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The toll of Trump’s trade war: Damage to more than just Daimler

MUNICH, June 22 — Over the past three decades, the global auto industry has gotten, well, more global. Manufacturers built scores of factories outside their home countries to reduce exposure to currency swings, take advantage of cheaper labour and…


GM building Chevy Blazer in Mexico risks provoking Trump’s ire

NEW YORK, June 22 — Just as US President Donald Trump is threatening tariffs on imported autos, General Motors Co plans to resurrect the Chevrolet Blazer, this time as a sleeker sport utility vehicle — made in Mexico. The new mid-size model —…


EU slaps tariffs on US as trade war erupts

BRUSSELS, June 22 — The European Union slapped revenge tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles today in its opening salvo in a trade war with President Donald Trump. The tariffs, which took effect at midnight (2200…


Siemens to merge industrial divisions in revamp, reports Manager Magazin

BERLIN, June 21 — Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser will reveal plans in August to reduce the number of industrial divisions at the engineering group to boost efficiency, Germany’s Manager Magazin reported today. The long-awaited strategy…


Volvo Cars CEO says auto tariffs threaten jobs at new US plant

BERKELEY COUNTY, June 21 — Chinese-owned Volvo Cars opened a new auto factory in South Carolina yesterday as company executives warned that the US-China trade dispute could undermine plans to create up to 4,000 more auto jobs in the heavily…


Mi Equipment rebounds from weak start to end above IPO price in debut on Main Market

PETALING JAYA: Mi Equipment Bhd, the first Main Market listing this year, opened 3 sen or 2.1% discount to its initial public offering (IPO) price of RM1.42 per share amid weak market sentiment arising from the US-China trade spat.

However, the stock was quick to rebound as much as 21 sen or 14.8% before closing 12 sen or 8.5% higher at RM1.54 on 73.68 million shares done, giving it a market capitalisation of RM770 million.

Mi Equipment manufactures wafer level chip scale packaging (WLCSP) sorting machines, which are used in the semiconductor industry.

Over the years, it has strengthened its presence in the international arena by growing its global client base. For 2016 and 2017, more than 80% of revenue was derived from overseas.

The group raised about RM190.89 million in its IPO, of which almost 74% or RM140 million will be utilised for the construction of two new factories in Bayan Lepas and Batu Kawan, Penang, over the next two years.

The Bayan Lepas factory is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019 and the Batu Kawan factory by the third quarter of 2020.

Another RM36.79 million will be used for working capital, and the rest for research and development and to defray listing expenses.

Mi Equipment CEO and executive director Oh Kuang Eng said the group will focus on completing the construction of its new factories to secure orders on a larger scale from existing and new customers.

Rakuten Trade has a 'buy' call on Mi Equipment with a target price of RM2.30.

“Mi Equipment's technical expertise in WLCSP sorting machines will enable them to capitalise on the growing mobile communications industry. EPS (earnings per share) is expected to expand by around 6% and 15% for FY18 and FY19 respectively,” it said in a research note today.


Tesla’s Musk says Germany a front runner for Europe Gigafactory

STOCKHOLM, June 20 — US electric carmaker Tesla favours Germany as the location for its first European Gigafactory, its chief executive said, in what would be the latest move by an outside firm into the European battery market. Industry experts…


Volvo opens US plant in timely hedge against trade spat

NEW YORK, June 20 — When Volvo Car Group broke ground on its first US assembly plant in 2015, it was a proud step in the Swedish automaker’s rebound and global expansion, not a chess move in anticipation of a possible trade war. Now that the…


Xi can make life tough for US companies after Trump threat

BEIJING, June 20 — China doesn’t import enough from the US to match Donald Trump’s tariffs dollar for dollar, but President Xi Jinping can still squeeze American companies in other ways in retaliation. American businesses from Apple Inc and…


Top Glove sees 51.3% surge in Q3 earnings on record sales

PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd's net profit jumped 51.3% to RM117.57 million for the third quarter ended May 31, 2018 against RM77.71 million in the previous corresponding period, underpinned by increased demand for gloves.

It also achieved the highest ever quarterly revenue of RM1.1 billion, 26.6% higher than the RM869.64 million made in the same quarter a year ago.

Top Glove has proposed to declared an interim dividend of 7 sen per share for the quarter under review, payable on July 17.

It said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia that the stronger glove demand led to better cost efficiencies resulting from a higher utilisation rate, thereby contributing to the group's good performance.

“Top Glove's focus on continuous quality and cost improvement initiatives, and harnessing technological advances to address business challenges also accounted for the improved profitability.”

Nonetheless, it said this was offset by a marked increase in the natural gas tariff, while the upward trend in nitrile latex prices compared with Q2 also caused some pricing pressure.

Raw material prices were mixed against Q2, with the average nitrile latex price rising 8.5% to US$1.15/kg, while the average natural rubber latex price eased 0.5% to RM4.38/kg.

Top Glove said it will continue to expand its manufacturing capabilities, organically as well as through mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures.

The construction of Factory 31 (operational by July 2018) and Factory 32 (operational by early 2019) is underway. Upon completion, it will increase the group's total number of production lines by an additional 74 lines and production capacity by 7.4 billion gloves per annum.

Its condom manufacturing facility is also expected to be operational by the end of this month.

While the US dollar shows signs of strengthening, Top Glove executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai opined that the operating environment continues to be challenging, but he remains upbeat on the group's outlook.

“As we continue to undertake quality improvement and cost-saving projects, and leverage advanced technology, I am confident we will be able to conclude our financial year on a healthy and positive note.”

The group's nine-month net profit soared 41.8% to RM332.03 million from RM234.08 million on the back of a 19.6% increase in revenue to RM3 billion from RM2.51 billion.

At the midday break, Top Glove's share price gained 22 sen or 1.9% to RM11.62 on 2.36 million shares done.