Friday, February 15th, 2019


How Amazon scrapped its plans for a New York headquarters

NEW YORK, Feb 15 — More than a year of work to bring Inc’s headquarters and tens of thousands of jobs to New York City ended yesterday with a couple of phone calls. Jay Carney, the company’s top policy executive, told New York…

Wall Street gains as US-China trade talks advance

NEW YORK, Feb 15 — US stocks gained today, led by a bounce in shares of financials, as investors were optimistic about the ongoing trade talks to resolve a bruising tariff dispute between the United States and China. Talks between the world’s…

Deal or delay? Wall Street doesn’t believe no-deal Brexit threat

LONDON, Feb 15 — As the United Kingdom’s Brexit crisis deepens, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have differing views of the ultimate outcome but the two titans of Wall Street agree on one thing: They don’t believe there will be a no-deal Brexit….

US, Chinese officials to meet in Washington next week on trade

BEIJING, Feb 15 — Talks between China and the United States to resolve their bruising trade war will continue next week in Washington, with both sides saying this week’s negotiations in Beijing made good progress. Still, Washington appeared…

European shares recover after weak data wobble

LONDON, Feb 15 — European shares recovered today after weak US and Chinese economic data earlier sent global equity markets into a dive. After opening lower, Europe’s STOXX 600 nudged up 0.2 per cent despite weakness in German equities. Demand…

Ikea to open first outlet in northern peninsula on March 14

BUTTERWORTH, Feb 15 — Swedish furniture brand Ikea will open its first outlet in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia in Batu Kawan, Penang, on March 14. Ikea Malaysia store manager Arumugam Pathmalingam said the new outlet, the brand’s…

Axiata accepts offer to sell stake in M1 for RM1.65b

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Axiata Group Bhd via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Axiata Investments (Singapore) Ltd, has accepted the voluntary conditional general offer made by Konnectivity Pte Ltd for its entire stake in M1 Ltd for a total cash…

Expert: More investments to flow in from Saudi Arabia following crown prince’s visit

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Feb — Discussions on refineries and petrochemical related investments in Malaysia is likely to dominate discussions during Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s maiden visit to Malaysia beginning Sunday. MIDF Amanah…

Axiata exits M1 investment for RM1.65b

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd via its wholly-owned subsidiary Axiata Investments (Singapore) Limited has accepted the voluntary conditional general offer by Konnectivity Pte Ltd for the group’s entire stake in Singapore-based mobile operator M1 Limited for RM1.65 billion cash at the offer premium price of S$2.06 based on terms in the offer documents dated Jan 7, 2019.

The group will effectively divest its 28.7% stake in M1 and exit its investment in Singapore with an estimated gain of RM126.5 million from this deal.

Axiata’s investment in M1 commenced in 2005 and the company had steadily contributed to the group’s growth over the years with dividends amounting to RM1.1 billion in the last 10 years. Over that period, it had generated healthy dividend yields of 7% over the years.

Given the financial returns as well as its strategic benefits, Axiata has expressed its satisfaction with its M1 investment. The group also believes in the long-term future of the company despite the short-term industry challenges with the new entrant into the market.

“Axiata has been consistent in its view that the share price over the last year does not reflect the intrinsic value of the company’s long-term future. Nevertheless, Axiata has made the decision to accept the offer due to the need for capital reallocation and new priorities in line with its vision to be the next generation digital champion by 2022 and the investments required to achieve that. The group also prefers not to be a minority investor in a potentially privatised company, making the investment illiquid,” it said in a statement.

Over the past years, all of Axiata’s operating companies (OpCos) in the region have outperformed the market, in terms of revenue market share; some having done so significantly. The group said its OpCos are in the top two largest mobile company positions in their respective markets, with many of them being best performing companies in most financial metrics.

As such and given the achievements in their markets, the group noted that continued investments will be required to capitalise on the current momentum. This is in addition to supporting the transformation of all of Axiata’s mobile-centric OpCos into digital converged companies over the next few years,

while at the same time, continuing to provide moderate dividends to its shareholders.

These investments include the modernisation of the group’s IT and network infrastructure, digitisation of its operations across all functions and investments into new growth areas especially in home and enterprise segments, and to a smaller extent, its digital businesses.

Axiata also expects to participate in industry consolidation if opportunities arise, and possible acquisitions in new growth areas over the mid- and long-term in some of its footprint countries.

Axiata president & group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said it is actually not an easy decision for the group.

“We like our investment in M1 and believe in its long-term future. At the same time, we need to undertake a major reprioritisation and make better use of our capital to chart a new chapter for the group in line with our new vision whilst also further enhancing our shareholders’ value,” he said.

China’s Didi to restructure following passenger murders

SHANGHAI, Feb 15 — Chinese ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing will streamline operations and make cuts to non-core business units as it doubles down on safety after the murders of two passengers clobbered its image, a source familiar with the plans…