Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

 

Argentine peso hits all-time low as emerging markets sell off

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 15 — The Argentine peso fell to a record low early today as South America’s second-largest economy looks particularly vulnerable during an emerging-market selloff. The peso weakened as much as 2.7 per cent to 30.5 per dollar…


US SEC subpoenas Tesla over Musk’s tweets, Fox News reports

NEW YORK, Aug 15 — The US Securities and Exchange Commission has sent subpoenas to Tesla Inc regarding its privatisation plans and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s statement “funding secured”, Fox News tweeted today, citing sources….


Oil extends losses after surprise US crude stockpile build

NEW YORK, Aug 15 — Oil plunged after US stockpiles rose the most since March 2017 amid investor concerns that the US-China trade war and Turkish crisis will undercut demand. Futures in New York fell as much as 3.4 per cent today. American crude…


US stocks sink amid renewed worries over Turkey

NEW YORK, Aug 15 — Wall Street stocks tumbled early today as renewed worries about Turkey offset solid US retail sales data. About 30 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1 per cent to 25,019.70. The broad-based S&P…


Public Bank posts 4.8% jump in Q2 net profit, declares 32 sen dividend

PETALING JAYA: Public Bank Bhd's net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018 rose 4.8% to RM1.40 billion from RM1.33 billion a year ago due mainly to higher net interest income, higher income from Islamic banking business, lower loan impairment allowance and higher net fee and commission income.

Revenue jumped 5.2% to RM5.44 billion compared with RM5.17 billion in the previous year's corresponding quarter.

For the six months period, the bank's net profit increased by 8.6% to RM2.80 billion from RM2.58 billion a year ago, due mainly to higher net interest income, higher net fee and commission income and higher income from Islamic banking business.

Revenue jumped 5.8% to RM10.79 billion compared with RM10.20 billion in the previous year's corresponding period.

Public Bank founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow said the higher profit for the period was largely driven by growth in its loan and deposit business, with further impetus from a 4.9% growth in non-interest income.

“Sustained business strength continued to place the group in a strong competitive position, with its net return on equity standing at 15.0%. Similarly, the group’s cost-to-income ratio of 33.1% and gross impaired loans ratio of 0.5% remained the best in the domestic banking industry,” he said.

The board of directors declared a first interim dividend of 32 sen per share, which will be paid on Sept 19, 2018, resulting in a total dividend payout of RM1.24 billion.

“The Public Bank group will continue to ride on the growing economy to strengthen its banking business along its organic growth strategy. The group’s resilient fundamentals, consistent financial performance, agility to market changes and strong customer service culture will continue to be the essential qualities in driving the sustainability of the group’s business, for the interests of all its stakeholders,” Teh said.


Mudajaya: RM119m job to build office tower terminated

PETALING JAYA: Mudajaya Group Bhd said today its wholly owned subsidiary Mudajaya Corp Bhd's RM119 million contract to build a
16-storey office complex in Shah Alam, Selangor, from KLIAA-KLIACS Consortium (KLIA Consortium), known as Hevea Tower, has been terminated.

Mudajaya Corp received the notice on the termination, which took effect on Monday, from KLIA Consortium on Tuesday.

KLIA Associates Sdn Bhd and KLIA Consultancy Services Sdn Bhd, which formed KLIA Consortium, were appointed by Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) as the project delivery partner (PDP), and Mudajaya Corp was appointed by KLIA Consortium as the work package contractor for the project.

On March 15, 2018, MRB and KLIA Consortium agreed to the mutual cessation of the PDP agreement.

Mudajaya Corp will submit claims for the outstanding amount including any other costs incurred to close the project's account within the stipulated time.


Miti to review anti-dumping duty on hot rolled coil imports

PETALING JAYA: The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) will initiate an administrative review on anti-dumping duty on imports of hot rolled coils, chequered coils, and pickled and oiled coils from China and Indonesia – following a petition from an interested party for the removal of duties.

The ministry’s director of the trade practices section said in a statement, the review is following a petition received on July 17 – requesting for an administrative review on anti-dumping duties on the grounds that there is no more local production of hot rolled coils in Malaysia.

“In accordance with the Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Duties Act 1993 and the Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Duties Regulations 1994, the government will initiate the administrative review and the final determination of it (administrative review) will be made within 180 days from the date of initiation,” said Miti.

In that light, Miti will be providing a set of questionnaires to interested parties listed in the petition to assist in the investigation and has also called on other interested parties to request for the questionnaires no later than on Aug 30.

Interested parties may also provide additional supporting evidence to the ministry before Sept 14.

“In the event no response is received within the specified period, the government will make its preliminary findings based on the best facts available,” it said.

The original anti-dumping investigation was initiated on June 18, 2014 and the final affirmative anti-dumping duties which ranged between 2.49% to 25.40%, were imposed on Feb 14, 2015, and to run until Feb 13, 2020.


China-linked cyberattacks not ruled out as M’sia reviews deals

KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese state-sponsored hackers may be targeting companies and state agencies in Malaysia as it looks to review several major projects linked to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, cyber security firm FireEye Inc said today.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who took power after an election win in May, will be in China on Friday seeking to renegotiate and possibly cancel billions of dollars worth of Chinese-invested projects authorised by his predecessor, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), unveiled in 2013, aims to develop a network of land and sea links with Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

FireEye said it had found indications that cyber espionage activities were increasing throughout Southeast Asia, as China-based groups and others sought to gain information on BRI projects and deals.

Malaysia’s recent political changes and its reassessment of China-backed projects put it at heightened risk of such activity, FireEye’s head of global intelligence operations, Sandra Joyce, told a media briefing.

“Malaysia is looking more and more like a typical target of Chinese state-sponsored cyber activity,” she said.

“As Chinese investments continue to be scrutinised, that is going to be a motivator for groups … to gain more intelligence and information on the future of these projects.”

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China routinely denies accusations of involvement in hacking and says it is a main victim of it.

The Malaysian prime minister’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while a spokesman for the foreign ministry declined to comment.

Joyce said Malaysian targets could include any company or agency involved in a US$20 billion (RM81.8 billion) East Coast Rail Link project. The 688km project, linking Malaysia’s west coast with ports in the east, has been suspended pending discussions over pricing and graft allegations.

Mahathir’s government also halted work on two projects worth more than US$2.3 billion awarded to the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau.

Joyce said its observations on Malaysia were in keeping with developments in other countries with major BRI interests such as Belarus, which has been targeted by a Chinese group called Roaming Tiger.

FireEye said in July that a China-based group identified as TEMP.Periscope had interfered in a general election in Cambodia, breaching systems used by several Cambodian state agencies and political entities. – Reuters


CIMB Niaga first-half earnings 28% higher year on year

PETALING JAYA: PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk (CIMB Niaga) posted a net profit of 1.8 trillion rupiah (RM504.3 million) in the first half of 2018 (1H18), representing a 28.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth, which translates into an earnings per share of 70.54 rupiah.

The improved net profit came on the back of a 32.6% increase in non-interest income to 1.9 trillion rupiah and a 27.1% y-o-y decline in provision expenses, it told the stock exchange today.

Its loan loss coverage (LLC) remained comfortable at 106.83%, it added.

CIMB Niaga president Tigor M. Siahaan said its 1H18 operating income managed to grow by 1.5% y-o-y thanks to the y-o-y improvement in non-interest income.

Tigor added its operating costs continued to be well managed, rising only 3.4% y-o-y, while the gradual improvement in the economic environment positively impacted its provisions which declined 27.1% y-o-y.

“We will continue the cautious growth trajectory with asset quality as a priority. With total assets of 260.1 trillion rupiah as at June 30, 2018, representing a 7.6% y-o-y growth, CIMB Niaga maintained its position as Indonesia’s second largest national private-listed bank by assets.”

As at June 30, CIMB Niaga’s total gross loans increased 3% y-o-y to 185.7 trillion rupiah.

“Our strategy to focus on the mortgage and small medium enterprise (SME) segments is gaining traction, with each segment growing by 8.9% and 6.2% y-o-y respectively, while our corporate loans grew by 8.8% y-o-y,” Tigor added.

Its total third party deposits stood at 190.3 trillion rupiah as at June 30 2018, underpinned by a 12.8% y-o-y growth in CASA (current account, savings account).

“Going forward, we will continue to optimise CASA with our consumer and SME digitalisation, and strengthen our Sharia business proposition and Sharia-compliant product offerings,” Tigor said.


CIMB Niaga first-half earnings 28% higher

PETALING JAYA: PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk (CIMB Niaga) posted a net profit of 1.8 trillion rupiah (RM504.3 million) in the first half of 2018 (1H18), representing a 28.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth, which translates into an earnings per share of 70.54 rupiah.

The improved net profit came on the back of a 32.6% increase in non-interest income to 1.9 trillion rupiah and a 27.1% y-o-y decline in provision expenses, it told the stock exchange today.

Its loan loss coverage (LLC) remained comfortable at 106.83%, it added.

CIMB Niaga president Tigor M. Siahaan said its 1H18 operating income managed to grow by 1.5% y-o-y thanks to the y-o-y improvement in non-interest income.

Tigor added its operating costs continued to be well managed, rising only 3.4% y-o-y, while the gradual improvement in the economic environment positively impacted its provisions which declined 27.1% y-o-y.

“We will continue the cautious growth trajectory with asset quality as a priority. With total assets of 260.1 trillion rupiah as at June 30, 2018, representing a 7.6% y-o-y growth, CIMB Niaga maintained its position as Indonesia’s second largest national private-listed bank by assets.”

As at June 30, CIMB Niaga’s total gross loans increased 3% y-o-y to 185.7 trillion rupiah.

“Our strategy to focus on the mortgage and small medium enterprise (SME) segments is gaining traction, with each segment growing by 8.9% and 6.2% y-o-y respectively, while our corporate loans grew by 8.8% y-o-y,” Tigor added.

Its total third party deposits stood at 190.3 trillion rupiah as at June 30 2018, underpinned by a 12.8% y-o-y growth in CASA (current account, savings account).

“Going forward, we will continue to optimise CASA with our consumer and SME digitalisation, and strengthen our Sharia business proposition and Sharia-compliant product offerings,” Tigor said.