March, 2019


Top Glove Q2 earnings down 2.9% to RM105.8m

PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd’s net profit in the second quarter ended Feb 28, 2019 (Q2FY19) fell 2.9% to RM105.79 million from RM109.01 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

Revenue for the quarter jumped 21% to RM1.16 billion, compared with RM958.44 million in the same period a year ago attributed to strong sales volume growth and higher average selling price.

For the six months period, its net profit rose marginally by 0.6% to RM215.8 million, against RM214.5 million a year ago, while revenue increased 27.7% to RM2.42 billion, from RM1.9 billion previously.

“We are pleased to have delivered strong results with robust sales volume growth, despite a challenging and competitive operating environment. Our good performance speaks to the effectiveness of our ongoing quality and efficiency enhancement programmes,” the group’s executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai said.

The group’s earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) also improved by 14.2% year-on-year owing to the increase in quantity sold, as well as quality and operational efficiency enhancements.

Income tax expense was higher due to a reduction in tax allowance, following the expiry of the three-year special reinvestment allowance in calendar year 2018 and the provision of deferred tax liabilities in the current quarter.

Raw material prices for Q2FY19 remained mixed year-on-year, with the average price for natural rubber latex lower by 17.7% at RM3.62 per kg, while the average nitrile latex price increased 1.9% to US$1.08 per kg.

Meanwhile, raw material prices were in decline compared with Q1FY19, with average natural rubber latex and nitrile latex prices easing by 4.2% and 14.3% respectively.

Going forward, Top Glove envisages a highly challenging business environment both on the domestic front and macro economic level. However, it remains positive on industry outlook.

Gloves are an essential item in the medical sector, the demand for which has proven to be relatively resilient to economic and political uncertainty and is set to grow more than 10% a year, it added.

“We have done well in Q2FY19 despite the challenging business environment and aim to do even better over the course of the financial year.

“We view the challenges ahead positively and they will serve as a springboard for greater success, inspiring us to work harder, smarter, faster and more creatively,” Lim added.

Wah Seong secures exclusive distributorship for Doosan products in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Wah Seong Corp Bhd’s indirect 60%-owned subsidiary WDG Resources Sdn Bhd has been made the exclusive distributor for South Korea’s Doosan Infracore Co Ltd construction equipment throughout Malaysia, paving the way for the company to tap vast business opportunities in East Malaysia.

This follows the signing of an exclusive distributorship agreement today between WDG and Doosan, which is South Korea’s global leader in infrastructure support equipment.

The agreement extends WDG’s exclusive distributorship rights to also cover Sabah and Sarawak from just Peninsular Malaysia previously.

In June 2017, WDG had been appointed the exclusive distributor of Doosan range of equipment including excavators, wheel loaders and articulated dump trucks within Peninsular Malaysia.

Wah Seong managing director and group CEO Chan Cheu Leong said the expanded distributorship provides an opportunity for WDG to participate in infrastructure and construction projects in Sabah and Sarawak, including the Pan Borneo Highway.

“The extension of the Doosan distributorship will double the sales potential for WDG. WDG is confident of riding on its excellent track record to break new grounds in Sabah and Sarawak,” Chan said in a statement.

The distributorship is expected to contribute positively to the earnings of WSC group over the period of the distributorship agreement.

Traditionally, Wah Seong group’s industrial trading and services division is mostly entrenched in Peninsular Malaysia; this latest partnership gives the division an opportunity to reach out to Sabah and Sarawak in terms of trade and new opportunities.

Under the two-year distributorship agreement, WDG can leverage on Doosan’s machinery and equipment to take part in infrastructure projects in Sabah and Sarawak. In the past, its focus has been mainly in Peninsular Malaysia.

Doosan vice president of sales and marketing Chris Jeong Kwan Hee said the partnership with WDG will further establish Doosan brand in Malaysia.

“WDG has been effectively and successfully promoting Doosan products in the Malaysian construction industry since 2017. With the exclusive distributorship given to WDG, we are confident to establish a strong presence in the local infrastructure project business,” he added.

Doosan was established as Cho SunMachine Works in 1937 and was renamed Doosan Infracore in 2005. Apart from its own brand of construction equipment and power generation equipment, it also acquired the Bobcat brand in 2015.

WDG is principally involved in the distribution and service of industrial machinery, equipment and parts. It is also an authorised distributor of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries range of diesel generator sets.

After first securing the sole distributorship of Doosan range of construction equipment in Peninsular Malaysia, WDG has established a firm footing in providing its products and services to the local infrastructure and construction sectors.

The distributorship with Doosan also resulted in the group securing contracts to supply construction equipment to the Bandar University Pagoh Project, the Northern Free Trade Zone in Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, the Gemas Double Track Project, Elmina Township in Subang and MCKIP in Kuantan.

Asian shares hold near 6.5-month high, fresh Sino-US trade talks awaited

TOKYO, March 22 — Asian shares held near 6.5-month highs today after upbeat US data and optimism in the tech sector helped calm some of the jitters sparked by the Federal Reserve's cautious outlook on the world's biggest economy. Markets showed…

Tokyo stocks close marginally higher

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed slightly higher on Friday as rallies on Wall Street helped improve investor sentiment, but a stronger yen limited the gains.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.09%, or 18.42 points, to end at 21,627.34 while the broader Topix index was up 0.17%, or 2.72 points, at 1,617.11.

“Trade lacked a sense of direction with positive factor from rallies in US shares offset by negative impact from a higher yen against the dollar,“ said Mutsumi Kanamori, strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The dollar fetched 110.80 yen in Asian trade, little changed from 110.82 yen in New York on Thursday but lower than 111.55 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The Tokyo market was closed on Thursday for a national holiday.

Japanese consumer prices for February rose a sluggish 0.7% in February from a year earlier, according to government data released 30 minutes before the opening bell, as the world’s third-largest economy continues its years-long battle to stoke inflation.

The market shrugged off the latest reading, which was slightly higher than expectations of 0.4% inflation.

In individual trading Friday, chip-related shares surged, after the US tech sector enjoyed strong gains.

Chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron rallied 5.19% to 16,515 yen and chip-testing machine maker Advantest jumped 6.17% to 2,578 yen.

Small car specialist Suzuki jumped 3.48% to 5,080 yen after it said it would strengthen a business tie-up with Toyota.

Pharmaceutical company Eisai nose-dived 16.54% to 7,565 yen after it said it had halted a joint study of Alzheimer’s drug with US-based Biogen. — AFP

Ringgit raised to 4.0 vs US dollar in Public Investment Bank projection

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Public Investment Bank Bhd (PIVB) has revised the ringgit’s projection to RM4.00 against US dollar for 2019, compared with RM4.04 previously, on the back of new developments in the US interest rate direction. In a…

Top Glove's Q2 net profit retreats to RM105.7m

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Top Glove Corporation Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter (Q2) ended February 28, 2019 fell to RM105.79 million from RM109.01 million posted in the same quarter last year. Revenue, however, rose 21 per cent to RM1.16…

TM shares fall 1.86pc on football league lawsuit

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — The share price of Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) fell by 1.86 per cent at the close of Bursa Malaysia’s morning session on news of the lawsuit by the Malaysian Football League LLP (MFL) over the breach of a sponsorship…

Cradle of Venezuela oil industry a scene of desolation

MENE GRANDE, March 22 — Greasy slicks continue to darken the ground in Mene Grande, a modest town where Venezuela's oil boom was born more than a century ago. But now the days of crude glory are gone, replaced by desolation. The asphalt on the…

CPI down 0.4% in February 2019

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) recorded a decrease of 0.4% in February 2019 as compared to a decline of 0.7% in the previous month, according to Statistics Department.

In terms of index number, the CPI recorded 120.8 as against 121.3 in corresponding month of the preceding year, the department said in a statement today.

The decrease in the index of transport (6.8%) which contributed 14.6% of overall weight was countered by the increase in the index of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (2%) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.0%).

CPI for the period of January-February 2019 declined by 0.5% as compared to the same period last year. On a monthly basis, CPI increased 0.2% as compared to January 2019.

In terms of overall CPI, all states recorded a decrease between 0.2% to 1.4% in February 2019 as compared to February 2018.

However, Kuala Lumpur and Pulau Pinang showed an increase of 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the higher increase in the index for food and non-alcoholic beverages was registered in most states in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur (3.7%), Selangor and Putrajaya (1.3%) recorded higher increases for food and non-alcoholic beverages index above the national index level in February 2019 as compared to the corresponding month in 2018.

Meanwhile, Pulau Pinang recorded the same rate as the national index level for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Swiss watchmakers say slowing growth in China won't hurt sales this year

BASEL, March 22 — Swiss watchmakers are confident they can grow sales this year even in the face of a cooling Chinese economy, executives told Reuters at an industry fair yesterday, as demand strengthens in other markets like the United States and…