Wednesday, April 10th, 2019


Shell exits Russian LNG joint venture with Gazprom

MOSCOW, April 10 — Energy giant Shell today announced that it is leaving the joint project it was developing with Gazprom in Russia, following the Russian gas company’s decision to alter its configuration. “Following Gazprom’s announcement…

Trump to fight states delaying energy projects

WASHINGTON, April 10 — President Donald Trump will issue two executive orders in the heart of the Texas energy hub today seeking to speed gas, coal and oil projects delayed by coastal states as he looks to build support ahead of next year’s…

US consumer prices post biggest increase in 14 months

WASHINGTON, April 10 — US consumer prices increased by the most in more than a year in March, but underlying inflation remained benign against the backdrop of slowing domestic and global economic growth. The Labour Department said today its…

Wall Street edges higher at open, Fed minutes awaited

NEW YORK, April 10 — US stocks opened slightly higher Wednesday after a bout of selling on trade and growth concerns, with investors awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting and the start of the corporate earnings season. The…

Steady-as-she-goes ECB eyes crunch Brexit summit

FRANKFURT, April 10 — European Central Bank governors left key interest rates unchanged today, putting president Mario Draghi’s press conference in the spotlight hours ahead of a critical Brexit summit coinciding with a soft patch in eurozone…

IMF warns rising debt makes economy more vulnerable

WASHINGTON, April 10 — Rising corporate and government debt levels and the sharp increase in more risky lending could leave the global economy vulnerable to another severe downturn, the International Monetary Fund warned today. While the concerns…

Sunsuria plans private placement to raise RM61m

PETALING JAYA: Sunsuria Bhd proposes a private placement exercise to raise up to RM61.34 million.

The group told Bursa Malaysia that the private placement will entail the issuance of up to 102.23 million new shares, representing not more than 10% of its issued shares.

Assuming the placement shares are issued at an indicative issue price of 60 sen per placement share, it is expected to raise gross proceeds of up to about RM61.34 million.

The proceeds will be utilised as general working capital for its ongoing and upcoming property development projects, including Sunsuria City and The Forum 2.

Sunsuria said the private placement is a cost-effective source of capital to raise additional working capital for its projects and an expeditious way of fundraising from the capital market as opposed to other forms of fundraising.

The exercise is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2019.

EGM notice to remove two Seacera directors withdrawn

PETALING JAYA: Seacera Bhd’s substantial shareholder Datuk Tan Wei Lian has withdrawn the notice of EGM dated March 28, which seeks to remove two directors.

Seacera said in a filing with the stock exchange that it had received a letter from Tan, who is also Tiger Synergy Bhd chairman, on April 9 to withdraw the EGM notice dated March 28 and that he will not proceeding with the EGM.

Seacera said it will obtain legal advice from its solicitors on the matter.

Recall that Tan, who has emerged as Seacera’s substantial shareholder with a 13.96% stake, proposed to remove Mohd Fazillah Kamaruddin and [email protected] Halim Ismail and to be replaced by five others including himself, Tan Lee Chin, Rizvi Abdul Halim, Datin Ida Suzaini Abdullah and Clarence Yeow Kong Chew.

In a separate filing, Seacera said it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Sinar Tile Industries Sdn Bhd for the operation of the latter’s tiles manufacturing factory in Kuching, Sarawak.

The parties intend to discuss, explore and evaluate the possibilities derived from the memorandum.

Seacera said the collaboration with Sinar Tile Industries will provide the group with an advantageous platform to further benefit and better prospects in the future.

‘Impact of ECRL revival on Lafarge insignificant’

PETALING JAYA: While the potential revival of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project is positive to Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, the impact is rather insignificant and the group is expected to see wider net losses in FY19 and FY20, according to AmInvestment Bank.

“We estimate that the project will require about 1–1.3 million tonnes of cement over a construction period of four years, translating to 300,000 tonnes per annum. This is equivalent to only 2% of the annual cement consumption in Peninsular Malaysia currently,“ the research house said in a report today.

Its forecasts have yet to reflect this additional demand for cement from the ECRL project.

“If we do so, Lafarge’s FY20–21 forecast net losses will be reduced by RM13 million each,“ it added.

It was reported that Malaysia is expected to wrap up negotiations with China on the ECRL before the end of this month.

AmInvestment said the outlook for the cement sector in Peninsular Malaysia will remain challenging over the medium-term due to the wide gap between the local demand versus installed capacity.

“We estimate that the local clinker capacity in Peninsular Malaysia now stands at 26 million tonnes, as compared with our projected local demand at only 16 million tonnes in 2019 and 17 million tonnes in 2020. Apart from the hefty capacity cost (depreciation), the absence of pricing power in a glut means players are also unable to pass on higher production cost to end users.”

Based on historical statistics, it estimated that in general, players could only turn profitable when the local demand recovers to 20 million tonnes and above annually.

The research house maintained its “underweight” recommendation for Lafarge Malaysia with a lower fair value of RM1.50 (from RM1.52 previously) based on 0.5 time its book value (its book value has shrunk due to the continued losses in FY18).

This is in line with Lafarge’s price-to-book ratio of 0.5 time during the last trough cycle of the cement sector in Peninsular Malaysia.

QSR Brands to re-time IPO after discussions with bankers

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR: QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd today confirmed that its initial public offering (IPO) has been postponed.

“QSR and its shareholders have decided to re-time the IPO following discussions with its bankers. In the meantime, the company will continue to focus on delivering results through the execution of the various initiatives for KFC, Pizza Hut and Ayamas,” QSR in a statement.

This comes after Reuters reported that QSR Brands has shelved plans for an IPO that could have raised as much as US$500 million (RM2.05 billion) as potential investors balked at its valuations.

QSR, backed by the investment arm of Malaysia’s Johor state and private equity firm CVC, had marketed the IPO to funds as anchor shareholders in the last few weeks. But they said the roughly 25 times forward earnings multiple being pitched was steep, Reuters quoted sources as saying.

If it had gone ahead, QSR would have been the biggest IPO in Malaysia in about two years, coming on the back of a year-long drought in the primary market, where total fundraising plunged to US$170 million in 2018, the lowest in 20 years, said Reuters.

QSR had planned to launch its IPO this quarter and as early as next month, it added.

QSR has 1,268 restaurants under its wing and employs more than 35,000 workers across Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Cambodia.