Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019


Taiwan Excellence brings Taiwanese manufacturers to ARCHIDEX 2019 in KL

KUALA LUMPUR: Taiwan Excellence, the much-coveted award that epitomises the Taiwanese corporations has brought 21 Taiwanese manufacturers to the four-day ARCHIDEX 2019, which began today.

Sixty Taiwanese products encompassing smart technologies, renovation materials, household hardware and other home solutions are exhibited, aimed at exploring business opportunities with Malaysian counterparts.

The Taiwan Excellence Pavilion is headlining its entry with “Modern Living” and showcasing leading products, including the Flow2 One Plus fresh air exchanger with a built-in filter by TUMÄ; WiFi Smart Door Lock by Tanmo; and, Smart Community Cloud Intercom System by Tonnet.

Taiwan Excellence is also presenting renowned Malaysian designer, Dr Eric Leong as brand ambassador. He will host discussions on five selected Taiwanese products with their respective manufacturers to share the concept behind the designs to gain an understanding of the essence of the products from a professional point of view.

Taiwan Excellence works with The One Academy in advancing production education using products under the former’s banner whereby, students can showcase their vision of modern lifestyle design with Taiwan Excellence’s products.

Litrak accepts MoF Inc’s offer

PETALING JAYA: Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (Litrak Holdings) will accept the Minister of Finance (Incorporated)’s (MoF Inc) offer to acquire toll highway concessionaires Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd (Litrak) and Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Sdn Bhd (Sprint).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Litrak Holdings said that it has deliberated on the proposed offers and unanimously found them to be fair and reasonable, and has resolved to accept the offer for Litrak and to vote in favour of accepting the offer for Sprint.

Litrak Holdings’ associate company Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Holdings Sdn Bhd (Sprint Holdings) had also deliberated on the offer for Sprint and unanimously found it fair and reasonable, and has resolved to accept the offer.

The offers for Litrak and Sprint are inter-conditional upon each other and are inter-conditional upon the offers for Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) and the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (Smart).

Litrak Holdings and Sprint Holdings expect to commence negotiations with MoF Inc to finalise the terms and conditions of the definitive agreements, and to execute the definite agreements with MoF Inc’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) by Aug 30.

The execution of the definitive agreements are subject to the acceptance of the offers for Kesas and Smart to fulfil the inter-conditionality terms by MoF Inc, the satisfactory due diligence findings by MoF Inc and the approval of the Cabinet of Malaysia.

Litrak Holdings said it will make the appropriate announcements in relation to the proposed offers in due course.

To recap, MoF Inc offered to acquire four toll concessionaires with an enterprise value of RM6.2 billion.

The four toll highways are the Damansara-Puchong Highway, Sprint, Kesas and Smart, with offer prices of RM2.47 billion, RM1.98 billion, RM1.38 billion and RM369 million, respectively.

If the acquisition process is successful, the government is expected to acquire the highway concessionaires via an SPV wholly owned by MoF Inc. The SPV will finance the RM6.2 billion by way of bond issuance.

To date, Gamuda Bhd and Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd have accepted the offers.

Central bank outsider Lagarde to chart new ECB course

FRANKFURT, July 3 — IMF chief Christine Lagarde may be the first woman to be nominated head of the European Central Bank, but her political background and lack of central bank experience raises important questions about the independence of…

Sri Lanka tourism limps back after bombings, figures show

COLOMBO, July 3 — Tourism in Sri Lanka suffered a huge blow after the Easter bombings that killed 258 people including 45 foreigners, but official figures today showed a modest recovery. The industry, which before the April attacks had expected a…

EU states see considerable improvement in Italy’s public finances, says source

BRUSSELS, July 3 — Representatives of European Union governments see a “considerable improvement” in Italy’s fiscal plans after the government announced new measures this week, an EU official told Reuters. The EU executive is expected to…

Premium prices attract small farmers back to coffee growing in Zimbabwe

HONDE VALLEY (Zimbabwe), July 3 — David Muganyura smells the coffee cherries on the slopes of his plot and breaks into a smile, as he chats to workers who are harvesting a crop he expects to be his biggest to date. A long-time Zimbabwean coffee…

Chocolate maker Mars backs Ivory Coast, Ghana cocoa floor price

JOHANNESBURG, July 3 — US food maker Mars Inc. supports a decision by Ivory Coast and Ghana to set a floor price for their cocoa exports, a senior executive told Reuters on Wednesday, becoming one of the first major chocolate companies to back the…

Deutsche Bank restructuring to cost up to US$5.6b, says source

FRANKFURT, July 3 — Deutsche Bank expects the cost of a major overhaul in the works to be up to €5 billion (RM23.4 billion), one person familiar with the matter said today. CEO Christian Sewing flagged an extensive restructuring in May. He…

Sime Darby Plantation raises the bar on sustainability

PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) aims to achieve a sustainable supply chain with the publication of a new policy statement, “Working with Suppliers to Draw the Line on Deforestation”.

The policy builds on the group’s existing practice and maps a step forward for the group to meet the “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” (NDPE) standards and for its suppliers to adhere to the same standards.

“The rapid rate of deforestation is an urgent challenge for the world that demands a meaningful response. As the leading producer of sustainable palm oil, SDP shares this concern. This policy was crafted to ensure that our suppliers provide us and others with deforestation-free palm oil, and at the same time improve their NDPE operational standards too,” said its group managing director, Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha.

Based on the policy, if a supplier is found to be in violation of SDP’s NDPE standards, the supplier would have to immediately cease work on the land (when non-compliance is confirmed).

The supplier must also develop two types of plan namely, a time-bound plan for the restoration of cleared land and a time-bound plan to upgrade their operational practice. Suppliers who are unwilling to meet those conditions will be suspended.

The development and execution of landscape restoration plans as well as operational improvement plans will be externally verified and monitored on an ongoing basis.

Helmy said the ultimate goal is to expand the sphere of oil palm companies operating to NDPE standards. Therefore, if a non-compliant supplier commits to meet SDP’s conditions, the company will re-engage with them and support their progress.

He added that SDP does not believe in suspension without a path for the supplier to be reinstated.

“Constructive re-engagement to introduce new and improved practices is critical to systematically resolving non-compliance to NDPE. Simply suspending suppliers can have the unintended consequence of driving poor practice elsewhere into the system, making it less visible and harder to act on.

“This is not the intention of our policy. Our priority is to find solutions to the issues and we believe this must be done via engagement with the suppliers and giving them the opportunity to redress the problem,” he said.

Helmy said SDP is committed to working with suppliers in the development of their plans, and with NGO partners to build capacity for operational improvements to raise suppliers’ NDPE compliance.

The policy comes after the launch of Crosscheck, SDP’s new open-access online tool that allows traceability of its palm oil supply chain down to the mill level.

Crosscheck enables users to view a map showing all the mills that supply each of SDP’s refineries and information on who owns these mills.

Bursa Malaysia falls but stays above the 1,690 level

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia managed to stay above the support level of 1,690 despite being weighed down by China’s disappointing services sector data, profit-taking activity as well as the overnight fall in crude oil prices.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished at its intra-day high of 1,690.05, although the key index was 0.95 of-a-point, or 0.06%, lower compared with Tuesday’s close of 1,691.0.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong said the mild downtrend on the local exchange was also in line with its regional peers’ performance, as investors turned jittery amid trade uncertainty.

China’s Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell from 52.7 in May to 52.0 in June, the weakest level in four months.

Transaction volume was higher at 3.01 billion units worth RM1.82 billion compared with 2.82 billion units worth RM2.56 billion on Tuesday.

Market breadth stayed negative with losers overtaking gainers by 456 to 395, while 420 counters were unchanged, 569 untraded and 19 others suspended.

The barometer index moved between 1,683.24 and 1,690.05 throughout the day.

Regionally, Singapore Straits Times Index trimmed 0.09% to 3,367.80, Japan’s Nikkei was 0.53% easier at 21,638.16 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index weakened 0.07% to 28,855.14.

Meanwhile, commenting on the performance of banking blue chips which dominated the fall within the FBM KLCI’s 30 counters, Leong said it was merely a mild pull-back due to the recent gains seen in the sector.

“For instance, we have seen CIMB in the recovery mode since one or two weeks ago, so the decline seen today was normal; it was just a mild pull-back,“ he told Bernama when contacted.

At the closing bell, CIMB remained the top decliner among the finance-linked heavyweights, losing eight sen to RM5.36, followed by Maybank which fell one sen to RM8.97, Hong Leong Bank which erased four sen to RM19.10 and RHB Bank which shed two sen to RM5.77.

Meanwhile, on the outlook for the local stock market, Asia-Pacific senior vice president (investment) Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan projected the FBM KLCI would trend higher on optimism over the US-China trade dispute, especially ahead of the US’ Independence Day holiday (July 4).

“On the domestic front, Malaysia’s digital economy continues attracting interest from international investors, which is in line with the initiative by the government to establish the country as the technology and digital hub in Asean,“ he said.

Of the actives, Sumatec added 2.5 sen to 3.5 sen while KNM shed half-a-sen to 29.5 sen and its warrant was flat at 13 sen.

Borneo Oil and Sapura Energy were unchanged at 4.5 sen and 30.5 sen, respectively.

Carlsberg topped the losers list, erasing 46 sen to RM25.50, while Chin Teck slumped 26 sen to RM6.54, BAT fell 14 sen to RM28.80, Time Dotcom was 13 sen weaker at RM8.97 and Guan Chong slipped 12 sen to RM3.45.

The FBM Emas Index slid 5.68 points to 11,935.07, the FBMT 100 Index gave up 6.85 points to 11,777.22 and the FBM 70 shrank 9.62 points to 14,867.52.

The FBM Emas Shariah Index was 7.25 points higher at 12,326.01 and the FBM Ace gained 60.75 points to 4,583.64.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index contracted 38.35 points to 16,810.96 and the Industrial Products & Services Index slipped 0.73 of-a-point to 162.28. However, the Plantation Index advanced 11.66 points to 6,952.53.

Main Market volume widened to 2.30 billion shares worth RM1.67 billion from 2.03 billion shares worth RM2.38 billion on Tuesday.

Warrants turnover, however, narrowed to 346.48 million valued at RM72.34 million from 423.88 million units valued at RM77.01 million.

Volume on the ACE Market improved to 361.58 million shares worth RM74.08 million versus 358.50 million shares worth RM103.32 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 244.66 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (230.85 million), construction (112.92 million), technology (137.25 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (37.80 million), property (95.99 million), plantation (9.03 million), REITs (17.22 million), closed/fund (19,000), energy (1.19 billion), healthcare (31.22 million), telecommunications and media (73.47 million), transportation and logistics (102.04 million) and utilities (14.13 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM183.34 per gramme, up RM4.12 from RM179.22 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama