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Netflix unveils plans for New York production hub

NEW YORK, April 19 — Netflix announced plans yesterday to create a New York City production centre for its original programmes that could lead to thousands of new jobs. Up to US$100 million (RM413.5 million) will be invested for an expanded office…

Asian shares off nine-month peak, European PMIs in focus

TOKYO, April 18 ― Asian shares slipped today after losses on Wall Street but trade was subdued as investors awaited business surveys in Europe and largely stayed on the sidelines ahead of the long Easter weekend holiday. MSCI's broadest index of…

Matrade: Trade with EU not affected by palm oil issue

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The trade issue between Malaysia and the European Union (EU) over palm oil will not affect other forms of exports to the EU, says the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade). Chief executive officer…

Bursa Malaysia ends higher in see saw trade

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended today’s volatile trading on a positive note, supported by last minutes buying interest.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 2.54 points to 1,644.35 from Friday’s close of 1,641.81, led mainly by Maxis, Axiata, PPB Group, IOI Corp, Dialog Group and Maybank.

The index, which opened 1.86 points higher at 1,643.67, fluctuated between a high of 1,645.72 and low 1,640.38, throughout the day’s session.

Market breadth was positive with gainers outnumbering decliners 499 to 386, while 383 counters remained unchanged, 578 were untraded and 21 others were suspended.

Volume was higher at 3.87 billion units worth RM2.40 billion from 3.18 billion units worth RM2.13 billion recorded last Friday.

Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said oil and gas stocks appeared to be dominating the actively traded stocks in Bursa Malaysia.

This is very much in line with higher Brent crude prices which has surpassed the US$70 per barrel.

“Geopolitical development in Libya, Venezuela and Iran has been supportive to crude oil. Beyond oil, the latest Non-Farm Payroll showed that the US economy is still healthy with 196,000 new jobs created in March, higher than 177,000 estimates among the consensus.

“Apart from that, the US-China trade discussion has been constructive. So talks of a potential recession in the US following the recent yield curve inversion recently has been gradually dies off,” he told Bernama.

However, he sees the UK Brexit remained a wildcard as it near to the supposedly new dateline on April 12, 2019.

In addition, the market was also watching closely the US’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) to be released on Wednesday.

“Consensus is looking for a 1.8% rise in March from 1.5% increases in February.

“So headline inflation could be slowly increasing,” he added.

Hence, Mohd Afzanizam said the current resistance level of 1,653 seems to be quite far-fetched in view of the market uncertainties.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank rose two sen to RM9.28, PetChem was one sen higher at RM9.11 but Public Bank declined 26 sen to RM22.62 and Tenaga, IHH and CIMB each dropped two sen to RM12.60, RM5.58 and RM5.09, respectively.

Maxis inched up 21 sen to RM5.70, PPB Group gained 28 sen to RM18.78 and Axiata and IOI Corp each rose five sen to RM4.23 and RM4.53, respectively.

Among actives, Sapura Energy dropped half a sen to 35 sen, Priceworth International added half a sen to 7.5 sen and Dayang Enterprise went up 17 sen to RM1.54.

The FBM Emas Index increased 44.62 points to 11,645.48, the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 89.31 points to 11,876.77 and the FBMT 100 was higher by 40.40 points to 11,478.03.

The FBM 70 was 142.69 firmer at 14,567.23 but the FBM Ace Index slid 42.51 points to 4,773.10.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index added 0.55 of a point to 170.09, the Plantation Index jumped 49.68 points to 7,286.23 while the Financial Services Index lost 41.70 points to 16,847.02.

Main Market volume grew to 2.87 billion shares worth RM2.17 billion from 2.15 billion shares worth RM1.56 billion recorded last Friday.

Warrants turnover jumped to 588.3 million units valued at RM147.8 million compared to the 195.19 million units valued at RM24.56 million, previously.

Volume on the ACE Market rose to 406.8 million shares worth RM87.2 million versus the 303.62 million shares worth RM49.18 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 316.3 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (454.8 million), construction (307.2 million), technology (144.9 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (32.5 million), property (292.3 million), plantation (39.4 million), REITs (12.6 million), closed/fund (11,000), energy (1.13 billion), healthcare (19.4 million), telecommunications and media (23.78 million), transportation and logistics (41.3 million), and utilities (58.6 million). — Bernama

Singapore casino resort to get US$3.3b expansion

SINGAPORE, April 4 — A major casino resort on Singapore’s waterfront is to get a US$3.3 billion expansion, including a new tower featuring luxury rooms and a 15,000-seat arena, its owner said. Marina Bay Sands, with its three towers and…

Analysts slash earnings forecasts for Sapura Energy

PETALING JAYA: Research houses have slashed their earnings forecasts for Sapura Energy Bhd with the anticipation of slower engineering and construction (E&C) contribution going forward, despite posting headline net profit in financial year ended Jan 31 (FY19).

Analysts said despite returning to the black, the group’s FY19 results missed expectations as its core net loss of RM945 million came in wider than its FY19 loss projections due to weaker-than-expected E&C and drilling contribution.

In a note today, Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said it has cut its FY20 earnings forecast by 37% to RM78.7 million after accounting for weaker E&C contribution.

PublicInvest Research said although the group is currently in positive transition towards improving its numbers, the research firm believes that the recovery process is likely to be slower-than-expected, hence its earnings forecasts have been trimmed by an average of 67% for FY20-21.

Meanwhile, Kenanga Research said it cut its FY20 earnings by 80% after adjusting finance costs assumptions given Sapura’s borrowings payments schedule, while realigning its E&C order-book recognition and margins assumption.

However, HLIB Research has adjusted upwards its FY21 earnings by 3% to RM303.7 million subsequent to lower depreciation post impairment.

“We believe Sapura should be recording better sequential quarterly results and turnaround in the second half of FY20 due to pick up in E&C contribution, and interest savings after paring down its debt. FY21 growth should be largely coming from SK408 gas field’s maiden contribution,” HLIB Research added.

PublicInvest Research said its target price is subsequently lowered to 43 sen but its “outperform” rating on the group has been retained on the back of its improving outlook.

“We also expect FY22 to be much stronger with net earnings of close RM200 million backed by its solid orderbook in hand of RM17.2 billion and potential new jobs win from its active tenderbook of circa RM45.1 billion as well as improved contribution from E&P segment,” it added.

Kenanga Research also maintain its “outperform” rating with a higher target price of 43 sen.

Meanwhile, HLIB Research kept its “buy” call on the stock with higher target price of 43 sen pegged to higher 0.6 times FY20 price-to-book ratio on lower uncertainty to its book value subsequent to its kitchen sinking activities in end-FY19.

After Trump barbs, GM announces US$1.8b investment, new jobs

NEW YORK, March 22 — Facing a barrage of attacks from President Donald Trump over plant closures, General Motors announced today a US$1.8 billion investment and the creation of 700 new jobs in the United States. About US$300 million will be geared…

GM to invest US$2.7b in Sao Paulo, Brazil factories over five years

DETROIT, March 20 — General Motors Co said yesterday it would invest US$2.7 billion (RM11 billion) in two Brazilian factories over the next five years, sparing them from a shakeup of the automaker’s operations, a decision hailed by the governor…

Volkswagen says to cut up to 7,000 jobs at VW brand

FRANKFURT, March 13 — German automaker Volkswagen said it would eliminate up to 7,000 jobs by 2023 as it seeks to accelerate its transition to electric vehicles, although the cuts should be achieved via retirement offers. “Volkswagen will be…

As trade wars rage, Emerson plots new US expansion

FERGUSON, March 8 — In 2009, the chief executive of Emerson Electric Co bluntly told investors at a Chicago conference what many of his counterparts at other manufacturing firms would only say privately. “I’m not going to hire anybody in the…