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George Kent’s Q3 profit down 28.3% in Q3

PETALING JAYA: George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd’s (GKent) net profit declined 28.3% to RM20.55 million for the third quarter ended October 31, 2018 against RM28.68 million in the previous corresponding period, dragged by lower contribution from its engineering and metering segments.

Its revenue also fell 18.5% to RM103.55 million from RM127.09 million.

The group has proposed to declare an interim dividend of 1.5 sen per share for the quarter under review, payable on January 9, 019

For the first nine months of the year, GKent’s net profit droppd 8.1% to RM66.67 million from RM72.55 million, while revenue went down 28.8% to RM316.25 million from RM444.08 million.

Looking ahead, GKent said the group’s strong order book will provide earnings visibility over the next few years.

“The group is also on the lookout for opportunities in the regional railway space, leveraging on its expertise as rail systems specialist in domestic railway projects.”

GKent chairman Tan Sri Tan Kay Hock said the group remains steadfast in implementing its strategic plan to broaden the income base, including substantial investment of resources, both human and financial, into growing its metering and other water-related businesses and investments.

At 2.40pm, GKent’s share price was trading 5.5 sen or 7.3% higher at 81 sen on 3.44 million shares done.


EPF’s total investment income rises to 12.82pc to RM14.61b in Q3

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 ― The Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) total investment income for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018 (Q3) rose 12.82 per cent to RM14.61 billion from RM12.95 billion recorded during the same period last year. Deputy…


EPF posts 12.82% rise in Q3 investment income to RM14.61b

PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) reported a 12.82% growth in investment income to RM14.61 billion for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018 compared with the RM12.95 billion it made in the same period last year.

“Q3 2018 saw us navigating a volatile market condition, which has been fuelled by the trade tensions between China and the United States. However, we have been able to record an improvement in income as Malaysia and Asean equities recovered in Q3 2018 from the market downturn experienced in previous quarters, while developed market equities continued to record positive growth from previous quarter,” said EPF deputy CEO (Investment) Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif in a statement.

“Volatility is increasingly felt across the region, in which we saw a decline in regional equity markets in the fourth quarter of 2018. This will certainly pose a huge challenge to the EPF to sustain the same income momentum for the fourth quarter,” he added.

Mohamad Nasir said the EPF remains cautious of he uncertain external environment such as the continued US-China trade tensions, weaker commodity prices and the US interest rate hike as well as the challenging domestic equities market.

“Meanwhile, we are grateful for the support of the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara Malaysia towards the EPF’s long-term global diversification efforts, which will greatly assist the EPF towards delivering its strategic targets of at least 2.5% nominal dividend and 2% real dividend on a rolling three-year basis.”

A total of RM1.33 billion out of the RM14.61 billion gross investment income, was generated for Simpanan Shariah and RM13.28 billion for Simpanan Konvensional.

The EPF said equities, which made up 40.67% of the pension fund’s total investment assets, continued to be the main revenue driver, contributing RM8.89 billion, which is equivalent to 60.81% of total investment income.

A total of 50.72% of EPF’s investment assets were in fixed income instruments, which continue to provide consistent and stable income, reduce overall risk and protect against volatility of the EPF’s portfolio.

Fixed income investments recorded an income of RM4.73 billion, equivalent to 32.40% of the quarterly investment income.

Income from Malaysian government securities (MGS) & equivalent increased to RM2.5 billion, while loans and bonds generated an investment income of RM2.24 billion.

Real estate & infrastructure’s investment income jumped to M726.23 million on the back of higher dividend income.

Investments in money market instruments, which represent 3.92% of the total investment assets, contributed RM265.39 million to the investment income.

In accordance with the implementation of the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards 9 (MFRS 9), which came into effect beginning 1 January 2018, the EPF noted that capital gains on disposal of equity amounting to RM5.17 billion for the Q3 2018 will flow directly to retained earnings from the statement of other comprehensive income, instead of the statement of profit and loss as under the previous MFRS 139.

Under MFRS 9, the EPF would also no longer recognise any impairment on its equity holdings.


EPF posts 13% growth in Q3 investment income

PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) reported a 12.82% growth in investment income to RM14.61 billion for the third quarter ended Sept 30 compared with the RM12.95 billion it made in the same period last year.

“Q3 2018 saw us navigating a volatile market condition, which has been fuelled by the trade tensions between China and the United States. However, we have been able to record an improvement in income as Malaysia and Asean equities recovered in Q3 2018 from the market downturn experienced in previous quarters, while developed market equities continued to record positive growth from previous quarter,” said EPF deputy CEO (investment) Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif in a statement.

“Volatility is increasingly felt across the region, in which we saw a decline in regional equity markets in the fourth quarter of 2018. This will certainly pose a huge challenge to the EPF to sustain the same income momentum for the fourth quarter,” he added.

Mohamad Nasir said the EPF remains cautious of the uncertain external environment such as the continued US-China trade tensions, weaker commodity prices and the US interest rate hike as well as the challenging domestic equities market.

“Meanwhile, we are grateful for the support of the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara Malaysia towards the EPF’s long-term global diversification efforts, which will greatly assist the EPF towards delivering its strategic targets of at least 2.5% nominal dividend and 2% real dividend on a rolling three-year basis.”

A total of RM1.33 billion out of the RM14.61 billion gross investment income, was generated for Simpanan Shariah and RM13.28 billion for Simpanan Konvensional.

The EPF said equities, which made up 40.67% of the pension fund’s total investment assets, continued to be the main revenue driver, contributing RM8.89 billion, which is equivalent to 60.81% of total investment income.

A total of 50.72% of EPF’s investment assets were in fixed income instruments, which continue to provide consistent and stable income, reduce overall risk and protect against volatility of the EPF’s portfolio.

Fixed income investments recorded an income of RM4.73 billion, equivalent to 32.4% of the quarterly investment income.

Income from Malaysian government securities and equivalent increased to RM2.5 billion, while loans and bonds generated an investment income of RM2.24 billion.

Real estate & infrastructure’s investment income jumped to M726.23 million on the back of higher dividend income.

Investments in money market instruments, which represent 3.92% of the total investment assets, contributed RM265.39 million to the investment income.

In accordance with the implementation of the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards 9 (MFRS 9), which came into effect beginning Jan 1, the EPF noted that capital gains on disposal of equity amounting to RM5.17 billion for the Q3 2018 will flow directly to retained earnings from the statement of other comprehensive income, instead of the statement of profit and loss as under the previous MFRS 139.

Under MFRS 9, the EPF would also no longer recognise any impairment on its equity holdings.


SME Corp, Huawei reveal SMEs face ‘computerisation trap’

KUCHING: In yet another initiative to promote digitalisation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), SME Corp Malaysia and Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd yesterday announced a whitepaper on the current state of digitalisation in Malaysian SME sector. Titled ‘Accelerating Malaysian Digital SMEs: Escaping the Computerisation Trap’, the whitepaper highlights challenges being faced by SMEs in […]


World Bank cuts Malaysia’s 2018 GDP growth forecast again

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank has again revised downward its projection for Malaysia’s 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 4.7% from 4.9% after taking into account factors such the rigorous rationalisation of expenditure by the government and slowdown in private and public investment.

It last cut the country’s GDP growth forecast in October, to 4.9% from 5.4%.

Malaysia’s third quarter GDP growth moderated to 4.4%, bringing about a nine-month expansion of 4.7%.

Despite a moderation in growth, the World Bank believes that the Malaysian economy remains resilient and continues to be anchored by private consumption, although it has been cooling down after the reintroduction of the sales and service tax.

The key drivers for private consumption are stable labour market conditions, cost of living aid and tax refunds payment.

Private investment in the manufacturing and commodity sectors are also expected to be sustained.

Speaking at the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor on Realising Human Potential Report today, World Bank Group economist Shakira Teh Sharifuddin said Malaysia’s economic growth is projected to remain flat at 4.7% in 2019, with external factors such as current trade tensions and increased volatility in the financial and commodity markets expected to weigh on the overall economy.

In addition to the escalating trade tensions, monetary normalisation in advanced economies, high dependency on oil revenue and high level of public debt are seen as potential risk for the government.

The percentage of the federal government’s revenue to GDP has seen a steep decline between 2012 and 2018, falling from 21.4% to 16.2%. In 2019, the share of revenue to GDP is expected to be reduced further to 15.1%.

This, Shakira said, leaves the government with limited space to respond to economic shocks.

In the near term, the government is expected to rigorously embark on fiscal consolidation measures with expenditure expected to decline to 18.1% of GDP from the 2018 estimate of 20.3%.

Shakira said that while the introduction of new taxes in the budget is welcomed, the government should relook the incentive mechanisms.

On another note, the World Bank stressed on the need for Malaysia to accelerate the development of its human capital if it wishes to join the ranks of a high-income nation.

While Malaysia, which ranked 55th out of 157 countries in the Human Capital Index, fared well in some areas, there is room for improvement in certain areas, noted the report.

It also states the prevalence of stunting among Malaysian children which affect more than one in five Malaysian children, a key indicator of malnutrition. In the absence of renewed efforts to develop human capital, a child born today in Malaysia will only reach a productivity level of 62%.

In terms of education, the 12.2 years spent by Malaysians in school only equates to the 9.1 years learning outcome of school goers in the highest performing system.


Slim chance of window dressing on Bursa next week

PETALING JAYA: The FBM KLCI is expected to end the year at circa 1,630 points with a slim chance of any window dressing, said Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew.

He does not expect local funds to do any window dressing, which would require a lot of money and may not be successful.

“If there is any window dressing at all, it would only happen in the last few days of the year, maybe one or two days before the year ends. It will be very last minute,” he told SunBiz.

Earlier in May, Pong said that the KLCI could end the year at 1,630 points if stock market earnings performance hold to a growth of about 6%.

“Today we are already at that level. If the earnings growth is worse, it will fall below 1,630 points. Looking at the way things are going, I believe it is likely to go below 1,630 points,” he added.

He said earnings growth are likely to fall below 6% based on third quarter data and growth since then, combined with the likelihood of a sharp drop in the next few days. Based on signals from the market, he expects earnings growth to come in around 4%.

Today, the FBM KLCI opened 13.15 points weaker at 1,628.47 and ended 6.31 points lower at 1,635.31 from yesterday’s close of 1,641.62.

For 2019, Pong said economic performance could be worse than 2018, depending on the government’s spending.

“If the government doesn’t spend because of poor oil prices or poor revenue from taxes or other reasons, things could spiral downwards and negatively affect corporate earnings. The government frequently takes the lead in spending and initiatives for infrastructure. If the government doesn’t spend for development expenditures, the momentum would not be there,” he said.

He said economic growth has to be at least 4% in order to be “healthy”, as a 3-4% growth would mean that there are parts of the economy that are stagnant or contracting.

Meanwhile, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong declined to comment on window dressing activities at end-2018, saying that the short-term outlook is very sentiment-driven.

“Earnings for 2019 may not be as robust as 2018, especially in the second half of 2019,” he said.

However, he noted that Asia is still an engine of growth and maintained his positive outlook on economic growth and corporate earnings for next year.

“Earlier, I expected the third and fourth quarters this year to be better than the first and second quarters but it turned out to be worse. I still maintain my outlook but perhaps it has been delayed till 2019,” he said.

On foreign funds, which saw a large outflow so far this year, Wong expects foreign funds to return next year, for both equities and bonds, driven by 4-5% gross domestic product growth, the attractiveness of the ringgit and low valuations.

“Investors will watch out for countries with twin deficit but fortunately, Malaysia has a current account surplus, which will continue as the government has put on hold mega projects,” he said.

He said the rating agencies are still on hold on Malaysia due to the strong economy, with potential for a rating upgrade next year.


World Bank cuts Malaysia’s 2018 GDP forecast again

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank has again revised downward its projection for Malaysia’s 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) to 4.7% from 4.9% after taking into account factors such the rigorous rationalisation of expenditure by the government and slowdown in private and public investment.

It last cut the country’s GDP growth forecast in October, to 4.9% from 5.4%.

Malaysia’s third quarter GDP growth moderated to 4.4%, bringing about a nine-month expansion of 4.7%.

Despite a moderation in growth, the World Bank believes that the Malaysian economy remains resilient and continues to be anchored by private consumption, although it has been cooling down after the reintroduction of the sales and service tax.

The key drivers for private consumption are stable labour market conditions, cost of living aid and tax refunds payment.

Private investment in the manufacturing and commodity sectors are also expected to be sustained.

Speaking at the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor on Realising Human Potential Report today, World Bank Group economist Shakira Teh Sharifuddin said Malaysia’s economic growth is projected to remain flat at 4.7% in 2019, with external factors such as current trade tensions and increased volatility in the financial and commodity markets expected to weigh on the overall economy.

In addition to the escalating trade tensions, monetary normalisation in advanced economies, high dependency on oil revenue and high level of public debt are seen as potential risk for the government.

The percentage of the federal government’s revenue to GDP has seen a steep decline between 2012 and 2018, falling from 21.4% to 16.2%. In 2019, the share of revenue to GDP is expected to be reduced further to 15.1%.

This, Shakira said, leaves the government with limited space to respond to economic shocks.

In the near term, the government is expected to rigorously embark on fiscal consolidation measures with expenditure expected to decline to 18.1% of GDP from the 2018 estimate of 20.3%.

Shakira said that while the introduction of new taxes in the budget is welcomed, the government should relook the incentive mechanisms.

On another note, the World Bank stressed on the need for Malaysia to accelerate the development of its human capital if it wishes to join the ranks of a high-income nation.

While Malaysia, which ranked 55th out of 157 countries in the Human Capital Index, fared well in some areas, there is room for improvement in certain areas, noted the report.

It also states the prevalence of stunting among Malaysian children which affect more than one in five Malaysian children, a key indicator of malnutrition. In the absence of renewed efforts to develop human capital, a child born today in Malaysia will only reach a productivity level of 62%.

In terms of education, the 12.2 years spent by Malaysians in school only equates to the 9.1 years learning outcome of school goers in the highest performing system.


(p11 2nd story ragaworldbank) World Bank cuts Malaysia’s 2018 GDP forecast again

BY V. RAGANANTHINI

[email protected]

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank has again revised downward its projection for Malaysia’s 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) to 4.7% from 4.9% after taking into account factors such the rigorous rationalisation of expenditure by the government and slowdown in private and public investment.

It last lowered the country’s GDP growth forecast in October, to 4.9% from 5.4%.

Malaysia’s third quarter GDP growth moderated to 4.4%, bringing a nine-month expansion of 4.7%.

Despite a moderation in growth, the World Bank believes that the Malaysian economy remains resilient and continues to be anchored by private consumption, although it has been cooling down after the reintroduction of the sales and service tax (SST).

The key drivers for private consumption are stable labour market conditions, cost of living aid and tax refunds payment.

Private investment in the manufacturing and commodity sectors are also expected to be sustained.

Speaking at the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor on Realising Human Potential Report yesterday, World Bank Group economist Shakira Teh Sharifuddin said Malaysia’s economic growth is projected to remain flat at 4.7% in 2019, with external factors such as current trade tensions and increased volatility in the financial and commodity markets expected to weigh on the overall economy.

In addition to the escalating trade tensions, monetary normalisation in advanced economies, high dependency on oil revenue and high level of public debt are seen as potential risk for the government.

The percentage of the federal government’s revenue to GDP has seen a steep decline between 2012 and 2018, falling from 21.4% to 16.2%. In 2019, the share of revenue to GDP is expected to be reduced further to 15.1%.

This, said Shakira, leaves the government with limited space to respond to economic shocks.

In the near term, the government is expected to rigorously embark on fiscal consolidation measures with expenditure expected to decline to 18.1% of the GDP from the 2018 estimate of 20.3%.

Shakira said that while the introduction of new taxes in the budget is welcomed, the government should relook incentive mechanisms.

On another note, the World Bank stressed on the need for Malaysia to accelerate the development of its human capital if it wishes to join the ranks of a high-income nation.

While Malaysia, which ranked 55 out of 157 countries in the Human Capital Index (HCI), fared well in some areas, there is room for improvement in certain areas, noted the report.

It also states the prevalence of stunting among Malaysian children which affect more than one in five Malaysian children, a key indicator of malnutrition. In the absence of renewed efforts to develop human capital, a child born today in Malaysia will only reach a productivity level of 62%.

In terms of education, the 12.2 years spent by Malaysians in school only equates to the 9.1 years learning outcome of school goers in the highest performing system. This leaves a learning gap of 3.1 years.

Sunpix By : Zulkifli Ersal.


MIDF: Malaysia GDP to grow 4.9pc in 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — MIDF Research expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to slightly improve to 4.9 per cent in 2019 from 4.8 per cent projected for 2018, mainly driven by healthy domestic spending fuelled by the service…