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Parlo accepts shares for shortfall in profit

PETALING JAYA: Parlo Bhd said the shortfall of RM1.26 million guaranteed profit of its wholly-owned unit Parlo Tours Sdn Bhd in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 has been fully settled.

It told the stock exchange that the shortfall is deemed to be fully settled with the release of 11.5 million profit guarantee settlement shares to the stakeholder by the profit guarantor.

To recap, Parlo said the shortfall was due to higher expenses, which was a result of staff cost, advertisement programmes and marketing, as well as trade fair expenses incurred specifically as part of Parlo Tours' efforts to promote new travel destinations in the People's Republic of China and Europe.

Parlo’s share price slipped half a sen or 4.17% to 11.5 sen with 1.71 million shares traded.


AMMB’s Q1 net profit up 5.9% to RM347.6m

PETALING JAYA: AMMB Holdings Bhd's net profit rose 5.9% to RM347.6 million in the first quarter ended June 30, 2018 (Q1FY19) from RM328.27 million in the previous corresponding quarter, driven by higher interest income.

Revenue for the quarter grew 4.4% to RM2.17 billion againts the RM2.08 billion made previously.

The group's net interest margin (NIM) remained flat at 2.02% compared with the corresponding period last year.

Its total operating expenses recorded reduction of 7.3% compared to same period last year, while general and administrative expenses were controlled with less expenses incurred relating to compliance and governance.

Overall, the group's cost to income (CTI) ratio improved to 50.6% from 56.3% a year ago. Its net income from insurance business also improved substantially mainly due to lower insurance claims.

“We saw a strong pre-provision profit growth of 16.7% compared to 3.2% in Q1FY18. At RM501 million, this is the highest profit before provision (PBP) recorded since Q4FY15, a testament to the strength of our Top 4 strategy,” AmBank Group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said in a statement.

“Credit costs were still negligible considering our asset base. Overall, we recorded higher profitability and improved returns in Q1FY19,” Sulaiman said.

He added the bank's net interest income (NII) continued to grow steadily at 4.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM642 million, paced by the consistent loans growth of 2.2% on a year-to date (YTD) basis.

However, he said non-interest income (NoII) was flat y-o-y at RM372 million.

On loans growth, Sulaiman said AMMB continues to see good loans growth in its targeted segments.

He said mortgage loans maintained its growth momentum and expanded by 4.8% YTD to RM27.7 billion, while loans to small and medium enterprises (SME) grew 2.8% YTD to RM17.2 billion.

“All in all, we are encouraged by the 8th consecutive quarter of loans growth. Our customer deposits grew 2.9% YTD to RM98.6 billion whilst our current accounts and savings accounts (CASA) increased by 2.1% YTD,” he added.

On liquidity, Sulaiman said the group's banking subsidiaries have maintained liquidity coverage and net stable funding ratios (NSFR4 ) above 100%.

“Our capital levels were adequate with CET1 capital ratio at 11.6%, up 30 basis points (bps) from March 31, 2018 whilst total capital ratio stood at 16.4%, down 20 bps,” he noted.

On its prospects, Sulaiman said the group is on track to achieve its full year CTI target of 55%.

“We will continue to maintain our focus on driving income and CASA growth as well as manage cost diligently through our BET300 programme to attain operational efficiencies while emphasising capital accretive growth,” he added.

At the midday break, AMMB's share price gained 7 sen or 1.8% to RM3.93 with 243,000 shares changing hands.


Reservoirs of demand set to lift US to best growth since 2005

WASHINGTON, Aug 21 — The US economy looks set to forge ahead as fresh reservoirs of domestic demand carry it past turbulence overseas, keeping the Federal Reserve on course for further interest-rate hikes. Households have more cash to spend than…


Utusan Melayu down 19.04% upon PN17 entry

PETALING JAYA: Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd's share price fell 19.04% or as much as 4 sen to 17 sen on early trade after it was admitted into the Practice Note 17 (PN 17) category following default on payments to Maybank Islamic Bhd and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd.

At 10.29am the stock was trading  at 18 sen with 324,600 shares done.

The newspaper publisher told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that it had triggered the prescribed criteria under paragraph 2.1 (f) of PN17 and is required to submit a regularisation plan within 12 months from the announcement date.
 
In the event the company fails to comply with the obligations to regularise its condition, its listed securities will be suspended from trading on the 6th market day after the date of notification of suspension by Bursa Securities and de-listing procedures will be taken against it.
 
Recently, Utusan Melayu announced that it had defaulted on another two loan payments totalling RM1.18 million due to financial constraints after a loan default of RM2.96 million to Affin Bank.
 
It was also planning to undertake a private placement to raise up to RM2.1 million for the repayment of bank borrowings.
 
Utusan Melayu said it is looking into formulating a regularisation plan to address its PN17 status and will make the necessary announcement on the regularisation plan in due course.


Gadang shares up on TRX City job

PETALING JAYA: Gadang Holdings Bhd's share price up 3.36% or two and a half sen this morning after its unit bagged RM86 million job from TRX City Sdn Bhd.

At 11.07 am, the stock which was among the top active counters, stood at 77 sen with 6.37 million shares changing hands.

Yesterday, Gadang said the contract covers the structural work as well as hardscape and softscape for the North-West Plaza, which is the TRX pedestrian entrance from Bukit Bintang.

It said the job also covers the North-East Plaza, which is known as the Tun Razak Exchange MRT Plaza.

The project will commence on Sept 1 and be completed in the third quarter of next year.


Auto sales hit second highest in history in zero-GST period

KUCHING: Analysts are optimistic on sales of cars as total industry volume (TIV) in July 2018 accelerated to 68,000 units – its second highest monthly volume in the history of Malaysia. Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd (AffinHwang Capital) saw that demand for local cars last month remained strong. “Riding on the joyful tax holiday promotions, […]


DRB-Hicom shares gain on Proton-Geely China JV pact

PETALING JAYA: DRB-Hicom Bhd's share price gained 3.81% or 9 sen to close at RM2.45 with 22.73 million shares done today, on news of a joint venture in China which will enable subsidiary Proton Holdings Bhd to assemble and market cars there.

This is DRB-Hicom's highest gain since Aug 13, having closed at RM2.32 last Monday. The stock has been fluctuating since.

Proton Holdings and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group entered into a heads of agreement to set up an equal stake joint venture (JV) company which will enable Proton to assemble and market its cars in China.

DRB-Hicom said in a statement yetoday that the partnership via the yet to be named JV entity includes the setting up of a production facility in China which will assemble vehicles, and the development of a network of dealers to market the Proton range in China.

The portfolio of cars for China will primarily come from existing Geely platforms, although the external design of the vehicles will be undertaken by Proton. However, the agreement also provides for existing Proton platforms that are found suitable to be developed into models for the Chinese market.

DRB-Hicom Group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said Geely's entry as a strategic partner of Proton has paved an easier route for Proton's entry into the lucrative Chinese market.

“Clearly with Geely on board, Proton's route into China has become more tenable. Part of Geely's role is to secure the manufacturing licences and regulatory approvals required for such a venture under China's regulations. Geely will also identify a suitable location where the manufacturing facility is to be based”, he added.

Existing Proton component vendors that have quality and a competitive edge may also be considered as suppliers for the JV company. This, Syed Faisal said, should sit well with the Malaysian government which has often prodded Malaysian component makers to venture into the Chinese market.

China's passenger car sales have grown tremendously over the last 10 years—from the sale of 6.76 million passenger cars in 2008 to 24 million units in 2017. Geely is seen as the clear leader in the segment, as the first privately-owned Chinese carmaker to sell over one million units.


Kossan’s share price up despite lower Q2 net profit

PETALING JAYA: Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd's share price rose slightly by 0.68% or 3 sen this morning, despite announcing lower net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018.

At 11.10 am, the stock stood at RM4.46 with 235,100 shares changing hands.

Its net profit for the second quarter fell 2.48% to RM44.70 million from RM45.84 million a year ago due to lower performance of its gloves division.

The group said the lower performance was attributed to the time-lag in cost-pass-through arising from the increase in raw material costs, natural gas prices and the less-than-favourable exchange rate.

However, it said demand for glove products continued to be strong with stable average selling prices and higher volume sold compared with a year ago.

Its revenue for the quarter rose 1.28% to RM496.79 million from RM490.51 million a year ago.


Mercury Industries’ shares fell 4.76% after unit’s PR1MA job terminated

PETALING JAYA: Mercury Industries Bhd's share price tumbled six sen or 4.76% this morning after its 70%-owned unit Paramount Bounty Sdn Bhd's (PBSB) RM73.06 million 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA) contract has been terminated.

At 10.45 am, the stock stood at RM1.20 with 5,000 shares changing hands. Mercury has RM50.6 million market capitalisation.

The contract, which was initially awarded by Upaya Jernih Sdn Bhd to PBSB, was for the construction of 648 units of serviced apartments in Malacca.

Last Friday, Mercury said the balance value of the project was subsequently re-awarded by Aturan Prisma Sdn Bhd (APSB) to PBSB.

The group said APSB has informed PBSB that the employer of the project has notified the project owner, Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia, of the demobilisation from the project site.

“The suspension will not have any effect on the share capital and net assets of the company. However, it is expected to reduce the earnings of Mercury group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2018,” Mercury added.


Tesla board torn between service to shareholders and iconic CEO

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SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19 — Tesla Inc’s board of directors is at a critical juncture, wedged between a larger-than-life figure to whom many are personally close and their larger responsibility to shareholders. Elon Musk’s astonishing interview…