Monday, July 1st, 2019


Deutsche Bank shares rise on reports of layoff plans

FRANKFURT, July 1 — Shares in Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank rose today, as investors reacted to multiple press reports the financial firm plans thousands of layoffs in its battle to escape a years-long malaise. By 1.15 pm in Frankfurt…

Petronas awards TA4MS contracts to 17 local vendors

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has awarded long-term Master Service Agreement (MSA) for Integrated Turnaround Main Mechanical and Maintenance Mechanical Static (TA4MS) to 17 local contractors, in a move to streamline its…

Sarawak poised to export strawberries, vegetables to Japan

KUCHING, July 1 — Sarawak is set to export strawberries and other types of vegetables to Japan and some other states in the country following the signing of a collaboration agreement between Borneo Highlands Resort and Natural Green Life Farm. The…

Merge Energy bags RM26m Langat 2 contract

PETALING JAYA: Merge Energy Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary Mewah Kota Sdn Bhd has been awarded a RM26 million contract from Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) for the proposed development of Langat 2 water treatment plant and water reticulation.

According to the group’s filing with Bursa Malaysia, the contract is for mild steel pipe connection and installation work to the existing system. It runs for a duration of 12 months with a completion date of July 23, 2020.

Merge Energy expects the contract to contribute positively to the group’s earnings and net asset for the financial year ending March 31, 2020.

Optimism rises despite fall in June manufacturing PMI

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is optimistic as business confidence about the outlook strengthened to its highest since October 2013 despite manufacturing’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) continued to fall in June.

According to June survey data, the manufacturing sector faced further challenges, with demand conditions softening, while fewer new orders from international clients also weighed on production volumes. However, companies anticipate that current difficulties will be short-lived.

With the survey finding a greater number of respondents anticipating higher output over the next 12 months, economic growth is expected to accelerate further.

The headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing PMI registered 47.8 in June, down from 48.8 in May. Overall, the PMI is broadly indicative of annual GDP growth of approximately 4%, according to historical comparisons.

IHS Markit chief business economist Chris Williamson said operating conditions remained challenging for Malaysia’s manufacturers in June, once again reflecting tough trading in export markets.

Williamson pointed out that the PMI is an indicative of manufacturing’s contribution to drive a rebound in the annual pace of economic growth from the slowdown to 4.5% seen in the first quarter, although it is likely to remain below 5% in the next quarter.

Encouragingly, he said manufacturers continued to see signs that the business outlook is brightening.

“Business optimism about the future continued to be dogged by worries about the impact of the US-China trade war on the global economy, but has nevertheless risen to its highest since late-2013. Increasing numbers of firms stepped up their marketing and sales efforts and reported new projects, products and investments amid signs that underlying sales growth has improved.”

Although the June survey results mark the second month the PMI fell in succession, the average for the second quarter as a whole was above that seen in the opening quarter of 2019.

“Analysis of comparable historical official data on Malaysian manufacturing output suggests that, at current levels, the survey’s output index signals annual production growth of just over 3%.”

The latest survey also indicated that Malaysian manufacturers adopted a balanced approach to hiring, with employment levels remaining broadly unchanged since May.

Taiwan Expo to wow Penang

PENANG: Taiwan Expo 2019 will make its way to Penang for the first time on July 5 and 6, with six main exhibition categories Industry 4.0, green technology, medical care, halal products, fashion as well as culture & tourism.

Organised by the Bureau of Foreign Trade and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra), the Taiwan Expo has been held in Kuala Lumpur since 2017.

About 42,000 visitors participated in the previous years’ events and led to business volume worth US$86 million (RM357 million).

Future of smart & green tech

There will be over 100 manufacturers across 110 booths. The Taiwan Smart City Pavilion will showcase full suites of solutions comprising of seamless hardware and software integration. Excellent Taiwan’s Export Processing Zones are bringing industrial and home water technology as well as providing the food industry with automated fillers, sealing machines, chain saw guides and other OEM services.

In terms of finished products, Taiwan Excellence Pavilion will showcase leading brands in Taiwan’s Industrial 4.0 revolution. In terms of green technology opportunities, the Taiwan Green Products Pavilion will feature a range of low-carbon green products, energy efficient products and technologies.

Total care with medical technology

The Taiwan Healthcare Pavilion will be introducing the latest photon therapy cancer treatment from Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, bone marrow transplant and cell treatment from Hualien Tzu Chi General Hospital and advanced medical care from the Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital.

Taiwan Excellence will also present the world’s first medical glasses that can greatly reduce the complication from orthopedic surgery; the world’s first spray disinfector machine, EleClean; and the comprehensive blood glucose control services by Bionime.

Halal & fashion with a Taiwan twist

Taiwan Halal & Bubble Tea Pavilion will present the best halal certified Taiwanese products to Malaysia and eight of Taiwan’s most representative halal food and bubble tea companies.

Join the Taiwan Halal Bubble Tea Sharing Session and the nyonya cuisine delights event using Taiwanese halal ingredients.

The expo will also showcase Taiwan’s strength in the world of fashion while the Taiwan Beauty Pavilion will bring products from hyaluronic acid drinks to facial masks and other high-end beauty biotechnology products. The E-commerce Pavilion brings wearable RFID smart bracelets that will give visitors a seamless experience throughout the expo.

The Taiwan Tourism Pavilion is showcasing themed travel ideas while Your Partner Taipei will introduce Malaysians to the popular travel platform KKday. Tourists will be able to experience Taiwan through Augmented Reality to fully immerse in the sights and cultural charms that Taiwan has to offer.

Business discussions for mutual growth

Taiwan Expo has lined up several seminars surrounding three main themes: Industry 4.0, Smart City and Green Technology.

Taiwan Expo is one of the main focuses of the New Southbound Policy designed to develop the Southeast Asian market. Other than India, Taiwan Expo will also make its way to Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines this year.

Taiwan Expo 2019 will be held at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre from 10am to 6pm. Entrance is free. To register, visit the, or and

Bursa Malaysia ends higher amid US-China trade ceasefire

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — Bursa Malaysia closed higher today, joining most of its regional peers in a rally amid the ceasefire in the US-China trade war. However, the implementation of the “sugar tax” that kicked off today has been catastrophic…

UN: Warming to slash equivalent of 80 million jobs by 2030

GENEVA, July 1 — As climate change worsens, growing heat stress on workers in agriculture and other sectors will cause a productivity loss equal to 80 million full-time jobs over the next decade, the UN warned today. A report from the…

Oil jumps on Riyadh-Moscow output deal, as Opec gathers

VIENNA, July 1 — Oil prices jumped today after Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia and non-member Russia agreed to keep daily oil output caps, but Iran warned the move risks killing off the cartel that pumps a third of global supplies. Ministers from the…

Eurozone sees steady loan growth in May

FRANKFURT, July 1 — Growth in lending to eurozone firms and households held steady in May, official data showed today, as the European Central Bank mulls how to further stoke growth and inflation in the bloc. The pace of credit growth shed 0.1…