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Keck Seng Malaysia pays RM120m to buy shares in AccorInvest

PETALING JAYA: Keck Seng Malaysia Bhd (KSM) has subscribed to €25 million (RM120 million) worth of shares and Tracking Preferred Equity Certificates (TPEC) issued by A2I Holdings S.A.R.L, a conduit to purchase shares in hotel real estate group AccorInvest Group S.A.

The subscription was made through Brosna Ltd, a subsidiary incorporated in Hong Kong, through internally generated funds.
A2I is raising funds from various investors by issuing shares and TPECs.

The €25 million proceeds received by A2I from the subscriptions for the shares and TPECs will be used to acquire the AccorInvest shares no later than June 30, 2018.

An investment in AccorInvest is expected to provide an opportunity for KSM to gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of hotels mainly located in Europe with resilient income stream and opportunities for value creation.

Accor Invest has a current portfolio of 891 hotels, the majority of which are located in Europe, in the economy and midscale segments. Of the total, 324 are owned and 567 are operated under fixed or variable-rent leases.

Ho Kian Guan, Ho Kian Hock, Ho Kian Cheong, Chan Lui Ming Ivan, Ho Chung Kain, Ho Chung Hui and Ho Chung Tao are deemed to have interest in the transaction by virtue of their directorship and/or shareholdings in Keck Seng Investments (Hong Kong) Ltd, which is also investing €25 million in AccorInvest. Keck Seng Investments (Hong Kong) Ltd is listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.

Ho Kian Guan is also personally investing €5 million (RM24 million) in AccorInvest under the same terms and conditions offered to KSM.


March CPI rises 1.3%

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's consumer price index (CPI) increased by 1.3% in March 2018 as compared to the same month last year, according to Department of Statistics.

CPI for the first three months period increased by 1.8% compared with the same period last year.

Among the major groups which recorded increases were the indices for food and non-alcoholic beverages (2.8%), furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (2.1%), health (2%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (2%), restaurants and hotels (2%) and education (1.1%),

It said the overall index was also affected by the drop in the transport group by 1.5% in March 2018. Other groups which also showed decreases were clothing and footwear, as well as communication.

In terms of overall CPI, the department said three states had surpassed the national CPI rate of 1.3% recorded in March 2018 as compared to March 2017.

The states are Selangor and Putrajaya (1.6%), Malacca (1.5%) and Kuala Lumpur (1.4%).

However, it said the higher increase in the index for food and non-alcoholic beverages was reflected in most states in Malaysia.

The index for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 4.1% in Kuala Lumpur, 3.4% in Sabah and Labuan, 3.4% in Johor and 3.1% in Penang, it added.


Retailers believe in customer service and human touch, not price war

KUALA LUMPUR: Retailers believe that offering professional customer service and a human touch in the advent of digital technology is the way to retain customers and boost sales amid concerns of customers making purchases elsewhere after they seek information from stores.

Tigas Alliance Group CEO and founder Simone Lee said its investments into the company are to bring forth the culture and people to deliver that service to customers, referring to its pharmacists. It has 20 pharmacists in 13 pharmacies.

“If we get the service right, business will come. If we sell ourselves short and to get the customers, we discount (our items), it’s never ending. We’re not in a discount model,” she said in a panel discussion at the StrongPoint Retail Agenda Forum today.

Tigas Alliance is operated by Berjaya Pharmacy Retail Sdn Bhd, a sub-subsidiary of Berjaya Corp Bhd.

She said it also boils down to whether businesses are in for the long haul. Usually discounts are thrown in by short term businesses.

“Millennials will also support you if they believe in your cause,” added Lee, urging retailers to build that connection with consumers.

DR Group Holdings Sdn Bhd director Dr Afendi Dahlan said amid the price undercuts by competitors and digitalisation that provides convenience, at the end of the day, it is about the humanisation of the retail experience.

“You can put the best gadget or equipment, but we’re social creatures. We look for the best customer experience and we don’t mind paying more for that. That’s why we have the five-stars hotels,” said Afendi.

He added that the airport retailer, which distributes a variety of imported chocolates in airports, do not give discounts because it believes that it is giving value for good service, better than the service from discounters.


Bursa Malaysia finishes higher

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia finished higher today, supported by buying interests in selected key heavyweights, mainly Petronas-linked stocks.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) settled at 1,880.49, up 1.73 points from Monday's close of 1,878.76.

The key index, despite weak opening and cautious trading, moved to as high as 1,885.12 in the morning session.

PetGas rose 54 sen RM18.54, PetDag increased 70 sen to RM26.78 and PChem added six sen to RM8.51.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd Head of Research, Pong Teng Siew, said the market was cautious following Bursa Malaysia's introduction of intra-day short selling (IDSS) yesterday as part of the exchange's strategy to boost market liquidity.

“Apart from that, we also see profit-taking in the broader market, including the selling of small-capitalised stocks, as they are heavily involved in the IDSS, hence there are more downs than ups,” he told Bernama.

Pong said overall market sentiment was mixed as traders were concerned over the US-China trade war.

“The trade war between these blocs has worsen with China's telecommunications equipment maker banned from using components made in the US,” he said.

There were 506 losers and 424 gainers, with 394 unchanged and 581 not traded and 27 other suspended.

Volume rose to 3.09 billion units worth RM2.79 billion from 2.68 billion units worth RM2.06 billion yesterday.

Among heavyweights, Maybank gained two sen to RM10.62 and CIMB perked six sen to RM7.30.

Public Bank lost lost six sen to RM23.98. Tenaga was flat at RM15.94.

The most actively-traded stock was SapNRG added half-a-sen to 77 sen with 339.15 million shares transacted, PUC inched up 1.5 sen to 27 sen while UMWOG reduced 1.5 sen to 30 sen.

The FBM Emas Index fell by 25.12 points to 13,157.76 and the FBMT 100 Index lost 22.81 points to 12,955.54.

The FBM Emas Syariah Index plunged 39.20 points to 13,359.95, FBM 70 dropped 146.37 points to 15,693.39 and the FBM Ace declined 39.32 points to 5,534.69.

Sector-wise, the Finance Index added 32.11 points to 18,349.23 and the Industrial Index increased by 12.68 points to 3,241.11. The Plantation Index fell 22.62 points to 8,039.96.

Main Market volume surged to 1.94 billion shares worth RM2.58 billion from 1.65 billion shares worth RM1.88 billion yesterday.

Warrants volume eased to 550.53 million units valued at RM99.51 million from 561.17 million units valued at RM96.55 million on Monday.

Volume on the ACE Market improved to 591.87 million shares worth RM105.27 million from 460.37 million shares worth RM86.34 million previously.

Consumer products accounted for 52.24 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (511.33 million), construction (65.39 million), trade and services (1.01 billion), technology (78.61 million), Infrastructure (30.97 million), SPAC (19.42 million), finance (61.55 million), hotels (7.26 million), properties (61.40 million), plantations (26.93 million), mining (27,000), REITs (11.37 million), and closed/fund (226,300).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM162.17 per gramme, down 45 sen from RM162.62 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama


Bursa ends higher on buying in heavyweights

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Bursa Malaysia finished higher today, supported by buying interests in selected key heavyweights, mainly Petronas-linked stocks. The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) settled at 1,880.49, up 1.73 points…


Mart ends at intra-day high on late buying interests in heavyweights

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia finished at intra-day high today, up 0.55% on late buying interests in heavyweights, particularly in the trade and services stocks.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) settled at 1,878.76, up 10.29 points from Friday's close of 1,868.472.

The barometer index moved between 1,867.21 and 1,878.76 today after opening 0.22 of-a-point higher at 1,868.69.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd Head of Research, Pong Teng Siew, said the market was initially worried about the sharp selling in small-capitalised stocks.

However, the buying momentum was stronger than selling activities, he said.

“We can also see that the oil- and gas-related counters on Bursa Malaysia were doing quite well today.

“This is due to concerns about the oil supply following geopolitical tensions as well as the announcement from the Middle East, which aimed to push the crude oil price further from its current level of US$70 (US$1 = RM3.88) per barrel to near US$80 a barrel,” he told Bernama.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Small Cap Index fell 12.49 points to 15,114.62.

On the bullish Bursa Malaysia's performance, he said, some investors were seen seeking shelter in the emerging markets and shifted from the developed markets.

“There's an unusual view which see emerging markets as a more safer place than developed markets due to stable index. Developed markets are more volatile now.

“The benchmark index is now at 1,878-level and it is likely to exceed the all-time high this month, which is close to 1,897,” he said.

However, the market breadth was negative with 518 losers and gainers 409, with 370 unchanged and 598 not traded and 21 other suspended.

Volume fell to 2.68 billion units worth RM2.06 billion from 2.72 billion units worth RM2.19 billion on Friday.

Among heavyweights, GenM gained 22 sen to RM5.3, TM advanced 21 sen to RM5.63, Maybank and Digi.Com added six sen each to RM10.60 and RM4.54, respectively while PetDag jumped 60 sen to RM26.08.

NSOP fell 20 sen to RM3.57, DKSH declined 17 sen to RM3.65 while AEONCR and Kossan both slipped 12 sen each to RM12.98 and RM7.68, respectively.

The most actively-traded stock was Sapura Energy, which rose 2.5 sen to 76.5 sen, with 332.979 million shares traded.

UMWOG climbed 1.5 sen to 31.5 sen, HIBSCS's warrants improved two sen to 43 sen while Sumatec and PUC slipped half-a-sen each to nine sen and 25.5 sen, respectively.

The FBM Emas Index rose by 53.36 points to 13,182.88 and the FBMT 100 Index surged by 56.72 points to 12,978.35.

The FBM Emas Syariah Index gained 46.45 points to 13,399.15 and the FBM 70 improved 20.18 points to 15,839.76. The FBM Ace, however, dipped 20.18 points to 5,573.91.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Index climbed 7.45 points to 3,228.43, Plantation Index increased 8.05 points to 8,062.58 and the Finance Index added 55.27 points to 18,317.12.

Main Market volume surged to 1.65 billion units worth RM1.88 billion from Friday's 1.61 billion units worth RM2.01 billion.

Warrants volume eased to 561.17 million units valued at RM96.55 million from 595.02 million units worth RM74.17 million previously.

Volume on the ACE Market declined to 460.37 million shares worth RM86.34 million from 503.08 million shares worth RM100.67 million on Friday.

Consumer products accounted for 75.14 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (346.81 million), construction (53.07 million), trade and services (920.01 million), technology (85.52 million), infrastructure (15.02 million), SPAC (21.83 million), finance (44.97 million), hotels (1.0 million), properties (68.62 million), plantations (17.64 million), mining (34,300), REITs (3.77 million), and closed/fund (39,000). — Bernama


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Bursa Malaysia bucks regional trend to close easier

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia bucked the regional trend to close easier today with the key index snapping its six-day winning streak, weighed by selling in index-linked counters led by MISC, Petronas Chemicals and Astro.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI), which moved in negative territory throughout the day, settled at 1,868.47, down 5.15 points from yesterday's close of 1,873.62.

The barometer index fluctuated between 1,866.02 and 1,871.13 today.

However, bargain hunting in small and mid-capitalisation stocks helped to soften the downtrend in the stock market with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Small Cap Index advancing 163.14 points to 15,127.11.

There were 601 gainers and 325 losers, with 387 counters unchanged, 581 untraded and 23 others suspended.

Volume decreased to 2.72 billion units worth RM2.19 billion from 3.27 billion units valued at RM2.34 billion yesterday.

A dealer said risk sentiment in the market returned as the geopolitical and trade war tensions subsided, coupled with the United States' reconsideration to rejoin the 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership pact.

“These positive external developments were offset by profit-taking following recent gains,” a dealer told Bernama.

Regionally, Singapore's Straits Times Index chalked up 0.97% to 3,502.29, Japan's Nikkei perked 0.55% to 21,778.74, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.07% to 30,808.38.

Among heavyweights, Public Bank fell six sen to RM23.98, Tenaga shed two sen to RM15.88, and Petronas Chemicals fell eight sen to RM8.40.

CIMB added one sen to RM7.21 while Maybank was flat at RM10.54.

The biggest loser was Kuala Lumpur Kepong, falling 42 sen to RM25.56, while KESM Industries topped the gainers list, rising 76 sen to RM18.16.

The most actively-traded stock was Sapura Energy which increased 5.5 sen to 74 sen with 258.99 million shares changing hands.

Of the other active stocks, Ucrest rose four sen to 35 sen, Hibiscus improved 5.5 sen to 92 sen, Bio Osmo added one sen to six sen while SKH Consortium was flat at 9.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index was 6.09 points lower at 13,129.50 and the FBMT 100 Index fell 15.70 points to 12,921.62.

However, the FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 4.20 points to 13,352.70, FBM 70 improved 48.62 points to 15,819.58 and the FBM Ace surged 146.25 points to 5,646.13.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Index gave up 22.56 points to 3,220.98, the Plantation Index eased 11.14 points to 8,054.53, but the Finance Index added 3.52 points to 18,261.84.

Main Market volume declined to 1.61 billion units worth RM2.01 billion from 2.05 billion units valued at RM2.16 billion on Thursday.

Warrants volume slid to 595.02 million units worth RM74.17 million from 778.77 million units valued at RM103.22 million previously.

Volume on the ACE Market, however, expanded to 503.08 million shares worth RM100.67 million from yesterday's 435.32 million shares valued at RM75.89 million.

Consumer products accounted for 124.11 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (386.26 million), construction (86.61 million), trade and services (678.57 million), technology (120.4 million), infrastructure (8.07 million), SPAC (16.38 million), finance (48.68 million), hotels (4.19 million), properties (88.59 million), plantations (43.25 million), mining (51,700), REITs (5.38 million), and closed/fund (2,000). — Bernama


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