US trial begins for London forex traders accused of rigging prices

NEW YORK, Oct 11 — A US prosecutor yesterday urged jurors in Manhattan federal court to find three former London-based currency traders guilty of scheming to rig prices, kicking off the latest trial to emerge from a US probe into the…

Turkey announces exemptions to forex contracts ban

ISTANBUL, Oct 8 — Turkey has announced exemptions to its ban on using foreign currencies in business agreements, including export-related contracts, capital market instruments and employment contracts involving foreigners, the Official Gazette…

Consumer sector’s 3Q to see boosts from tax holiday

KUCHING: The consumer sector’s third quarter of current year 2018 (3QCY18) results are expected to be boosted by the “tax holiday” spending, analysts project, but subsequent quarters may ease comparatively due to higher SST-led prices. According to the research arm of Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (Kenanga Research), the “tax holiday” during July and August 2018 […]

CIMB Preferred goes Asean-wide to offer more regional privileges

KUCHING: CIMB Bank Bhd (CIMB Bank) and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd (CIMB Islamic) have upped the ante on their affluent customer segment, Preferred, by launching their regional benefits Asean-wide. Called Regional CIMB Preferred, the expanded proposition enables CIMB’s affluent customers to enjoy enhanced banking convenience and privileges across six countries in Asean, regardless of where […]

Euro slips as Italy agrees ‘people’s budget’; dollar buoyant

LONDON, Sept 28 — The euro fell to an eleven-day low today after Italy’s government agreed a budget overnight seen by some investors as defying Brussels. Political wrangling over the budget in heavily indebted Italy has put a lid on a recent…

Dollar buoyant after upbeat data, hits 9-mth high vs yen

TOKYO, Sept 28 — The dollar was in fine fettle against its peers today, advancing to a nine-month high versus the yen, after data reinforced upbeat views about the US economy and backed the Federal Reserve’s signal for a steady course of rate…

Ringgit snaps losses to open higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The ringgit snapped its three-day losing streak to open higher against the US dollar this morning amid rising oil prices, a dealer said. At 9am, the local currency stood at 4.1380/1420 against 4.1390/1430 recorded at 6pm…

Sterling dips but Brexit hopes keep pound supported

LONDON, Sept 26 ― The pound slipped today as investors remained cautious about negotiations between Britain and the EU on a Brexit deal and as broader currency markets waited for an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike later in the day….

Astro Q2 earnings fall 93%

PETALING JAYA: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended July 31 fell 93% to RM16.58 million from RM246.34 million a year ago due to an increase in FIFA World Cup content, merchandise sales and higher net finance costs.

The decrease in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) was mainly due to higher content costs from FIFA World Cup and merchandise sales, while higher net finance cost was mainly due to unfavourable unrealised forex movement arising from unhedged finance lease liabilities and vendor financing and increase in interest expenses from borrowings.

Revenue for the quarter of RM1.42 billion was marginally lower by 0.2% mainly due to a decrease in subscription and advertising revenue.

For the six months period, net profit plunged 57% to RM191.31 million from RM442.17 million mainly a year ago due to decrease in ebitda and increase in net finance costs.

Revenue for the current period of RM2.73 billion was lower by 0.7% against corresponding period of RM2.75 billion, mainly due to a decrease in subscription and advertising revenue.

The board of directors declared a second interim single-tier dividend of 2.5 sen per ordinary share in respect of the financial year ending Jan 31, 2019 amounting to RM130.35 million.

Astro chairman Tun Zaki Azmi said Astro continues to be cash generative, cost disciplined and proactive in its capital management whilst navigating through a challenging market and competitive media environment.

Astro CEO Henry Tan said it experienced increased content costs for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In addition, financial results were affected by the reduced need to advertise during the tax holiday period from June 1 to Aug 31, 2018 and the depreciating ringgit.

Nevertheless, it continues to have stable revenues across TV and radio with diversification from digital platforms, e-commerce, licensing income and theatrical sales.

“Going forward, we expect the group’s second half performance to improve and we will remain focused on key business drivers. Astro is committed to improving customer experience beginning with a new interface for premium customers on TV and Astro GO allowing for a seamless viewing experience across all screens and the introduction of 4K Ultra HD offerings,” said Tan.

Brexit and the City: A barometer for London's financial outlook

LONDON, Sept 26 ― London's skyline is changing fast, pierced by gleaming new skyscrapers which defy predictions of a Brexit-related slowdown in the capital's two financial districts. With only six months until Britain is due to leave the European…