Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

 

Shell says approves huge gas project in Canada

LONDON, Oct 2 ― Energy major Royal Dutch Shell said today it had approved a vast liquified natural gas project in Canada to help meet an expected boom in Asian demand. The London-listed company said in a statement that its Shell Canada Energy…


US stocks flat as Italy worries weigh

NEW YORK, Oct 2 ― US stocks treaded water today, pressured by worries of a euro zone breakup after anti-euro comments from an Italian lawmaker. Italy would enjoy more favorable economic conditions outside of the euro zone, said Claudio Borghi, a…


Volkswagen drops Audi chief accused of diesel fraud

FRANKFURT, Oct 2 ― German car giant Volkswagen said today it was removing Rupert Stadler, the chief executive of subsidiary Audi who has been jailed in an emissions fraud probe since June, from his post and the parent group’s board. “The…


Petronas, partners give final investment decisions for US$14b LNG project in Canada

SINGAPORE/VANCOUVER: A massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Canada has been given the final go-ahead from project partners, LNG Canada said today, making it the first major new LNG project to win approval globally in five years.

First gas from the project is expected before 2025, aiming to feed an expected surge in demand for the cleaner fuel from hungry Asian buyers, mainly China.

LNG Canada is the single largest infrastructure investment in Canadian history and its construction provides a much needed boost for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's ruling Liberals, who have struggled with an exodus of global majors from Alberta's oil sands and a series of setbacks in building a crude pipeline expansion to Canada's West Coast.

The project will allow LNG to be shipped to Asian markets far faster than from the US Gulf Coast.

Stakeholders Royal Dutch Shell, Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), PetroChina Co Ltd, Korea Gas Corp and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp have given final investment decisions, LNG Canada said on its website.

Shell said construction of the project at Kitimat in British Colombia will start immediately, with first LNG expected before the middle of next decade.

Mitsubishi said the total estimated development cost of the planned Kitimat LNG plant is about US$14 billion (RM58 billion). Earlier estimates of the total cost of the project had put it at C$40 billion (RM97 billion).

Shell said the project will initially export LNG from two processing units or trains totalling 14 million tonnes per annum, with the potential to expand to four trains in the future.
PetroChina and Kogas approved project financing late last week while Shell, Petronas and Mitsubishi made their announcements today.

LNG Canada is the first large-scale conventional greenfield LNG project to reach a final investment decision (FID) since 2013, said Saul Kavonic, director for Asia Pacific markets and head of energy research at Credit Suisse in Australia.

“We see that LNG Canada's FID would signal the appetite to invest in LNG is back,” Kavonic said.

The project owners will be responsible for providing their own natural gas supply and will individually offtake and market their share of LNG, LNG Canada said in the statement. In the past, project owners typically relied on long-term sale and purchase agreements with end-users to underpin financing.

The construction decision also comes amid a Sino-US trade spat that has led to tariffs being imposed by China on LNG shipments from the United States, threatening US President Donald Trump's energy dominance plan.

Energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie said it appeared the project partners had pushed hard to reach an investment decision, with rival projects being progressed in Qatar, Russia, Mozambique and the United States.

“I don't see it as a case of replacing US cargoes, more about meeting projected demand growth,” said Wood Mackenzie analyst Nicholas Browne.

WoodMac expects global LNG demand to grow from 290 million tonnes in 2017 to nearly 450 million tonnes in 2025. “That equates to a phenomenal 50% growth. So there is certainly demand for new LNG,” said Browne. – Reuters


Don’t exempt govt-linked entities from governance process in their fundraising: Banker

KUALA LUMPUR: Government and government-related entities should not be exempted from issuing a prospectus and disseminating proper information ahead of any securities issuance for fundraising activities, said Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd CEO Datuk Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid.

The banking industry should take hold of its governance process to acquire as much information as possible and deliberate before granting any possible financing, said the head of the Islamic bank owned by DRB-Hicom Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

“How do you then issue a bond when there is no transparency? This was the fundamental issue (besetting) 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as information such as cash flows was not provided, yet (financial) institutions chose to issue the bond because it was government guaranteed.

“So it is probably time for us to rethink that sometimes – when you look at a particular issuance of securities – do you exempt an organisation just because it is government or government-related?” he said.

Mohd Redza was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions-World Bank Conference on Corporate Governance of Islamic Financial Institutions: Overcoming Challenges and Implementing Best Practices here today.

He added that it was proven that 1MDB should not have been exempted from producing information on its securities issuance, as a result of which the normal governance process did not go through.

“This is where I think the boards of various banks need to really rethink and look at this issue, as it is their right to reject such transactions if the information given is not sufficient,” said Mohd Redza.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the conference, Mohd Redza said governance structures are being strengthened and political appointees are being removed following the 14th general election in May.

He noted that 1MDB would be at the heart of many case studies in terms of what happened and what could be learnt from it. “I, myself, have read deeply on the subject and it is very clear that governance structures should not look at rank or position in its implementation.”

Mohd Redza pointed out that tangibility and transparency lay at the core of Islamic finance; however, information and cash flows took a back seat in the 1MDB case as the fund was a government-related company and government guarantees were heavily relied on. – Bernama


Malton teams up with HK-listed Nan Hai to bid for Taipei project

PETALING JAYA: Malton Bhd together with Hong Kong Exchange-listed Nan Hai Corp Ltd jointly submitted a bid to the Taipei city authorities on Oct 1, 2018 for the construction of the superstructure above the airport express train station located near the main train station.

Nan Hai holds 80% interest in the bid and Malton the remaining 20%. Nan Hai's announcement to the exchange on Monday, however, did not name Malton. It only stated that the 20% interest in the project would be held by an independent third party.

The project involves the development of a landmark high-rise multipurpose complex comprising hotel, retail and prime office space above the airport express train station that has a base area of about 31,700 sq m. This complex will have direct access to Taipei's express rail service station to Taoyuan International Airport.

The bid is subject to approval, and an announcement on its status will be made accordingly.

Nan Hai is mainly engaged in culture and media services, property development and enterprise cloud services.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Malton was down half a sen to 52.5 sen on volume of 7.7 million shares.


02/10/2018 21:38:51


Malaysians prefer to work for socially responsible companies

KUALA LUMPUR: At least eight in 10 employees and job seekers in Malaysia surveyed (84%) in the latest Randstad Workmonitor study only want to work for a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility programme.

When looking for a job, 83% said that it is important to them that the company they are applying to, participates in a charitable cause or philanthropic initiative.

About 82% of employees and job seekers in Malaysia consider it important to contribute to the society by doing unpaid voluntary work, but only 49% actively commit to volunteering activities outside of their working hours.

However, 82% of the respondents would be keen to volunteer if they were given paid time off by their employers.

Employees in Malaysia do not have much choice about which charitable organisation they can volunteer at, with only 40% of the respondents saying that they were given paid time off to volunteer for a cause or charitable organisation of their own choice.

Employees based in Malaysia are firm believers of diversity at the workplace, with 93% saying that it is very important that all opportunities should be presented based on the individual’s ability to perform the role. This same group of respondents also agreed that job opportunities should be made attainable to the labour market regardless of the individual’s physical ability, age, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and religion.

Hence, it was a surprise that only 69% of the respondents said that their current employers have a diversity and inclusion policy.

Overall, the Mobility Index is moderate in Malaysia in the third quarter of 2018. The Mobility Index tracks the employee confidence and captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next six months as well as provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the labour market.

Compared to the previous quarter, job satisfaction has decreased five points to 74% in the third quarter this year. The percentage of respondents who are actively looking for a job had also dipped from 16.79% to 15.8% in the quarter.

About close to half of the respondents in Malaysia (48%) have changed job in the past six months. The top three cited reasons for the job change are switch for better employment conditions (43%); personal ambition in management field (30%) and; dissatisfied with their previous employer (15%).

The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility visible over time.

The Workmonitor’s Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next six months, provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. Besides mobility, the survey addresses employee satisfaction and personal motivation as well as a rotating set of themed questions.

The study is conducted online among employees aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimum sample size is 400 interviews per country. The Survey Sampling International panel is used for sampling purposes. The third survey of 2018 was conducted from July 18 to Aug 2.


CIMB to accept payments from six mobile wallets

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd will be accepting Quick Response (QR) Payment from six major mobile wallets at its terminals, enabling it to tap into an estimated customer base of about 4.5 million in Malaysia and 520 million registered mainland Chinese.

This is the first in the market QR payment acceptance for six mobile wallet systems are accepted on a single terminal. The six mobile wallet partners are Alipay, Touch & Go Digital, Boost, KiplePay, Mcash, and Vcash.

CIMB has partnered with GHL Systems Bhd, a leading payments company in Malaysia and Asean, to introduce the CIMB’s multi-QR terminal acceptance points for both merchants and customers.

CIMB Group Consumer Banking CEO Samir Gupta said that this move will not only fulfil its customers and merchants’ needs, but also help develop the cashless payment ecosystem in Malaysia, in support of Bank Negara’s vision in promoting a cashless society.

“We are delighted to enable CIMB merchants to process multiple QR codes via GHL’s unique single payment facility/gateway. Our multi-channel model is not just convenient but also cost-saving to CIMB’s merchants as multiple QR settlements are streamlined into a single payments provider,” said GHL Group CEO Danny Leong.

The payment method is already available at certain outlets of House of Leather, NSK and Super Seven.


A bright outlook for ‘Malaysia: A New Dawn’

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd will be accepting Quick Response (QR) Payment from six major mobile wallets at its terminals, enabling it to tap into an estimated customer base of about 4.5 million in Malaysia and 520 million registered mainland Chinese.

This is the first in the market QR payment acceptance for six mobile wallet systems are accepted on a single terminal. The six mobile wallet partners are Alipay, Touch & Go Digital, Boost, KiplePay, Mcash, and Vcash.

CIMB has partnered with GHL Systems Bhd, a leading payments company in Malaysia and Asean, to introduce the CIMB’s multi-QR terminal acceptance points for both merchants and customers.

CIMB Group Consumer Banking CEO Samir Gupta said that this move will not only fulfil its customers and merchants’ needs, but also help develop the cashless payment ecosystem in Malaysia, in support of Bank Negara’s vision in promoting a cashless society.

“We are delighted to enable CIMB merchants to process multiple QR codes via GHL’s unique single payment facility/gateway. Our multi-channel model is not just convenient but also cost-saving to CIMB’s merchants as multiple QR settlements are streamlined into a single payments provider,” said GHL Group CEO Danny Leong.

The payment method is already available at certain outlets of House of Leather, NSK and Super Seven.