Friday, January 18th, 2019

 

Asian markets end week on a high as China-US trade hopes rise

HONG KONG, Jan 18 — Asian markets rallied today as another broadly positive week drew to a close, with investors cheered by a report that the US was considering lifting tariffs on China as officials look to hammer out a trade deal. Optimism that…


Kenanga Investment Bank unveils its first issue of call warrants for 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Investment Bank has unveiled its first call warrants issuance of 2019 with 11 new highly-sensitive warrants, to provide trading opportunity in a highly volatile market.

“Listening to popular demand, our first issuance of 2019 offers 11 new highly-sensitive warrants will provide trading opportunities in a volatile market. In layman’s terms, sensitive warrants flip prices quickly so traders can enter and exit with speed and ease,” head of equity derivatives Philip Lim said in a statement.

The call warrants will be issued over the ordinary shares of FGV Holdings Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, IJM Corporation Bhd, Inari Amertron Bhd, Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd, MY E.G. Services Bhd, Pos Malaysia Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and V.S. Industry Bhd.

“These call warrants are European style, non-collateralised cash-settled call warrants. This is Kenanga’s first issuance of 2019 in conjunction with the launch of their Live Matrix,” he noted.

Kenanga now offers structured warrants traders access to its “Live Matrix” tool, which was launched last month.

The tool enables investors to view the live feed from Kenanga’s market making system, giving them easy access to real-time market data and flexibility to trade on-the-go.

“As some traders are relatively new to structured warrants trading, we place great importance on educating them. They are dealing with bullish market products which can be utilised in many conditions. We reviewed their concerns and launched the Live Matrix earlier this month. Now, warrant traders no longer need to estimate the flipping prices of warrants and anyone can access it free of charge,” said Lim.

Lim said the bank aims to help build a smart warrants trading community in Malaysia by equipping them with the right tools and information.


AmBank, CGC tie up to provide RM100m financing to Proton dealers

KUALA LUMPUR: AmBank and Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd (CGC) penned a collaboration with Proton in providing its dealers with financing access via CGC’s Portfolio Guarantee (PG) worth RM100 million offered exclusively to eligible Proton dealers to facilitate them in upgrading their facility to 3S (sales, services and spare parts) and 4S (including body and paint) centres.

AmBank group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said the ceremony today celebrates the on-going collaboration between AmBank and CGC.

“We have seen positive growth in our collaborations with CGC in the past and excited with the launch of this new PG which provides Proton dealers with exclusive financing. We value our long relationship with Proton and look forward to more collaborations with them in the future on payment and collection solutions,” he said in a statement.

The new PG offered by AmBank and CGC is a term loan facility ranging from RM1 million to RM3 million, with 70% of the loan guaranteed by CGC, and guarantee fee absorbed by AmBank. Dealers may submit their applications from Jan 18, 2019 onwards and will be attended to based on a first-come-first-served basis within the capped RM100 million allocation.

CGC president/CEO Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak said this special PG will provide financial access for Proton car dealers to upgrade their facility to 3S and 4S centres.

“CGC is honoured and proud to be part of this collaboration to support Proton, an important brand in Malaysia’s automotive industry.”


Malaysia likely to benefit from multilateral pact

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is likely to benefit from regional and multilateral trade initiatives, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will help boost trade and investment across Asean.

In a statement today, UOB Malaysia managing director and country head of personal financial services Ronnie Lim (pix) said the stronger connectivity and closer trade links with the regional partners will help enhance the country’s resilience against rising global trade protectionism.

Over the medium term, Lim said the bank expects the economy to continue on its growth trajectory given its strong fundamentals and ongoing policy reforms to stimulate growth through labour productivity, capital spending and technology.

Despite its expectations for moderate global growth in 2019, the bank expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 4.9% this year, albeit at a slower rate than last year.

Additionally, he said the domestic growth is likely to be supported by strong demand from private consumption and steady inflow of foreign investments and exports.

Lim said the new administration’s efforts to build a more transparent government, steady growth, low unemployment and a surplus current account will also help support the domestic economy in the year ahead.

Nevertheless, Lim said that even as interest rate increases are expected to slow in the year ahead, the overall environment of quantitative tightening, low private sector loan growth and trade conflicts are contributing to expectations of slower global growth.

“This is causing estimates of lower investment returns in 2019,” he said.

Against such a backdrop, he said investors with a medium to low tolerance for risk and with a long- term investment horizon should stay defensive and prudent throughout 2019.

These investors should consider anchoring their investment portfolios in low volatility investments that can generate sustainable income while mitigating wider market risks, he added.

“In developed markets, we are neutral on US and Japanese equities, and slightly negative on European equities. With the sell-down in late 2018, the absolute valuations of US equities look reasonable, but relative valuations to other regional equities remain elevated.

“We are also positive on emerging market equities. We favour Asia (ex-Japan) in light of the region’s healthy economic growth and compelling valuations. Within the region, China equities offer better return potential as valuations have fallen following the recent market sell-off,” Lim added.


Malaysia likely to benefit from regional, multilateral pact, despite trade war: UOB Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is likely to benefit from regional and multilateral trade initiatives, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will help boost trade and investment across Asean.

In a statement today, UOB Malaysia managing director and country head of personal financial services Ronnie Lim (pix) said the stronger connectivity and closer trade links with the regional partners will help enhance the country’s resilience against rising global trade protectionism.

Over the medium term, Lim said the bank expects the economy to continue on its growth trajectory given its strong fundamentals and ongoing policy reforms to stimulate growth through labour productivity, capital spending and technology.

Despite its expectations for moderate global growth in 2019, the bank expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 4.9% this year, albeit at a slower rate than last year.

Additionally, he said the domestic growth is likely to be supported by strong demand from private consumption and steady inflow of foreign investments and exports.

Lim said the new administration’s efforts to build a more transparent government, steady growth, low unemployment and a surplus current account will also help support the domestic economy in the year ahead.

Nevertheless, Lim said that even as interest rate increases are expected to slow in the year ahead, the overall environment of quantitative tightening, low private sector loan growth and trade conflicts are contributing to expectations of slower global growth.

“This is causing estimates of lower investment returns in 2019,” he said.

Against such a backdrop, he said investors with a medium to low tolerance for risk and with a long- term investment horizon should stay defensive and prudent throughout 2019.

These investors should consider anchoring their investment portfolios in low volatility investments that can generate sustainable income while mitigating wider market risks, he added.

“In developed markets, we are neutral on US and Japanese equities, and slightly negative on European equities. With the sell-down in late 2018, the absolute valuations of US equities look reasonable, but relative valuations to other regional equities remain elevated.

“We are also positive on emerging market equities. We favour Asia (ex-Japan) in light of the region’s healthy economic growth and compelling valuations. Within the region, China equities offer better return potential as valuations have fallen following the recent market sell-off,” Lim added.


More innovative ways needed to attract more FDIs, says Deloitte

KUALA LUMPUR: More innovative ways are needed to attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs) into Malaysia, other than offering more tax incentives for investors, said Deloitte Malaysia CEO and Deloitte Southeast Asia Chinese services group leader Yee Wing Peng (pix).

“One way to appeal to foreign investors is to focus on the improvement of road infrastructure, provision of skilled local talent and readily available utilities for foreign investment projects in Malaysia,” Yee said in a statement today.

“This mirrors China’s approach to maximise ease-of-business for investors, while ensuring the government’s coffers are not impacted,” he added.

Additionally, he said that Malaysia has the natural propensity and strengths to attract FDIs due to her business-friendly government, advanced infrastructure, lower cost of doing business and multilingual workforce.

“In particular, there are three critical success factors for Chinese investors to thrive in Malaysia at the present juncture namely, timing, geography and people.

“More Chinese companies are considering placing part of their operation to other countries due to the global trade war. Geographically, we are strategically located – and with a conducive business environment and friendly people, we are poised to welcome more FDIs from China,” he added.

Moreover, he said amidst the global uncertainties and changes in local policy reforms, the firm sees Malaysia embracing change and adapting to transitions in the global economy landscape to stay relevant and strong.

As a developing nation, Malaysia should constantly seek strategic partnerships with businesses from other countries that have cutting-edge technologies so as to stay ahead of the curve in embracing Industry 4.0, he added.

Furthermore, he said that based on the insights gathered from the recent Malaysia Economic Forum 2019, which examined the business competitiveness landscape in Malaysia for Chinese investors, Malaysia is a strong host and supporter of opportunities for Chinese investors.

The forum discussed the impact of the change in China’s trade and investment policies in Malaysia and explored collaboration opportunities for investors on the Digital Free Trade Zone and Electronic World Trade Platform, among others.

The event was organised by Deloitte Malaysia and co-partners, Bank of China (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and the Chinese Enterprises Association in Malaysia.


MOF appoints lead arrangers for 200b yen Samurai Bond

PUTRAJAYA: The Finance Ministry (MOF) has appointed Mizuho Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd and Daiwa Capital Markets Limited (in partnership with Affin Hwang Investment Bank) as the lead arrangers to raise the Samurai Bond, amounting up to 200 billion yen (RM7.6 billion) for the government.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the appointments were made after six out of the 27 proposals received by the MOF by Nov 2, 2018, were shortlisted.

“The final decision was made after MOF was convinced that these three were the best institutions which have the necessary experience, expertise and most importantly, conviction and faith in the Malaysian economy, to ensure that we will enjoy the lowest possible cost of funds,” he said in a statement today.

The Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) will be guaranteeing the bond as part of a government-to-government arrangement.

This will allow the Malaysian government to pay all-inclusive indicative coupon rates of less than 0.65% per annum.

Lim said the bond is expected to be raised in the next few months and he will be handling the entire bond issuance in his capacity as Finance Minister and as per the directive of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

On that note, he will also be leading a Malaysian delegation to Tokyo in February to meet all the relevant investors to ensure a successful bond-raising exercise.

“The issuance of this ‘Samurai’ bond is a testament to the confidence the Japanese government has in the leadership of our Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a mark of the intimate relationship between the two countries,” said Lim.

“We would like to voice our thanks and appreciation towards the Japanese government for providing the guarantee for the bond, as well as to the Japanese Ambassador Dr Makio Miyagawa for his invaluable assistance and contribution towards ensuring a smooth negotiation exercise,” he added.


Lawsuit drags DRB-Hicom shares lower on Bursa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 ― The share price of DRB-Hicom Bhd on Bursa Malaysia ended the morning session 10 sen lower at RM1.69, pressured by a lawsuit faced by Proton Automobiles (China) Ltd and Perusahaan Otomobile Nasional Sdn Bhd. A total of…


Ghosn received US$9m improperly from Nissan-Mitsubishi JV

TOKYO, Jan 18 ― Arrested auto executive Carlos Ghosn improperly received €7.8 million (RM36.5 million) in compensation from a joint venture (JV) between Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, the companies said today. A joint investigation…