Wednesday, July 10th, 2019


New EU chief nominee hopes Britain will ditch Brexit

BRUSSELS, July 10 — EU president nominee Ursula von der Leyen said today she hopes Britain will abandon Brexit but warned London it must take responsibility for “sorting out” its tortured departure from the bloc. Von der Leyen said the divorce…

American Airlines says Boeing 737 MAX grounding hit 2Q profits by US$185m

NEW YORK, July 10 — American Airlines said today the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX reduced second-quarter earnings by US$185 million even as the company raised a key revenue benchmark because of strong consumer demand. American, which has 24 of…

Superdry sees long road to recovery, denies new boardroom rift

LONDON, July 10 — The founder of Superdry warned the revival of the struggling British fashion group would be a long haul after a £130 million (RM673 million) charge for poorly performing stores pushed it into an annual loss, kicking its shares…

S&P 500 hits 3,000 for 1st time as Fed signals possible rate cut

NEW YORK, July 10 — The S&P 500 surged past 3,000 points for the first time today in early trading following congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that pointed to a possible interest rate cut. About 25 minutes…

Wall St set to open higher after Powell’s remarks raise rate cut bets

JULY 10 — Wall Street was set to open higher today, as hopes of an interest rate cut later this month were boosted by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comment that the central bank would “act as appropriate” to sustain record US…

Fed’s Powell says trade, global growth concerns continue to weigh on US economy

WASHINGTON, July 10 — Concerns about trade policy and a weak global economy “continue to weigh on the US economic outlook” and the Federal Reserve stands ready to “act as appropriate” to sustain a decade-long expansion, Fed Chairman Jerome…

ARB makes maiden foray into Cambodia’s IoT and IT markets

PETALING JAYA: ARB Bhd has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chean Chhoeng Thai Group Co Ltd (CCTG) to deploy Internet of Things (IoT) and information technology (IT) to the latter’s US$1.5 billion (RM6.2 billion) mixed development project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The total value for ARB’s IoT and IT project is not less than US$100 million (RM417 million).

CCTG’s mixed development project involves the development of office buildings, a commercial complex, an arts centre, a cultural square, resorts, condominiums, a five-star hotel, an exhibition centre, and a public park, along the Tonle Sap river.

CCTG is the private vehicle of the major shareholders of Shanghai-listed Guangzhou Yuetai Group Co Ltd.

In addition, ARB also entered into an MoU with HK Yue Tai Life Insurance (HKYT) to provide to the enterprise resource planning system and solutions.

The project is valued at no less than US$20 million.

Under the MoU, ARB will deploy the related hardware and software for HKYT and in turn the HKYT will outsource the IT management project to ARB.

MAHB’s exposure to expansion risks to increase, says Moody’s

PETALING JAYA: Moody’s Investors Service cautioned that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) exposure to expansion risks could escalate over the next 12 months.

This is on the back of potential changes to its responsibilities to develop new airport capacity under a new concession agreement as well as a new tariff-setting framework that will determine its capacity to fund future expansion.

Currently the airport operator said it is not directly exposed to expansion-related risk because the government retains primary responsibility for developing new airport capacity.

“However, MAHB may start taking on greater responsibility in future expansion under the new concession agreement it is currently negotiating with the government,“ Moody’s said in a report today.

It said a key consideration in the negotiation is a potential increase in MAHB’s role in future expansion, in which case MAHB would face similar expansion risk and the associated funding requirements as its rated Asia Pacific peers.

“Although such a change would increase MAHB’s exposure to expansion-related risks, such an arrangement would give MAHB more control over the planning and timing of expansion, which would support the airport group’s ability to maintain its quality of service and competitiveness with other hub airports in the region.”

MAHB operates 39 airports in Malaysia.

Operationally, Moody’s said the pressure on MAHB’s existing infrastructure is not as acute as those faced by rated Indian airports but additional investment will likely be required over the next three to five years.

At the end of 2018, a number of MAHB’s airports in Malaysia were already operating at above or close to capacity, including KLIA Main (Terminal 1).

MAHB has proposed a capital spending program of around RM5 billion for its Malaysian operations in the first control period between 2020 and 2022, as part of its regulatory submission for the new tariff setting framework.

The proposed amount is broadly in line with the RM5 billion proposed by the regulator in the consultation paper published in June 2019, and which would represent a significant increase from the RM200 million to RM300 million spent annually between 2014 and 2017.

Jail for three Singapore traders who made Sg$8m in personal profits from insider trading

SINGAPORE, July 10 — Armed with confidential and market-sensitive information, two traders from a multinational fund management firm colluded with their friend, a remisier, to make personal profits of S$8.07 million in total. The three men did…

Eight e-fulfilment projects approved, more to come

KUALA LUMPUR: The government, through the Malaysian Investment Develop-ment Authority (Mida), has approved eight e-fulfilment projects as of March 2019, with more in the pipeline.

Mida deputy CEO Arham Abdul Rahman said of the eight e-fulfilment projects, seven are locally owned.

Mida has expanded the logistics incentive scheme by introducing the second round Integrated Logistics Services incentive in 2017 to encourage logistics companies to adopt technology in their operations and to position themselves as regional e-fulfilment hub providers in Malaysia.

E-fulfilment is the arrangements that are necessary for businesses to sell their products or services on the internet. Components of the e-fulfilment process include e-commerce store and fulfilment centre integration, receiving and inventory management, order fulfilment and returns processing.

“We’ve quite a number of foreign and local companies that have indicated their interest to have their footprint in Malaysia,” Arham told a press conference at the Investment Opportunities in the E-commerce Fulfilment Industry Seminar 2019 today, but gave no details due to confidentiality.

Arham said it continuously encourage logistics companies to invest in physical and virtual ICT systems, such as Warehouse Management Systems and Smart Logistics. This would enable them to undertake complex activities such as managing large orders and inventories, coordinating and tracking real-time delivery and processing returned items.

Mida takes the helm in developing the nation’s e-fulfilment hub, under the Malaysian National E-Commerce Strategic Roadmap, working with various stakeholders to attract investments in this area to achieve the target of doubling Malaysia’s e-commerce growth rate and reach a gross domestic product contribution of RM211 billion by 2020.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said many companies are starting to explore towards establishing their regional fulfilment operations in Malaysia to serve their global supply chain activities due to Malaysia’s strategic geographical location and the increasing adoption of technology in the country.

In the first quarter of 2019, the logistics sector contributed in terms of approved investments worth RM50.5 million where most of the investments came from domestic companies.

“The interest of companies in emerging areas, such as cold chain logistics, last mile delivery services and halal logistics is growing, due to the high margins and rising demand. The economy of the country is expected to grow between 5% and 6% and this will indeed drive the growth of the logistics industry further,” said Ong.

He said the existing incentives for logistic players are sufficient for now, adding that there is a need for continuous investment into infrastructure, such as port upgrades and expansion, road networks, and adoption of advanced technology.

Local logistics companies are encouraged to invest and adopt technologies, and to explore potentially disruptive technologies to create new ways of business, as well as to lower cost while enhancing overall efficiency.

Some of the key technologies that have been adopted by international logistic players include the usage of Internet of Things and robotic in automating warehouse operations, track & trace capabilities and the usage of big data analytic to optimise last mile delivery.

Meanwhile, Ong said the digital tax is not expected to affect the e-commerce industry.

“It is one area where the developed countries are moving towards and we’re following global trends. As long as demand is growing, I don’t think it (e-commerce) will be greatly affected by the digital tax.”