Thursday, January 10th, 2019


SP Setia: We’re not liable to pay GST in land deal

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd has clarified that it is not liable to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) after it was sued by Boustead Plantations Bhd over a RM37.2 million GST payment involving a land deal in Penang.

The group told the stock exchange today that its wholly owned subsidiary Setia Fontaines Sdn Bhd has been advised by its solicitors that the acquisition of five parcels of adjoining land in Penang should be exempted from the GST pursuant to Item 1(1), First Schedule of the Goods and Services Tax (Exempt Supply) Order 2014.

“Setia Fontaines disagrees with the position taken by Boustead and hence, strongly believes that GST is not payable for the land acquired. Setia Fontaines remains steadfast to defend its position at the proceedings in the High Court,”it said.

Boustead Plantations claimed that the RM37.2 million GST is chargeable on the sale of land to Setia Fontaines.

To recap, SP Setia acquired the five parcels of land measuring a total of 677.8ha in Seberang Perai Utara in Penang from Boustead Plantations for RM620.12 million cash, following a successful bid by the property developer under a tender exercise.

SP Setia gained 5.66% to close at RM2.24 with 1.9 million shares changing hands, while Boustead Plantations was up 2.22% to 92 sen with 383,500 shares done.

UK retailers count cost of brutal Christmas trading

LONDON, Jan 10 ― British retailers suffered their worst Christmas since the depths of the financial crisis a decade ago as cautious customers forced high street stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams to slash prices to shift stock. With Britain…

WeChat, mini-apps popularity soars

GUANGZHOU: China’s social networking app WeChat sees businesses rapidly adopting its platforms, including the WeChat Pay and WeChat Mini Program features extending to mobile, so as to better connect with their customers.

As of September last year, WeChat reached more than 1.08 billion monthly active user accounts.

According to its 2018 Data Report released at its annual event “Open Class PRO 2019” today, the retail industry’s monthly WeChat Pay users had jumped 150% last year compared with the previous year.

WeChat introduced its ‘Scan-to-Buy’ feature last year, enabling users to pay without queueing at cashiers and ‘Smart Recommendations’ based on users’ past purchases to help merchants increase conversion and operational efficiency, grow membership programme, reduce manpower costs and deliver more personalised services.

The data also revealed that more than 600 million people across the world use WeChat Mini Programs at least once a week on services or products from over 200 industry segments, including transport, retail, food as well as public services.

In 2018, the number of transactions done under the Mini Programs increased six fold.

Launched in 2017, WeChat Mini Programs are mini-apps which run inside the platform and do not need to be downloaded. The Mini Programs connect online and offline merchants, and extended services such as WeChat Pay.

Meanwhile, the report also highlighted that – there are more people connected on the platform, with the app usage growing across all age groups; more people are connected on WeChat at work to improve the way they work; and more people are sharing more content via the app.

The report also shares insights on how WeChat is increasingly reshaping lifestyles and helping companies tap into the growing smart-business and living needs, particularly in the areas of retail, food and transportation.

It also pointed that WeChat usage has increased across multiple demographics, reinforcing its status as an essential part of daily life, particularly in China.

The two-day event is the largest annual event of WeChat and a venue for developers and partners to discover the latest digital trends in China and share unique perspectives and best practices for WeChat.

VW, China spearhead US$300b global drive to electrify cars

FRANKFURT, Jan 10 ― Global automakers are planning a US$300 billion (RM1.22 trillion) surge in spending on electric vehicle technology over the next five to 10 years, with nearly half of the money targeted at China, accelerating the industry's…

European stock rally ends amid weak results, trade pessimism

LONDON, Jan 10 ― European shares tumbled today as optimism over US-China trade talks faded and a slew of weak earnings reports hit auto and retailer stocks. The trade-sensitive DAX was down 0.4 per cent by 0950 GMT, while the pan-European STOXX…

Ford Europe to slash thousands of jobs in turnaround plan

FRANKFURT, Jan 10 ― Ford said today it will cut thousands of jobs, exit unprofitable markets and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort aimed at achieving a 6 percent operating margin in Europe. The carmaker is under…

Emerging market FX gains on dovish Fed minutes, stocks rise

NEW YORK, Jan 10 ― Emerging market currencies firmed against the dollar today, with investors favouring riskier assets in expectation of a slower journey to higher US interest rates, while developing world stocks edged up on trade optimism. The…

Ringgit closes 0.44pc higher than US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 ― The ringgit closed 0.44 per cent higher against the US dollar today in line with bullish Asian currencies, on a weaker greenback as the United States Federal Reserve was anticipated to put on hold its rate tightening cycle…

Ringgit closes 0.44% higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed 0.44% higher against the US dollar today in line with bullish Asian currencies, on a weaker greenback as the United States Federal Reserve was anticipated to put on hold its rate tightening cycle in 2019.

At 6pm, the local currency was traded at 4.0950/1000 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.1130/1160.

OANDA head of trading for Asia Pacific Stephen Innes said the dovish Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes also triggered the weakness in the US dollar, which worked in favour of the local note.

“We see key support for the ringgit at 4.10 level but should global oil prices move higher, we see the ringgit trading higher towards the 4.05 level against the US dollar,“ he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mixed against other major currencies.

The local unit edged higher versus the Singapore dollar to 3.0286/0334 from 3.0310/0336 yesterday and rose against the British pound to 5.2256/2337 from 5.2445/2504.

However, the local note weakened against the Japanese yen to 3.7882/7931 from 3.7755/7796 and was lower against the euro at 4.7191/7253 from 4.7135/7178. — Bernama

New year stocks rally stalls as trade talks, data disappoint

LONDON, Jan 10 ― The early year rally in world stocks ran out of steam in Europe today and the dollar dropped to a near three-month low, as mixed signals from US-China trade talks and caution at the Federal Reserve applied the brakes. China said…