Thursday, August 29th, 2019


Report: Saudi Aramco eyes Tokyo for two-stage IPO

RIYADH, Aug 29 — Saudi oil giant Aramco is considering a two-stage initial public offering (IPO) with a domestic debut and a subsequent international listing possibly in Tokyo, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Aramco has said it plans to…

Lagarde signals plan to stick to Draghi’s ECB expansionary path

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Aug 29 — The ECB’s next chief Christine Lagarde signalled today that she would stick to Mario Draghi’s expansionary monetary policy that has propped up the eurozone economy amid growing risks to growth. In a written reply to…

Wall Street jumps as China signals pause in trade retaliation

NEW YORK, Aug 29 — US stocks leapt higher today, with investors taking heart after Chinese authorities suggested they may break the cycle of tit-for-tat retaliations in the trade war with the United States. The gains put Wall Street in the green…

India’s central bank unveils US$24b windfall for government

NEW DELHI, Aug 29 — India’s central bank has announced a US$24-billion (RM101 billion) windfall for the cash-strapped government, giving a much-needed boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he seeks to kickstart growth in Asia’s…

Survey: UK economy weakest since 2012 as Brexit fears mount

LONDON, Aug 29 — A gauge of Britain’s economic health slumped to an almost seven-year low in August, dragged down by deepening pessimism among services companies, retailers and consumers who expect inflation to rise sharply as the Brexit crisis…

Toyota, Suzuki forge capital alliance

TOKYO, Aug 29 — Toyota said yesterday it will take a nearly 5-per-cent stake in small-car specialist Suzuki Motor, the latest tie-up in the rapidly changing global auto industry. The Japanese auto giant, maker of the Prius and Camry models, will…

CIMB: Expected rate cut will have minimal impact on net interest margin

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group Holdings Bhd CEO Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said an Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) cut within the year will squeeze its net interest margin (NIM) by only one to two basis points.

“From the expected rate cut, we are expecting a contraction of one to two basis points in our NIM for the whole group,” he said at a media briefing to release its 1H19 financial results today.

Its 1H NIM contracted 7bps to 2.46% from 2.53% a year ago.

CIMB posted a 23.8% decline in net profit to RM1.51 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 against RM1.98 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

This was due to a one-off gain of RM928 million from the disposal of its stake in CIMB-Principal Asset Management and CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management in the previous corresponding period.

Excluding the one-off item, its profit would have been 43.3% higher.

Its revenue was down 8.1% to RM4.47 billion from RM4.86 billion.

The bank has proposed to declare an interim dividend of 14 sen per share for the quarter under review, representing a payout ratio of 50.4%.

CIMB’s first-half net profit slipped 17.8% to RM2.7 billion from RM3.29 billion in the same period a year ago. Revenue came in at RM8.63 billion, 5.8% lower than the RM9.17 billion achieved previously.

For the period under review, the bank’s operating income rose 4.8% to RM8.64 billion. Net interest income grew 3.3% driven by the 6.9% expansion in loans growth, while the 8.5% increase in non-interest income was on the back of better capital market activity.

The group’s gross impairment ratio stood at 3.1% as at end-June 2019, with an allowance coverage of 96.6%. Its net interest margin was lower at 2.46% mainly from the spread compression in Malaysia.

As at June 30, 2019, CIMB’s total capital ratio stood at 16.6% while the common equity tier 1 capital ratio at 12.9%.

On the whole, the group is positive that it will be able to achieve the return on equity target of 9-9.5% for the year on the back of a strong loan growth and cost efficiency measures.

“If we continue to have the same run rate as had in the first half, I am confident that we’ll hit the 6-7% loan growth target,” said Zafrul.

He is also optimitic of its overseas operations in anti-cipation of better consumer banking segment in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that CIMB will be allocating RM2 billion in capital expenditure in the next two years for long-term growth.

US growth revised down slightly in Q2 as business investment falls

WASHINGTON, Aug 29 — The world’s largest economy grew a little more slowly in the second quarter than previously thought, the government reported today, with new data showing weaker oil exports and local government spending. GDP expanded in the…

Singapore keen to work with Sarawak on furniture industry

KUCHING, Aug 29 — Singapore has expressed an interest to collaborate with Sarawak to develop the furniture-manufacturing industry. Singapore Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat said Sarawak timber is of good quality and…

Genting Q2 earnings up 56.4%

KUALA LUMPUR: Genting Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 jumped 56.4% to RM599.68 million from RM383.52 million a year ago, driven by higher contribution from the leisure & hospitality, particularly in Singapore, US and Bahamas.

Its revenue was RM5.45 billion, an increase of 12.9% compared with the previous year’s RM4.82 billion.

The group has declared an interim dividend of 6.5 sen per share for the quarter under review.

For the six-month period, Genting’s net profit rose 17.8% to RM1.16 billion from RM986.22 million, while revenue increased expanded 9.4% from RM10.07 billion to RM11.02 billion.

Looking ahead, Genting said Genting Singapore is embarking on the implementation phase of Resorts World Sentosa’s SG$4.5 billion mega expansion plans, which will again elevate its position as the region’s premier integrated resort destination.

In the UK, Genting Malaysia will continue reviewing its operations to identify streamlining opportunities to improve operational efficiencies.

In the US, Resorts World Casino New York City maintained its position as market leader in terms of gaming revenue in the Northeast US region.

Nevertheless, Genting said the group remains focused on executing various initiatives to drive visitation and frequency of play at the property.

Meanwhile, it noted that construction of Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV) continues to progress well.

“As of Aug 10, 2019, RWLV has completed concrete work for both the West and East Towers, topping off at the 69th level. Structural steel construction has been completed for the low-rise casino podium. Total development and land costs incurred as of June 30, 2019 were approximately US$1.5 billion (RM6.3 billion).”