Friday, February 8th, 2019


Ringgit closes at seven-month high against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — The ringgit closed at a seven-month high of 4.0670/0720 against the US dollar, a level last seen on July 20, 2018, when it stood at 4.0600/0630, bucking the trend of its regional peers, aided by rising commodity prices…

Kremlin: We hope EU settles its differences over Nord Stream 2

MOSCOW, Feb 8 — Moscow hopes EU countries will sort out any differences they have over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and believes the project would benefit all European countries, the Kremlin said today. The comments came a day…

Spanish supermarket Dia to slash jobs

MADRID, Feb 8 — Financially troubled Spanish supermarket group Dia said today it wanted to cut up to 2,100 jobs as it reported a massive loss. Dia, the target of a public buyout offer by the Russian oligarch who is already its top shareholder,…

Sterling set for worst week since October as Brexit fog descends

LONDON, Feb 8 — Sterling today was headed for its worst weekly decline since October with a stalemate over Brexit weighing on the currency and leading the Bank of England to cut its growth forecast. The pound was volatile yesterday. It fell…

MyEG’s penalty reaches RM9.46m

KUALA LUMPUR: The financial penalty imposed on My EG Services Bhd for infringing the Competition Act 210 has accumulated to RM9.46 million to date, revealed the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC).

“The daily penalty of RM7,500 will continue to accumulate until compliance by MyEG with the directives imposed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in paragraph 58 of the CAT Decision,“ MyCC said in a statement today.

It said MyEG has continuously been in non-compliance with the decision of the CAT dated Dec 28, 2018 which affirmed MyCC’s decision dated June 24, 2016.

“Upon the dismissal of MyEG’s judicial review application by the High Court on Jan 22, 2019, MyCC has instructed its solicitors to demand compliance with the remedial orders as set out in paragraphs 58 (iii) and 58 (iv) of the CAT decision and for the payment of the daily penalty.”

On Jan 24, MyEG said it will appeal the RM9.34 million penalty imposed by MyCC because it has already conformed to the changes required by the anti-competition watchdog.

MyCC had slapped the penalty on MyEG for abusing its dominant position in the provision of services related to online foreign worker permit renewals.

“MyCC is prepared to take all actions deemed necessary to ensure MyEG’s compliance with the directives.”

MyCC is the primary competition authority responsible for safeguarding the competition process in Malaysia. It is empowered by the Competition Act 2010 to investigate any abuse by dominant players or monopoly in the market.

The Act applies to all commercial activities undertaken within and outside Malaysia that affect competition in the Malaysian market. It provides a regulatory framework including powers to investigate, adjudicate and impose penalties on the perpetrators of the competition laws.

Bursa Malaysia ends mixed on continued selling

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended mixed on continued selling of most index-linked stocks on weak buying sentiment, amid a subdued regional performance, dealers said.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended trading on Friday at 1,686.52, down 6.87 points, from Thursday’s close of 1,693.39.

The barometer index moved between 1,683.71 and 1,690.43 throughout the day, after opening 4.88 points lower at 1,688.51.

Market breadth was, however, positive with 407 gainers and 344 losers while 347 counters remained unchanged, 756 untraded and 24 others were suspended.

Total volume rose to 2.48 billion shares valued at RM1.72 billion versus Thursday’s 1.42 billion shares worth RM1.2 billion.

Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the FBM KLCI was to breach the immediate resistance level of 1,700 points.

“However, external developments continued to take centre stage. Issues surrounding the trade negotiations between the United States (US) and China has always been the source of market instability,“ he told Bernama.

Hopes of a trade deal being concluded between US with China are still far off, according to National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow.

Additionally, the meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China was not expected to be held before March 1.

Among heavyweights, Maybank lost one sen to RM9.58, Tenaga fell 22 sen to RM13.20 while Public Bank rose six sen to RM24.92, Petronas Chemicals and CIMB increased two sen each to RM8.45 and RM5.67, respectively.

Of actives, Sapura Energy gained 1.5 sen to 28 sen, Bumi Armada added one sen to 23.5 sen and Karex improved 5.5 sen to 43.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index eased 27.9 points to 11,725.52, the FBMT 100 Index decreased 31.42 points to 11,601.54 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index erased 48.64 points to 11,593.03.

The FBM 70 improved 27.33 points to 14,032.9 and the FBM Ace Index rose 38.24 points to 4,555.22.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index added 2.94 points to 17,642.11, the Industrial Products and Services Index increased 0.53 points to 161.97 and the Plantation Index shed 20.17 points to 7,299.6.

Main Market volume rose to 1.9 billion shares, valued at RM1.59 billion, against Thursday’s 1.11 billion shares, valued at RM1.15 billion.

Warrants turnover narrowed to 389.26 million units, worth RM90.31 million, versus Thursday’s 120.26 million units, worth RM15.1 million.

Volume on the ACE Market rose to 191.34 million shares, valued at RM35.98 million, compared with 187.38 million shares, valued at RM29 million, transacted on Thursday.

Consumer products and services accounted for 221.67 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (159.62 million), construction (102.93 million), technology (141.04 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (41.61 million), property (79.85 million), plantations (45.8 million), REITs (12.88 million), closed/fund (1,000), energy (989.62 million), healthcare (19.86 million), telecommunications and media (48 million), transportation and logistics (21.61 million), and utilities (18.62 million). — Bernama

Asian markets fall on US-China talks, gloomy growth forecasts

HONG KONG, Feb 8 — Asian stocks fell today following losses on Wall Street as fresh doubts emerged over the prospects for US-China trade talks and global growth outlook. Tokyo led the slump, while Hong Kong returned from the three-day Lunar New…

Mystery buyer props up euro as bond yields fall

LONDON, Feb 8 — The euro held at a two-week low today as traders nursed losses in a week of bad data that indicated an economic slowdown in Europe was spreading as trade tensions between United States and China remain high. The single currency is…

Axiata: No court order on RM2.16b tax bill

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd has not received the judgment and order of the Nepal Supreme Court following its ruling on Axiata and its majority owned subsidiary Ncell Pte Ltd to pay capital gains tax (CGT) of 61 billion Nepalese rupees (RM2.16 billion) for the Ncell buyout deal.

“None of the Axiata parties to the litigation has received the judgment and order of the Supreme Court following its ruling, nor does the group have any details of what was ordered by the Supreme Court,“ the group said in a statement.

It said Ncell, Reynolds Holdings Limited, and Axiata Investment (UK) Limited were given the full clearance by the Large Tax Payers Office of Nepal (LTPO) of its obligations to withhold any CGT payment on behalf of the seller Telia Company in relation to the transaction via the letter from LTPO dated June 4, 2017, following the full and final payment made by Ncell, albeit under protest on the basis that CGT is not applicable on offshore transactions and even if applicable, any shortfall on payment is the responsibility of the seller.

“Axiata will provide further updates upon receiving the order of the Supreme Court,“ it added.

Axiata said the Supreme Court had in its ruling on Feb 6, 2019, dismissed both the writ petitions by Reynolds and Ncell, and one of the Public Interest Litigations (PIL).

“However, Axiata understands that the Court has ruled in favour of the PIL filed by Dwarikanath Dhungel and others broadly pleading that the onus of CGT is on Ncell, Reynolds and Axiata UK.”

It was reported that Axiata had been hit with the tax bill, which excludes late fees and fines, for its US$1.36 billion purchase of Reynolds, which has 80% stake in Ncell, in 2015.

The LTPO chief was quoted as saying it would only initiate the process of collecting the tax amount once it gets a copy of the tax verdict.

Tata Motors shares plunge 30pc on Jaguar woes

MUMBAI, Feb 8 — Shares in India’s Tata Motors tanked almost 30 per cent today after problems at its Jaguar Land Rover unit dragged the luxury carmaker to India’s biggest quarterly loss. The Mumbai-based manufacturer has been badly hit by…