kuala lumpur


Report: PNB, EPF buying assets in Battersea phase 2

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) intends to buy the commercial assets currently being developed within phase two of the Battersea Power Station project in London for £1.61 billion…

Analyst keeps faith with RM17.60 target for TNB

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — CIMB Equities Research has maintained its target price of RM17.60 for Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB). Basing this on a price-to-earnings ratio of 14 times for the 2019 financial year, it said in a statement carried by The…

Ringgit opens higher against US dollar in early session

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit rebounded to open higher against the US dollar today on improved demand, said a dealer.

At 9.12am, the ringgit stood at 3.9410/9450 against the greenback from Thursday's close 3.9540/9570.

Oanda Corp Head of Trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes, said the ringgit was not expected to undergo any surprises or significant moves ahead of the weekend, as it has been a pillar of stability this week.

He added that markets were pricing at roughly a 70% interest rate hike probability, which suggested an uptick in volatility early next week ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Thursday (Jan 25), which will be a significant influence over the near-term direction.

“All in all, we should expect the ringgit to remain relatively rangebound today unless there is an unexpected shift in the broader US dollar narrative. The ringgit is trading stronger against the US dollar this week,” said Innes in a note today.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It strengthened against the euro to 4.8242/8303 from Thursday's 4.8290/8339 and rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9838/9875 from 2.9887/9912.

The ringgit appreciated against the yen to 3.5498/5544 from 3.5522/5553, but eased against the British pound to 5.4752/4824 from 5.4731/4777. — Bernama

Commercial banks adhere to responsible financing guidelines

KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) yesterday said loans approved by its member banks are assessed stringently and in accordance to their internal approving guidelines and procedures. In response to a recent article published by an online portal titled, “Easy access to loans contributes to bankruptcy, says consumers group”, the association said […]

‘Countries need to formulate policies in addressing inequality’

KUALA LUMPUR: Countries need to have a firm national social compact to formulate policies in addressing inequality, particularly in income distribution. Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) chairman, Tan Sri Andrew Shen Len Too said the national social compact, comprising the academia, businesses and civil servants (ABC), should work closely to ensure success in the new economy. […]

Stocks In Focus (19-1-2018)


KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 17): Based on corporate announcements and news flow today, stocks in focus on Thursday (Jan 18) may include the following: Atta Global…

Malaysia, Indonesia slam EU move on palm oil

KUALA LUMPUR: Top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia today criticised the European Union (EU) for backing a ban on the use of palm oil in biofuels, with a Malaysian minister calling the move a protectionist trade barrier and a form of “crop apartheid”.

European lawmakers approved draft measures on Wednesday to reform the power market there and reduce energy consumption to meet more ambitious climate goals. The plan includes a ban on the use of palm oil in motor fuels from 2021.

Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s top two palm oil producing countries, accounting for nearly 90% of global supply.

A large portion of European palm oil imports are used to make biofuels, giving the industry’s top two producers cause for concern as they fear overall demand will fall.

“This vote is very disappointing. It’s a black day for free trade. You are discriminating against palm oil,” Malaysia’s Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong told reporters at an industry conference here.

By allowing other vegetable oils to be used in biofuels, the EU was discriminating against palm oil, he said.

“The EU is practising a form of crop apartheid,” Mah said separately in a statement.

Palm oil exports are a key source of revenue for Malaysia. The EU is its second-biggest market after India.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita told reporters in Jakarta there should be fair treatment for all vegetable oils, and that Indonesia had protested the EU’s “negative campaign” on palm oil on several occasions.

The palm oil industry has come under fire in Europe over its impact on forest destruction and Southeast Asian producers have faced calls to meet higher sustainability standards.

Mah said Malaysia’s ambassadors in the 28 EU member countries will raise objections and that he will work closely with Indonesia to protect the interests of smallholders.

“The government will not tolerate the denigration of the palm oil industry and will ensure Malaysia gives a fitting response to those who harm the palm oil industry,” Mah said. – Reuters

Malaysian palm oil output to rise 3% in 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil production in Malaysia, the world’s No. 2 producer of the commodity, will rise by 3% in 2018, an industry body forecast today.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) expects production to climb to 20.5 million tonnes from 19.9 million tonnes in 2017, the group’s director-general, Datuk Ahmad Kushairi, said at an industry conference here.

“We expect momentum will still be there, that’s why we are forecasting production will be moving forward,” he said.

Malaysian production of the edible oil is widely expected to rise this year as fields continue to recover from the dry weather effects of a 2015 El Nino. The weather pattern can impact fruit yields for up to two years.

Malaysia’s exports are expected to increase 5.1% to 17.4 million tonnes this year, though a stronger ringgit will be a “challenge”, Ahmad said.

MPOB expects the country’s palm oil stockpiles to drop 15.8% to 2.3 million tonnes in 2018, potentially supporting prices. Palm oil stockpiles in Malaysia climbed to their highest in over two years at the end of December.

Earlier, an industry analyst said global palm oil production is expected to rise by 5 million to 6 million tonnes in 2018, slower than last year’s growth of 8 million tonnes.

James Fry, chairman of commodities consultancy LMC International, said “2018 output will be 5-6 million tonnes above the 2017 total, led by Indonesia”, he told Reuters before his speech.

Ringgit ends marginally lower versus greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit close marginally lower against the US dollar today on the back of rising US Treasury yields, dealers said.

At 6pm, the local note finished at 3.9540/9570 against the greenback from 3.9520/9560 on Wednesday.

Oanda Corp Head of Trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes, said the ringgit was initially traded higher, however the US Treasury yields rose and triggered a stronger US dollar momentum and some short covering in early trade.

“The ringgit is more than up for the challenge,” Innes said, adding that today's lethargic foreign exchange market moves suggested that investors would continue to take advantage of any opportunistic retreat on the dollar-ringgit exchange rate as bullish momentum remained intact.

“While higher US bond yields could present some headwinds for the local unit, surging global equity markets and higher energy prices more than offset the pressure from US interest rates, and the local traders started to re-engage short dollar-ringgit positions once the dollar correction ran out of steam,” said Innes.

Oil prices also lent support as there was tightening supply and strong global demand, he added.

The domestic note traded mixed against a basket of major currencies.

It declined against the Singapore dollar to 2.9887/9912 from Wednesday's 2.9867/9906, but advanced against the Japanese yen to 3.5522/5553 from 3.5674/5720 yesterday.

The ringgit eased against the British pound to 5.4731/4777 from 5.4506/4577 and was higher against the euro at 4.8290/8339 from 4.8388/8441. — Bernama

Ringgit ends lower on rising US Treasury yields

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — The ringgit close marginally lower against the US dollar today on the back of rising US Treasury yields, dealers said. At 6pm, the local note finished at 3.9540/9570 against the greenback from 3.9520/9560 on Wednesday….