Friday, March 8th, 2019


US stocks open lower after weak jobs data

NEW YORK, March 8 ― Wall Street stocks opened solidly lower today following a dismal employment report showing the US added just 20,000 jobs last month. About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 25,303.73, a drop of…

Trump says US will do 'very well' with or without a trade deal with China

WASHINGTON, March 8 ― President Donald Trump today said he is confident the United States can forge a trade deal with China, but added that he thinks his country would do very well with or without an agreement with the major Asian economy. Asked…

Source: India investigating Philip Morris, Godfrey Phillips

NEW DELHI, March 8 ― India’s main financial crime-fighting agency is investigating Philip Morris International Inc and its Indian partner Godfrey Phillips for alleged violation of the country’s laws, a senior directorate source told Reuters…

Uber settles Dutch probe for €2.3m

THE HAGUE, March 8 ― US ride-hailing giant Uber is to pay more than €2.3 million (RM10.5 million) to settle a Dutch probe into the breach of local taxi laws, prosecutors said today. The settlement in the Netherlands is the latest in a series…

Malaysia’s ¥200 billion bond priced at 0.63% coupon rate per annum

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian government has priced its ¥200 billion (RM7.3 billion) 10-year Samurai bond at a coupon rate of 0.63% per annum.

This will be the largest Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)-guaranteed sovereign bond issuance in the market.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) said in a statement that this also marks the government’s return to the Japanese yen bond market after a 30-year absence.

MoF noted that the issuance has been received extremely well across the investor spectrum and picked up by quality Japanese investors. These investors are specialised banks (37.9%), city banks (35%), life insurance companies (13.9%), regional banks (6.5%), shinkin banks (3.8%) and others (2.9%).

As part of a government-to-government arrangement, the issuance is guaranteed by JBIC under its “Guarantee and Acquisition toward Tokyo market Enhancement” programme, the first JBIC guarantee undertaken by Malaysia.

Proceeds from the offering will be used by the government for its general purposes, financing development expenditures that among others include building schools, hospitals, public roads and utilities.

MoF said the issuance process commenced with a two-day investor road show in Tokyo on February 7 and 8, which was led by the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. This was followed by an official marketing exercise from March 4 to March 7.

MoF noted that during the engagement period, investors expressed strong interest towards the issuance and this reflected their confidence towards Malaysia’s stable macroeconomic fundamentals, governance and structural reforms.

Mizuho Bank, HSBC Malaysia and Daiwa Securities in collaboration with Affin Hwang Investment Bank acted as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners for this issuance.

Econpile awarded RM68.8m subcontract for Putrajaya project

PETALING JAYA: Econpile Holdings Bhd has clinched a RM68.8 million subcontract to undertake piling, pilecap and basement works for Terra mixed development in Precint 8, Putrajaya.

The contract from Niaz Enterprises (M) Sdn Bhd entails piling, pilecap and basement works for the planned integrated development with residential tower blocks, serviced apartments blocks, retail space, amongst others, according to the company’s filing with the stock exchange.

The overall duration of the contract is estimated to be 18 months, and is expected to contribute positively to Econpile in the financial years ending June 30, 2019 till 2021.

With the latest award, its new contract wins-to-date now stands at RM575.5 million.

“Despite being only nine months into our financial year, this is an increase of 21.6% from the total value of projects secured of RM473.4 million in FY2018. We also boast a strong current orderbook of approximately RM950 million, which would provide earnings visibility over the next two years,” said Econpile executive director and CEO Raymond Pang.

The stock gained 1 sen or 2.2% to close at 47.5 sen on 29.1 million shares done.

Ringgit ends lower as oil prices retreat

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 ― The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar today on falling global crude oil prices against the backdrop of a lower downside forecast by the European Central Bank (ECB). This lent support for the greenback, dealers…

Norway wealth fund to drop oil, gas stocks

OSLO, March 8 ― Norway’s trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will drop oil and gas companies from its benchmark index and investment universe, the finance ministry said today, extending losses of energy stocks…

Bursa Malaysia closes lower on negative external factors

KUALA LUMPUR: The slow progress of the US-China trade talks, coupled with the decline in the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets, dragged Bursa Malaysia to close lower on Friday.

At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) slipped 7.05 points to 1,679.90 from Thursday’s close of 1,686.95.

The benchmark index opened 0.82 of-a-point weaker at 1,686.13 and moved between 1,678.66 and 1,688.28 throughout the day.

On the scoreboard, market breadth was negative with 524 losers to 328 gainers, while 382 counters remained unchanged, 668 untraded and 20 others suspended.

Volume was lower at 2.61 billion units valued at RM2.22 billion from 3.06 billion units worth RM2.41 billion recorded yesterday.

“US President Donald Trump was hoping that he could boost the US stock market when he closed the trade deal with China. But just before that happened, Chinese technology company Huawei announced it would sue Washington for barring US government agencies from buying its equipment and services.

“We foresee that the countries are not concluding the deal any time soon,” a dealer said.

He added that investors were also concerned on the anticipated slowdown in the Chinese economy. On Tuesday, China revised down its gross domestic product growth target for 2019 to a range of six to 6.5%.

Next, investors will be closely monitoring the US jobs report and that will likely provide more clues for the market.

Among heavyweights, Maybank was flat at RM9.53, Public Bank fell four sen to RM24.50, Tenaga shed 12 sen to RM12.70 while Petronas Chemicals added seven sen to RM9.25.

Of actives, Dayang Enterprise jumped 18 sen to RM1.58, Prestariang slipped 1.5 sen to 52.5 sen, MYEG lost four sen to RM1.19 and Perdana Petroleum was flat at 29 sen.

The FBM Emas Index decreased 43.39 points to 11,739.23, the FBMT 100 Index declined 46.20 points to 11,590.48 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index erased 52.20 points to 11,737.82.

The FBM 70 lost 46.51 points to 14,161.78 while the FBM Ace Index appreciated 27.61 points to 4,690.33.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index slipped 26.41 points to 17,492.39, the Plantation Index reduced 28.61 points to 7,264.14 and the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 1.58 points to 169.26.

Main Market volume slipped to 1.84 billion shares valued at RM2.05 billion from 2.24 billion shares worth RM2.24 billion.

Warrants turnover fell to 506.02 million units valued at RM106.96 million versus 541.66 million units worth RM116.22 million.

Volume on the ACE Market dropped to 254.24 million shares worth RM62.37 million versus 262.03 million shares valued at RM56.17 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 219.83 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (258.82 million), construction (213.62 million), technology (262.46 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (64.31 million), property (102.17 million), plantation (23.71 million), REITs (6.61 million), closed/fund (10,100), energy (556.62 million), healthcare (24.07 million), telecommunications and media (44.07 million), transportation and logistics (52.28 million), and utilities (16.16 million). — Bernama

Yong Tai to raise up to RM17.1 million via private placement

PETALING JAYA: Yong Tai Bhd proposes to undertake a private placement exercise to raise up to RM17.1 million.

The company said in a filing with the stock exchange that the exercise entails an issuance of up to 10% of its total number of issued shares to third party investors to be identified later.

Based on the indicative issue price of 33 sen per placement share, the proposed private placement is expected to raise gross proceeds of up to RM17.1 million to partially finance the development of Courtyard by Marriott in Malacca, infrastructure cost for Impression City as well as working capital.

Yong Tai said the private placement is the most appropriate avenue of fund raising as it enables the company to raise additional funds without incurring interest costs as compared with conventional bank borrowings.

It also provides the company with an expeditious way of raising funds from the capital market as opposed to other forms of fund raising.

Yong Tai’s share price closed 2 sen or 5.3% lower at 35.5 sen on 11.9 million shares done.