December, 2018


Ringgit extends gains to conclude 2018 higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — The ringgit concluded 2018 on a positive note, ending the trading higher against the US dollar today on continued buying interest for emerging currencies, said a dealer. At 6pm, the local note stood at 4.1300/1350 against…

Bursa Malaysia ends mixed on last day of 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Bursa Malaysia closed mixed on the last trading day of 2018, amid some mild window-dressing in selected blue chips and heavyweights, a dealer said. At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) wrapped up the day…

Voon Seng Chuan is new AmBank chairman

PETALING JAYA: AMMB Holdings Bhd has appointed Voon Seng Chuan (pic) as the new chairman of AmBank (M) Bhd with effect from Jan 1, 2019.

“Voon, a Malaysian, aged 60, has been a member of the board of directors of AmBank since June 18, 2015. He is also a member of the board of directors of AMMB,” AMMB said in a stock exchange filing on its directorship/chairmanship transition plan.

Voon replaces Tan Sri Azman Hashim, 79, who will be retiring from six entities in the AmBank group in stages over a two-year period announced last year.

UK, French stocks advance at open on New Year’s Eve

LONDON, Dec 31 — The British and French stock markets rose at the open today for the final trading day of 2018, but Frankfurt remains shut for the festive break. In initial deals, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of major British blue-chip…

BNM: Non-resident portfolio outflows continue in November

PETALING JAYA: The domestic financial markets continued to record non-resident portfolio outflows in November, due mainly to uncertainties surrounding external developments, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

“The ringgit depreciated by 0.1% amid non-resident portfolio outflows. The outflows were driven mainly by risk-off investor sentiments due to concerns over escalating global trade tensions and expectations over future US interest rate hikes,” the central bank said in its Monthly Highlights November 2018.

The FBM KLCI declined 1.7% n November due to non-resident outflows of RM00 million s investors remained cautious amid continued volatility in global equity markets and the decline in crude oil prices.

The five-year Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) yield remained stable amid non-resident outflows of RM5.4 billion, increasing slightly by 7.3 basis points.

“The impact of outflows remained contained due to active buying by domestic institutional investors,” BNM noted.

Meanwhile, the central bank highlighted that the banking system asset quality remains sound with unchanged net impaired loans ratio f 0.9%.

“Banks continued to maintain sufficient buffers against potential credit losses with total provisions to total loans ratio sustained at 1.5%.”

BNM said net financing growth increased slightly to 7.3% in November on the back of higher growth in outstanding banking system loans of 6.2%.

“Business financing remained strong, with a higher outstanding loan growth of 6.3% (October: 5.6%), driven mainly by the wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels; construction; and manufacturing sectors. Growth in outstanding corporate bonds remained healthy at 10.5% (October: 10.2%).”

However, growth in household loans moderated slightly to 5.7% in November versus 5.9% in October.

Malaysia’s PPI down 2.9% in Nov

PETALING JAYA: The Producer Price Index (PPI) for local production decreased 2.9% on a year-on-year basis in November 2018 as compared to 0.7% in October 2018, mainly due to agriculture, forestry & fishing (-22.7%), manufacturing (-1.8%) and water supply (-0.1%).

“Conversely, the index of mining and electricity & gas supply rose 4.5% and 1.2% respectively,“ Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a statement today.

As compared to the previous month, the PPI for local production registered a decline of 2.8% in November 2018 which was contributed by the index of mining (-16.4%), agriculture, forestry & fishing (-6.4%) and manufacturing (-0.7%). Water supply and electricity & gas supply increased 0.5% and 0.3% respectively.

Meanwhile, the PPI for local production by stage of processing (SOP) declined 2.8% in November 2018 from the previous month, led by the decline of all indices of which crude materials for further processing (-10.9%), finished goods (-0.9%) and intermediate materials, supplies & components (-0.6%).

On a yearly basis, the PPI for local production by SOP for November 2018 dropped 2.9%. Index of crude materials for further processing, finished goods and intermediate materials, supplies & components recorded a decrease of 6.9%, 2.6% and 1.5% respectively.

Talam Transform Q3 net loss widens

PETALING JAYA: Talam Transform Bhd’s net loss for the third quarter ended Oct 31, 2018 widened to RM3.91 million from RM3.51 million a year ago due to a provision for impairment of inventory.

Its revenue jumped over five times to RM15.36 million compared with RM2.98 million generated during last year’s corresponding quarter, mainly driven by higher construction revenue and higher sale of inventories, particularly from the Bukit Beruntung area.

For the nine-month period, Talam’s net loss narrowed to RM14.21 million from RM15.05 million a year ago mainly due to a higher gross profit, gain from disposal of subsidiaries and lower provision for doubtful debts, which was off-set against a provision for impairment of inventory.

Its revenue saw a 27.01% increase to RM39.48 million from RM31.08 million previously.

Looking ahead, Talam said it has submitted the new development plans on various parcels of land, some of which has already been approved by the relevant authorities.

“The group has started its ‘build then sell’ projects which are being funded by cash flows from asset sales that were already locked in. However, the board foresees a challenging environment ahead for the group due to market conditions brought about by tough lending guidelines by Bank Negara Malaysia, amid a soft property market,“ it added.

At the noon break, its shares gained half a sen or 20% to 3 sen on 120,000 shares done.

Hong Kong stocks round out worst year since 2011 with gains

HONG KONG, Dec 31 — Hong Kong headed for a positive end to a tough year today, with the Hang Seng rising after US President Donald Trump hailed “big progress” on resolving Washington's trade war with Beijing. In light holiday trading with…

PUNB appoints Izwan Zainuddin new CEO

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) has appointed Izwan Zainuddin as its new chief executive officer, effective tomorrow. He succeeds Datuk Azhar Haji Ahmad, who resigned on October 15, 2018, the company said in a…

Bursa on the rise at mid-day

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Bursa Malaysia continued to climb higher at mid-day as sentiment remained positive following the uptrend seen in regional bourses. At 12.30pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 8.32 points to 1,700.39…