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Asian bonds sell off in May as investors hunt for better yield

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BENGALURU: Asian bond markets witnessed a second consecutive month of outflows in May and will likely come under more pressure as major central banks tighten their monetary policies this year. Data from central banks and bond market associations showed foreign investors sold a total of $3.8 billion in India, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Malaysian bonds in the last month. “The recent monetary policy decisions by major central banks such as the ECB announcing to end its bond buying programme soon, and the more hawkish view by the U.S. FedRead More


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Xiaomi lowers target as it kicks off IPO

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M&A ‘mega deal’ frenzy evokes 1999 tech boom and bust

LONDON: By some measures, the global merger and acquisition frenzy has never been greater, fuelled by ‘TMT’ mega deals that are drawing comparisons with the late 1990s boom and spectacular bust. This is understandably unnerving many investors, given how mature the economic cycle and equity bull markets are right now. The US economic expansion is […]


Macquarie expects shift to index warrants to continue amid market volatility

PETALING JAYA: Macquarie Malaysia expects the shift to index warrants to continue as volatility in the market increases.

This is especially for investors looking to profit from any short-term falls in prices, as put warrants are one of the few ways that Malaysian investors can profit from falls in the stock market, according to head of equity derivatives products for Macquarie in Asia Barnaby Matthews.

Index warrants were actively traded from March 2018 onwards, particularly the call and put warrants over the Hang Seng Index (HSI), which made up 43.9% of warrants turnover in the first five months of 2018.

Macquarie is the only structured warrants issuer to list structured warrants over the HSI on the Bursa.

Matthews also noted that the recent rise in trading activity reflects further growth potential in the Malaysian warrant market, with structured warrants turnover increasing to an average of RM97.5 million per day for the first five months of 2018 compared with an average of RM25 million per day in 2017.

This was contributed by increased volatility to the Malaysian and global equity markets.

“With rising global geopolitical tensions, trade tensions between China and the US, and Malaysia’s General Election all adding to investor uncertainty.”

Macquarie said the daily turnover hit a high of RM613.1 million on April 6, 2018, which represented a whopping 40.2% of the total turnover on the whole of the Bursa for that day.

“With the local market becoming increasingly uncertain, warrants over Malaysian single stocks took up a smaller piece of the warrants market, constituting 52.3% of warrants turnover in the first five months of 2018, compared to 79.2% in 2017.”

“Warrants over Sapura Energy, Supermax, Hengyuan Refining and My EG Services were actively traded during this period due to renewed volatility, especially around the GE period.”

Following the issuance of 12 new warrants today, Macquarie has issued a total of 1,000 structured warrants in Malaysia since its debut in October 2014.

Year-to-date, Macquarie has commanded the leading market share, with 60.1%1 of the Malaysian warrant market turnover.


Petronas committed to helping Sarawak become major oil industry player

KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is committed to supporting Sarawak's aspiration to become a major player in the petroleum industry and has so far invested RM183 billion in the upstream sector in the state alone via production sharing contracts (PSCs).

According to infographics released to Bernama, the national oil company, since 1976 and up to last year, made cash payments worth RM33 billion to Sarawak.

In addition, through the state government's equity in Petronas' liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex in Bintulu, the state also received RM18 billion in dividends.

Through the Sarawak Joint Working Committee, Petronas also works closely with the state government to ensure Sarawakians and local companies get priority in career and business opportunities in both upstream and downstream activities in the region.

Petronas also spent RM411 million on scholarships and aid programmes for over 6,000 Sarawakian students while 5,000 Sarawakian professionals are working in Petronas operations, worldwide.

The Sarawak government, in March this year, launched state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) to boost its own participation in the industry.

The infographics also explained in detail the Petroleum Development Act 1974 , a Federal law enacted by Parliament, having the legislative competence under the Federal Constitution to promulgate laws relating to petroleum.

The PDA 1974 gives Petronas exclusive ownership to oil and and resources in Malaysia and makes it the sole regulatory body for upstream oil and gas activities through PSCs.

The PSC system addresses the need for a greater centralised management of the petroleum industry for the benefit of the nation and the states.

This has allowed Petronas to create significant value for the nation, hence contributing to the well-being and development of the nation and the respective states.

“The PDA 1974 serves to protect the interest of all Malaysians, ensuring that the nation will benefit the most from its petroleum resources,” Petronas said in the infographics.

Under the Act, profit share is split between Petronas, contractors and income tax payment to the government with the states and Federal government getting five per cent royalty each from the Profit Oil, Petronas and the contractors sharing 12.5% each from the 1985-type PSC and 15% for income tax.

From two other types of PSC, Profit Oil is only 10% with 3% each for both parties and 4% for income tax (under Deepwater/Ultra Water PSC) and for Revenue/Cost PSC, Profit Oil is at 20% of which 6% each is for Petronas and contractors and 8% for income tax.

The infographics also highlighted the fact that PSCs are risky, highly capital intensive and take a long time to provide returns while exploration took between three and five years with no income and the probability to discover oil rated at only between 20% and 25%.

The risks is extended to the development period of between four and six years' spending to monetise the discovery, a period when still no income is made.

Once production commences, the 10% cash payment to the federal government and the states starts while both Petronas and the contractors pay 38% income tax from the profits made.

The national oil company also pays annual dividends to the federal government.

Contrary to general perception, these cash payments are paid, twice a year, irrespective of whether the production from the field is profitable or not.

According to the infographics, an increase of the royalty payment from 5% to 20% as demanded by producing states will have an adverse impact on the industry.

Such an increase in cash payment would also reduce the attractiveness of Malaysia as an oil and gas investment destination for many players.

There are currently over 40 investors in PSCs of which about 80% are foreign companies which view the Malaysian petroleum sector as stable and favourable based on current PSC arrangements. – Bernama