Sustaining the future for palm oil

As a plant turned edible oil to meet the needs of consumers, palm oil today joins the ranks of commodities dividing nations worldwide for its enviromental and political implications. An undeniable fact is palm oil’s contribution to Malaysia’s economy. Having roots in our history since 1917, exports of palm oil and palm-oil based products continue […]

US-China trade hopes lift stocks, oil hits three-month high

NEW YORK, Feb 23 ― Stocks rose in major markets across the world yesterday on bets of progress in trade talks between China and the United States, while crude futures hit their highest level in more than three months supported by ongoing supply…

Australia plays down reports of Chinese coal ban

SYDNEY: Canberra on yesterday played down reports a major Chinese port had banned coal imports from Australia, as fears grow that worsening diplomatic tensions are damaging the nations’ crucial trading relationship. Industry experts have noted recently that China appeared to be delaying customs clearances for Australian coking coal used in steel-making, but a report late […]

Australia denies China ban on coal imports amid tensions

SYDNEY, Feb 22 — Canberra today denied reports Australian coal was being blocked from entering China, as the government sought to quell fears that worsening diplomatic tensions are damaging the nations' crucial trading relationship. Industry…

Asian shares tread water as investors watch trade talks

SHANGHAI, Feb 22 — Shares in Asia were flat in early trade today following a fall on Wall Street, with a deteriorating global economic outlook outweighing more signs of progress in trade talks between China and the United States. Early in the…

Malaysia aims to become leading aerospace nation by 2030

SEBERANG PRAI: Malaysia is aiming to become Southeast Asia’s leading aerospace nation by 2030, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking. He said by 2030, the industry was targeted to generate an annual revenue of RM55.2 billion and create more than 32,000 high-income jobs. “Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the government had identified […]

Thai Vietjet wins “Global Best Employer Brand 2019” Award

KUCHING: New-age carrier Thai Vietjet was recently honoured with the “Global Best Employer Brand 2019” Award at the 27th World HRD Congress held in Mumbai, India from February 14 to 18, 2019. The award recognises both the airline’s innovative solutions in recruitment and its efforts in creating an internationally standardised, professional working environment for all […]

APEC Secretariat wants deeper engagement in Chile meeting

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat executive director Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria has called for its members to be more deeply engaged in the upcoming First APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting in Chile next week. She said the members may find difficulty achieving immediate solutions amid a very tense environment and global […]

Corporate earnings unlikely to excite stock market: Affin Hwang AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Corporate earnings delivery will not significantly influence the Malaysian capital market this year as catalysts are expected to come from the external front, according to Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd (Affin Hwang AM).

Its managing director, Teng Chee Wai, said for 2019, the company expects a single-digit upside in the FBM KLCI at around 8% to 10%, partly buoyed by recovery in global growth as the economic cycle matures.

“2019 is a year that the markets are going to respond more towards macro policies rather than earnings. And I do not see price-earnings expansion to be one big factor this year for the market because there is a very little growth,” he told a press conference after presenting Affin Hwang AM market outlook and company briefing here today.

“With 5% in (consensus) earnings (estimates) growth, I don’t expect this year to be a double-digit year (for the FBM KLCI),” he said, noting downward revisions in earnings are likely if there is slowdown in global economic activities.

Asked whether 2019 is a good year to invest in stocks, Teng warned of risks and uncertainties in the market such as the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China.

“There is no such thing as the best time to invest … you must be mindful of the risks, and asset allocation is the way forward,” he added.

Nevertheless, Teng said given the positive development in the US-China trade talks, coupled with changes in policy by the Federal Reserve, he is fairly confident that the market will improve at some point in the second half of the year.

On Affin Hwang AM’s outlook, Teng said the fund manager is confident that it will surpass the RM50 billion mark in assets under administration (AUA) this year and reach the RM52 billion level.

He said the firm’s AUA grew 0.84% or RM400 million to RM47.8 billion as at end of 2018 from RM47.4 billion in late 2017.

Earlier at the press conference, Affin Hwang AM’s Islamic entity, Aiiman Asset Management Sdn Bhd, launched its maiden fund called Aiiman Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) Dividend Fund, which marks its foray into the retail market.

Aiiman managing director Akmal Hassan said the fund is suitable for retail investors who want regular income distribution and capital gains, and have a medium- to long-term investment horizon and moderate risk tolerance.

The fund will invest a minimum of 70% of the fund’s net asset value (NAV) in syariah-compliant equities and a maximum of 30% of its NAV in sukuk, syariah-compliant money market instruments and/or deposits.

The base currency of the fund is in ringgit with a minimum investment amount of RM1,000.

Bursa Malaysia ends higher on stronger buying demand

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the day higher as stronger buying demand in heavyweights helped lift the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI).

At 5pm, the index finished 19.62 points higher at 1,726.18 from 1,706.56 at close yesterday.

After opening 6.27 points firmer at 1,712.83, the local index moved between 1,711.44 and 1,727.25 throughout the day.

A dealer said market sentiment was positive with investors optimistic that the latest round of trade talks between the world’s two giant economies would lead to a deal to resolve their tariff war.

“This positive sentiment is reflected in the stronger performance of Wall Street and spilled over into Asian stocks, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, up nearly one per cent to reach its highest level since Oct 2, 2018.

“On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index rose 4.16 points to 2,779.76, the Nasdaq Composite increased 14.36 points to 7,486.77 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 8.07 points better at 25,891.32,” he added.

Among local heavyweights, Maybank rose four sen to RM9.52, Public Bank and Tenaga gained six sen each to RM25.06 and RM13.38 respectively, while Petronas Chemicals surged 26 sen to RM9.15.

Of actives, Sapura Energy inched up 1.5 sen to 32.5 sen, Hibiscus Petroleum gained three sen to RM1.08 and Bumi Armada was one sen better at 22.5 sen.

Market breadth was positive with 724 gainers and 252 losers, while 346 counters remained unchanged, 532 untraded and 20 others suspended.

Total volume increased to 3.82 billion units valued at RM3.26 billion from 2.80 billion units valued at RM2.36 billion transacted yesterday.

The FBM Emas Index increased 170.21 points to 12,040.78, the FBMT 100 Index rose 166.37 points to 11,897.51 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index jumped 197.45 points to 12,041.45.

The FBM 70 rose 330.74 points to 14,486.38 and the FBM Ace Index increased 37.58 points to 4,699.69.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index added 117.28 points to 17,783.73, the Plantation Index rose 96.12 points to 7,498.56 and the Industrial Products and Services Index bagged 2.64 points to 168.49.

Main Market volume was higher at 2.78 billion shares valued at RM3.03 billion from 1.87 billion shares valued at RM2.18 billion recorded on Tuesday.

Warrants’ turnover rose to 741.67 million units worth RM162.26 million from 609.05 million units worth RM120.56 million yesterday.

Volume on the ACE Market decreased to 295.17 million shares worth RM68.74 million from 317.97 million shares worth RM55.18 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 316.42 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (309.21 million), construction (236.86 million), technology (161.16 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (73.74 million), property (220.06 million), plantations (63.60 million), REITs (16.38 million), closed/fund (24,800), energy (1.19 billion), healthcare (41.44 million), telecommunications and media (67.56 million), transportation and logistics (35.28 million), and utilities (51.02 million). — Bernama