business volume

 
 

Taiwan Expo to wow Penang

PENANG: Taiwan Expo 2019 will make its way to Penang for the first time on July 5 and 6, with six main exhibition categories Industry 4.0, green technology, medical care, halal products, fashion as well as culture & tourism.

Organised by the Bureau of Foreign Trade and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra), the Taiwan Expo has been held in Kuala Lumpur since 2017.

About 42,000 visitors participated in the previous years’ events and led to business volume worth US$86 million (RM357 million).

Future of smart & green tech

There will be over 100 manufacturers across 110 booths. The Taiwan Smart City Pavilion will showcase full suites of solutions comprising of seamless hardware and software integration. Excellent Taiwan’s Export Processing Zones are bringing industrial and home water technology as well as providing the food industry with automated fillers, sealing machines, chain saw guides and other OEM services.

In terms of finished products, Taiwan Excellence Pavilion will showcase leading brands in Taiwan’s Industrial 4.0 revolution. In terms of green technology opportunities, the Taiwan Green Products Pavilion will feature a range of low-carbon green products, energy efficient products and technologies.

Total care with medical technology

The Taiwan Healthcare Pavilion will be introducing the latest photon therapy cancer treatment from Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, bone marrow transplant and cell treatment from Hualien Tzu Chi General Hospital and advanced medical care from the Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital.

Taiwan Excellence will also present the world’s first medical glasses that can greatly reduce the complication from orthopedic surgery; the world’s first spray disinfector machine, EleClean; and the comprehensive blood glucose control services by Bionime.

Halal & fashion with a Taiwan twist

Taiwan Halal & Bubble Tea Pavilion will present the best halal certified Taiwanese products to Malaysia and eight of Taiwan’s most representative halal food and bubble tea companies.

Join the Taiwan Halal Bubble Tea Sharing Session and the nyonya cuisine delights event using Taiwanese halal ingredients.

The expo will also showcase Taiwan’s strength in the world of fashion while the Taiwan Beauty Pavilion will bring products from hyaluronic acid drinks to facial masks and other high-end beauty biotechnology products. The E-commerce Pavilion brings wearable RFID smart bracelets that will give visitors a seamless experience throughout the expo.

The Taiwan Tourism Pavilion is showcasing themed travel ideas while Your Partner Taipei will introduce Malaysians to the popular travel platform KKday. Tourists will be able to experience Taiwan through Augmented Reality to fully immerse in the sights and cultural charms that Taiwan has to offer.

Business discussions for mutual growth

Taiwan Expo has lined up several seminars surrounding three main themes: Industry 4.0, Smart City and Green Technology.

Taiwan Expo is one of the main focuses of the New Southbound Policy designed to develop the Southeast Asian market. Other than India, Taiwan Expo will also make its way to Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines this year.

Taiwan Expo 2019 will be held at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre from 10am to 6pm. Entrance is free. To register, visit the http://mys.taiwanexpoasean.com/, or www.facebook.com/TaiwanExpo.mys/ and instagram.com/taiwanexpo_malaysia.


Rebound in sentiment of Malaysian-export oriented businesses: RAM survey

KUALA LUMPUR: The latest RAM Business Confidence Index (BCI) for the third and the fourth quarter of 2019 indicates a rebound in the sentiment of export-oriented corporates in Malaysia on the back of trade diversion arising from the US-China tariffs dispute.

The overall index for export-oriented corporates jumped 2.1 points – the first uptick in the last three quarters and the biggest increase to date – to 57.9 points, mainly attributable to a steep spike in corporates’ turnover and profitability subindices (+7.2 points to 61.6 and +7.5 points to 61.6, respectively).

This, coupled with an improved reading for the corporate manufacturing sector in particular, may have stemmed from positive trade diversion effects, said RAM Ratings.

“Malaysia is one of the key beneficiaries of the ongoing US-China trade war, which has prompted the realignment of global supply chains away from China. A sample of our export-oriented survey respondents reported more orders, mostly from other Asian economies such as Thailand and South Korea,” the rating agency said in a statement today.

Anticipating a recovery in their order books after the sluggish performance this year to date, the proportion of export-oriented firms that expect to operate above normal capacity (>95% capacity utilisation rate) also swelled 25.9%, compared with 14.3% in the last survey.

The rise in net foreign direct investment inflow and foreign investment approvals in first-quarter 2019 is also consistent with the greater need for more capacity by export-oriented firms and supporting businesses along the supply chain.

Despite more positive readings for export-oriented corporates, the overall RAM BCI still indicates a subdued level of optimism through the next six months. The overall indices for both corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are little changed from the last survey, standing at a respective 53.6 (+0.1 points) and 51.8 (-0.3 points).

“The cautiously optimistic sentiment is not surprising given the challenging operating environment, particularly amid the disruptions caused by the US-China trade tensions, Brexit complications and uncertainties amid a scenario of moderating global growth. Firms mostly still believe that the next six months will remain challenging, despite signs of trade diversion benefits,“ said RAM.

It said the heightened concern is reflected in the higher number of firms citing “weak economic conditions” as their main challenge in the next six months.

“This proportion has risen to record highs of 43.1% for corporates and 44.8% for SMEs. As such, the improvement in performance-based indicators may be shortlived given the lingering economic ambiguity.”

The RAM BCI also suggests that the economic headwinds in the second half of 2019 have a more pronounced impact on smaller SMEs rather than bigger corporates. While larger manufacturing and export-oriented firms have expressed more positive sentiment despite the tougher operating conditions, smaller SMEs do not appear to share the same bullishness.

The turnover and profitability sentiment of export-oriented SMEs weakened 0.6 and 0.7 points respectively, while that of manufacturing SMEs declined 0.7 and 0.2 points. This could be due to their relatively small stature and less diversified supply chains as well as client bases, which render them prone to fluctuating business volumes.

The RAM BCI is a survey jointly conducted by RAM Holdings Bhd and RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd, on business sentiment in Malaysia. Released quarterly, the index is based on data from a survey of close to 3,500 SMEs and corporates across five main industry segments respectively.


Analysts upbeat on Genting Singapore’s prospects in Japan

PETALING JAYA: Analysts are optimistic on Genting Singapore Ltd’s odds in securing one of three casino licences in Japan.

“We believe GENS stands a good chance in securing one of the three IRs in Japan, backed by its track record in operating a successful and large-scale integrated resort in Singapore,” said PublicInvest Research in its research note last Friday.

It said being able secure a licence would be a key catalyst for the group although the bidding process and selection of integrated resorts operators would only take place in 2020.

Hong Leong Investment Bank concurred, saying that the possible venture in Japan may act as a huge upswing factor in the near term for Genting Singapore.

Previously, the group has mentioned that the request for concept in Osaka is scheduled for submission in August and the request for proposal will be around end of this year.

For Genting Singapore’s local operations, it is dealing with a challenging VIP market. In the first quarter of this year, it posted a net profit of SG$207.8 million (RM634 million), a 13.5% year-on-year (yoy) decrease, due to lower VIP volume.

“We believe the VIP market segment will be shaken by the rising completion from Asean Casinos (Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines). We are also in the view that the weaker yoy results will persist in the subsequent quarters due to weaker VIP business,” said HLIB Research.

In addition, Genting Singapore is also affected by the higher entrance levies imposed by the government.

“The levy is seen as a social safeguard to deter casual and impulse gamblings by locals but we reckon this could affect business volume for the mass market segment from Q2 FY19 onwards,” PublicResearch said.

Genting Singapore Ltd is a principal indirect subsidiary of Genting Bhd and part of the Genting Group. It is ranked among Singapore’s largest public-listed companies.


Mynews earnings rise 30% in Q1

PETALING JAYA: Mynews Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended Jan 31, 2019 rose 29.92% to RM8.24 million from RM6.34 million a year ago driven by higher revenue.

Revenue for the quarter rose 37.03% to RM123.50 million from RM90.12 million a year ago due to the increase in the number of outlets and higher sales by the existing outlets as a result of the group’s continuous efforts to improve product offerings and store concept.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Mynews said its operating expenses rose 30.9% to RM33.10 million during the quarter from RM25.29 million a year ago, in tandem with the increased number of outlets and business volume.

Mynews had a total of 439 outlets as at Jan 31, 2019 compared with 366 outlets a year ago.

“Mynews remains optimistic of its growth and the sustainability of its business which is underpinned by the vast potentials that could be reaped from its upcoming FPC (food processing centre) and overall business transformation initiatives,” it said.

It said that the Maru Kafe brand concept and the introduction of more attractive product offerings as a prelude to the launching of the FPC, have garnered positive response from customers, which augurs well for the group.


Genting Malaysia swings to loss in FY18, declares special dividend

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 —  Casino  and hospitality giant Genting Malaysia Bhd slipped into a net loss of RM19.59 million for the 2018 financial year compared with a net profit of RM1.16 billion in the preceding year, primarily attributed an…


JPMorgan Chase unveils cryptocurrency prototype

NEW YORK, Feb 15 — JPMorgan Chase yesterday unveiled a prototype for a digital coin system using blockchain, a first among major banks as disruption accelerates change in financial services. The system, called JPM Coin, which for now is only at…


Drop in business volume is temporary, says KESM

KUALA LUMPUR: Semiconductor tester and burn-in service provider KESM Industries Bhd, which saw a 10-15% decline in chip testing volume in the last six months due to the trade war, said the situation is temporary and not expected to prolong.

“The continuing trade war between US and China has somewhat impacted our volumes in testing and burn-in. Secondly, the end customers have tightened up their purchases, as a result our customers are controlling their inventory more cautiously. The end result is affecting our performance,” executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim Syn Soo (pix) told reporters after the group’s AGM and EGM today.

However, he noted that while the trade war has impacted chip processing volumes, the bright prospects of the automotive sector goes beyond that.

He noted that the tariffs imposed by US on China, has an indirect impact on KESM as semiconductor producers, which are its clients, have become more cautious and are less bullish about their inventory.

KESM has also seen the plant utilisation rate being reduced to a mere 50-70% from a high of 90%.

Nonetheless, Lim opined that the dip is a temporary nature and is not expected to prolong as the company is not heavily relying on the personal computers and phone markets, which have seen a slowing growth. Instead, he said it is banking on the fast-growing automotive market.

As for earnings performance, Lim said while he expects improvements, the rate of growth will depend on developments and technology changes on the customers end.

When asked if KESM will be holding back on investments in times to come, Lim said the company has taken on a selective approach with its investments.

“We are not spending as much simply because we are very selective with our investments. We have to look at the profile of our customers, type of devices they are doing because we want to make sure we get the best economies of scale to give our customers the price they deserve. From what I see the changes in technology, we have to be always be ready to make an investment,” he added.

KESM had held back on investments after a fall in its fourth-quarter earnings and instead chose to reward its shareholders with a proposed dividend payout of 18.5 sen for FY18.

The company is also investing in transforming its plants in Malaysia and China into smart factories over the course of five years. These investments are funded via internally generated funds.

For the first quarter ended Oct 31, 2018, KESM recorded a net profit of RM2.64 million, representing a decline of 76.78% from the RM11.4 million recorded in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue for the period also fell to RM81.56 million from RM90.71 million.

For the financial year ended July 31, 2018, KESM recorded a lower net profit of RM39.34 million against RM43.99 million in the previous financial year, while revenue grew to RM349.78 million from RM337.99 million.

Lim said the earnings could have been better if not for the supply issues and higher taxes that dragged its net profit down.


KESM says business volume drop won’t prolong

KUALA LUMPUR: Semiconductor tester and burn-in service provider KESM Industries Bhd, which saw a 10%-15% decline in chip testing volume in the last six months due to the trade war, said the situation is temporary and not expected to prolong.

“The continuing trade war between US and China has somewhat impacted our volumes in testing and burn-in. Secondly the end customers have tightened up their purchases, as a result our customers are controlling their inventory more cautiously. The end result is affecting our performance,” executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim Syn Soo told reporters after the group’s AGM and EGM today.

KESM has also seen the plant utilisation rate being reduced to a mere 50-70% from a high of 90%.

He added that this dip is a temporary nature and is not expected to prolong as the company is banking on the fast growing automotive market for growth, which in turn is spurred by the growth in the autonomous car market, warranting higher demand for electronic contents.

As for earnings performance, Lim said while he expects improvements, the rate of growth will depend on developments and technology changes on the customers end.

When asked if KESM will be holding back on investments for the remainder of its financial year, Lim said the company has taken on a selective approach with its investments.

KESM had held back on investments after a fall in its fourth quarter earnings and instead chose to reward its shareholders with a proposed dividend payout of 18.5 sen for FY18.

KESM is also investing in transforming its plants in Malaysia and China into smart factories over the course of five years. These investments are funded via internally generated funds.

For the first quarter ended Oct 31, 2018, KESM recorded a net profit of RM2.64 million, representing a decline of 76.78% from the RM 11.40 million recorded in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue for the period also fell to RM81.56 million from RM90.71 million.


Opcom faces pressure on margins

SHAH ALAM: Fibre optic cable manufacturer Opcom Holdings Bhd, which has seen a good run in its share price thanks to its affiliations with the new government, hopes to maintain its bottom line on the back of a challenging business outlook as it looks to improve efficiency.

Opcom’s share price, which has gained 33.89% over the last one year, closed half a sen lower to 76 sen today with some 3.5 million units traded.

Opcom saw its raw material costs increase by 20% with the weakened ringgit, signalling pressure on margins in the next round of contracts. The company imports 60-70% of its raw materials, which are billed in US dollars.

The group’s chairman and CEO Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir said the pressure the government has on telco players to improve their services and offerings at lower prices, will translate onto the company as a part of the supply chain.

He said while this may put pressure on the pricing of its products and services, the group will see how best it can improve its business volume and improve economies of scale to allow clients to price their products competitively.

On investments, Mokhzani said Opcom is not looking for anything big, only those that are relevant.

“The market is volatile right now, we will see who creates opportunities for us to invest in. When we invested in thixotropic gels we saw that they are a niche market product and can benefit from the market footprint,” he said.

Opcom acquired a 40% stake in Unigel (UK) Ltd, a supplier of thixotropic gel, a critical component in the production of Opcom’s fibre optic cables, in 2014.

Opcom, which is currently focused on its existing clients, has a tender book and an order book of slightly over RM100 million.

Having invested RM1.7 million in equipment capital last year, Opcom will be looking at spending about 2-3% of its revenue as capital expenditure (capex) in the current financial year, depending on the exchange rate, among others. Its average capex spend is 2-5% of its revenue.

In the first quarter ended June 30, the group’s net profit rose 20.54% to RM833,000 from RM691,000. Revenue grew to RM17.85 million from RM22.45 million.


PC sales record strongest growth in six years

KUCHING: The traditional personal computer (PC) market recorded its strongest growth since 2012, rising 2.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18), the International Data Corporation (IDC) reported. Based on its Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, IDC noted that the preliminary results for 2Q18 showed shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, and […]