Monday, July 15th, 2019


Sterling slides back to US$1.25 as economy and Brexit worries grow

LONDON, July 15 — The British pound fell back towards six-month lows against the dollar and the euro today, with traders still nervous about a loss of momentum in the UK economy, the prospect of an interest rate cut and a new prime minister. At…

Amazon staff stage strikes in Germany on big sale day

BERLIN, July 15 — Amazon employees went on strike at seven locations in Germany today, demanding better wages as the US online retail giant launched its two-day global shopping discount extravaganza called Prime Day. Workers in Germany walked out…

Boeing shares fall as 737 MAX grounding drags on

NEW YORK, July 15 — Boeing shares fell early today after major US airlines announced more flight cancellations because they expect the 737 MAX aircraft to be grounded for much longer after two deadly crashes. Shares in the aerospace giant fell 1.4…

US stocks dip at start of heavy earnings week

NEW YORK, July 15 — Wall Street stocks edged lower early today ahead of a deluge of quarterly earnings reports from large banks and other companies. All three major indices had closed at records on Friday on optimism that the Federal Reserve will…

Huawei to invest US$3.1b in Italy but calls for fair policy on 5G, says country CEO

MILAN, July 15 — China’s Huawei Technologies said it would invest US$3.1 billion in Italy over the next three years, as the Chinese telecoms giant called on Rome to ensure the “transparent, efficient and fair” use of its ‘golden power’…

Hold the beers: Budweiser APAC IPO hit by investor push-back

NEW YORK, July 15 — Scepticism over AB InBev’s high valuations doomed Budweiser APAC’s IPO of up to US$9.8 billion – poised to be the world’s biggest this year – investors and bankers said, putting would-be floats on notice that careful…

Berjaya Land buying 75% stake in Iceland hotel operator for RM220m

PETALING JAYA: Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is acquiring a 75% stake in Icelandair Hotels ehf for US$53.63 million (RM220 million) cash.

BLand told Bursa Malaysia that its subsidiary Berjaya Property Ireland Ltd had entered into a share purchase agreement with Icelandair Group hf for the acquisition.

Icelandair Hotels currently operates 20 hotels located all around Iceland. In addition, a new five-star 145-room hotel developed in collaboration with Hilton Hotels is scheduled to be launched in Reykjavik’s Parliament District in 2020. The total earnings before interests, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of these hotels was about US$12 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018.

Iceland Stock Exchange-listed Icelandair Group operates in the airline and tourism sectors. The company operates through three segments: international flight operations, aviation investments, and tourism investments.

Besides increasing Berjaya’s presence in the European region, this acquisition also increases the room inventory of the Berjaya group of hotels from about 4,200 to 6,011 rooms, with an additional 1,811 rooms. Currently the Berjaya group of hotels are operated under the Berjaya Hotels and Resorts, Four Seasons, and Sheraton brands in Europe and Asia.

BLand said the proposed acquisition is in line with the group’s geographical diversification and revenue expansion. The luxury hotel segment in Iceland is expected to grow and the exercise will enable the BLand group to enter this segment with strategically located hotels in the heart of Iceland as well as certain hotels being operated under the Hilton brand name.

Berjaya Corp Bhd founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan is pleased with this investment, which is at a low entry cost, with an average cost/price of about US$75,096 per room.

“The Icelandair Hotels is one of the largest hotel chains in Iceland, and its hotels are operated at a very high standard by a passionate and dedicated team. We are delighted to add this hotel group to our growing network of hotels and resorts,” he said in statement.

“We look forward to working with the Icelandair Group. I believe this investment represents good long-term value for Berjaya,” he added.

The proposed acquisition is expected to be completed during the financial year ending June 30, 2020.

Invest Selangor targets RM250m transaction value at business summit

PETALING JAYA: Invest Selangor is targeting RM250 million in transaction value from its Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) 2019, according to Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari.

Last year, it achieved RM194.6 million in terms of businesses negotiated and committed during the summit.

“2019 will see the inaugural Research & Development and Innovation Expo organised by our human resources management division, which will bring additional value to the summit this year,” Amirudin said at a press conference today in conjunction with the launch of SIBS 2019.

In addition, this year’s event will see more exhibitors and agencies participating compared to the previous year.

The third edition of SIBS will take place from Oct 10 to 13 at the Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

On the whole, Selangor has a total investment inflow target of RM10 billion for the year. For the first quarter of the year, the state has accumulated an investment of RM1.5 billion, the fourth highest in Malaysia.

“Our target for this year is a little more conservative compared to the RM18.9 billion achieved last year. It’s not just about the number, but we need to get quality international investors, that is why we’re focusing on five high-technology clusters, machinery, transportation, food & beverage, life sciences and electric & electronics,” said Amirudin.

He explained that the state does not simply accept any investment but it takes the five clusters as guideline based on its infrastructure and skilled labour.

However, there are challenges for Selangor to achieve its goals, with connectivity being an issue in terms of infrastructure and internet as there is a huge gap between the rural and urban areas in the state.

“The infrastructure gap is a major stumbling block for Selangor to reach its goal to be a Smart State by the year 2025.”

“Another challenge is education, whereby entrepreneurs and industry players have to change from conventional production to embrace Industrial Revolution 4.0 by adopting IoT (Internet of Things) and smart solutions to reach the smart state goal.”

By achieving that goal, the mentri besar is confident that Selangor could make the leap from being the most attractive investment destination in the state to being the most attractive destination in the Asean region.

Coastal Contracts bags RM17m vessel deals

PETALING JAYA: Coastal Contracts Bhd has secured contracts for four units of low-end vessels for an aggregate value of approximately RM17 million.

The contracts were awarded through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Pleasant Engineering Sdn Bhd and Coastal International Marine Inc, according to its filing with the stock exchange.

Coastal expects the revenue stream from the latest contracts to contribute positively to its top and bottom line performance for the financial year ending June 30, 2020.

Chin Hin to list associate Atlantic Blue on ACE Market

PETALING JAYA: Chin Hin Group Bhd announced its plan to list its 45%-owned associate company Atlantic Blue Sdn Bhd (ABSB) on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia.

This will be done via its special purpose vehicle Solarvest Holdings Bhd (SHB).

According Chin Hin’s filing with Bursa Malaysia, the proposed listing involves SHB acquiring the entire share capital of ABSB for RM26.26 million.

“The purchase consideration of RM26.26 million is intended to be fully satisfied by issuance of 291.79 million new ordinary shares in SHB at an issue price of approximately 9 sen per share.”

Recall that the vendors of ABSB had on Jan 30, entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with SHB in respect of the proposed acquisition.

The agreement was completed on July 15 and SHB has become a 45%-owned associate company of Chin Hin.

The proposed listing is subject to approvals from the relevant authorities. Chin said it will make further announcement in relation to the proposed listing, as and when appropriate under the Main Market Listing Requirements of Bursa Securities.