Monday, July 30th, 2018


Oil rises most in a month amid heightened worldwide supply risks

NEW YORK, July 30 — Crude rose by the most in a month as traders focus on supply risks from Canada to the Middle East. Futures in New York advanced as much as 2.5 per cent in New York today amid speculation that a Canadian oil-sands facility that…

Credit Suisse to shift 50 jobs to Madrid from London for Brexit, says source

LONDON, July 30 — Credit Suisse is looking to shift about 50 jobs from London to Madrid as part of its efforts to continue doing business in the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc in 2019, a source close to the bank said today. The Swiss…

Wall Street drops as tech stocks slide

NEW YORK, July 30 — US stocks dropped today as marquee technology companies continued to slide on growth concerns, with losses being curbed by a rise in energy firms on higher oil prices and in financials ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting. The…

Big week for currency markets as central banks meet

LONDON, July 3 — Major currencies stuck to familiar ranges today as investors shied away from taking out big positions ahead of a flurry of crucial economic data and central bank monetary policy meetings this week. With the Bank of Japan ending a…

Selangor govt-linked firm eyes 30% stake in Tadmax’s Pulau Indah power plant project

PETALING JAYA: Selangor state-linked fim Worldwide Holdings Bhd is looking to secure a 30% stake in a directly negotiated power plant project to be developed in Pulau Indah, Selangor, by Tadmax Bhd.

The announcement comes after Energy, Green Technology, Science and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said recently that the government will scrap four new independent power producer contracts which were awarded directly. She declined to name the companies involved in the projects but stated that one of them was a public listed company.

Tadmax told Bursa Malaysia today that the group entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on July 27 with Worldwide Holdings, which is involved in property, environmental management services, investment holding as well as medical device manufacturing.

Tadmax said subject to the Energy Commission's prior written approval being obtained and upon the definitive agreement having executed, Worldwide Holdings intends to secure a 30% stake in the project company known as Tadmax Indah Power Sdn Bhd (TIP).

Worldwide Holdings will offer its services as a strategic partner of the project by participating in financing discussion with the financiers and/or financial institutions as well as providing support and coordination for the project.

Tadmax said during this phase of project development, each party will bear its own costs associated with the project, including in the event that the parties do not proceed with the definitive agreement.

“The collaboration on TIP's equity in the MoU between Tadmax and Worldwide Holdings is subject to and to be in accordance with the state of Selangor's directives. This MoU may lead to a shareholders' agreement between the parties.”

Last November, Tadmax inked a joint development agreement (JDA) with Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) for the power plant project following Tenaga Nasional Bhd's pull-out from the deal. Kepco has expressed its intention to acquire 25% equity interest in TIP upon the successful implementation of the JDA.

Tadmax and Kepco's role is to negotiate the engineering, procurement and construction contract, operations and maintenance contract, gas supply agreement, power purchase agreement together with Worldwide Holdings.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Tadmax fell 1 sen or 4.5% to 21 sen on 89,000 shares done.

Hassan, Sukhdave make comeback to corporate Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister's Office has appointed Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican and Dr Sukhdave Singh to the board of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, marking the comeback of the two to corporate Malaysia.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad accepted the en masse offer of resignation by the board of Khazanah Nasional headed by long serving Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar last week.

Hassan is former president and CEO of Petroliam Nasional Bhd and is a current member of the Council of Eminent Persons.

Sukhdave retired early as deputy governor of Bank Negara Malaysia late last year amid talk of a fallout with the governor then.

Other appointments announced in a statement by Khazanah Nasional included Mahathir as chairman, and Economics Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Goh Ching Yin as other directors of the state investment fund.

Plan to curb foreign cars a regressive move: MAA

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s plan to limit the access of foreign cars to the local market is a regressive move for the growth of the country’s automotive industry, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said.

Its president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said there should be a level playing field for local and foreign carmakers, as many of these foreign cars carried a lot of local components and provided business and employment opportunities to the locals.

“It is a very regressive move. I don’t think it’s right for the government to say that they want to stop all cars other than Proton to be brought into the country,” she told reporters after a meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons today.

Aishah said for the local automotive industry to move forward, the government must create a conducive environment through liberalisation like in Thailand and Indonesia.

“Thailand is exporting more than 1.3 million cars a year and Indonesia more than 100,000 vehicles. What is Malaysia exporting? 20,000-30,000 units a year,” she noted.

Aishah said the National Automotive Policy, last updated in 2014, was due for another review to ensure more vehicles were exported from Malaysia.

She also urged the government to review its plan for another national car, saying it would disrupt the local industry which only had a small market with a total industry volume of about 600,000 a year.

“What we don’t want is further incentives being provided for the new national car, which will really disrupt the industry. It does not help the industry at all,” she explained.

On electric cars, Aishah said further investments and incentives were needed to grow the segment, which only saw 13 cars sold last year.

“It takes time. The infrastructure and incentives must be there for us to see further growth,” she added.

Meanwhile on biodiesel, Aishah said the local automotive industry was still not ready to adopt B10 (diesel with 10% palm oil content) and could only support B7 at present.

“Most of our members are saying that B7 is what they can warrant on the vehicles. It would be difficult for us to provide a warranty for B10,” she said.

She pointed out that the warranty was not provided by the local distributors or franchise holders but by the marque principals overseas.

Nevertheless, she said, if the government was still adamant to implement the B10 biodiesel, there should be options provided at petrol stations for a B7.

She said this practice was being used in Indonesia which had a higher biodiesel adoption with B15.

“Even though they have implemented B15, they have pumps that still provide B7 and B5. If it (B10) is available and all types of biodiesel are being provided, we can support that,” she said.

Earlier in Parliament today, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the previous government’s policy which favoured foreign cars had made it difficult for Proton to make a profit.

“The previous government allowed foreign cars to come in without giving Proton the opportunity to expand overseas,” he said.

This, Mahathir explained, had created difficulties for the national carmaker to compete with global automotive giants.

“There is a need to impose certain conditions to limit foreign cars’ access to the local market,” he added. – Bernama

No big IPOs expected this year: Tajuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: More initial public offerings (IPOs) are expected this year, but in terms of value it would be much lesser than 2017 given the challenges facing the stock market in 2018, according to Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan.

“We don’t have a big (listing in the) pipeline at the moment. Hopefully we will see bigger companies coming in,” Tajuddin said at a media briefing today.

“There are few big ones that are yet to be ready and couldn’t come onboard. Hopefully they will repackage themselves and make sure that they are ready to be listed,” he added.

As at June 30, Tajuddin said the exchange attracted 11 new listings with a total value of RM2 billion, compared with 13 listings with a value of RM21 billion in the full year of 2017.

He said this came as issuers waited for the outcome of the 14th general election, adding that geopolitical uncertainty, trade tensions and macroeconomic conditions had also influenced businesses’ investment activities.

On prospects, Tajuddin said the Securities Market segment performance is expected to remain resilient, given the strong economic fundamentals and the new government’s approach towards strengthening transparency and accountability as well as sustained growth outlook.

He added that trading and hedging activities will continue to be influenced by volatility in commodity prices and the underlying equities market.

Tajuddin also noted that the introduction of US dollar-denominated refined, bleached and deodorised palm olein futures contract is anticipated to attract new participants, improve arbitrage opportunities and assist in managing palm oil refining margins.

On Islamic Capital Market, Tajuddin said the exchange will continue to promote Shariah-compliant investing on the Bursa Malaysia-i platform through engagements with market players and intensified promotion activities to retail investors, such as the Shariah Investing Fair.

“Bursa Suq Al Sila’ on the other hand, will continue to expand its global reach into the African and Central Asian regions in 2018,” he added.

Bursa Malaysia’s net profit decreased 2.2% to RM58.2 million in the second quarter ended June 30 from RM59.5 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

Revenue for the quarter declined 1.48% to RM141 million, compared with RM142.67 million in the same period a year ago.

For the six months period, its net profit increased 5% to RM122 million against RM116.17 million in the previous year, while revenue grew 2.1% to RM291.3 million from RM285.4 million previously.

The higher net profit was primarily due to higher operating revenue of RM279.1 million, a 3.6% increase from the previous corresponding half year.

This is Bursa Malaysia’s highest half year operating revenue since listing in 2005.

The bourse has approved a first interim dividend of 14 sen per share and a special dividend of 8 sen per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, amounting to approximately RM177.6 million which is payable on Aug 16 and 29.

MBSB’s Q2 profit down 5.9% on higher taxation, zakat

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) registered a 5.9% decline in net profit to RM85.69 million for the second quarter ended June 30 versus RM91.08 million in the previous corresponding period, due to higher taxation and zakat.

Its revenue also fell 2.4% to RM794.14 million from RM813.42 million.

MBSB’s first-half net profit more than doubled to RM402.48 million from RM192.41 million, while revenue rose 1% to RM1.61 billion from RM1.62 billion.

The group’s gross loans and financing recorded a year-to-date growth of 4.1% or RM1.41 billion to RM35.61 billion, which was mainly contributed by higher corporate financing disbursements but partly set off by a slight contraction in the retail base.

Its financing/loan loss coverage moderated at 128.3% compared with 113.1% in Q2 17 with net impaired ratio at 1.9%.

Looking ahead, MBSB group president and CEO Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaini Othman said the bank will continue to expand its new banking products which include trade finance and wealth management while achieving required capabilities such as internet and mobile banking for us to increase our customer reach.

Over the next three years from April 2, the group will continue to maintain its conventional receivables and perform conversion of these receivables into Islamic receivables which will be subsequently vested to MBSB Bank.

“Any residual receivables that are not converted will either be redeemed by the account holders or dispose of to a third party.”

The acquisition of MBSB Bank Bhd (previously known as Asian Finance Bank Bhd) by MBSB was completed on Feb 7 and MBSB became a financial holding company. The first vesting of Shariah compliant assets and liabilities was carried out on April 2.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group expects its prospects for the year to be satisfactory.

The stock closed unchanged at RM1.15 today with 15.74 million shares changing hands.

Khazanah’s new board provides clear business direction, expert says

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — The appointment of new Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s board of directors, which includes experts from the corporate world, will provide a clear business and operational direction for the sovereign wealth fund going forward, thus…