FBM KLCI climbs 15.79 points on local institutional support


KUALA LUMPUR (July 18): The FBM KLCI gained 15.79 points or 0.91% on local instutional support and bargain hunting after the index’s recent decline. Analysts said today Malaysian stock market valuations appeared attractive after the KLCI’s recent drop below 1,700 points. At 5pm today, the KLCI closed at its intraday high of 1,753.07 points. “We are quite bullish in the short term, not just (on) the KLCI, (as) we think the emerging market valuation is quite attractive now, and local funds are supporting the market. “For the index (KLCI), weRead More

Melaka Gateway developer to update stakeholders

MALACCA: The concessionaire of Melaka Gateway, KAJ Development Sdn Bhd (KAJD) is requesting for a meeting with key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Transport and port regulator Port Klang Authority to present the latest updates on the project.

The RM43 billion Melaka Gateway project consists of three man made islands and one natural island that includes the Melaka International Cruise Terminal, developed in partnership with US-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Work on the Cruise Terminal reclamation and jetty is halfway done and is currently earmarked for completion by the third quarter of 2019.

Launched in 2014, the 1,366-acre Melaka Gateway, Pulau Melaka East 1 was to become the largest private marina in South-East Asia by 2025 with cruise terminal and jetty, commercial, cultural, heritage, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness elements.

Melaka Gateway CEO and founder Datuk Michelle Ong said it is continuing its engagements with key stakeholders such as meeting the Chief Minister of Malacca and the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).

At a meeting on June 29, 2018, KAJD impressed upon the CEP that Melaka Gateway will have a positive generational impact on the state of Malacca and the country.

Envisioned as a ‘portopolis’, the project is estimated to create between 40,000 to 45,000 jobs over 10 years with a projected economic multiplier that is anticipated to generate RM1.19 trillion for the local economy, once fully completed.

“As a privately funded project, both the state and federal government did not need to inject a single sen into the development nor provide us with any form of guarantees.

“Instead, we succeeded by forging long-term sustainable and effective partnerships between the private and public sectors to create a platform of appropriate risk allocation and value for money outcomes,” said Ong.

It is anticipated that the Melaka International Cruise Terminal will attract 2.5 million tourists a year.

More renewable energy projects expected in near term

PETALING JAYA: More renewable energy (RE) projects are expected to come up for bids in the near term as the new Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry is committed to push up the nation’s RE capacity.

MIDF Research, which recently attended the Minister Yeo Bee Yin’s maiden townhall, said the latter pointed that the country already attains abundant reserve capacity of 30%, which is much higher than most countries.

“While there is no indication of an ideal or target reserve capacity, the new Minister indicated that the abundant reserve capacity gives the industry decent time to build up its RE capacity within the next three to seven years, without the need for much more major new plant-ups in the near-term.

“This suggests in the near future, sector opportunities could tilt heavily towards RE project awards and a dearth of future fossil fuel plants,” the research firm said in its report last Friday.

MIDF added that the ministry aims to reduce the reliance on imported fuel by aggressively increasing the RE contribution to the mix from just 2% currently to 20% “in the future”.

It said the push for RE is not entirely new and efforts had been taken previously to increase RE contribution to the system such as the Large Scale Solar (LSS) projects.

“Solar accounts for the bulk of Malaysia’s RE. However, there is the issue of getting RE sources to reach grid parity for it to be cost competitive and gain a larger share of generation mix without burdening end-consumers,” it said.

MIDF also noted that given the indication of excessive reserve capacity, the pace of any major plant-ups in the near-term is likely to be impacted.

It added that although the new Minister’s intention is to champion RE, it opined that the shift is for RE to eventually dilute contribution from fossil fuel rather than near-term, outright replacement.

“There is the issue of feasibility to induce RE in a big way into the system too which will have to be sorted out,” it added.

Positively, MIDF said that most of the incumbent players such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Malakoff Corp Bhd are already paving way into the RE space (in particular, solar), while Cypark has been moving aggressively into RE in recent years.

Meanwhile, the research house also highlighted that the four Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects cancellations are likely to hit selective players, the majority of which are likely to be non-listed.

“Among the major projects in the pipeline, we think Edra’s Track 4B with a massive 2242MW capacity in Malacca could come under scrutiny given that it was a directly awarded project.”

“While Track 4A (TNB-SIPP) was a controversial project awarded on a directly negotiated basis (previously to the TNB-YTL-SIPP consortium) back in 2014, the project is already well underway (28% completion),” it said, noting that Tadmax is another directly negotiated power plant project at Pulau Indah.

MIDF said, others might involve LSS project awards such as Quantum Solar which was the first to be awarded LSS projects under the LSS initiative on a direct award basis.

“Ranhill was recently awarded a 300MW CCGT project in Sandakan Sabah. There has yet to be any development announced on the project so far,” it added.

Nonetheless, MIDF said it remained positive on the power sector while its top pick include TNB and YTL Power.

How Indian tech start-up OYO is changing face of Malaysian budget hotels

PETALING JAYA, July 11 — Own a budget hotel but not quite sure how to grow the business to its fullest potential? Indian tech start-up OYO works with budget hotels that are not under any single large brand and helps transform these properties into…

Sarawak capable of hitting 2020 GDP target on time

KUCHING: While Malaysia could only reach its 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) target by 2022, analysts believe that Sarawak is capable of reaching its 2020 GDP target on time, given its sound economic growth and possible increase in investment flows in the state. In its economic report, the research arm of MIDF Amanah Investment Bank […]

Trade war fears continue to weigh on KLCI


KUALA LUMPUR (July 2): Malaysian shares started the week lower, along with its regional peers as concerns about the potential for a trade war between the US and China continue to drag down the FBM KLCI. At 5pm, the benchmark index fell by 6.45 points or 0.38% to close at 1,685.05 points, after hitting an intra-day high of 1,697.15 points. The index fell to an intraday low of 1,677.33 points. When contacted, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior research analyst Kenneth Leong told that despite the KLCI opening higher atRead More

Scientex profit slips 8.1% in Q3 on lower property contribution

PETALING JAYA: Scientex Bhd's net profit declined 8.1% to RM61.14 million for the third quarter ended April 30, 2018 versus RM66.5 million in the previous corresponding period, due to lower contribution from the property division as the recently launched projects were still in the early stages of progress billings despite having registered commendable sales for its launches.

Revenue was also down by 5.7% to RM600.18 million from RM636.15 million.

Scientex has proposed to declare an interim dividend of 10 sen per share for the quarter under review.

The group said in a filing with the stock exchange that profit from manufacturing operations increased to RM34.3 million compared with RM25.2 million in the preceding year corresponding quarter as a result of better product mix and margins achieved.

However, profit from property operations decreased to RM43.7 million against RM63 million in the preceding year corresponding quarter because of slower progress billings from its latest projects launched in Taman Scientex Durian Tunggal, Malacca and Scientex Meru which were all in early stages of construction progress.

“The division was also impacted by longer-than-expected timeframe in attaining regulatory approvals and permits for some of the projects due to uncertainty during the election period.”

For the first nine months of the year, Scientex reported a 9.7% rise in net profit to RM201.52 million from RM183.75 million, while revenue expanded 7.8% to RM1.89 billion from RM1.76 billion.

Looking ahead, the group is planning to expand its manufacturing presence in the US and the Phoenix stretch film plant, which began operations in January this year, is expected to play a pivotal and strategic supporting role in the future with its close proximity to its US customers and its sources of raw materials.

For the property division, Scientex is confident that demand for its affordable housing will continue to remain strong and resilient in the foreseeable future.

At the noon break, its shares were unchanged at RM6.70 with 169,700 shares changing hands.

Malaysia power shift hits China infrastructure drive

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia was once a loyal partner in China's globe-spanning infrastructure drive but a new government is now pledging to review Beijing-backed projects, threatening key links in the much-vaunted initiative.

Kuala Lumpur's previous regime, led by scandal-mired Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, had warm ties with China and signed a string of deals for Beijing-funded projects, including a major rail link and a deep-sea port. But the long-ruling coalition was unexpectedly turfed out of power last month by voters disgusted at allegations of corruption and angered at rising living costs.

The new government, led by political heavyweight Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has pledged to review Chinese deals seen as dubious, calling into question Malaysia's status as one of Beijing's most cooperative partners in its infrastructure push.

China's ambitious initiative to revive ancient Silk Road trading routes with a global network of ports, roads and railways – dubbed “One Belt, One Road” – was launched in 2013 and is the economic crown jewel of President Xi Jinping's presidency.

Malaysia, along with Beijing ally Cambodia, were seen as bright spots in Southeast Asia, with projects in other countries often facing problems, from land acquisition to drawn-out negotiations with governments.

“Malaysia under Najib moved quickly to approve and implement projects,” Murray Hiebert, a senior associate from think-tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told AFP.

Chinese foreign direct investment into Malaysia stood at just 0.8% of total net FDI inflows in 2008, but that figure had risen to 14.4% by 2016, according to a study from Singapore's ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

However, Hiebert said, it was “widely assumed” that Malaysia was striking quick deals with China in the hope of getting help to cover debts from sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Najib and his cronies were accused of stealing huge sums of public money from the investment vehicle in a massive fraud. Public disgust at the allegations – denied by Najib and 1MDB – helped topple his government.

Malaysia's first change of government in six decades appears to have already unsettled Beijing's plans in the country.

Dr Mahathir has announced a planned high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring Singapore has been postponed as he seeks to reduce the country's huge national debt.

The project was in its early stages and had not yet received any Chinese funding as part of “One Belt, One Road”. But Chinese companies were favoured to build part of the line, which would have constituted a link in a high-speed route from China's Yunnan province to trading hub Singapore, along which Chinese goods could have been transported for export.

Work has already started in Malaysia on another line seen as part of that route, and which had received Chinese funding – the US$14 billion (RM55 billion) East Coast Rail Link.

Mahathir has said that agreement is now being renegotiated.

Other Chinese-funded initiatives include a deep-sea port in Malacca, near important shipping routes, and an enormous industrial park. It is not clear yet which projects will be changed or cancelled but experts believe axing some will be positive.

Alex Holmes, Asia economist for Capital Economics, backed cancelling some initiatives, citing “Malaysia's weak fiscal position and that some of the projects are of dubious economic value”.

The Chinese foreign ministry did not respond to request for comment. But a recent commentary in China's Global Times, a nationalist state-run tabloid, warned Mahathir if he damaged the interests of Chinese companies, they had the right to seek compensation . – AFP

Neutral on industry if ECRL cancelled or delayed

KUALA LUMPUR: Neutral impact is expected on ports and last-mile delivery players if the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) is cancelled or delayed, according to analysts. This is due to the complexity of costs of intermodal logistics to be borne by companies in having to use other transportation such as trucks to transport cargo to […]

Outlet malls: A growing concept in Malaysia

The outlet mall concept is growing popular in Malaysia thanks to the increasing demand for retailers to put off-season merchandise in a separate channel. An outlet store, factory outlet or factory shop is a brick and mortar or online store in which manufacturers sell their stock directly to the public, cutting out the middle-men. Traditionally, […]