI yet, unaware of fresh charge sheet

PETALING JAYA: Maxis Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd today clarified that they have not been served with any documents in relation to the filing of a fresh charge sheet by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) in India in the Aircel-Maxis case.

Both companies added that they were unaware of allegations made against them and were not in the position to respond to media reports, which listed Maxis Mobile Malaysia, Bumi Armada and Bumi Armada Navigations (Malaysia) among the 18 names on the charge sheet.

According to a Times of India report on July 19, the CBI had filed a fresh charge sheet for the Aircel-Maxis case in Delhi's Patiala House Court against former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karthi Chidambaram.

The CBI said that two sets of illegal money trails were discovered in relation to the clearance made through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board by Chidambaram in his previous capacity as finance minister.

The CBI also alleged that Chidambaram only had the authority to clear Rs600 crores (RM354 million). While Maxis paid Rs3200 crores, the payment was projected as Rs180 crores on paper to avoid scrutiny by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

Karthi's firms – Chess Management and Advantage Strategic (allegedly indirectly owned by him) – reportedly received two illegal payments of Rs26 lakhs and Rs87 lakh from the Aircel-Maxis deal.

The Indian media reported earlier today that Chidambaram has been granted protection from arrest till Aug 7 in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The CBI had filed a supplementary charge sheet before the special judge, OP Saini who had fixed it for consideration on July 31.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Maxis gained 0.18% to close at RM5.58 with 1.28 million shares done. Bumi Armada rose 0.69% to 73 sen on volume of 4.22 million shares.


Kota Kinabalu International Airport – merging under one terminal bears fruit

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the move to consolidate all airport and flight operations under one roof at Terminal 1 (T1) of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) has brought tremendous benefit to national tourism, after AirAsia’s proposal to transfer back its operation to Terminal 2 (T2).

The airport operator said in a statement today that T2 was meant to serve as a temporary terminal catering to low-cost carriers until a bigger and better facility at T1 was completed.

“Completed in 2010, all other low-cost carriers had moved to T1 with the exception of the AirAsia Group which moved later in December 2015, driven by their own need for capacity and growth. At no point in time did Malaysia Airports force AirAsia to move to T1,” it said in response to AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ allegation that the low-cost carrier was forced to move out from T2 three years ago.

Fernandes also said the operations at T2 could commence in the next six months or even three months if allowed to return to T2.

Based on the airport passenger traffic movement data, KKIA which was experiencing negative passenger movement growth of -2% and -3% in 2014 and 2015, improved by leaps and bounds from 2016 onwards – registering double-digit growth of 10% in 2016 and in 2017.

The airport saw a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 7% in the first half of 2018, mainly due to the rise in international passenger traffic movements which is also a reflection of the high tourist numbers Sabah has seen in recent years.

International traffic movements grew from 1.6 million in 2014 and 2015 to 2.1 million in 2016, translating into an increase of 27%. Last year it grew by another 22% to 2.5 million.

“This growth is also evident for the AirAsia Group itself. Their growth in Terminal 2 (T2) KKIA, which had hovered between 2% to 3% in 2014 and 2015 jumped to 5% in 2016, 11% in 2017 and 15% for the first half of 2018. Obviously, the move had facilitated growth for the AirAsia Group. This trend was not unique to AirAsia alone as other airlines with international routes had also registered encouraging growth of 39% in 2016 and 43% in 2017,” said MAHB.

In 2016, a full year after the move by the AirAsia Group to T1, the state attained healthy growth in tourist arrivals registering 1.2 million international passengers arrivals which translates into a 9.4% y-o-y increase in 2017.

The total tourist arrivals have also increased from 3.4 million in 2016 to 3.7 million in 2017, representing a 7.5% growth.

Apart from its robust tourism activities, the more superior and conducive facilities at T1 KKIA had provided greater passenger comfort and convenience in addition to providing greater connectivity and more growth opportunities for airlines.

MAHB has put in place strategies to further position KL International Airport (KLIA) as a preferred hub in the region, and position other international airports such as KKIA as feeder hubs.

Currently there are 25 airlines operating at KKIA.


KKIA – merging under one terminal bears fruit

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the move to consolidate all airport and flight operations under one roof at Terminal 1 (T1) of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) has brought tremendous benefit to national tourism, after AirAsia’s proposal to transfer back its operation to Terminal 2 (T2).

The airport operator said in a statement today that T2 was meant to serve as a temporary terminal catering to low-cost carriers until a bigger and better facility at T1 was completed.

“Completed in 2010, all other low-cost carriers had moved to T1 with the exception of the AirAsia Group which moved later in December 2015, driven by their own need for capacity and growth. At no point in time did Malaysia Airports force AirAsia to move to T1,” it said in response to AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ allegation that the low-cost carrier was forced to move out from T2 three years ago.

Fernandes also said the operations at T2 could commence in the next six months or even three months if allowed to return to T2.

Based on the airport passenger traffic movement data, KKIA which was experiencing negative passenger movement growth of -2% and -3% in 2014 and 2015, improved by leaps and bounds from 2016 onwards – registering double-digit growth of 10% in 2016 and in 2017.

The airport saw a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 7% in the first half of 2018, mainly due to the rise in international passenger traffic movements which is also a reflection of the high tourist numbers Sabah has seen in recent years.

International traffic movements grew from 1.6 million in 2014 and 2015 to 2.1 million in 2016, translating into an increase of 27%. Last year it grew by another 22% to 2.5 million.

“This growth is also evident for the AirAsia Group itself. Their growth in Terminal 2 (T2) KKIA, which had hovered between 2% to 3% in 2014 and 2015 jumped to 5% in 2016, 11% in 2017 and 15% for the first half of 2018. Obviously, the move had facilitated growth for the AirAsia Group. This trend was not unique to AirAsia alone as other airlines with international routes had also registered encouraging growth of 39% in 2016 and 43% in 2017,” said MAHB.

In 2016, a full year after the move by the AirAsia Group to T1, the state attained healthy growth in tourist arrivals registering 1.2 million international passengers arrivals which translates into a 9.4% y-o-y increase in 2017.

The total tourist arrivals have also increased from 3.4 million in 2016 to 3.7 million in 2017, representing a 7.5% growth.

Apart from its robust tourism activities, the more superior and conducive facilities at T1 KKIA had provided greater passenger comfort and convenience in addition to providing greater connectivity and more growth opportunities for airlines.

MAHB has put in place strategies to further position KL International Airport (KLIA) as a preferred hub in the region, and position other international airports such as KKIA as feeder hubs.

Currently there are 25 airlines operating at KKIA.


Zeti appointed Sime Darby Property chairman

PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby Property Bhd has appointed Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as the first woman chairman of the board, replacing Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar who resigned on June 30.

Zeti, presently the group chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and appointed member of the Council of Eminent Persons, will assume chairmanship effective July 23.

Sime Darby Property group managing director Amrin Awaluddin said Zeti’s presence reaffirms PNB’s commitment to Sime Darby Property and its transformation journey.

“We look forward to work under the chairmanship of Zeti in moving the company forward and to deliver value to our stakeholders,” he said in a statement.

Zeti was the seventh governor of Bank Negara Malaysia from year 2000 to 2016. She led the central bank in successfully implementing the selective exchange controls to restore stability and promote economic recovery in Malaysia.

Zeti graduated from the University of Malaya with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. She then pursued her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, specialising in Monetary and International Economics.

Sime Darby Property also appointed Datin Norazah Mohamed Razali, who is currently one of the company’s directors, as the new chairman of the nomination and remuneration committee. Norazah replaces Datuk Rohana Mahmood who resigned from the board on June 30.


TM, TNB say no-go for nationwide fiberisation plan

PETALING JAYA: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) have mutually agreed not to proceed with their proposal to undertake the government’s nationwide fiberisation plan (NFP).

Earlier this year, TM and TNB entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a joint proposal on NFP, in which a definitive agreement was supposed to be signed upon finalisation of the commercial terms.

The collaboration was in line with the government’s aspirations to drive Malaysia’s digital economy, as envisioned under both the NFP as well as the High Speed Broadband projects.

“Discontinuation of the MoU does not preclude TNB and TM from considering other collaborations should there be future business opportunities that are beneficial to both parties,” TNB said in a Bursa Malaysia filing.

At today’s market close, TM’s share price rose 4 sen or 1.05% to RM3.85, while TNB slipped 4 sen or 0.27% to RM14.78.


Economy seen expanding at slower rate

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian economy is anticipated to expand at a slower rate in the next four to six months ahead, based on the findings of Malaysian Economic Indicators: Leading, Coincident & Lagging Indexes for May 2018.

The Leading Index (LI) indicators are designed to observe the economic performance in the short term.

The Statistics Department said in a statement that the monthly change of LI showed a negative growth of 1.1% to 117.8 points in May 2018 from 119.1 points in April 2018, mainly due to the 0.5% decrease in the number of new companies registered.

It said the annual change of LI also registered a decrease of 0.7% in the same month against 1.4% in April 2018.

However, the Coincident Index (CI), which reflects the current economic activity, improved in May 2018, registering a growth of 0.3% in the reference month.

“The annual change of CI rose 2.2% in May 2018. The Diffusion Index for CI remained at 66.7% since January 2018. Nevertheless, the level of Diffusion Index for LI was below 50% (14.3%),” it added.