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Bursa Malaysia closes at day’s low on bearish sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Bursa Malaysia closed at its intraday low on weak sentiment and taking cue from overnight losses in the global market. At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished 0.52 per cent or 8.6 points lower to close at…


China says Trump ‘misleading’ people linking trade deal, slowing economy

BEIJING, July 16 — China today rebuffed a suggestion from US President Donald Trump that Beijing needs a trade deal with the United States because its economy was slowing, saying this was “totally misleading” and that both countries wanted an…


Berjaya Land shares flat despite Icelandair Hotels share acquisition

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Berjaya Land Bhd’s share price was flat this morning at 18 sen per share despite its plan to acquire a majority share in Icelandair Hotels ehf and related real estate. At 11.31am, there were 6.85 million shares traded….


Berjaya Land buying 75% stake in Iceland hotel operator for RM220m

PETALING JAYA: Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is acquiring a 75% stake in Icelandair Hotels ehf for US$53.63 million (RM220 million) cash.

BLand told Bursa Malaysia that its subsidiary Berjaya Property Ireland Ltd had entered into a share purchase agreement with Icelandair Group hf for the acquisition.

Icelandair Hotels currently operates 20 hotels located all around Iceland. In addition, a new five-star 145-room hotel developed in collaboration with Hilton Hotels is scheduled to be launched in Reykjavik’s Parliament District in 2020. The total earnings before interests, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of these hotels was about US$12 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018.

Iceland Stock Exchange-listed Icelandair Group operates in the airline and tourism sectors. The company operates through three segments: international flight operations, aviation investments, and tourism investments.

Besides increasing Berjaya’s presence in the European region, this acquisition also increases the room inventory of the Berjaya group of hotels from about 4,200 to 6,011 rooms, with an additional 1,811 rooms. Currently the Berjaya group of hotels are operated under the Berjaya Hotels and Resorts, Four Seasons, and Sheraton brands in Europe and Asia.

BLand said the proposed acquisition is in line with the group’s geographical diversification and revenue expansion. The luxury hotel segment in Iceland is expected to grow and the exercise will enable the BLand group to enter this segment with strategically located hotels in the heart of Iceland as well as certain hotels being operated under the Hilton brand name.

Berjaya Corp Bhd founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan is pleased with this investment, which is at a low entry cost, with an average cost/price of about US$75,096 per room.

“The Icelandair Hotels is one of the largest hotel chains in Iceland, and its hotels are operated at a very high standard by a passionate and dedicated team. We are delighted to add this hotel group to our growing network of hotels and resorts,” he said in statement.

“We look forward to working with the Icelandair Group. I believe this investment represents good long-term value for Berjaya,” he added.

The proposed acquisition is expected to be completed during the financial year ending June 30, 2020.


Property speculators hope for investment paradise in southwest China

XISHUANGBANNA (China), July 13 — A bus came to a halt amid a tropical rainforest not far from China’s border with Myanmar, dropping off about 30 investors on a property tour, some with children in tow. Their objective: To snap up a piece of…


Japan export curbs on South Korea may widen rift over wartime labour compensation

TOKYO, July 12 — Japan’s restrictions on certain tech exports to South Korea are deepening a decades-long feud over wartime forced labour and may make compromise harder as leaders in both countries appeal to their political bases. Japan’s…


China says US trade row can be resolved through mutual respect, says ministry spokesman

BEIJING, July 11 — China and the United States can find a way to resolve their trade dispute if each other’s concerns are taken into consideration, the commerce ministry said today. Ministry spokesman Gao Feng also said during a weekly news…


ARB makes maiden foray into Cambodia’s IoT and IT markets

PETALING JAYA: ARB Bhd has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chean Chhoeng Thai Group Co Ltd (CCTG) to deploy Internet of Things (IoT) and information technology (IT) to the latter’s US$1.5 billion (RM6.2 billion) mixed development project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The total value for ARB’s IoT and IT project is not less than US$100 million (RM417 million).

CCTG’s mixed development project involves the development of office buildings, a commercial complex, an arts centre, a cultural square, resorts, condominiums, a five-star hotel, an exhibition centre, and a public park, along the Tonle Sap river.

CCTG is the private vehicle of the major shareholders of Shanghai-listed Guangzhou Yuetai Group Co Ltd.

In addition, ARB also entered into an MoU with HK Yue Tai Life Insurance (HKYT) to provide to the enterprise resource planning system and solutions.

The project is valued at no less than US$20 million.

Under the MoU, ARB will deploy the related hardware and software for HKYT and in turn the HKYT will outsource the IT management project to ARB.


I-Bhd to raise up to RM150m via rights issue of RCCPS

PETALING JAYA: I-Bhd proposes a renounceable rights issue of three-year redeemable convertible cumulative preference shares (RCCPS) to raise up to about RM150 million.

The property developer is also extending the maturity date of its redeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks (RCULS) of about RM201 million maturing on August 27, 2019 by three years.

“Having considered the group’s cash position and its funding requirements going forward, the group believes it would be in its best interest to reserve cash for its business growth and defer the redemption of the RM201 million RCULS through the proposed RCULS extension,” I-Bhd told the stock exchange.

On the RCCPS, the group said it will be priced at a discount of at least 20% of the theoretical ex-rights price of its ordinary shares.

Proceeds from the RCCPS will be used for property investment/hospitality projects (RM85.3 million) and property development (RM64 million).

I-Bhd had earlier announced its plans to build up its investment properties and hospitality portfolio to about RM1 billion so as to provide a strong recurring income stream.

As at the end of 2018, the group has an investment property and hospitality portfolio worth about RM640 million.

“It is envisaged that over the next five years, this portfolio will increase by up to RM 300 million from the development and completion of the Double Tree by Hilton hotel, the associated convention centre, the Grade A, GBI-rated corporate office tower and an additional 3,000 car park bays.”

I-Bhd said the rights issue will provide shareholders further avenues to participate in the prospects and future growth of the group while also receiving fixed dividends on the RCCPS.

“The rights issue also strengthens the company’s balance sheet, thereby providing greater financial flexibility.”

At the midday break, I-Bhd’s share price was unchanged at 38.5 sen on 37,100 shares done.


British billionaire Dyson snaps up Singapore’s priciest penthouse

SINGAPORE, July 10 — British billionaire and inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner James Dyson has bought the most expensive apartment in Singapore, where his company plans to build an electric car. The three-storey “super penthouse” at the…