Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019


China tobacco monopoly’s global unit plans Hong Kong IPO

HONG KONG, Jan 2 ― The international wing of the world’s largest cigarette maker ― a Chinese state-owned tobacco monopoly ― plans to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange, filing documents showed today. The unit seeking listing only accounts…

PNB COO retires, names new CIO

PETALING JAYA: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) yesterday announced the retirement of its deputy president and group chief operating officer (COO) of asset management Datuk Idris Kechot, effective Dec 31, 2018.

Idris has been with the PNB Group, including with Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB), a wholly owned unit trust management company of PNB, for more than 34 years, PNB said in a statement.

Meanwhile, PNB said it has appointed Hanizan Hood as its chief investment officer (CIO), effective Jan 1, 2019.

In her new role, Hanizan assumes leadership of the day-to-day oversight of all the operating units within the asset management division, namely fund management, strategic asset allocation, equity market operations, fixed income, investment analysis and economics departments.

Hanizan, which holds the Capital Markets Services Representative’s Licence, has served in various capacities in the areas of equity research, money market, fixed income and portfolio management.

Ringgit extends losses on cautious sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 ― The ringgit extended its losses, from this morning, to close lower against the US dollar today, as several external economic uncertainties prompted investors to shift their focus towards safe havens currencies,…

Bursa Malaysia ends first day of 2019 in the red

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the first trading day of 2019 in the red, dampened by poor market sentiment, due to several factors including disappointing Chinese economic data, a dealer said.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) wrapped up the day 22.47 points or 1.33% weaker at 1,668.11 from Monday’s close of 1,690.58.

The market was closed on Tuesday for the New Year.

The barometer index moved between 1,666.07 and 1,694.10 throughout the day, after opening 2.93 points better at 1,693.51.

Total volume was slightly higher at 1.68 billion shares worth RM951.04 million from 1.57 billion shares worth RM1.33 billion.

Market breadth was negative with 532 losers outpacing 256 gainers, while 297 counters were unchanged, 772 untraded and 20 others suspended.

Public Investment Bank said Chinese factory activity shrank for the first time in over two years with the expectation of a more tougher outlook for 2019.

“China’s factory activity contracted for the first time in over two years in December, highlighting the challenges facing Beijing as it seeks to end a bruising trade war with Washington and reduce the risk of a sharper economic slowdown in 2019,“ it said in a note earlier today.

The investment bank also said that the humming US factories ended 2018 on a sour note amid the trade war.

It said five Federal Reserve (Fed) indices of regional manufacturing slumped in December, the first time they have fallen since May 2016.

Additionally, the crude oil price was down by about 40% from a nearly four-year high in October.

The bearish tone in today’s trading was similar to the first trading day on Jan 2 last year, whereby the benchmark index fell 14.11 points to 1,782.70, dampened by profit-taking in blue chips and selected heavyweights.

Among heavyweights, Maybank fell 11 sen to RM9.39, Public Bank declined 10 sen to RM24.66, Tenaga shed 16 sen to RM13.44 while Petronas Chemicals was five sen weaker at RM9.24.

Of actives, My EG eased 2.5 sen to 95 sen, Prestariang inched down 2.5 sen to 43 sen, Datasonic rose 2.5 sen to 43 sen and Sumatec Resources was flat at one sen.

The FBM Emas Index fell 135.08 points to 11,392.43, the FBMT 100 Index decreased 136.40 points to 11,307.21 and the FBM Emas Syariah Index lost 179.47 points to 11,324.96.

The FBM Ace Index was 27.95 points lower at 4,289.54 and the FBM 70 was 90.14 points weaker at 12,985.05.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 1.05 point to 165.44, the Finance Index slid 111.52 points to 17,184.95 while the Plantation Index declined 138.87 points to 6,764.09.

Main Market volume fell to 1.12 billion shares worth RM824.05 million from 1.24 billion shares worth RM1.27 billion.

Warrants turnover rose to 358.33 million units valued at RM89.92 million versus 158.33 million units valued at RM35.02 million.

Volume on the ACE Market advanced to 176.06 million shares worth RM36.1 million compared with 162.11 million shares worth RM23.84 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 153.91 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (176.22 million), construction (75.51 million), technology (171.92 million), SPAC (911,800), financial services (21.72 million), property (60.96 million), plantations (16.67 million), REITs (8.6 million), closed/fund (nil), energy (358.92 million), healthcare (10.16 million), telecommunications and media (22.76 million), transportation and logistics (39.94 million), and utilities (6.4 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM165.69 per gramme, up 94 sen from RM164.75 at 5pm Monday. — Bernama

Bursa ends first day of 2019 in the red

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 ― Bursa Malaysia ended the first trading day of 2019 in the red, dampened by poor market sentiment, due to several factors including disappointing Chinese economic data, a dealer said. At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia…

Maybank’s union staff get 10% salary hike

PETALING JAYA: Malayan Banking Bhd’s (Maybank) in-house unions, Association of Maybank Class One Officers and Association of Maybank Executives have recently signed their collective agreements (CA) for the period of Jan 1, 2018 to Dec 31, 2020.

The CA will see their members, representing executive to senior executive level and the junior officer level staff respectively, receiving a 10% salary adjustment, enhancement in current benefits and allowances as well as introduction of new benefits, Maybank said in a statement today.

The CA will also see a raise of up to 30% and 25% in personal accident and term life insurance coverage respectively, which will further support the employees and their families during unfortunate events, and also a 10% increase to all other monetary allowances.

A seven day pilgrimage leave scheme, which is a new benefit to the CA, will enable eligible employees to perform and fulfil their religious obligations with added flexibility.

During the signing ceremony, Maybank also announced a review on the staff housing loan benefit for employees in Maybank Malaysia, which will see a reduction in staff housing loan interest rates from 3.5% to 2% for all employees for existing and new loans.

This will complement the existing scheme where employees, earning RM3,000 and below, are eligible for interest free loans for the first RM100,000 on their housing loans from Maybank.

Chinese manufacturing had an even worse December than expected, more data show


Results of a private survey on China’s manufacturing for the month of December showed factory activity contracted amid a trade dispute with the U.S. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a private survey, fell to 49.7 in December from 50.2 in November. Analysts’ in a Reuters poll predicted the PMI to come in at 50.1 in December. Huileng Tan | @huileng_tan Published 6 Hours Ago  Updated 5 Hours Stringer | AFP | Getty Images Results of a private survey on China’s manufacturing for the month of December showed factory activity contracted forRead More

China plans 6,800 km of new rail track in 2019 amid infrastructure push


SHANGHAI (Jan 2): China plans to invest in 6,800 kilometers (4,225 miles) worth of new railway lines in 2019, a 40 percent jump from the length of tracks laid last year, the national railway operator said on Wednesday amid a wider push to boost infrastructure spending. At least 3,200 kilometers of this target will be high-speed rail, the China Railway Corp said in a post on its official WeChat account. China Railway Corp said it invested in 4,683 kilometers worth of new rail lines last year, of which 4,100 wereRead More

REV Asia buys 25% stake in Chinese social news portal


KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 2): REV Asia Holdings Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Media Prima Digital Sdn Bhd, has acquired a 25% stake in Monster Scape Sdn Bhd, the owner and publisher of Chinese social news portal TanTanNews ( As part of the deal, REV Asia will be representing the online news portal as the exclusive advertising reselling partner. REV Asia managing director Voon Tze Khay said the acquisition of TanTanNews will further strengthen REV Asia’s dominant position in the millennial Chinese-speaking online community, and enable it to expand toRead More

Dr M: Malaysia may resume ECRL project


KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 2): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project may be downsized, provided that China agree to do so. In a recent interview with Sin Chew Daily, Dr Mahathir said the government is still in negotiation with China on the ECRL project, and has not found any good solution to resolve this issue, but both parties did not set any deadline for this negotiation. “What we are trying to do is, ensuring that China will not lose money, while we don’t needRead More