Friday, August 3rd, 2018


Ryanair proposes mediator for Irish pilots union talks

DUBLIN, Aug 3 — Ryanair proposed that a third-party mediator join talks with a trade union representing its Irish pilots who went on strike for a fourth time today before wider stoppages planned around Europe next week. The Forsa trade union,…

Spanish pilots’ union sues Ryanair

MADRID, Aug 3 — A Spanish union said today it was suing Ryanair over “irregularities” in the contracts of its Spain-based pilots, adding to the low-frill airline’s woes as it is hit by strikes. In a statement, the SEPLA pilots’ union said…

Sri Lanka secures US$1b Chinese loan

COLOMBO, Aug 3 — Sri Lanka’s central bank today announced it had secured a US$1 billion Chinese loan as the island, a key link in Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, develops closer relations with Asia’s largest economy. Central…

US trade deficit posts biggest increase in 19 months in June

WASHINGTON, Aug 3 — A dip in auto exports and rising oil prices in June drove the biggest increase in the US trade deficit in 19 months, reversing much of May’s export bonanza, the government reported today. The result could weigh on revised…

China threatens new tariffs on US$60b worth of US goods

BEIJING, Aug 3 — Beijing warned today it was prepared to impose new tariffs on US$60 billion worth of US goods if Washington ups the ante in the escalating US-China trade war. The commerce ministry issued a statement saying the new duties would be…

Azman steps down as Axiata chairman after 10 years

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar stepped down as Chairman of Axiata Group Bhd today after a 10-year tenure. He also resigned as its Non-Independent Non-Executive Director and a representative from sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional…

Brexit threatens Marks & Spencer sandwiches in France, says chairman

LONDON, Aug 3 — A rare British gastronomic hit in France, the Marks & Spencer sandwich may no longer appear on Parisian shelves without a post-Brexit trade deal, the supermarket’s chairman warned in an interview published today. Archie…

Will Gamuda accept Air Selangor’s offer?

PETALING JAYA: Following a RM2.55 billion offer from the Selangor government to acquire Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash), it remains to be seen whether Gamuda Bhd, which previously indicated a higher valuation, would accept the offer.

Gamuda has previously said that Splash should be worth more than RM2.8 billion.

Today, Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) offered to acquire the entire 50 million ordinary shares and 350 million redeemable unsecured loan stocks (RULS) of Splash for a total purchase consideration of RM2.55 billion.

Splash is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash Holdings), in which Gamuda has 40% interest, while Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS) and The Sweet Water Alliance Sdn Bhd own 30% each.

Splash Holdings is to revert with acceptance of the offer by 5pm on or before Aug 10, 2018. The sale and purchase of Splash will be transacted through a share purchase agreement (SPA) between Air Selangor and Splash Holdings, and the SPA shall be entered into by Sept 14, 2018 at the latest.

If the deal is accepted, the purchase consideration will be satisfied with an upfront payment of RM1.9 billion on the completion date of the SPA while the balance purchase price of RM650 million will be settled in nine annual instalments.

Gamuda said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia that it will make the appropriate announcement in due course after going through due process internally and with Splash Holdings.

In a separate filing, KPS said that the proposed acquisition by Air Selangor is a step closer to the resolution of Selangor's water sector restructuring and a closure for KPS.

“This corporate development is certainly not all loss to the group, as we can now be fully focused in executing our business transformation plan to unlock the full potential of our core businesses, thus, creating long-term value and generating sustainable returns for the group,” said its CEO Ahmad Fariz Hassan.

Splash is the last pending water asset under the Selangor water restructuring exercise. Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) and Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd (Abbas) sold their water assets for RM2.47 billion, RM3.11 billion and RM990 million, respectively.

KPS agreed to sell its 30% stake in Splash in 2015, but the deal is dependent on Gamuda's go-ahead. There has been no indication that Gamuda will accept the offer as it has consistently reiterated that it will result in a divestment loss of RM920 million. 

Meanwhile, The Sweet Water Alliance Sdn Bhd, controlled by businessman Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah, has rejected the offer for its 30% interest in Splash. It is not known if he has changed his mind since.

Trading in Gamuda and KPS was suspended today pending the material announcement.

Ringgit ends at 7-month low against Greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed at a seven-month low against the US dollar today as the greenback strengthened over the US-China trade tension, curbing appetite for the local currency, dealers said.

At 6 pm, the ringgit closed at 4.0800/0850 against the greenback versus 4.0740/0780 yesterday.

A dealer said the US dollar appreciated versus a basket of other currencies, taking advantage on the escalating US-China trade war dispute, with the former threatening to increase import tariffs to 25% from 10% on US$200 billion in Chinese imports.

The greenback uptrend was also supported by the US Treasury yields, coupled with the expectations of a bullish US jobs report, thus lifting risk appetite for the safe haven currency.

“The US dollar's gains impacted the ringgit sentiment,” the dealer told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded higher against other major currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 2.9770/9811 from 2.9805/9838 on Thursday, and rose versus the Japanese yen to 3.6523/6574 from 3.6528/6574.

The local currency strengthened against the British pound to 5.3064/3146 from 5.3284/3352 and increased vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7222/7292 from 4.7303/7358 yesterday. — Bernama

Bumi Armada secures RM1.16b FPSO contract in Vietnam

KUALA LUMPUR: Bumi Armada Bhd's has signed a US$285 million (RM1.16 billion) bare boat charter contract with Hoang Long Joint Operating Company (HLJOC) for the charter of floating production storage offloading (FPSO) Armada TGT 1 in Vietnam.

The contract has a firm charter period from Aug 27, 2018 until Nov 14, 2024.

The FPSO Armada TGT 1 has been chartered by Bumi Armada to HLJOC to operate in the Te Giac Triang (TGT) field offshore Vietnam under a seven-year firm bare boat charter contract dated Sept 1, 2009, which will expire on Aug 26, 2018.

Following the signing of the contract, the FPSO Armada TGT 1 will continue to be chartered to HLJOC at the same location from Aug 27, 2018 until Nov 14, 2024.

The TGT field is owned and operated by HLJOC, which is a partnership between PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation, SOCO Vietnam Ltd, OPECO Vietnam Ltd, and PTTEP Hoang-Long Company Ltd.

Commenting on this positive development for the FPSO Armada TGT 1, Bumi Armada executive director and CEO Leon Harland said this contract is a positive result for the group and the stakeholders in the TGT project.

“Since the start in August 2011, FPSO Armada TGT 1 has shown great safety performance, with no lost time incident in seven years, with an average oil and gas uptime availability of over 99% since start up, and produces over 106 million barrels of oil.”