Friday, March 29th, 2019


Vertice mutually terminates RM218.5m sub-contract

PETALING JAYA: Vertice Bhd today announced a mutual termination of a sub-contract worth RM218.48 million for the proposed road upgrading works from Gambang, Pahang to Segamat in Johor.

On April 3, 2018, the group said its wholly-owned subsidiary Vertice Construction Sdn Bhd (VCSB) had secured the contract from Kumpulan Liziz Sdn Bhd (KLSB).

The project was awarded to KLSB by Mulia Interlink Construction Sdn Bhd (MICSB), acting as the main contractor for Public Works Department (JKR).

The group told the stock exchange today that VCSB has entered into a mutual termination arrangement with KLSB as a result of the mutual termination of the project between KLSB and MICSB.

To date, the group said the progress claims submitted by VCSB to KLSB for work done amounted to RM36.5 million, in which all the amount claimed by VCSB have been fully settled.

The contract withdrawal is not expected to materially affect the group’s earnings and net assets, it added.

H&M shares soar on better-than-expected results

STOCKHOLM, March 29 — Swedish ready-to-wear giant H&M’s profits fell by less than expected from December to February, the company said today, sending its stock soaring. Faced with eroding sales, the high street chain Hennes and Mauritz has…

Vietnam GDP growth hit by swine flu, weakened exports

HANOI, March 29 — Vietnam’s growth slowed in the first quarter of this year, dragged down by a weakened agricultural sector hit by a swine flu outbreak and a sharp drop in exports. The communist country is one of Asia’s fastest growing…

Bursa Malaysia closes higher on US-China trade talk resumption

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia closed 0.14% higher today as the US-China trade talk had a positive spillover effect on Wall Street and disseminated to other markets.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI ended at 1,643.63, 2.3 points higher compared with Thursday’s close of 1,641.33.

The index opened 7.03 points higher at 1,648.36 and moved between 1,639.26 and 1,649.6 throughout the day.

On the scoreboard, market breadth was positive with gainers outnumbering decliners 478 to 337, while 427 counters remained unchanged, 675 were untraded and 79 others were suspended.

Volume increased to 2.47 billion units worth RM2.24 billion compared with 1.93 billion units worth RM1.66 billion on Thursday.

Public Investment Bank Bhd said US markets edged higher as trade talks with China resumed, with reports suggesting Chinese officials had made unprecedented offers regarding forced technology transfers as well as on other major sticking points.

“On its part, the US is saying it is ready to extend talks for weeks, or even months, and that not all tariffs may stay in place as and when a deal is struck,” it said.

Of the heavyweights, Maybank and PChem rose one sen each to RM9.27 and RM9.16, respectively, Tenaga improved 14 sen to RM12.66 and CIMB gained four sen to RM5.15, However, PBBank declined 12 sen to RM23.16.

Among actives, Sapura Energy and Berjaya Corporation were flat at 33.5 sen and 27 sen, respectively.

The FBM Emas Index improved 23.47 points to 11,553.84, the FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 37.6 points to 11,688.06, and FBMT 100 increased 21.38 points to 11,407.35.

The FBM Ace Index expanded 36.23 points to 4,832.15, and the FBM 70 was 48.64 points higher at 14,212.64.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index was 0.16 point better at 168.93, the Financial Services Index advanced 31.42 point to 16,969.13 and the Plantation Index was 16.61 points higher at 7,186.11.

Main Market volume increased to 1.68 billion shares worth RM2.07 billion versus 1.2 billion shares worth RM1.5 billion on Thursday.

Warrants rose to 505.03 million units valued at RM106.82 million compared with 458.35 million units valued at RM100.7 million.

Volume on the ACE Market grew to 282.91 million shares worth RM59.35 million from 271.39 million shares worth RM61.08 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 308.22 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (332.2 million), construction (135.5 million), technology (128.99 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (55 million), property (133.92 million), plantation (21.58 million), REITs (14.7 million), closed/fund (nil), energy (434.15 million), healthcare (41.25 million), telecommunications and media (30.2 million), transportation and logistics (28.44 million), and utilities (20.21 million). — Bernama

Hong Kong, Shanghai stocks end week with strong rally

HONG KONG, March 29 — Shares in Hong Kong and mainland China ended sharply higher today, topping out another positive week, with investors keeping tabs on the latest top-level trade talks between Chinese and US officials. The Hang Seng Index rose…

Malaysia to see first neobank by 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Financial technology (fintech) industry players are optimistic that Malaysia will be able to kick off its virtual banking revolution and set up its first neo or virtual bank in the third quarter of 2020 at the soonest….

Fiat Chrysler to cut 1,500 jobs at Canada plant

MONTREAL, March 29 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced it will cut some 1,500 jobs at its factory in Windsor, Canada, around a quarter of its local workforce. The Italian-American automaker took the decision, effective from the end of…

Women running the money? Rarely at hedge funds

LONDON, March 29 — Generous salary and juicy bonus? Check. Client meetings at private members’ club? Check. Swanky Mayfair office? Check. Company maternity scheme? Maybe, we’ll get back to you. In the competition for talent, the hedge fund…

Tokyo stocks close higher with eyes on trade talks

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed higher on Friday, as investors took heart from rallies on Wall Street and a relatively cheap yen against the dollar with their eyes on US-China trade talks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 0.82% or 172.05 points to 21,205.81. Over the week, the index lost 1.94%.

The broader Topix index was up 0.56% or 8.79 points to end at 1,591.64, but over the weekend it lost 1.57%.

“The rallies in US shares and a relatively cheaper yen is helping the Tokyo market,“ Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

Attention is on Beijing where top Chinese and US negotiators are taking part in their latest batch of talks aimed at ending their long-running trade row that has dragged on the world economy.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the negotiations were not “time dependent” and could be extended, adding they could take weeks or months to get a final deal.

Ito said the US-China negotiations “won’t be helpful to push up share prices further unless the talks generate something tangible”.

The dollar fetched 110.73 yen in Asian trade, up from 110.62 yen in New York and 110.13 yen in Tokyo on Thursday.

Wall Street stocks rose on Thursday following a recovery in 10-year US Treasury yields, after weakness in bond rates in recent sessions raised worries about slowing economic growth.

Japan’s closely watched factory output rose modestly in February with unemployment staying at record low levels, official data showed Friday before the opening bell, underscoring the patchy recovery of the world’s third largest economy.

In Tokyo, some blue-chip exporters were higher, with Hitachi closing up 1.24% at 3,585 yen, electronic parts maker Kyocera ending up 0.96% at 6,500 yen and camera maker Nikon up 1.36% at 1,561 yen.

Pharmaceuticals firm Daiichi Sankyo surged 16% to the day’s limit of 5,100 yen, after it announced a tie-up with AstraZeneca for development of a cancer drug. The deal could be worth as much as US$6.9 billion (RM28.2 billion), a statement from Daiichi Sankyo said. — AFP

A tax on a tax: US customs demands bigger bonds as trade tariffs rise

CHICAGO, March 29 — Stephen Wang is counting the costs of President Donald Trump’s trade war. He had to put down 12 times more cash as a guarantee to US customs that he would pay the bill for tariffs on the Chinese-made pumps, valves and motors…