Wednesday, November 7th, 2018


Profits up as Murdoch plan for 'new Fox' on track

NEW YORK, Nov 7 ― Twenty-First Century Fox reported a jump in profits in the past quarter Wednesday as the conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch said it was on track to complete a key asset sale and launch a slimmed-down media group. The New…

Iran says extra Saudi, Russian oil helps Trump and hurts producers

LONDON, Nov 7 ― Saudi Arabia and Russia need to cut oil output, a top Iranian official said today, adding that extra supply from the two countries had caused a slide in prices and benefited US President Donald Trump. Iran has been angered by…

Goldman Sachs CEO: I feel horrible that two former employees blatantly broke the law in 1MDB case

SINGAPORE: Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon said today he felt “horrible” that two former employees “blatantly broke the law” in their dealings with Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

US prosecutors filed criminal charges against the two former Goldman bankers and a Malaysian financier linked to the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the fund.

An investigation into where 1MDB's money went became the largest carried out by the Department of Justice under its anti-kleptocracy programme, and the scandal was a major reason why Malaysian voters rejected Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, their prime minister for nearly a decade, in an election earlier this year.

“It is obviously very distressing to see two former Goldman Sachs employees went so blatantly around our policies and so blatantly broke the law,” Solomon said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore.

“I feel horrible about the fact that people who worked at Goldman Sachs, and it doesn't matter whether it's a partner or it's an entry level employee, would go around our policies and break the law,” Solomon said.

US prosecutors announced last week that Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, anjavascript:SpellCheck('Field_C');d agreed to forfeit US$43.7 million (RM182.2 million).

Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia and is expected to be extradited.

Reuters was not immediately able to contact Ng's lawyer today. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment after US prosecutors unveiled the charges last Thursday.

Goldman has also placed its former co-head of Asia investment banking, Andrea Vella, on leave over his role in the firm's involvement with the case, pending a review of allegations, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The Wall Street bank said in a securities filing last Friday that it may also face penalties from dealings with 1MDB. – Reuters

Genting Malaysia will act to mitigate impact of higher casino licence fee, duties

PETALING JAYA: Genting Malaysia Bhd is assessing the full implications of additional taxes announced in Budget 2019 and will take appropriate action to mitigate their impact.

The action includes a review of its marketing expenditure as well as cost structure, it told the stock exchange today.

Genting Malaysia said it has been advised by the Finance Ministry that the annual casino licence fee will be revised from RM120 million to RM150 million and casino duties will be revised to up to 35% of gross collection.

“The increase in casino duties represents a 10 percentage point increase over existing duty rates. The amendments will take effect from Jan 1, 2019,” it added.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Genting Malaysia closed 3 sen or 0.83% higher at RM3.64 after hitting limit down on Monday.

Protasco: Lawsuit a bid to end push to revive criminal charges against ex-directors

PETALING JAYA: Protasco Bhd is of the view that the legal suit filed by its former substantial shareholder against executive vice-chairman and managing director Datuk Seri Chong Ket Pen is a move to pressure the group into ending its push to revive criminal cases against former directors Tey Por Yee and Ooi Kock Aun.

“Aside from these cases for criminal breach of trust and cheating, we also see it as pressuring Protasco to withdraw its own ongoing court cases against Tey and Ooi for breach of fiduciary and statutory duties and US$27 million (RM112.5 million) in damages,” it said in a statement in response to the suit.

Protasco said it has strong grounds to win and the company remains steadfast in seeking justice and recovering what is due to Protasco and all its shareholders.

Both Tey and Ooi were granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the sessions court in September 2017 following allegations of criminal breach of trust due to the non-disclosure of interest in a transaction involving RM85 million.

However, Protasco has demanded that the Attorney-General's Chambers reopen cases against the duo.

SunBiz recently reported that Indonesia-based Global Capital Ltd (GCL) filed a civil suit against Chong for alleged abuse of power. The suit revolves round the entry of GCL into Protasco in 2012 after the company promised a planned oil and gas foray and a profit guarantee for the next four years.

In 2012, Protasco announced that it was buying a 63% stake in PT Anglo Slavic Indonesia (PT ASI) for US$22 million (RM92 million). The deal, however, did not materialise due to non-fulfilment of conditions.

GCL is claiming RM368 million from Chong, including loss of investment and future profits for the stake in Protasco; loss of margin to finance the acquisition of shares up to RM75 million; liability of US$55 million (RM228.5 million) to PT Anglo Slavic Utama, as guarantor for Chong pursuant to the investment guarantee agreement; as well as RM65 million as payment for the profit guarantee under the investment guarantee agreement.

In the suit, GCL also alleged that Chong entered into business transactions and decisions on operation, remuneration, payments of dividends and salaries for his own benefit at the expense and the best interests of the company.

Chong raked in RM2.41 million remuneration in 2017. 

Top Glove fails in second attempt to freeze Adventa Capital’s assets

PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd has failed in its second attempt to freeze the assets of Adventa Capital Pte Ltd on alleged conspiracy to defraud the group and fraudulent misrepresentations over the RM1.37 billion purchase of Aspion Sdn Bhd.

Top Glove said today it will appeal to the Appellate Court against the High Court's decision.

Its first attempt to freeze Adventa Capital's assets over claims that it had overpaid RM640.5 million for the acquisition of Aspion from Adventa Capital was dismissed by the High Court in July.

According to Top Glove's filing with the stock exchange today, the judicial commissioner (JC) found that Top Glove and its subsidiary Top Care Sdn Bhd made a good arguable case on fraudulent misrepresentation and that there was a risk of dissipation of assets by the defendants if the Mareva injunction was not granted.

“However, the learned JC was of the opinion that there is no causal link between the damages sought by Top Glove and Top Care and the fraudulent misrepresentation. Thus, the applications were dismissed with costs of RM15,000 to each defendant.”

Based on advice from solicitors and counsel, Top Glove believes that it has good grounds for appeal on merit, hence it will proceed to file an appeal with the Appellate Court.

Upon the dismissal of the applications, the judicial commissioner granted an Erinford injunction upon terms of the ad interim injunction dated Aug 27, but with a reduced limit, whereby the injuncted sum was reduced to RM219.7 million against Adventa Capital, Low Chin Guan and Wong Chin Toh; and RM72.3 million against ACPL Sdn Bhd.

Meanwhile, Top Glove said the Mareva injunction restraining Adventa Capital from disposing of its assets in Singapore and outside of Singapore (except Malaysia) remains in force until the hearing for Adventa Capital's application to set aside order in the Singapore High Court.

The next hearing is scheduled for Nov 29.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Top Glove closed unchanged at RM5.80 on volume of 6.14 million shares.

IMF team in Pakistan as China pledges economic aid

ISLAMABAD, Nov 7 ― An International Monetary Fund team arrived in Islamabad today for talks on a possible IMF bailout, even as Pakistan insisted it had solved its immediate balance of payments crisis. Speaking shortly after Prime Minister Imran…

World stocks, Wall Street futures surge after US vote but dollar takes hit

LONDON, Nov 7 ― Wall Street was set for a surge today and global stocks rose after a US election divided control of Congress, but the outcome, which casts doubt on further tax cuts, hit the dollar and sent Treasury yields lower. The Democrats…

Genting Malaysia to review marketing spending, cost structure

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Genting Malaysia Bhd (GENM) will review its marketing expenditure and cost structure to mitigate the impact of the increase in casino licence fee and casino duties. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the company said it was…

Securities Commission committed to strengthening investors’ trust, confidence

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — The Securities Commission (SC) will remain vigilant of any potential breaches of securities law, said Chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar. He said governments and regulators were aware that sustainable economic growth required a…