Monday, February 11th, 2019


Apple iPhone sales in China fell by a fifth in Q4, says IDC

NEW YORK, Feb 11 — Apple Inc iPhone sales in China fell 20 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, while sales for smartphones made by home-grown rival Huawei soared by 23 per cent, data from industry research firm IDC showed today….

IRB slaps UOA units with notices for RM40m extra tax, penalties

PETALING JAYA: UOA Development Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiaries Windsor Triumph Sdn Bhd and Sunny Uptown Sdn Bhd were served by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) with notices of additional assessment for the Year of Assessment 2013, for additional income tax of RM25.56 million and penalty of RM14.06 million.

Windsor Triumph and Sunny Uptown have filed an appeal to dispute the additional assessment.

Windsor Triumph was served an additional assessment of RM8.99 million and penalty of RM4.94 million which were due to an adjustment by the IRB of the market value of properties that Windsor Triumph had withdrawn as a stock-in-trade to hold as investment property.

Meanwhile, Sunny Uptown was served an additional assessment of RM16.57 million and penalty of RM9.11 million on the back of an adjustment by the IRB of the selling price at market value, of properties that Sunny Uptown had assigned to another wholly owned subsidiary of the company on an “as is” basis.

UOA said both subsidiaries relied on valuations by a professional, independent and experienced registered valuer. These valuations were adjusted by the IRB by substituting them with valuations subsequently conducted by the Valuation and Property Services Department.

Wall Street set for higher open as US-China trade talks resume

NEW YORK, Feb 11 — Wall Street's main indexes were set to rise at open today as the latest round of trade talks between the world's largest economies began in Beijing, while US lawmakers attempted to hammer out a deal to avoid another government…

Malaysia to post 4.4% GDP growth for Q4 2018: Standard Chartered

PETALING JAYA: Standard Chartered has projected Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to remain at 4.4% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018. However, full-year GDP is expected to come in lower at 4.6% compared with 5.9% in 2017.

Bank Negara Malaysia will release Q4 GDP data on Thursday.

“We estimate GDP growth of 4.4% y/y, similar to Q3. Private consumption may have eased from the 9% y/y growth in Q3 as the boost from the tax holiday in June-August 2018 likely faded. Nevertheless, a rebound in mining and agriculture activity may have supported growth,“ Standard Chartered said in a research note today.

It added that private consumption was the main growth driver in 2018, accounting for 92% of GDP growth in the nine months (9M) of 2018 versus 64% for the same period of 2017, benefiting from the “tax-holiday” boost and strong labour market conditions.

Meanwhile, private investment eased (primarily on lower investment in residential and commercial properties in the first quarter) and public investment extended its decline in 9M 2018.

“Our GDP growth tracker suggests downside risk to our Q4 GDP growth forecast, with our tracker being reliant on more readily available externally driven activity data, such as IP, and less reflective of strong domestic consumption,” it said.

Standard Chartered forecast 4.9% GDP growth for 2019, saying that private consumption is likely to remain the main growth pillar.

“Beyond the consumer sector, we are slightly cautious on growth, especially given weak external demand. However, we see two one-off supportive factors. First, goods and services tax (GST) and income tax refunds amounting to RM37 billion (2.5% of GDP) may support spending (but these refunds have not been disbursed yet, posing downside risk to our growth forecast). Second, resumption of production capacity in the mining sector may also help.”

On monetary policy, Standard Chartered said the latest meeting of Bank Negara Malaysia’s Monetary Policy Committee in January suggested that it is more dovish on the global outlook but still comfortable on domestic growth, underpinned by private consumption and private investment.

“We maintain our call for Bank Negara Malaysia to keep rates on hold in 2019, with risks skewed towards a cut, especially if external demand worsens further and affects domestic activity.”

Malaysia’s December industrial production index up 3.4%

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s industrial production index (IPI) expanded 3.4% year on year (yoy) in December 2018, driven by increases in all sectoral indices, including manufacturing (4.4%), electricity (2.7%), as well as mining (1%).

MIDF Research said this suggests an improvement in fourth quarter gross domestic product (Q4 GDP) growth.

“For Q418, we expect Malaysia’s GDP to expand at a stronger pace of 5% given that overall IPI growth averaged at 3.5% yoy, fastest since Q218,” it said in a research note today.

The Statistics Department said Malaysia’s IPI for the whole of 2018 increased 3.1% compared with 2017, contributed by the growth in manufacturing sector (4.8%) and electricity sector (3.7%). However, the mining sector declined by 1.9%.

The 4.4% growth in the manufacturing sector index in December 2018 was driven by electrical and electronic equipment products (7.2%), transport equipment and other manufactures products (7.0%) and petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (3.6%).

The mining sector index recorded an increase of 1% in December 2018 against the same period in 2017, driven by the growth in crude oil index (2.5%) while the natural gas index dipped by 0.2%.

The electricity sector index expanded 2.7% in December 2018 as compared with December 2017.

MIDF Research forecast IPI growth of 2.9% for 2019 with 3% to 4% during the first half of the year.

Stocks inch higher as investors look ahead to trade talks, Brexit

LONDON, Feb 11 — World stock markets edged higher on Monday, as investors eyed the resumption of trade talks between the United States and China and watched for signs of progress on Brexit. European markets took their cue from a 1 per cent bounce…

Swiss franc slumps in mini 'flash-crash'; dollar up on trade angst

LONDON, Feb 11 —The dollar rose today as concerns grew that US-China talks would not heal a rift over trade between the world's largest economies and the Swiss franc slid in a mini "flash-crash". A brief 1 per cent drop in the franc gave currency…

Britain, Switzerland agree on post-Brexit trade

BERN, Feb 11 — Britain and Switzerland signed a deal today to preserve trade relations between the two countries even if London opts to leave the European Union without a deal with Brussels. British international trade secretary Liam Fox and Swiss…

No-deal Brexit 'could cost 600,000 jobs worldwide': study

FRANKFURT, Feb 11 — A British departure from the European Union without a deal could put 600,000 jobs around the world at risk, with Germany the hardest hit, a study published Monday found. Researchers at the IWH institute in Halle, eastern…

BToto eyes business in Sri Lanka via joint venture

PETALING JAYA: Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd’s (BToto) wholly owned subsidiary FEAB Equities Sdn Bhd and PP Cylabs (M) Sdn Bhd are teaming up to explore business opportunities and undertake projects in Sri Lanka.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, BToto said FEAB entered into a shareholders’ agreement with PP Cylabs on a 50:50 joint venture (JV) basis to set up a JV company with an initial paid-up capital of RM100,000.

PP Cylabs is an investment holding company with Dr Poh Soon Sim as the sole director and sole shareholder. BToto said Poh has contacts within the business community and local knowledge in relation to businesses in Sri Lanka.

The JV will not have any material effect on the earnings, net assets and gearing of the BToto group for the current financial year ending April 30.