Asia Coffee-Indonesia premiums narrow further, weather supportive in Vietnam

HANOI, May 24 ― Indonesia's coffee premiums narrowed further on expectations of an increase in supply ahead of this year's harvest, while in Vietnam weather conditions are positive for coffee growers but trade remains slow on tight supplies….

Zero GST rate is neutral for Celcom Axiata

KUALA LUMPUR: The reduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate to 0% is neutral for Celcom Axiata Bhd.

“To us it is actually pretty neutral and there shouldn't be significant impact in terms of financials from the removal of GST. The main reason is that most of our customers now are already moving from prepaid to more postpaid inclined products,” CFO Jennifer Wong told reporters at a briefing today.

“For prepaid what we do is we bill the 6% and we collect it, we don't make the 6% as we give it to Customs. So when it is 0% we collect zero, so in that sense it is neutral,” she added.

However, Wong said it is too early to assess the impact of the Sales and Services Tax when it returns at 10% this year.

“It is still early days and we don't have enough information to see the impact. We will give an update once there are more details,” she said.

Russia's top banker warns sanctions retaliation could backfire

MOSCOW, May 24 — German Gref, the head of Russia's biggest bank Sberbank, said a proposed law that could result in people being jailed for helping enforce US sanctions would backfire on the Russian economy if implemented. The draft legislation has…

Indonesian stocks storming back as foreigners return to market

JAKARTA, May 24 — While most of the world’s equities have dropped in recent days, the Jakarta Composite Index has rallied 3.5 per cent for the top gain among Asian equity gauges. Today, the Indonesian benchmark measure surged as much as 2.5 per…

Kenanga keeps 'neutral' call on automotive sector

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Kenanga Research has maintained its neutral call on the automotive sector following the drop in total industry volume (TIV) in April 2018. Latest data from the Malaysian Automotive Association showed TIV declined six per…

Most Asian currencies gain as US dollar pulls back on Fed minutes, tariff threats

SINGAPORE, May 24 — Most emerging Asian currencies strengthened today as the US dollar weakened following seemingly dovish minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting and possible new US tariffs. While the minutes showed most…

Argentines brace for crisis as nation again seeks IMF help

BUENOS AIRES, May 24 — Maria Florencia Humano opened a clothing store in 2016, convinced that Argentina’s long history of economic crises had ended under pro-business President Mauricio Macri. She will shutter it later this month, unable to make…

Australia's Westpac cleared of rate rigging but bank inquiry sword stays

SYDNEY, May 24 — Australia's Westpac Banking Corp was cleared by a court of accusations it rigged a key rate to boost profit, but the win today against a regulator was dampened by an additional finding of unconscionable conduct by the bank. The…

MoF asked for repayment of RM1.199b shareholder capital from Khazanah in 2017

PETALING JAYA: Khazanah Nasional Bhd today acknowledged that it had paid RM1.199 billion in shareholder capital to Ministry of Finance (MoF) in August 11, 2017, but explained that it has no control over the use of the funds by the Ministry.

In a short statement issued earlier, the country's strategic investment arm stated that it had made a close to RM1.2 billion payment to the MoF for a RM3 billion Redeemable Cumulative Convertible Preference Shares (RCCPS) issued by Khazanah to MoF in March 14, 2014.

It explained that the RCCPS is essentially capital injected, that MOF as its 100% shareholder, has a right to call back (i.e.redeem) at any time.

The first redemption was done on March 14, 2014, for RM1.8 billion of the RM3.0 billion issued. On August 11, 2017, MOF redeemed a further RM1.199 billion of the remaining RM1.2 billion RCCPS.

“It is also relevant to note that Khazanah has no control over the utilisation of the funds once the RCCPS has been redeemed,” Khazanah said.

The statement comes after a foreign newswire reported that the previous government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak used money raised from a RM1.2 billion deal with Khazanah to pay for some of the liabilities of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

Read the earlier report from (Reuters)

UMW says no to takeover price revision for MBM Resources 

SHAH ALAM: UMW Holdings Bhd has no intention to raise its offer price for MBM Resources Bhd, which has stood firm onnot accepting the takeover deal at the current pricing.

“We've extended the offer period. It's up to them to evaluate whether to sell or not. We still stick to the position (of not raising the offer price), until a time where it is suitable to address,” UMW president and group CEO Badrul Feisal Abdul Rahim told a press conference after its AGM here today.

Last month, UMW Holdings Bhd extended its takeover offer period for MBM by six months, from April 30 till Oct 31. The jewel in MBM is its 22.58% stake in Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua).

An extension was also given to PNB Equity Resource Corporation Sdn Bhd (PERC), which owns a 10% stake in Perodua.

Badrul Feisal said the group has yet to receive response from PERC.

MBM had said the takeover bid RM501 million or RM2.56 per share was “not reasonable”, despite its major shareholder Med-Bumikar Mara Sdn Bhd reportedly expressing interest to dispose of the stake.