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Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2018 raked in sales of RM1.52b, says Matrade

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — The Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) 2018 recorded higher sales of RM1.52 billion compared with RM1.01 billion last year. In a statement today, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade)…


Cambodia to see strong growth despite political uncertainties, says ADB

PHNOM PENH, April 11 —  Cambodia’s economy is forecast to grow 7 per cent this year and next despite uncertainties from its national elections, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today. The economy is estimated to expand 7 per cent in…


SE Asia confident of growth despite trade tensions

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asia will maintain robust economic growth despite rising tensions as tit-for-tat tariffs between the US and China stoke fears of a damaging trade war, regional finance ministers said. “We sounded a warning about the risk of rising protectionism and the possibility of the trade disputes deteriorating,” Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told […]


Matrade’s International Sourcing Programme at ICW 2018 records RM315.5m potential sales

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — The Malaysia External Trade Development Corp’s (Matrade) International Sourcing Programme (INSP), held last week in conjunction with the International Construction Week (ICW) 2018, has secured a total of  RM315.50…


Uber cedes South-east Asia to chief rival Grab in latest pullout

SINGAPORE, March 26 — Uber Technologies Inc has agreed to sell its South-east Asian operations to Grab, withdrawing from yet another fast-growing region to end a war of attrition with a fierce local rival. Under the agreement, Grab will…


Uber, Grab combines Southeast Asian businesses

  (updated) KUCHING: Uber Technologies Inc (Uber) has confirmed the sale of its Southeast Asian ride-hailing business to rival Grab today in a move that will affect 500 of its staff in the region. “Dear team, I wanted to let you know that we have reached an agreement to combine our business in Southeast Asia […]


Uber is said to reach agreement on SE Asian sale to Grab

SAN FRANCISCO, March 25 — Uber Technologies Inc has reached an agreement to sell its Southeast Asian ride-hailing business to rival Grab and could announce the deal as early as tomorrow morning in Singapore, people familiar with the matter said….


AirAsia has a ‘master plan.’ Here’s what its CEO says is in it

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(March 20): The formation of the AirAsia Group has allowed for the possibility of a single company owning 100% of all the AirAsia airlines operating in Southeast Asia, according to Tony Fernandes, the group’s CEO. Such a move, he said, could boost share prices for investors. “One of the reasons I think our share prices have always been held back a little bit is that we have a complicated structure,” Fernandes told CNBC. “We’ve done a lot in terms of cleaning it up, but now, with the formation of AirAsia Group,Read More


Rejecting protectionism, ASEAN and Australia commit to free trade

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SYDNEY (March 16): The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia reject protectionism and embrace free trade, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday. “You don’t grow stronger by closing the door to other markets. Protectionism is a dead end. It is not a ladder to get you out of the low growth trap, it is a shovel to dig it much deeper,” Turnbull told a special meeting of ASEAN in Sydney. “We must face the world, not turn from it. EmbraceRead More


BAuto registers 46% rise in pre-tax profit

PETALING JAYA: Bermaz Auto Bhd’s (BAuto) pre-tax profit for the third quarter ended Jan 31 rose 46.9% to RM57.2 million from RM39 million a year ago, mainly from increased sales volume from the new CX-5 model and higher share of profit contribution from its associate company, Mazda Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Mazda Malaysia’s performance was mainly due to the increase in production volume for the new CX-5 model to cater for the surge in demand for both the domestic and foreign markets.

Correspondingly, revenue for the quarter rose 65.2% to RM559.4 million from RM338.7 million a year ago.

The board has recommended a third interim dividend of 2.30 sen single-tier dividend per share in respect of the financial period ended Jan 31, payable on April 26. The total dividend declared for the financial period amounted to 5.40 sen single-tier dividend per share.

For the nine months ended Jan 31, pre-tax profit fell 14.2% to RM123.6 million from RM143.9 million a year ago, due to compressed gross profit margin, especially in the first quarter in the domestic market and share of loss from Mazda Malaysia in the first half of the financial year.

“The contraction in profit margin during the first quarter was partly caused by the old CX-5 run-out programme as higher sales incentives were given for this model to clear the old stock prior to the launch of the new model in October 2017,” said BAuto.

The share of loss from Mazda Malaysia was due to low production volume prior to the launch of the new CX-5 model. However, this was offset by the strong performance in the third quarter.

BAuto expects market trading condition to be challenging for the remaining quarter of the financial year ending April 30, in line with the marginal growth of only 2.3% in total industry volume projected by Malaysian Automotive Association for calendar year 2018.

“The recent interest rate hike in January 2018 and cautious consumer sentiment as a result of uncertainties in the local and global economy will also have an impact on demand for passenger cars,” it said.

BAuto said the new CX-5 model has generated favourable interest and demand in Malaysia. The increase in demand and the commencement of export of the new model to Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia is expected to drive Mazda Malaysia’s profitability.

Meanwhile, the favourable movement of the ringgit against the Japanese yen in recent months is expected to reduce cost and will likely improve the group’s profitability.

Despite the implementation of the new excise duty brought by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law effective Jan 1, which may hamper industry growth in the Philippines, Bermaz Auto Philippines Inc is still positive for the year on the back of new model introductions.

The company aims to increase its revenue and profitability by introducing a new range of Mazda models and expects to grow its dealership from 19 last year to 21 this year.