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European stocks turn down after Brexit, trade-driven rally

BERLIN, Oct 14 — A three-day rally in European shares halted today as investors assessed the scale of progress from Friday’s US-China trade talks and worried that a Brexit withdrawal agreement was still some way off after signs of a major…


Goldman evaluating role in China’s Megvii IPO after US blacklist

NEW YORK/HONG KONG: Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Tuesday it was reviewing its involvement in Megvii Technology Ltd’s planned initial public offering (IPO) after the US government placed the Chinese artificial intelligence firm on a human rights blacklist.

The Trump administration said on Monday that Megvii and seven other Chinese companies were targeted because they were implicated in Beijing’s repression of Muslim minority populations in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the far west of the country.

In an emailed statement in response to a request for comment on the Alibaba-backed Megvii IPO, Goldman said it was “evaluating in light of the recent developments”. Sources had previously told Reuters the listing was scheduled for Hong Kong in the fourth quarter and might raise as much as $1 billion.

Risk consultants and Silicon Valley lawyers said that other US companies involved with the blacklisted Chinese firms, whether as investors or as underwriters, are also likely to reevaluate their relationships.

Goldman is a joint sponsor of the Megvii IPO, alongside Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, which both declined to comment.

Goldman had thoroughly evaluated the Megvii deal before initially signing onto it using its usual due diligence process, a person familiar with the matter said.

Known in the artificial intelligence business for its facial recognition platform Face++, Megvii will become the first Chinese AI firm to go public if the deal goes ahead. The company provides facial recognition and other AI technology to governments and companies including Alibaba, Ant Financial, Lenovo Group Ltd and Huawei.

Muslim mistreatment

The US Department of Commerce on Monday barred eight companies, as well as 20 Chinese government entities, from buying US technology without US government approval. That will include high-powered computer chips made by US companies such as Nvidia, Intel and Qualcomm, which are considered critical for building and operating many AI systems.

The government said the 28 blacklisted firms and government entities were “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups”.

The blacklist was announced a day after the US government imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials it believes responsible for the detention or abuse of Muslims in Xinjiang.

UN experts and activists say at least 1 million Uighurs, and members of other largely Muslim minority groups, have been detained in camps in the remote region.

Beijing denies any mistreatment at the camps, which it says provide vocational training to help stamp out religious extremism and teach new work skills.

US Senator Marco Rubio, who has been seeking to spotlight both the easy access that Chinese companies have been given to US markets and human rights abuses in Xinjiang, said the government’s move had been long overdue. “We should continue to do more to hold Chinese government and Communist Party officials accountable for potential crimes against humanity being committed in Xinjiang,“ he said in a statement.

“Putting themselves at risk”

In recent years, Chinese and some foreign investors have poured money into startup technology firms that specialize in facial and voice recognition software, as well as other surveillance equipment and software. They have been buoyed by China’s plans to build a ubiquitous CCTV surveillance network.

Another company being added to the US government’s blacklist,“ SenseTime, is among the world’s most highly valued artificial intelligence firms and counts marquee US technology investors Tiger Global and Silver Lake Partners among its backers. Fidelity, the US mutual fund firm, is also a SenseTime investor, along with Qualcomm.

Risk consultants say that investors and underwriters have jumped into the sector without fully assessing the dangers both to their reputations and to the valuations of the companies concerned.

“There has been a dearth of adequate due diligence performed on these companies from both a national security and a human rights perspective,“ said Roger Robinson, president and CEO of Washington DC-based risk consultancy RWR Advisory Group, and a former senior director of international economic affairs at the National Security Council.

He said that investors and others involved with these Chinese companies “may well be putting themselves at risk.”

Silver Lake, Tiger Global and Qualcomm all declined to comment. Fidelity didn’t immediately return a call seeking a comment.

“There will be a judgment call as to whether any US investor would want to be associated with such businesses,“ said Rocky Lee, managing partner of the Silicon Valley office of law firm King & Wood Mallesons. “I believe you will see some ‘quiet’ exiting by US funds and possibly LPs, at least those US investors who feel strongly that owning companies engaging in these activities are either immoral or politically incorrect.” -Reuters


Nasdaq cracks down on IPOs of small Chinese companies

NEW YORK, Sept 30 — Nasdaq Inc is cracking down on initial public offerings (IPOs) of small Chinese companies by tightening restrictions and slowing down their approval, according to regulatory filings, corporate executives and investment bankers….


Trump considers delisting Chinese firms from US markets, say sources

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 — President Donald Trump’s administration is considering delisting Chinese companies from US stock exchanges, three sources briefed on the matter said yesterday, in what would be a radical escalation of US-China trade…


Pound rises after UK court says parliament suspension illegal

LONDON, Sept 24 — Sterling firmed today after the UK Supreme Court ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks was unlawful, but then slipped back on the uncertainty of the Brexit outlook. “This was not a…


Miti: Malaysia committed to strengthen bilateral relations with US

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Malaysia is committed to continue working with global economies for mutual benefits, including the United States (US) with which the country has had over six decades of strong relationship in terms of trade and investment….


Oil-exporter currencies, safe havens rally after Saudi attacks

LONDON, Sept 16 — Currencies linked to the price of oil rose today after an attack on Saudi Arabian refining facilities disrupted global oil supplies, while the Japanese yen and Swiss franc strengthened as nervous investors sought safety. Oil…


Trade war thaw and ECB hopes lift world stocks to six-week highs

LONDON, Sept 12 — World stocks climbed to their highest in six weeks today as the European Central Bank prepared to offer new stimulus measures and the United States and China made mutual concessions in their trade dispute, improving demand for…


Investment – a woman’s secret weapon

THERE is a perception that investing is a man’s world and that women lack confidence and tend to stay away. This isn’t true. Various studies have proven that women are better investors. According to Louanne Lofton’s book Warren Buffet Invests Like A Girl, women have all the skills to achieve long-term success in the market.

John Coates, a former Wall Street trader, found evidence of a connection between testosterone, risk taking and irrational exuberance. The increased risk-taking is not based on superior knowledge or skill but rather a chemical reaction to testosterone.

Coates argues that as women have lower testosterone levels, they are less prone to the irrational exuberance associated with stock market bubbles. Generally, women will fare better because they will take less risk, worry more about losses and earn more.

Today’s women have greater earning capacity, disposable income and purchasing power. According to UOB Malaysia, credit card spending amongst Malaysian women grew 129% from 2011 to 2016. But still, some women are not keen on investing. Instead, they aim to grow their savings accounts. It’s a practical wealth preservation approach, but it’s not enough to counter inflation and achieve true financial independence.

The most common reasons heard (amongst others) are that investing is risky, they have no time to learn how and “Is investing Shariah-compliant?” Let’s look at overcoming these limiting beliefs.

To invest well, take calculated risks.

Good investors do not risk doing something unless they know what they are getting into. Adequate research is the first crucial step to knowing if you are buying a good stock.

You don’t need a lot of money to start investing.

Let’s say you want to buy a share on Bursa Malaysia; the minimum trade is 100 shares. If the cost per share is RM1, then you only need RM100. Imagine if you invested in Nestle Malaysia 10 years ago with RM3,000, when the share price was about RM30 per share. Today, with a share price of RM150 per share, that RM3,000 would now be RM15,000, excluding dividends.

You don’t have to look at the market every day.

Learn the concept of “Value Investing.” It’s a long-term strategy to acquire fundamentally strong stocks that are undervalued or trading at less than their intrinsic value. According to Pauline Teoh, Director of 8VIC Global Pte Limited and a successful investor, value investing is a helpful method for women who lead a busy life as a wife, mother and career woman.

Value investing is also used by famous investors such as Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, Walter Schloss and Sir John Templeton. It focuses on three key things – a great business model, good management and a good price. Investing in the stock market is not just about buying a share; you are investing into a business – so pick a great business.

Teoh adds, “A great business continuously makes good money and their earnings can grow. Beyond the business and management team, buy in at a good price; ideally, you would buy the stock at an undervalued price.”

About 76% of securities on Bursa Malaysia are syariah-compliant.

Bursa Malaysia has a diverse range of syariah-compliant products – for peace of mind when choosing your investment. There are many good opportunities for Muslims to invest in great businesses on Bursa Malaysia.

Helping more women invest.

While these general guidelines are a good start, Bursa Malaysia also has various initiatives and avenues from webinars and investment fairs to educate, increase awareness and help all investors navigate and succeed in the world of investment.

Take the first step, and visit www.bursamarketplace.com to fill in a lead form and choose your preferred broker, who will initiate contact within three days. Women can be successful at investing, and we are proud to help.

Part of a series of articles by Bursa Malaysia to educate, develop and empower everyday investors.


Asian markets drop as traders await Powell speech

HONG KONG, Aug 21 — Equities stuttered in Asia today as investors took a step back after recent gains, with focus now turning to a key speech by Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell at the end of the week. Rising hopes for China-US trade talks have…