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Renewed investors interest pushes ringgit up against US dollar at opening

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — The ringgit inch upwards against the US dollar, backed by renewed interest from foreign investors on the prospects of Malaysia’s economy. At 9am, the ringgit was at 4.1760/1880 against the greenback from 4.1770/1800 at…


Kenanga unveils fund that taps into unicorn tech start-ups

PETALING JAYA: Kenanga Investors Bhd has launched its Kenanga Global Unicorn 1 (KGU1) fund that provides an opportunity for investors to tap into technology start-ups “unicorn” companies, a shorthand for privately held companies with valuations exceeding US$1 billion (RM4.18 billion).

Its executive director and CEO Ismitz Matthew De Alwis explained that KGU1 feeds into a target fund called Ericsenz-K2 Global Unicorn Fund, a unitised fund targeting superior medium-term returns by investing primarily in the securities of unicorn companies.

He said in a statement that unicorn companies were much rarer two to three years ago, but now there are between 80 and 100 each year attaining that status that is often associated with signs of a near-term initial public offering.

In the past, unicorns were mainly associated with US-based companies but now Asia is leading the way with at least 30% of unicorns today coming from China.

De Alwis pointed out that this fairly recent development poses a lot of opportunities for investors to tap into, but with many unicorn companies choosing to stay private longer, they are not accessible to the everyday investor.

“It is the first time that this form of private equity investment is available to investors in Malaysia. The KGU1 offers exclusive access for our clients to invest into these otherwise hard-to-reach investment opportunities”.

Kenanga aims to provide capital appreciation at the end of KGU1’s maturity by investing in the target fund and is measured against a targeted 12% internal rate of return per annum.

Ericsenz-K2 Global Unicorn Fund is managed by Singapore-based venture capital and private equity firm Ericsenz Capital Pte Ltd, in collaboration with K2 Global as its strategic advisor, a venture capital firm with access to a wide selection of late-stage private technology companies located in upcoming tech hubs.

Kenanga outlined that the buy and sell discipline adopted by the fund manager is not speculative and is a measured assessment of the market and macro environment to determine alpha.

It said the fund is suitable for sophisticated investors with a medium- to long-term investment horizons.

The fund will be available in ringgit and US dollar-denominated classes which offers options for investors to invest in their preferred currency.

The minimum investment amount is RM100,000 or US$25,000.


UBS loses role in bond deal for Chinese firm on outcry over pig comment

BEIJING, June 17 — UBS has lost a lead role on a US dollar bond deal for state-backed China Railway Construction Corp, just days after a Chinese outcry over a senior UBS economist’s use of “pig” in connection with Chinese food price…


Ringgit opens lower against US dollar amidst heightened trade tension

Ringgit opens lower against US dollar amidst heightened trade tension

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today as investors stayed on the sidelines due to uncertainty surrounding the global economy and heightened trade tension involving the United States.

At 9am, the ringgit was at 4.1750/1780 against the greenback from 4.1650/1690 at Friday’s close.

MIDF Research in its economic brief said the heightened trade tension between US and China has weakened the US consumers’ sentiment with long-term inflation expectations dropped to the lowest on record as the outlook for the economy dimmed amid President Donald Trump’s stepped-up trade war.

The trade war has also caused China’s industrial output growth in May to be at the weakest level since the beginning of 2002 at 5% year-on-year.

“The pressure from US-China trade war which shows tariffs increased on China imports has affected major industrial production of China,“ it said.

Meanwhile, a dealer said the trade tension between the US and China was not the only reason causing the investors to be wary, but tariff hike involving a trade dispute between India and the United States has also inflicted additional damage to the global economy.

“The negative pressure on trade is not good for the global economy,“ he said.

Yesterday, India reportedly announced a retaliatory tariff on US goods such as apples, which will be hit with a 70% tariff, as well as almonds, lentils and several chemical products.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0448/0481 from 3.0457/0491 from Friday’s close, higher at 5.2572/2618 from 5.2691/2759 against the pound and improved versus the euro to 4.6835/6873 from 4.6940/6989.

The local currency also inched up against the yen at 3.8430/8461 from 3.8490/8534. — Bernama


Ringgit opens lower against US dollar amidst heighten trade tension

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today as investors stayed on the sidelines due to uncertainty surrounding the global economy and heightened trade tension involving the United States.   At 9am,…


Local institutions emerge as net buyers post-Raya

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Local institutions emerged as net buyers of Malaysian equities post-Hari Raya celebrations, injecting RM139.2 million versus a net sell of RM306.72 million during last week’s holiday-shortened trading week. Bank Islam…


Ringgit to trade between 4.15 and 4.18 next week

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 ― The ringgit is expected to trade between 4.15 and 4.18 against the US dollar following guidance from the fluctuations in the greenback along with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision on US interest rates, said an analyst….


Ringgit likely to trade in 4.15-4.18 range next week

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is expected to trade between 4.15 and 4.18 against the US dollar following guidance from the fluctuations in the greenback along with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision on US interest rates, said an analyst.

FXTM market analyst Han Tan said the Fed’s upcoming policy decision is set to be a key driver of global markets in the week ahead, as markets expect at least one US interest rate cut to be a near-certainty this year.

“Although the Fed isn’t expected to make any monetary policy moves this month, any hints of an eventual lowering of interest rates could see the US dollar weaken, while allowing Asian currencies to climb higher.

“The US dollar has been rather subdued with markets pricing in an interest rate cut over the coming months,” he told Bernama.

He said so far this month, regional assets have mostly benefited from the relative pause in the escalating tensions between the US and China, although market sentiment remains fragile and could quickly give way on further signs of heightened tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Tan, however, said the Fed’s US economic forecasts in the week ahead could also influence risk sentiment, whereby heightened downside risks for the world’s largest economy could fuel concerns over the broader global slowdown and prompt Asian assets to unwind recent gains.

Meanwhile, throughout this week, the ringgit mostly traded within the range of 4.16 to 4.17, anchored by Malaysia’s better-than-expected April industrial production figures as well as growing expectations of a US interest rate cut, Tan said.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the ringgit weakened to 4.1650/1690 against the US dollar from 4.1570/1620 previously.

It traded mostly lower against other major currencies.

The local unit depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0457/0491 from 3.0396/0444 at last Friday’s close, declined to 3.8490/8534 from 3.8275/8331 versus the yen, and fell versus the euro to 4.6940/6989 from 4.6787/6860 previously.

However, vis-a-vis the pound it appreciated to 5.2691/2759 from 5.2844/2924. – Bernama


Analyst: Ringgit likely to trade in 4.15-4.18 range next week

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The ringgit is expected to trade between 4.15 and 4.18 against the US dollar following guidance from the fluctuations in the greenback along with the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision on US interest rates, said an analyst….


High valuations, slow earnings in equity market

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian equity market is seeing more expensive valuations and slower earnings growth compared with its regional peers, according to HSBC Private Banking managing director and chief market strategist for Asia, Fan Cheuk Wan.

“Within our Asia equity portfolio, we’re still cautious on the Malaysian equity market mainly because of its expensive valuations versus the other cheaper regional peers. The earnings growth forecast for the Malaysian equity market still remains at single-digit, lagging behind other higher growth equity markets that we favour, such as China.

“For Malaysia, we forecast single-digit earnings growth but with the valuation premiums versus the regional’s average, it would cap the upside potential of the Malaysian equity market,” she told a press conference on the HSBC Private Banking 2019 2H Investment Outlook in Asia today.

Reflecting on Asian equities, it maintains a mild overweight position on China and Singapore. Fan said Singapore is the cheapest market in Asean and it has the lowest price-to-earnings and the highest dividend yield.

“Based on our year-end forecast, we still expect the FBM KLCI to come in at 1,740 points this year, some modest upside potential because the economy still remains resilient and there will be modest earnings growth for this year. In terms of the upside potential, there are cheaper markets that can deliver more upside,” elaborated Fan.

Nevertheless, HSBC Private Banking chief market strategist for Southeast Asia James Cheo still expects a 3-4% upside in the equity market.

“How we want to play it is to look at the domestic sectors. The consumption and infrastructure plays are where we think the opportunities are, and how it pans out could be end of this year or next year,” Cheo said.

On the ringgit, he said in the near term, there could be a risk-off where there will be more demand for the dollar given the uncertain environment.

“The domestic economy in Malaysia is still resilient so it reduces the downside for the ringgit. The ringgit could still be fairly resilient against the dollar,” said Cheo, adding that its year-end target for the ringgit is RM4.30 against the US dollar.

On Malaysia proposing a new currency based on gold, Cheo said it is an interesting idea but noted that there are trade-offs and that it should be thoroughly considered.

“It’s an international monetary system and just can’t be implemented on a single country. It requires a global consensus. Given how things are, it looks like things are more bilateral nowadays.

”We have been on a fiat currency model for many years and it has served us well. Our money supply has been growing significantly,” said Cheo.