Monday, January 7th, 2019
BRASILIA, Jan 7 — The Brazilian government is not poised to interrupt plans for a tie-up between national planemaker Embraer and US giant Boeing, a senior official said today, days after President Jair Bolsonaro expressed wariness over the…
WASHINGTON, Jan 7 — The US Supreme Court today cleared the way for the attorney general of Massachusetts to obtain records from Exxon Mobil Corp to probe whether the oil company for decades concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play in…
NEW YORK, Jan 7 — Wall Street stocks were little changed early today following last week’s volatility and ahead of key US economic data releases later in the week. About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial was down 0.2 per cent at…
WASHINGTON, Jan 7 — China’s economy is more vulnerable to the fallout in the current trade stand-off with Washington and already has been hurt by the dispute, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said today. Ross’s remarks emphasised President…
MANSTON (England), Jan 7 — Britain’s government sent a convoy of 87 trucks on a test-run from a little-used airport to the country’s main trading gateway to continental Europe today — a rehearsal for the upheaval of a no-deal Brexit that was…
WASHINGTON, Jan 7 — The United States and China are likely to reach a good settlement over immediate trade issues while agreement on structural trade issues and enforcement will be harder, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said today as…
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian businesses are displaying less optimistic sentiment on prospects for the next six months as the RAM Business Confidence Index (RAM BCI) fell to its lowest level since its inception two year ago.
RAM said in a statement today that the corporate and the SME indices of the RAM BCI declined to 55.1 and 51.0 respectively, although the reading above 50.0 still denotes positive sentiment.
The RAM BCI is a comprehensive survey jointly conducted by RAM Holdings Bhd and RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd, on business sentiment in Malaysia. Released quarterly, the index is based on data from a survey of close to 3,500 SMEs and corporates across five main industry segments respectively.
The cooler sentiment is attributable predominantly to the weak economic prospects in the next six months, with a number of firms citing this as the main challenge, rising to 41.2% and 41% both corporate and SME segments.
Decelerating domestic growth, uncertain global demand and investment activities and a lack of positive catalysts, including the relatively neutral Budget 2019, all play a part in the generally weaker business sentiment on the next six months.
On a sectoral basic, the construction sector appeared the least bullish with the SME sector recording a reading at 49.7 while the corporate sector declined for the third time in a row to 53.0.
Without any new growth catalyst amid the property overhang, plus the shelving of new big-ticket infrastructure projects, it is not surprising that the construction sub-indices have hit record lows, RAM said.
Another sector that showed pessimism in the Q1-Q2 2019 survey is SME retail as its performance outlook slipped back into negative territory after a brief expansionary momentum that had been aided by the tax-free window from June to August 2018.
“Faced with uncertain global and domestic economic prospects, consumers are once again more prudent with their spending, leading to weaker sentiment on retail consumption in 2019,” it added.
On the back of weaker prospects, the firms are also holding back from capacity building with the sub-indices tracking corporate business expansion, capital investment and hiring recording a fall in three consecutive surveys.
Likewise, the capacity-building sub-indices for SMEs pulled back from the last survey and remain below those of corporates.
RAM noted that firms’ expressed reticence on capacity building remains the most prominent downside risk, as it could weigh on the momentum of economic growth in 2019 and potential economic output over the longer run. This is particularly true in respect of SMEs, which are more vulnerable and sensitive to immediate economic challenges.
“That said, more guidance on future economic policies that will shape the overall business environment will be crucial to building business confidence among firms, potentially being the game changer for a more resilient growth trajectory this year,” it added.
PETALING JAYA: Sapura Energy Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiaries have clinched several contracts and contract extensions with a combined value of RM760 million.
The jobs include one contract in Angola and two contract extensions in Malaysia for the drilling segment and two local contracts for the engineering and construction segment.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said the contract in Angola is for the provision of a semi-submersible tender assisted drilling rig and drilling services for Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Limited under a two year contract with two possible extensions of six months.
The two contract extensions are for the provision of a semi-submersible tender assisted drilling rig with Sarawak Shell Bhd/Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Limited and provision of semi-tender assisted drilling rig with Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.
Meanwhile, the engineering and construction contracts involve the provision of engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) of PFLNG 1 Relocation and Tie In by Petronas Floating LNG 1 (L) Ltd and provision of EPCC plus installation for full field development Phase 2 Facilities by Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia B.V.
Sapura Energy said the latest achievements have lifted the value of contract wins to RM9.3 billion for its current financial year ending Jan 31, 2019.