Monday, April 1st, 2019


China banks post profits but warn of instability

BEIJING, April 1 — Chinese banks have posted profits for 2018 but warned that domestic and global uncertainties could put downward pressure on the sector in the coming year. Bank of China (BOC) posted a profit of 192.44 billion yuan (RM117…

Euro central bankers warn of no-deal Brexit risk to markets

FRANKFURT, April 1 — Financial markets have not “priced in” the risk of a no-deal Brexit and could suffer turmoil if the “worst-case scenario” materialises, top European central bankers warned today. The risk of Britain crashing out of the…

SunCon bags RM99.5 million contract, looking to bid for Myanmar jobs

PETALING JAYA: Sunway Construction Group Bhd’s (SunCon) unit Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd (SCSB) has bagged a contract worth RM99.5 million from Sunway Marketplace Sdn Bhd, an indirect subsidiary of Sunway Bhd, for the proposed mixed development in Medini Iskandar Malaysia, Johor.

The project is expected to be completed by third quarter of 2020 and is expected to contribute positively to the group’s earnings from the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019 onwards, SunCon told the stock exchange yesterday.

The total new projects secured by SunCon Group this year including the new project amounts to RM967.2 million out of the group’s target of RM1.5 billion.

In a separate filing, the group said its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Sunway Builders (Myanmar) Co Ltd (SBM) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Capital Construction Ltd (CCL) to cooperate, collaborate and share expertise on infrastructure and construction projects in Myanmar.

SBM is involved in the business of general construction activities, while CCL is a leading construction company in Myanmar.

CCL is also a member of Capital Diamond Star Group (CDSG), one of Myanmar’s most respected and prominent conglomerates with leading businesses in food, retail, real estate development, construction, healthcare, banking, insurance and micro finance sectors.

With this partnership, SunCon said the parties plan to jointly bid for potential projects to be developed by CDSG over the next three years, such as mixed developments, offices, hotels and hospitals in Yangon and Mandalay, as well as external infrastructure projects.

The MoU will also enable both construction giants to share construction knowledge and expertise in project management, to put forward the most effective strategy for project development, it added.

Scientex holds 61.89% in Daibochi after MGO goes through

PETALING JAYA: Scientex Bhd’s stake in Daibochi Bhd has increased to 61.89% after the mandatory general offer (MGO) for Daibochi closed at 5pm yesterday.

According to its filing with Bursa Malaysia, only 19.41% of Daibochi shareholders representing 63.52 million shares accepted the offer for RM1.59 apiece.

The MGO also included a cash offer to acquire all outstanding Daibochi warrants at 1 sen per warrant. A total of 82 warrant holders holding 1.16 million warrants representing 4.24% of Daibochi’s total outstanding warrants, accepted the cash offer.

Scientex would pay out RM93.06 million in cash and issue 900,000 new Scientex shares, in accordance with the elected consideration option of Daibochi shareholders.

To recap, Scientex had purchased a 42.48% controlling stake in Daibochi on Feb 19, 2019 and subsequently extended an MGO to Daibochi on March 4, 2019 for all remaining shares and warrants.

The MGO, including settlement of the offer through shares allotment and cash payment, is expected to conclude this month.

Scientex intends to maintain the listing status of Daibochi.

Scientex managing director Lim Peng Jin said in a statement that the group is making headway in the integration of the two companies, with management committed to expanding its share in the global flexible packaging market.

“Apart from cost savings through shared resources and raw material procurement, we are also excited about synergies to be realised through combining technical expertise, product portfolio and developmental capabilities, as well as leveraging on the comprehensive production expertise of our 18 manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and internationally.

“These efforts pave the way for growth and become a larger and formidable flexible packaging player, with enhanced capabilities to bring better value propositions and sustainable solutions to brand owners and their supply chains,” he said.

Tey Por Yee and associate acquitted by High Court

PETALING JAYA: After a long legal tussle with Protasco Bhd, its former director Datuk Larry Tey Por Yee (pix) and his associate Datuk Adrian Ooi Kock Aun have been acquitted by the Shah Alam High Court.

Tey and Ooi were previously charged in connection with Protasco’s acquisition of 76% equity interest in PT Anglo Slavic Indonesia (PT ASI) for US$55 million (RM224.4 million).

The charges were premised on the allegations that both Tey and Ooi had breached their fiduciary and statutory duties, including the duty to disclose their interest in the transaction, conspiracy to defraud the company and the making of secret profits.

“Indeed, I am very grateful to the Malaysian judiciary system as it has now come to an end and we get to clear our names. We want to move on with peace of mind and will be focusing on expanding our businesses thereon,” Tey said in a statement released over the weekend.

In the statement, Tey and Ooi thanked the parties who had remained with them throughout the legal battle, including staff members, family and friends, legal counsel, banks, customers and associates.

The acquittal decision was made last Saturday (March 30) following the representation letter and application in court made by Tey and Ooi’s counsel since last year, Datuk Vignesh Kumar.

To recap, Tey and Ooi were sued on allegations of criminal breach of trust due to the non-disclosure of interest in the acquisition of PT Anglo Slavic Indonesia.

Tey was charged under Section 420 and 181 of the Penal Code for cheating and making false statements to a Commissioner for Oaths on Jan 15, 2016.

Ooi, who was charged under the same section on Feb 3, 2016, was also charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust.

However, both were granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the sessions court in September 2017. A year later, Protasco requested the Attorney-General’s Chambers to reopen cases against the duo.

Alam Maritim secures RM241 million contract

PETALING JAYA: Alam Maritim Resources Bhd has bagged a US$59 million (RM241 million) contract for the provision of engineering, procurement, construction, installation and pre-commissioning of pipeline system for Tembikai Non Associated Gas (TNAG) Development by Vestigo Petroleum Sdn Bhd.

The duration of the contract is from March 5, 2019 until completion of the work, which is targeted for completion in Q4’2019.

The TNAG pipeline system will be installed from the new TNAG unmanned wellhead platform via a 60km, 12” pipeline and fibre optic control cable.

The rigid pipeline will be the first in offshore Malaysia installed using mechanical connectors and specifically the NOV Tuboscope Zap-Lok connection, tied into existing processing facilities on Berantai floating production storage and offloading, and the well head platform with flexible risers connected to the rigid pipeline with diverless connections.

“The contract is expected to contribute positively to the earnings and net tangible assets of the company for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019,” Alam Maritim said.

Stockpiling frenzy drives UK factories ahead of Brexit, says PMI

LONDON, April 1 — Factories in Britain stockpiled for Brexit at an explosive rate last month, unlike anything seen before in a major rich economy, pushing manufacturing growth to an unexpected 13-month high, a survey showed today. The IHS…

Tesla boom lifts Norway’s electric car sales to 58pc market share

OSLO, April 1 — Almost 60 per cent of all new cars sold in Norway in March were fully electric, the Norwegian Road Federation (NRF) said today, a global record set by a country seeking to end fossil-fueled vehicles sales by 2025. Exempting battery…

CoolSaver to produce energy saving devices locally

PETALING JAYA: A global green tech outfit – CoolSaver International Holding Ltd – has plans to produce energy saving devices and concepts to meet the demands of local commercial and household markets with a local partner here.

Its CEO Thomas Nordgren said the company is looking at the possibility of the country becoming a hub for Swedish green technology in view of the present heatwave gripping many parts of the world.

“The discussions remained private for now as we cannot reveal the name of the prospective local partner but it is fruitful and we hope to seal the deal soon.”

He assured that the product is a market proven technology with energy savings recorded in as many as 20 countries that it has invested in since 2015.

He also expressed confidence that the return on investments can be felt within 30 months through lower operating costs while households incur less electricity bills.

Speaking with theSun, Nordgren and his Malaysian representative Elsa Aeria said discussions with the local partner centred on commercial production of the device which is called moisture filter gadgets.

Coolsaver has the capacity to serve commercial and private consumer needs as its filter gadgets can easily be installed or placed in refrigerators and air–conditioning system with a promise of some 20% in energy savings.

“We feel that Malaysia has the right mix to grow our market share. There is also a growing awareness about green technology and the prevailing climate change.”

Coolsaver has a limited range of distribution as it considers itself to be relatively new in the local marketplace, having just come to Malaysia last year.

But once the agreement is sealed to produce its products in Malaysia, the company envisions a strong growth prospect, especially with the country experiencing climate challenges in recent years.

Among its customers are food and beverage outlets with large chill rooms, hospitals, offices with central air conditioned systems, households’ with free standing refrigerators and commercial chilled warehouses.

Aeria said she was also focusing on private households, adding that in Penang several families have expressed delight with the device.

Essentially, the filter device has the ability to allow the compressors of all chilling devices to work less, yet produce the same cold temperature setting.

Developed and manufactured in Sweden, Aeria said that it is the only system to use surface chemistry catalytic reactions to extract moisture from industrial and commercial cooling systems.

Foreigners sold RM1.35 billion in the first quarter

PETALING JAYA: Foreign investors took out RM1.56 billion from Bursa Malaysia last month, bringing the foreign net outflow for the first quarter (Q1) to RM1.35 billion, according to MIDF Research.

In contrast, there was a foreign net inflow of RM2.2 billion in Q1’2018 ahead of 14th general election.

“Among the four Asean markets we monitor, Malaysia is still the nation with the second largest foreign net outflow after Thailand, which recorded a foreign net outflow of US$407.3 million or higher than RM1.6 billion in Q1,” the research house said in a note yesterday.

Foreign funds sold RM162.1 million net of local equities last week, the second lowest weekly foreign net outflow recorded so far this year.

“The foreign net inflow seen on Bursa was shortlived as international funds were back in selling mode,” said MIDF.

Offshore investors sold RM34.8 million net last Monday, coinciding with the 1.1% decline in the FBM KLCI as investors shifted to safer assets amid concerns of a US recession.

Nonetheless, it was notable that other Asian peers such as Taiwan and South Korea recorded larger foreign net outflows of more than US$90 million and steeper declines in their respective bourses.

International funds slowly entered into Bursa to the tune of RM23.9 million on Tuesday, the highest in six trading days, lifting the local bourse slightly by 0.1% to close at 1,650 points.

“Foreign net buying was also prevalent in the other six Asian markets we monitor following the possibility of major central banks easing to mitigate the impact of a slowdown in global economic growth,“ added MIDF.

Wednesday and Thursday saw foreign investors returning to selling mode, disposing of more than RM60 million net on both days.

Sentiment was rather muted on those days mainly due to the 14% year-on-year drop in profits of China’s major industrial firm in January and February this year, signalling a softening economic growth of the nation.

The level of foreign net selling declined to RM15.6 million on Friday as the latest round of US China trade discussions resumed. As such, there was an influx of foreign funds into China stocks which reached the largest in a day in almost four months.