Friday, February 22nd, 2019


US stocks rise as trade talks lift hopes

NEW YORK, Feb 22 — US stocks rose at the open today, with spirits buoyed by hopes for progress in high-stakes US-China trade negotiations. The positive start to the day followed yesterday’s dip on fears of declining global growth after a batch…

Global equities climb on hopeful trade talk vibes

LONDON, Feb 22 — World stock markets advanced today as investors awaited what they hoped will be encouraging news from US-China trade talks in Washington, dealers said. Europe’s key equity markets were up to around 0.5 per cent higher, building…

Trump to meet Chinese trade negotiator amid effort to defuse conflict

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 — President Donald Trump is due to meet this afternoon with China’s top trade negotiator, as talks continue to try to defuse the escalation of the tariff war between the world’s economic superpowers. The fourth round of…

Axiata Digital expects financial services to turn profitable by 2021

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Axiata Digital Services Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Axiata Group Bhd, expects its financial services business to turn profitable by 2021. Chief executive officer Mohd Khairil Abdullah said the projection is based on the growing…

Zimbabwe devalues currency to tackle economic crisis

HARARE, Feb 22 — Zimbabwe’s central bank began trading a sharply discounted replacement currency today, attempting to ease a cash crunch that has hobbled the economy and plunged millions deep into poverty. Zimbabwe adopted the dollar in 2009…

WCT executes three LRT3 novation agreements with Prasarana, MRCB George Kent

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — WCT Holdings Bhd’s wholly-owned subisidary, WCT Bhd (WCTB) today executed three separate Novation Agreements with Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd under the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project packages….

Tune Protect’s profit rises on lower claims incurred

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Tune Protect Group Bhd’s net profit rose 6.5 per cent to RM49.31 million in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18) largely due to a RM39.73 million drop in net claims incurred. The digital insurer achieved the…

Axiata allocates RM6.8b for capex this year

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Axiata Group Bhd is allocating RM6.8 billion in capital expenditure (capex), mainly to modernise the group’s network and towers expansion. President and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said about…

Holding costs, forex losses hit E&O’s Q3 earnings

PETALING JAYA: Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) suffered a net loss of RM8.80 million in the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 compared with a net profit of RM21.98 million a year ago due to holding costs and unrealised foreign exchange (forex) losses.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said its operating profit of RM50.18 million during the quarter was dampened by unrealised foreign exchange loss of RM11.74 million and holding costs of RM44.55 million payable for the option to purchase land which was not exercised.

Revenue for the quarter fell 22.58% to RM256.95 million from RM331.90 million a year ago due to lower revenue contribution from the property and hospitality segments.

Excluding the holding cost and unrealised forex losses, the group said its recurring pre-tax profit for the quarter would have been RM91.6 million, 10.39% higher than RM82.9 million recorded a year ago.

For the nine months ended Dec 31, 2018, net profit fell 61.60% to RM24.15 million from RM62.89 million a year ago while revenue fell 9.25% to RM636.34 million from RM701.22 million a year ago.

“As at Dec 31, 2018, we achieved a lower net gearing of 0.39 times compared with 0.58 times as at Dec 31, 2017 and our cash balance is RM98 million higher year-on-year at RM727.8 million while our total bank borrowings reduced by 13.66% to RM1.5 billion,” said E&O managing director Kok Tuck Cheong.

For the property development segment, the group recorded cumulative sales of about RM251 million during the quarter, representing a 6.45% growth year-on-year. The group also reduced its inventory level by 28.37% to RM232.4 million.

The group had recently proposed a private placement of new shares and also a rights issue of shares with warrants.

“While the group’s financial position is as strong as ever with net gearing of 0.39 times, the proposed equity raising will put the group on even stronger footing as we prepare for our next growth trajectory. As such, E&O’s fundamentals remain intact and we are committed and confident of our prospects going forward,” said Kok.

E&O posts net loss of RM8.8m in 3Q18

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Eastern and Oriental Bhd posted a net loss of RM8.80 million for the third quarter ended December 31, 2018 from a net profit of RM21.98 million in the same period the previous year. Revenue fell to RM256.95 million versus…