Pelaburan Hartanah, Maybank Asset Management encourages AHB investments with prize draw

KUALA LUMPUR: Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB) and Maybank Asset Management Sdn Bhd (MAM) announced another initiative to promote and increase investment in Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (AHB) scheme with the launch of “Simpan, Labur dan Menang” prize draw with customers standing a chance to win AHB units worth RM400,000 in overall prize. AHB unit holders with […]

Venezuela adds to chaos with one of biggest currency devaluations ever

CARACAS, Aug 21 — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro carried out one of the greatest currency devaluations in history over the weekend — a 95 per cent plunge that will test the capacity of an already beleaguered population to stomach even more…

Oil gains before supply data while US taps strategic reserves

LONDON, Aug 21 — Oil rose in low trading volumes before weekly crude inventory data in the US, where the government is proceeding with further sales of crude from its strategic reserves. Futures in New York added 1.2 per cent. The US government…

Air Selangor cuts Gamuda, Taliworks bulk water supply rate in new agreement

PETALING JAYA: Gamuda Bhd and Taliworks Corp Bhd have been informed by Air Selangor of a cut in the bulk water supply rate for the third phase and first phase of the Sungai Selangor Water Treatment Plant (SSP) by 2 sen/m3 and 5 sen/m3, respectively.

Both Gamuda and Taliworks are required to revert with acceptance of the offer no later than 5pm on August 27.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Gamuda said its 80%-owned Gamuda Water Sdn Bhd had received a letter of offer dated August 21, 2018 from Air Selangor setting out the termination of the existing operations and maintenance agreement (OMA) of SSP3 with Splash as well as the settlement of the outstanding Gamuda Water's receivable from Splash.

Gamuda Water and Air Selangor will execute a new SSP3 OMA, which will commence on the operational date until December 31, 2029.

The bulk water supply rate is set at 44 sen/m3 from the operational date till end-2018; 46 sen/m3 from 2019 to 2022; 47 sen/m3 for 2023; and 53 sen/m3 from 2024 to 2029.

For Taliworks, the bulk water supply rate under the new OMA will be a rate equal to a 5 sen/m3 reduction to the existing rate under the SSP1 OMA from the operational date to end-2029, being the expiry date of the existing SSP1 OMA and a final rate of 52.5 sen/m3 for the seven-year extension from 2030 to 2036.

A letter received by wholly-owned subsidiary Sungai Harmoni Sdn Bhd dated August 21, 2018, spelt out key terms of settlement between Air Selangor, Splash and Sungai Harmoni relating to Sungai Harmoni's outstanding receivables arising from the existing operations and maintenance of the SSP1 as well as key terms in respect of the new OMA between Air Selangor and Sungai Harmoni.

Under the termination and settlement agreements, Splash will pay to Gamuda Water and Taliworks, as full and final settlement of all amounts owing by Splash to Gamuda Water and Taliworks under the SSP OMA, an amount equal to 90% of the outstanding fee.

Gamuda and Taliworks said their board of directors are currently reviewing the terms contained in the offer and will make the appropriate announcement in due course after going through due process internally.

MCT Bhd acquires land within Tropicana Golf and Country Resort for RM42.28m

PETALING JAYA: MCT Bhd’s indirectly owned subsidiary One Residence Sdn Bhd is acquiring a 1.765 acre parcel of land located in Bandar Damansara for RM42.28 million from Tropicana Golf and Country Resort Bhd, to develop a luxury condominium.

MCT told the stock exchange that the vacant residential plot is located within the Tropicana Golf and Country Resort.

The purchase and the eventual development cost will be funded through bank borrowings and internally sourced funds.

“The proposed acquisition is in line with the group’s strategy to acquire more landbank for potential development in strategic locations with high development value, which will provide the opportunity to expand and strengthen the group’s existing business of property development of residential and commercial properties,” its board of directors said.

It is also in line with the group’s efforts to build its brand as a quality property developer who is able to meet the needs of different social and economic classes by developing a diverse mix of products ranging from affordable homes to luxury properties in exclusive neighborhoods,” it added.

Given the strategic location, well-equipped infrastructure, recreational facilities and public amenities surrounding the land, the Group believes that the proposed development will contribute positively to its future growth plan and earnings prospects moving forward.

PRG falls into the red in Q2

PETALING JAYA: PRG Holdings Bhd fell into the red in the second quarter ended June 30, with a net loss of RM1.78 million against a net profit of RM2.77 million a year ago.

Revenue for the period more than halved to RM26.61 million from RM59.96 million last year.

The decrease in both net profit and revenue was due to the decrease in revenue from manufacturing segment as a result of lower sales volume and also strengthening of the ringgit against the US Dollar, which is the major sales denomination currency, as well as decrease in revenue from Picasso Residence development project due to lesser units sold during the financial period.

The group anticipates the prospect of its manufacturing business to continue to be challenging in the near future and foresees challenges from the recent crude oil price surge which will increase the price of certain crude-oil based raw materials, in turn, leaving an impact on the gross profit margin.

It added that any further, significant and abrupt movement in the exchange rate between the ringgit and the Greenback may result in foreign exchange gains or losses which may affect the group’s results as it derives a significant amount of its revenue in US Dollar.

PRG’s board of directors said it will continues to focus on marketing and sale of the Picasso Residence units and is strengthening its presence in the property development market by venturing into affordable housing with strategic partners.

“The group is venturing into healthcare business as part of the Group's vertical integration along the value chain in the wellness segment of the healthcare industry which is thriving and has an opportunity for growth. The investments into healthcare business are expected to diversify the stream of income of the Group and compensate for business cycle fluctuations,” it added.

As for the cumulative period of six months, it reported a net loss of RM972,000 as opposed to a net profit of RM3.90 million.

Revenue declined to RM73.84 million from RM94.50 million.

In a separate filing, PRG said it was providing financial assistance to facilitate the ordinary course of business of its non-wholly owned subsidiary, Premier De Muara Sdn Bhd.

The financial assistance amounting to RM3 million, was in the form of a letter of undertaking to suppliers.

Malaysia’s international reserves slip to US$104.2b as of Aug 15

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — Malaysia’s gross international reserves fell slightly to US$104.2 billion as of Aug. 15, from US$104.5 billion as of July 31, the central bank said today. The reserves were sufficient to finance 7.6 months of retained…

Singtel said to Tap BofA for pursuit of Australia's Amaysim

SINGAPORE, Aug 21 — Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. South-east Asia’s largest telecom services provider, is moving ahead with examining a possible bid for wireless operator Amaysim Australia Ltd, people with knowledge of the matter said. The…

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.

Dagang Nexchange’s shares down by 2.46% this morning

PETALING JAYA: Dagang Nexchange Bhd's (DNeX) shares fell 2.46% to 39.5 sen this morning, after its wholly owned subsidiary Dagang Net Technologies Sdn Bhd obtained an extension of time until Sept 3 to make an oral representation to the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) with regard to a proposed RM17.4 million fine for alleged abuse of dominant power.
At 10.40am the stock was trading at 40 sen with 1.62million shares done.

DNeX is challenging MyCC's proposed decision.

MyCC alleged that Dagang Net abused its position as a monopoly in the provision of trade facilitation services under the National Single Window, refusing to supply electronic mailboxes to end users of the Customs Information System, and imposing barriers to entry to the extent that may harm competition.

Dagang Net was also provisionally found to have imposed an exclusivity clause on its business partners, which would have had the effect of distorting competition in an upcoming market by creating barriers to entry for Dagang Net's competitors.

MyCC proposed a directive on Dagang Net to cease and desist the infringing conduct of imposing any future clauses in its MyChannel Partner Agreements and any future conditions that new and/or additional mailboxes will not be provided to end users.

It also proposed for Dagang Net's directors and senior management to enrol into a competition law compliance programme and training within three months.