MARKET SUMMARY 18/09/2017

Domestic News

viagra receptfritt på apoteket 1. Shin Yang sues client for defaulting on vessel payment

Shin Yang Shipping Corp Bhd is suing an Indonesian client, PT Gemilang Raya Maritime, for failing to pay up RM6 million for four vessels it bought from the shipbuilder.

In a Bursa Malaysia filing today, Shin Yang said its wholly-owned unit Shin Yang Shipping Sdn Bhd has filed its claim against the firm on Sept 13 at the North Jakarta District Court in Central Jakarta.

Shin Yang said it sold and delivered four vessels last October to PT Gemilang Raya, but the latter has yet to make payment for the vessels, despite two demand letters sent in March and April this year seeking for the payment.

The sum owed is for the purchase of one Tugboat Danum 89 priced at RM1.9 million, one Tugboat Danum 95, also priced at RM1.9 million, and one Barge Ship Linau 51 and Barge Ship Linau 52, priced at RM1.1 million each.

Shin Yang believes it has “good ground to the above claim” and will take action to secure it.

Shin Yang shares closed unchanged at 24.5 sen yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM294 million.

köpa cialis utomlands 2. Affin Holdings gets BNM green light to up stake in AXA Affin

Affin Holdings Bhd said it has secured the approval of Bank Negara Malaysia to acquire a 7.07% stake in AXA Affin General Insurance Bhd from Felda Marketing Services Sdn Bhd.

According to Affin Holdings’s Bursa Malaysia filing, the proposed acquisition will raise Affin Holdings’ stake in AXA Affin, held via its commercial unit Affin Bank Bhd, from 37.07% to 44.14%.

The financial services provider announced on Aug 4 that it would seek the central bank’s approval for the proposed acquisition of 8.4 million shares in Axa Affin from Felda Marketing Services for RM99.09 million, cash.

As of closing, Affin Holdings shares were unchanged at RM2.65, after some 114,900 shares were traded, giving it a market capitalization of RM5.15 billion.

flagyl cost walmart 3. Matrix Concepts to boost student enrolment at international school with Chinese collaboration

Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd is partnering a local firm affiliated with a Chiense education group in Hebei, China, to boost the enrolment of Chinese students at its Negeri Sembilan international school.

It said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that its wholly-owned unit Matrix Global Education Sdn Bhd (MGE) inked an education joint collaboration agreement with Hengshui Yizhong Education Group Sdn Bhd yesterday.

Hengshui Yizhong is affiliated with Hengshui No 1 High School (HHS) in Hebei, China, and is licensed to provide high school learning facilities in Malaysia, in compliance with the system of education in China.

HHS is a well-known higher learning education group which has 52 branches around China with over 300,000 registered students and is a much sought-after school in China, said Matrix Concepts.

Under the deal, the parties agreed for Hengshui Yizhong to enroll at least 600 students into MGE’s Matrix International School (MIS) over three years, starting from 2018.

In return, MGE agreed to provide Hengshui Yizhong and its teachers and management staff meals and accommodation during the agreement period, “inclusive of education/teaching place, teaching facilities including laboratory, library, sport facilities and places for sport activities, teaching materials, and related information, school uniform including meals and boarding for the students enrolled
by Hengshui Yizhong, subject to charges mutually agreed upon by the parties”.

Besides the international school, MGE also operates the Matrix Private School, and Matrix International Pre-School, collectively known as Matrix Global Schools (MGS), all of which are located in Bandar Sri Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan.

“MGS was built with a vision of providing not only a global education, but also to nurture its students to have a global outlook as they prepare for the borderless world. Through this collaboration with HYE, overall education in MGS would be truly an international one as its students will now be able to expose themselves to cross cultural experience which will greatly benefit MGS’s students.

“In addition, the influx of the students enrolled by HYE, together with the existing foreign students of MIS, is expected to boost the economic activities in Bandar Sri Sendayan, which in turn, will enhance further growth to the township,” the filing read.

Matrix Concepts said the agreement will not have any material impact on its earnings for the financial year ending March 31, 2018, but should enhance the earnings of MGE for the subsequent financial years.

At the closing bell today, Matrix Concepts finished one sen or 0.36% higher at RM2.80, for a market capitalisation of RM1.65 billion.

International News

kosten nexium 20 1. Obama goes from White House to Wall Street in less than one year

Hillary Clinton says she made a mistake when she gave speeches on Wall Street after leaving government. Taking money from banks, she writes in her new memoir, created the impression she was in their pocket.

Her old boss doesn’t seem to share her concern.

Last month, just before her book “What Happened” was published, Barack Obama spoke in New York to clients of Northern Trust Corp for about US$400,000, a person familiar with his appearance said. Last week, he reminisced about the White House for Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, according to two people who were there. Next week, he’ll give a keynote speech at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health-care conference.

Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton. Or, as some of his executive friends see it, he’s just a private citizen giving a few paid speeches to other successful people while writing his next book.

“He was the president of the entire United States — financial services are under that umbrella,” said former UBS Group AG executive Robert Wolf, an early supporter who joined the Obama Foundation board this year. “He doesn’t look at Wall Street like, ‘Oh, these are individuals who don’t want the best for the country.’ He doesn’t stereotype.”

Fat cats

Since leaving office, Obama has delivered public and private speeches that are “true to his values,” Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president, said in an email. “His paid speeches in part have allowed President Obama to contribute US$2 million to Chicago programs offering job training and employment opportunities to low-income youth.”

Obama’s relationship with Wall Street hasn’t always been good. Bankers still boil over with rage about him, wincing over his 2009 line about fat cats as if the wounds were fresh. But his Justice Department prosecuted no major bankers for their roles in the financial crisis, and he resisted calls to break up the biggest banks, signing a regulatory overhaul that annoyed them with new rules but didn’t stop them from pulling in record profits.

The brokerage and investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald isn’t one of those giants. S&P Global Ratings announced this year that the New York-based firm’s debt grades could be cut to junk. Cantor’s investment banking division is run by health-care specialist Sage Kelly, who left Jefferies Group after divorce-case accusations became salacious tabloid fodder in 2014. His ex-wife later apologized for the storm caused by the claims, which he had denied.

Cantor Chief Executive Officer Howard Lutnick, whose firm lost more than 600 people in the Sept. 11 attacks, said the former president will make remarks and take questions. The three-day conference for current and prospective clients begins Sept. 25. Obama will be paid about US$400,000, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.

“Everybody would like to come,” Lutnick said. “Hopefully, we will really talk about the Affordable Care Act in interesting and nuanced ways, which I think is really cool.”

Private island

Obama’s appearance at the Carlyle conference in Washington was previously unreported. The private equity giant has enjoyed some of the best political connections in the world, with executives and advisers who have included former presidents, prime ministers and cabinet secretaries. Obama discussed his life and the decisions he made in the White House, the people who heard him said. A spokesman for the firm wouldn’t comment.

The ex-president has been busy. His foundation is raising money for a library in Chicago, and he and his wife signed a book deal with Penguin Random House after an auction that went above $60 million, according to the Financial Times. He spoke about food in Milan, democracy in Jakarta and himself at an A&E Television Networks event in New York. He vacationed in California and Hawaii and on Richard Branson’s Necker Island with its billionaire owner.

Obama has picked private equity, hedge fund, venture capital and banking veterans to oversee his foundation, and an alumnus of Goldman Sachs Group Inc to advise him on investments.

Northern Trust is a bank that specializes in wealth management for rich families and services for big funds. The event had gone unreported, but a program accessible on the firm’s website lists Obama alongside executives from Microsoft Corp, IBM and Michael Bloomberg, majority owner of Bloomberg LP.

Northern Trust, based in Chicago, gave Obama a discount on a US$1.32 million loan for a mansion in that city in 2005, after he was elected to the Senate, the Washington Post reported. The rate was changed to account for an offer from another lender, a spokesman for Obama said three years later. Doug Holt, a spokesman for Northern Trust, wouldn’t comment for this story.

Imperial ballroom

Obama is getting advice on investments from Robbie Robinson, who’s on leave from BDT & Co, according to a person familiar with the arrangement. That Chicago-based firm works with wealthy families and is run by Byron Trott. Both bankers worked for Goldman Sachs.

Obama has known executives there for more than a decade. He spoke at the 2006 Goldman Sachs partners’ meeting in Chicago. Then a senator, he appeared between Hank Paulson and Warren Buffett in the Fairmont hotel’s Imperial Ballroom, an event program shows.

Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump blasted Clinton for her lucrative Goldman Sachs speeches, and the issue is still raw. Sanders and fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren have tried to pry the Democratic Party away from its coziness with Wall Street. If Obama is hoping the party will be a big tent with room for corporate giants, they may stand in his way.

Obama’s donor friends tend to mention the same reason when they defend his Wall Street speeches, saying he’s no longer president and not running for office. Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Tom Nides is one of them.

“I love Barack Obama, and if someone is willing to pay him to give a speech, God bless America,” said Nides, a deputy secretary of state under Clinton in Obama’s administration.

Revolving door

But Jeff Hauser, who studies political corruption as head of the Revolving Door Project in Washington, said Obama should play by the same rules as other politicians because of his ongoing work with the Democratic Party.

“He’s continuing to exercise the authority,” Hauser said, citing Obama’s support for the party’s redistricting committee and the push he gave Tom Perez in the race to head the Democratic National Committee. If he wants to play a role, “he ought to forgo a few hundred thousand here and maybe a half-million there.”

Few leaders have left the top of the US government recently and resisted the lure of corporate money. Former Vice President Al Gore is a director at Apple Inc and a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm whose chairman, John Doerr, is on the Obama Foundation’s board. Dan Quayle, another ex-vice president, has spent almost two decades with private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. Trump’s White House has lost officials so quickly that Sean Spicer has already made arrangements to speak to a financial firm this year.

“Not everyone’s going to be a Jimmy Carter, who does purely good works after he gets out,” said Sean Coffey, a Democratic donor who chairs the complex litigation group at corporate law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. Obama is used to being criticized, the attorney added. “I don’t think getting any grief for doing this is going to bother him at all.”

buy domperidone online canada 2. UBS Wealth has good things to say about EM, but not South Africa

Michael Bolliger, who oversees more than US$2 trillion for clients as the head of emerging-market asset allocation at UBS Wealth Management, is underweight on South Africa credit, rand, stocks but bullish on Russia, Turkey and Egypt, which is a “great story”.

There’s one emerging market country that Bolliger can’t get bullish about at the moment: South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma is fighting to stay out of court before the African National Congress votes for a new leader in December. He’s pushing for his ex-wife to succeed him, but most analysts in a Bloomberg survey think the nation’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa probably will. It’s more noise for a market that has already paid a price for political wrangling when it lost two of its investment ratings in April.

“Political decisions typically don’t play a major role in our investment decisions, but in South Africa’s case, it’s an exception due to the very binary nature of the outcome,” Bolliger said in an interview in Bloomberg’s office in Dubai.

The rand, which was one of the world’s best performing currencies for most of the first quarter, isn’t among emerging nations’ top 10 gainers this year.

Aside from South Africa, Bolliger is bullish on developing equities, even after companies handed investors gains of about 20 percent in the second quarter of 2017 on a yearly basis, compared to about 12 percent for those based in the US. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has advanced almost 30 percent in 2017, the biggest year-to-date advance since 2009.

SOUTH AFRICA

* He’s underweight on credit, the rand and equities.
* “The political situation is going to weigh on growth and growth prospects”
* “The ANC congress in December is going to be absolutely crucial. And moving into that, we might cut back some of our underweights. Political decisions typically don’t play a major role in our investment decisions, but in this case, it is an exception, due to the very binary nature of the outcome”
* “In a scenario in which Cyril Ramaphosa or another market-friendly leader wins and comes out as the new ANC leader, the rand could easily rally to 12.50 (per US dollar) or even below, and the equity market could go through the roof”
* Rand rises 0.4 percent at 10:22 a.m. in Johannesburg to 13.2059 per dollar

RUSSIA

* Bolliger is overweight the ruble and equities, which are pay attractive dividend yields and trade at decent valuations compared to many emerging markets
* “We like the Russian equity market because we believe the economy has finally turned the corner”
* “We are also mindful that there are going to be elections next March, and we believe it’s in the interest of President Vladimir Putin to assure economic momentum remains intact ahead of the election”

TURKEY

* Bolliger is long on the lira and equities, as the country is seen as a story of economic growth.
* “We think the Turkish economy can sustainably grow at a rate of 4.5%/5%. There are not so many countries in EMEA which can deliver similarly high growth”

SAUDI ARABIA

* Bolliger expects the Gulf state to be added to MSCI Inc’s emerging markets list next year, with effective inclusion in 2019
* “That is going help investors understand the region better. There is going to be more intelligence, more research done because of that inclusion. We see it as a great opportunity for the entire region”
* “But, at the same time, it means policy makers are under a closer monitoring from international investors, which can also result in higher financial market volatility”

EGYPT

* Overweight in credit, macro-picture seen as “a great story”
* “Growth potential is high. The country has done several necessary adjustments, including its foreign exchange, and it presented a good economic program”
* “There are some open issues, still, including access to electricity, red tape and a full free float of the currency”

viagra apoteket dk 3. China PBOC to draft package for financial market opening, sources say

China’s central bank is drafting a package of reforms which would give foreign investors greater access to the nation’s financial services industry, according to people familiar with the matter.

The People’s Bank of China will convene an internal meeting on Tuesday to discuss its proposals and get feedback from Chinese institutions, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. The meeting will also discuss the timetable for opening up the financial sector and the lessons learned from previous cooperation with foreign firms, the people added.

While the details of the plan have yet to be finalized, it may include permission for foreign institutions to control their local finance-sector joint ventures, as well as raising the current 25 percent ceiling on foreign ownership in Chinese banks, the people said. It may also allow foreign firms to provide yuan-denominated bank card clearing services, one of the people said. The China Banking Regulatory Commission is also involved in the proposal, the person added

The PBOC couldn’t immediately comment on the matter. The CBRC didn’t immediately respond to a fax seeking comment.

China sent a signal it plans to press ahead with opening up the financial sector when central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said in June that too much protection for domestic institutions weakens the industry and can lead to financial instability. Last month, China’s cabinet said the country will continue to open up various industries, including banking, securities, insurance as well as electric cars.

Currently, overseas investment banks can only hold minority stakes in their local securities joint ventures, and have been largely excluded from lucrative businesses such as secondary-market trading in Chinese debt and equities, as well as from managing money for wealthy clients.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who last year decided to exit a minority-owned Chinese investment-banking joint venture, said in June that the US bank is patiently negotiating with Chinese regulators to find a new structure that would eventually allow full control.

Insurance opening

China will open up its insurance market further, mainly by encouraging foreign insurers already operating locally to enter the health, pension and catastrophe insurance sectors, China Insurance Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Chen Wenhui said earlier this month.

Chinese regulators last year decided to open up the nation’s fund market, allowing investment firms in China to be 100 percent owned by foreign managers. At least a dozen global money managers such as Man Group Plc, Bridgewater Associates and Fidelity International have announced plans since then to start private securities funds. Before the rule change, foreign firms were restricted from running such private funds in China but could take stakes in mutual fund companies and provide advice to onshore funds.

Source: The StarTheEdgeMarkets

MARKET SUMMARY 14/09/2017

Domestic News

kosten viagra tschechien 1. Palette seeks to change name to UCrest

Palette Multimedia Bhd, which provides solutions in the areas of broadband, wireless and networking products and services, said it intends to change its name to UCrest Bhd.

“The use of the proposed name UCrest Bhd has been approved and reserved by the Companies Commission of Malaysia,” Palette said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

Palette said it will next seek approval from its shareholders on the name change, in a meeting to be convened at a later day.

Listed on the ACE Market since 2001, Palette is currently a loss-making technology solutions provider.

For the financial year ended May 31, 2017, Palette recorded a net loss of RM802,000 on revenue of RM5.71 million.

Palette’s share price slipped 0.5 sen or 2% to close at 24.5 sen, giving the firm a market capitalisation of RM78.28 million.

was kostet levitra mit rezept 2. Straits Inter Logistics bags RM45m bunkering services contract

Straits Inter Logistics Bhd today signed a half year contract worth RM45 million to provide oil bunkering and related services.

The group said its 51%-owned subsidiary, Selatan Bunker (M) Sdn Bhd, inked the contract with Tumpuan Megah Development Sdn Bhd (TMD).

The two parties had previously inked a collaboration agreement to explore and develop the business of bunkering services for marine fuel, petroleum and petroleum-based products — including marketing and sales of bunkering services — in the Pasir Gudang Port area of Johor.

“We are pleased to be awarded this very first oil bunkering service contract, after we announced our business venture into this sector at the end of last year,” said Straits managing director Datuk Seri Ho Kam Choy in a statement today.

“We expect this business to eventually become the core business of Straits, and to replace the oil trading business that is currently contributing some 90% to our group revenue,” Ho added in the statement.

The ACE Market-listed company, formerly known as Raya International Bhd, said the contract will last for six months, and will be funded via proceeds from its recently-completed rights issue and internally-generated funds.

The contract is expected to contribute positively to the earnings of the company for the year ended Dec 31, 2017, the statement added.

The group plans to commence its oil bunkering services by early fourth quarter of 2017, following the acquisition of its first two vessels.

Straits’ share price closed 1 sen or 2.08% higher at 25 sen today, for a market capitalisation of RM45.1 million.

cheap Zenegra France 3. TNB unit plans to raise RM4b via sukuk for Project 4A

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) announced that its 51%-owned Southern Power Generation Sdn Bhd plans to raise RM4 billion via the issuance of sukuk, which will have a tenure of up to 20 years.

According to TNB, proceeds of the sukuk will be used by Southern Power Generation to fund up to 80% of the total construction cost of the 2X720MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor, previously code-named Project 4A.

It was previously reported that the project will cost some RM4.7 billion.

The sukuk, said TNB in its Bursa Malaysia filing today, will be issued in one lump sum. While the issuance may not have an immediate material impact to earnings, TNB said the exercise could potentially raise its consolidated gearing.

“For illustrative purposes, based on TNB’s consolidated balance sheet ended May 31, and assuming that the maximum amount of RM4 billion nominal value of the sukuk wakalah is issued, TNB’s consolidated gearing would increase from 39.8% to 42.3%,” the state-owned electricity generator and distributor said in the filing.

The planned sukuk has been assigned an indicative rating of AA-IS by Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd. The issuance is advised by CIMB Investment Bank Bhd.

Southern Power Generation had, in September 2016, inked a power purchase agreement with TNB. The Pasir Gudang power plant, which is in the midst of construction, is expected to achieve commercial operations by July 1, 2020.

The remainder 49% stake in Southern Power Generation is held by SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd, which is linked to Johor ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail.

Shares in TNB, controlled by the government via Khazanah Nasional Bhd, closed unchanged at RM14.58 today, valuing the electricity firm at a market capitalisation of RM82.51 billion.

It is worth noting that in terms of market capitalisation, TNB is the second largest company on the local bourse after the country’s largest bank Malayan Banking Bhd, or commonly known as Maybank.

International News

viagra 25mg prix 1. UK confirms Murdoch’s Sky bid will be examined over broadcasting standards

Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc will have to prove it can uphold broadcasting standards in Britain to secure its US$15 billion takeover of broadcaster Sky, following concerns over his Fox News operations.

Britain’s Culture and Media Secretary Karen Bradley on Thursday referred the bid to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for a 24-week review into Fox’s commitment to broadcasting standards and the level of influence it will give Murdoch in the country.

Rupert Murdoch was for years courted by British politicians determined to win the backing of his Sun and Times newspapers, but that changed in 2011 when a criminal scandal at his News of the World tabloid revealed the extremely close ties he held with the top of government.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration has taken a cautious approach to the deal, ignoring advice from media regulator Ofcom that it did not have concerns about broadcasting standards, and sending it to the competition regulator for the longest review possible.

Bradley had said on Tuesday that she was “minded” to refer the planned purchase of the 69% of Sky that it does not already own, to look into corporate governance.

That surprise sent London-listed shares in Sky down 5%, before they later recovered.

“Yesterday, I received letters on behalf of both parties to the merger, confirming that while they disagree with my ‘minded to’ decision they would not be making substantive representations in relation to it,” Bradley told parliament on Wednesday.

Fox said it remained disappointed.

“We now look forward to engaging constructively with the CMA, as independent authority, and hope that the findings of this process will be respected by the Secretary of State,” Fox said.

Murdoch’s U.S. Fox News network has been rocked by a series of sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, leading to high profile resignations, including former chief executive Roger Ailes and star anchor Bill O’Reilly.

The media mogul’s critics have also pointed to the phone-hacking scandal involving journalists at his now-defunct News of the World tabloid, which forced him to drop a previous attempt to buy Sky in 2011.

Bradley said the CMA would have 24 weeks to investigate the merger plans.

“I must then come to a final decision on whether or not the merger can proceed, including any conditions that will apply, in order to do so,” she said.

2.Firmly dovish SNB pushes franc lower

The Swiss franc tumbled against the dollar and the euro on Thursday, after Switzerland’s central bank softened its language on the currency’s valuation, though it stood firm on its ultra-easy monetary policy stance.

In a nod to the euro’s near 7% gains against the franc this year, the SNB ditched its nearly three-year mantra that the franc was “significantly overvalued” and said the currency remained highly valued.

But the central bank retained its negative interest rates and nudged its inflation forecast higher, indicating it was comfortable with the currency weakness at a time when its major counterparts such as the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve are unwinding years of policy stimulus.

“The SNB seems content to lag well behind the ECB and Fed in the monetary cycle,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

The dollar climbed 0.3% against the franc at 0.9669 francs per dollar and the euro rose by a similar quantum to 1.1494 francs per euro.

Josh O’Byrne, a currency strategist at Citibank said more hawkish signals from the central bank will “become more probable” only after exhibiting protracted franc weakness.

In contrast to the caution exhibited by the SNB, the Bank of England policymakers struck a relatively optimistic note at its meeting and said the first interest rate rise in more than a decade was likely needed in the “coming months”, if the economy keeps growing and inflationary pressures continue to build.

Sterling surged higher and short-dated yields spiked after the policy decision.

Meanwhile, the dollar consolidated gains, a day after posting its biggest single-day rise in six weeks, as markets looked forward to U.S. inflation data that will determine the near term trading outlook for the struggling greenback.

With short bets against the dollar stuck near record highs despite this week’s rally, any upside inflation surprise might trigger a broad-based pull-back in positioning.

“We view this dollar move higher as broadly a corrective move and now the question is how much the dollar can recover before the data,” said Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at ING in London.

The dollar, which slid to a 10-month low of 107.32 yen last week on worries over Hurricane Irma and North Korea, has climbed this week as risk sentiment improved and U.S. Treasury yields edged higher.

The dollar was trading 0.1% lower against a broad basket of currencies at 92.416 in early trades. It rose 0.7% on Wednesday, its biggest daily rise since Aug 4, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The U.S. core consumer price index is expected to have risen 1.6% on an annual basis in August, which would be the lowest since early 2015, versus 1.7% in July.

The Fed has a 2% inflation target, and a series of subdued price readings have dampened expectations for the Fed to raise interest rates again this year and weighed on the dollar.

3. Global accounting body steps up attack on ‘data dump’ company statements

Companies should produce more concise and crisper financial statements and annual reports, cutting out unnecessary “boilerplate” and “data dump” material, a global accounting body said on Thursday.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published guidance to encourage more selective judgements about relevant information in such statements.

IASB Vice Chairman Sue Lloyd said there was too much clutter as companies and their auditors cover themselves by including every detail, rather than stepping back and saying what really matters for investors and leaving out the rest.

Auditors in over 100 countries, including the European Union, apply IASB standards. Judgements can relate to core issues like recognising losses or gains, and measuring them.

The guidance sets out a four-step process to identify, assess, organise and review whether a piece of information is material.

“If I am a bank, do people really care about my property, plant and equipment in the scheme of things?” Lloyd said.

“If that’s how you think about it then the result is you just end up with pages and pages of stuff that’s not really relevant at all to investors. You have to wade through the morass to find the stuff that really matters for them.”

The IASB hopes that statements and annual reports will become more concise.

It wants a “behavioural change” among companies, auditors and even regulators, some of whom put pressure on firms to include every piece of information in statements, Lloyd added.

Source: The StarTheEdgeMarkets

MARKET SUMMARY 13/09/2017

Domestic News

1. CAB to set up poultry abattoir in Singapore

Penang-based CAB Cakaran Corp Bhd is setting up a poultry slaughtering facility in Singapore, along with a dormitory for its workers.

CAB’s 51%-owned unit, Tong Huat Poultry Processing Factory Pte Ltd, has inked a shareholder agreement with four parties to subscribe for stakes in Singapore Poultry Hub Pte Ltd, which will operate and manage the facility.

The four parties are Kee Song Holdings Pte Ltd, Sinmah Holdings (S) Pte Ltd, Tysan Food Pte Ltd and Tan Chin Long, the poultry firm said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

CAB will be subscribing for a 25% stake in Singapore Poultry Hub. Kee Seong and Sinmah will also take up 25% stakes, while Tysan and Tan will hold 12.5% stakes.

On for the rationale to ink the shareholders’ agreement, CAB said it will regulate the affairs and businesses to be undertaken by Singapore Poultry Hub.

“This also provides CAB with an investment opportunity in poultry type businesses, which is in line with its plan to expand its poultry market footprint in Malaysia and overseas,” CAB added.

According to CAB’s 2016 annual report, the group derives 14% of its revenue from its operation in Singapore, while the remaining 86% is generated by its Malaysian business.

CAB is controlled by its executive chairman Chuah Ah Bee, with a 31.61% stake. Indonesia food tycoon Antoni Salim — owner of the famed Indomee instant noodles — holds a 19.22% stake via Plant Wealth Holdings Ltd.

2. TRX City inks deals with MRT Corp, SMART for better connectivity

TRX City Sdn Bhd, the master developer of Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), has entered into strategic partnerships with both Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) and Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel Sdn Bhd (SMART), to enhance the upcoming financial district’s connectivity with the rest of Kuala Lumpur.

TRX City’s agreement with MRT Corp has given the right to the transport infrastructure developer to develop an underground station and railway tunnel on land in TRX, while TRX City retains the right for future development of the above ground section.

“Our mutual agreement means MRT [Corp] is able to bring the lines into TRX without having to purchase the plot, while allowing us to keep the development rights of the highly strategic location, capitalizing on the expected future upside,” chief executive officer of TRX City, Datuk Azmar Talib said in a statement today.

The Tun Razak Exchange MRT station is the only interchange between the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line and the upcoming Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line in the city, a crucial point in making the financial district, one of KL’s largest transit-oriented developments.

“TRX will stand to benefit from not one but two MRT lines. The excellent connectivity and accessibility this development will gain by being linked directly to the urban rail network, will certainly boost its intended role as a world-class financial district,” said MRT Corp chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar.

Meanwhile, TRX City’s agreement with SMART involved the swapping of land and the relocation of SMART’s maintenance depot to a new location within TRX.

Consequently, TRX will have direct access to the SMART tunnel, providing it with road connectivity to Greater KL’s southern corridor, which includes areas such as Cheras, Seri Kembangan and Sungai Besi.

“We are happy to partner with TRX City to further enhance the traffic infrastructure in Greater KL. SMART will work very closely with TRX for a smooth relocation,” said Sharifah Alauyah Wan Othman, chief operating officer of SMART.

Separately, TRX City in a statement said it is improving TRX’s connectivity beyond its boundaries.

“It is currently working with DBKL on the Jalan Tun Razak traffic dispersal project and on building pedestrian-friendly walkways that will connect TRX to the Bukit Bintang shopping belt,” the statement read.

3. Malaysian banks to see slower earnings growth in 2H after peaking in 1H — CIMB

Malaysian banks’ net profit growth of 12.1% in the first half of 2017 is anticipated to slow to 6% in the second half (2H17), according to CIMB Research.

This is mainly due to the higher base recorded in 2H16 of RM12.1 billion, compared with RM10.1 billion for 1H16, it said in a note to clients today. It expects net earnings expansion to register 8.3% in 2018.

Malaysian banks, it said, registered a core net profit year-on-year growth of 20.1% for the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17) — the strongest since 3Q10 — higher than the 14.1% y-o-y growth captured in 1Q17.

The key earnings drivers in 2Q17 were a 9.2% y-o-y rise in net interest income — the strongest in five years — and a 74.8% y-o-y plunge in impairment losses for Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and RHB Bank Bhd, it said.

However, the sector’s 2Q17 net profit was below the research house’s expectations as one bank missed its estimates, while none of the other banks outperformed its expectations.

Maybank and RHB Bank, it said, recorded the strongest net profit growth of 43% y-o-y each in 2Q17, mainly catalysed by the absence of the chunky impairment losses for their exposures to Swiber bonds. It said the net earnings growth for CIMB Group Holdings Bhd was also strong at 26.3% y-o-y in 2Q17.

Apart from the above three banks, all other banks recorded single-digit net profit growth in 2Q17.

“The sole underperformer in 2Q17 was BIMB Holdings (Bhd) as its 1HFY17 net profit only accounted for 47% of our full-year forecast due to lower-than-expected topline growth,” said CIMB. BIMB Holdings’s 2Q17 net profit declined 5.6% y-o-y.

Industry loan growth was also weak at only 1.8% in 1H17, translating to an annualised growth of 3.6% for 2017, said CIMB.

“In our view, the drag mainly came from the business loan segment, which we estimate to have expanded by only 1.1% in 1H17. We are projecting a loan growth of 4-5% for 2017F, below the 5.3% registered in 2016,” it said.

Moving forward, CIMB expects 2H17 earnings to be supported by an expected decline in loan loss provisioning, and a recovery in loan growth.

“We project 9.2% net profit growth for banks under our coverage in 2017F, compared to a rate of only 0.5% in 2016. The 2017 net profit growth would be underpinned by (1) the normalisation of loan loss provisioning, with an expected increase of only 6% in 2017 versus 67.7% y-o-y jump in 2016, and (2) the non-recurrence of RM452 million in impairment losses incurred by Maybank and RHB Bank for their exposures to Swiber bonds,” it said.

It also kept its ‘neutral’ call on banks, given the potential negative impact from the adoption of the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards 9 or MFRS 9 in 2018, and unattractive valuations.

International News

1. India’s edible oil imports to fall in coming crop year — analyst

India’s edible oil imports are set to fall in 2017/18 as a bumper crop of oilseeds are carried forward and will boost domestic edible oil production in the year ahead, a leading industry analyst and trade expert said on Wednesday.

A drop in imports next year would be the first in seven years, although in July the view was that India’s higher oilseed output and crushing would lead to a fall in the current year.

Instead, farmers were reluctant to sell this year’s bumper oilseed output at low prices and stocks will be carried forward to be crushed next year, said managing director of trading firm G.G. Patel & Nikhil Research Company, Govindbhai Patel.

Lower purchases by the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils could put pressure next year on soyoil and palm oil prices, which have surged over the last few months.

India is expected to import 15.13 million tonnes of edible oils in the year starting on Nov 1, down 70,000 tonnes from the current year, Patel told an industry conference on Wednesday.

India’s edible oil purchases — mainly palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia and soybean oil from Argentina and Brazil — have increased each year since 2010/11, according to the Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA).

The country’s edible oil imports in the year to Oct 31 are now expected to rise 4.3% from a year ago to 15.2 million tonnes, Patel said, after earlier being expected to fall.

That means India is likely to start the new marketing year with carry forward stocks of 1.16 million tonnes of soybeans compared to just 460,000 tonnes a year ago, Patel said.

The country’s soybean production in 2017/18 is expected to fall 15.2% from a year ago to 8.9 million tonnes due to a reduction in planting and lower rainfall in key growing regions, he also said.

Still, with the carry forward stocks, domestic output of edible oils is expected to rise 8.7% to 7.66 million tonnes in the next season.

Palm oil accounts for more than half of India’s total edible oil imports. Its purchases are likely to edge lower to 9.13 million tonnes in 2017/18, compared with 9.28 million tonnes in the current year, Patel said.

Imports of sunflower oil — perceived to be a healthier option by many Indians — could surge 8% to 2.3 million tonnes next year, while soyoil imports could remain largely steady around 3.5 million tonnes, he said.

2. Australia’s CBA launches first bond issue since money-laundering scandal

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has launched a bond issue in the United States on Wednesday, in what will be a test of support for Australia’s largest lender caught in a money-laundering scandal.

The bond issue is expected to total well over US$1 billion, and will be divided into three parts maturing in three, five and ten years, according to an emailed statement by the bank.

The bank had met investors last week to gauge support for the capital raising amid questions over whether the scandal would impact its ability to raise debt.

“Recent investor discussions have been very constructive and the overall view of investors is that our credit quality remains high,” CBA Group Treasurer Paolo Tonucci said in a statement.

“Investors are very confident in our credit profile and are happy to invest in our securities. The addition of a ten year maturity reflects this confidence,” Tonucci said.

The bank is offering about 112.5 basis points over U.S. Treasuries for the 10-year fixed bond issue, while the five-year and three-year tranches offer about 90 basis points and 75 basis points over Treasuries, respectively. The deal is expected to price on Wednesday afternoon in New York.

CBA is being sued by Australia’s financial intelligence body, AUSTRAC, over alleged widespread breaches of anti-money and counter terrorism financing laws, and is also facing separate investigations by two regulatory bodies and a potential class action.

CBA’s shares have shed A$14.3 billion (US$11.5 billion) or 9% of their market value since the AUSTRAC case was lodged. It has blamed a coding error for most of the suspicious transactions and plans to defend itself in court.

3. Apple takes shine off stocks rally

Disappointment over the timing of Apple’s iPhone X release hampered further gains for world stock markets on Wednesday after an easing of concerns about North Korea sent indices to record highs.

While a broadly weaker yen pushed Tokyo higher, MSCI’s main indicator of Asian shares outside Japan fell back from a 10-year peak and Europe’s main markets were flat.

Apple suppliers including AMS and Dialog fell by 1-3% in morning trade in Europe, with traders citing the later than expected Nov. 3 shipping date for the new iPhone. British semi-conductor firm IQE Plc sank more than 6%.

Apple shares, which finished with a small loss on Tuesday, fell another 0.4% in pre-market trade. Wall Street overall was seen opening slightly lower.

“It would appear that a running start to the week and fresh record highs in the S&P 500 has proven a little much for some traders, with profit taking seen ahead of Wednesday’s open,” said Craig Erlam, an analyst with online broker Oanda.

The pan-European STOXX 600 dipped 0.1% as weakness in chipmakers was compounded by a drop in miners.

Chipmakers have been the best-performing among Europe’s tech stocks this year, accounting for a large chunk of the sector’s outperformance. AMS shares have gained 165% year-to-date.

“The economics of the Apple announcement are interesting because it will really test this theory that inflation is going to be weak,” said Mike Bell, global markets strategist with JP Morgan Asset Management in London.

“With the iPhone coming in around US$1,000 it will be interesting to see how healthy demand is. If it’s relatively healthy I think it shows that there is still quite a lot of pricing power for US companies and consumers have confidence.”

In currency markets the dominant trend this week has been a recovery for the dollar and sterling. The dollar hit a 12-day high above 110 yen in Asian time before easing back as traders awaited US inflation numbers on Thursday.

Britain’s pound hit a one-year high above US$1.33 and a six-week high on a trade-weighted basis before falling back after weak wage data that may undermine any threat the Bank of England might make about raising interest rates.

“Now it’s ‘Wait and see’ for US dollar investors,” said Esther Reichelt, a strategist with Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “Everyone’s waiting for the inflation data tomorrow and the Fed next week.”

After a soft start, oil prices were around half a percent higher after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the global oil surplus was starting to shrink due to robust global demand and an output drop from OPEC and other producers.

Source: The StarTheEdgeMarkets

 

MARKET SUMMARY 12/09/2017

Domestic News

1. Malaysia Airlines to sign US$1.8b Boeing jets deal during Najib’s US trip — sources

Malaysia Airlines will announce a deal to buy eight widebody Boeing 787 jets during the visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the United States, two industry sources said on Tuesday.

The deal, worth more than US$1.8 billion at list prices, is expected to be one of the announcements that will be made after Najib meets with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, the sources said.

The United States was Malaysia’s third-largest trading partner in 2016. The meeting with Trump is critical for Najib, who is looking to raise his standing globally, and in Malaysia, where he is expected to call general elections in the coming months.

An international graft probe by the United States and several other nations into state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has hurt Najib’s popularity. With the US visit, Najib is hoping to put the 1MDB scandal behind him.

Najib is scheduled to witness a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony between Malaysia Airlines and Boeing, according to a schedule of the Prime Minister’s events in Washington reported by Malaysian media outlets.

The two sources said Malaysia Airlines considered buying Airbus A330neos before settling on the 787 order. Aircraft manufacturers typically give discounts to list prices.

Malaysia Airlines said it would not comment on reports that are speculative in nature. Boeing and Airbus declined to comment. The sources did not want to be named because the discussions were private.

Brendan Sobie, chief analyst at independent aviation research firm CAPA Centre for Aviation, said the timing of the order alongside Najib’s visit raised concerns of potential political influence over the purchase.

“This has happened before with Malaysia Airlines — and other airlines in this region for that matter — where the government has decided to buy an airplane that wasn’t really required,” Singapore-based Sobie said. “I think in this case the 787 is required anyway. But now that it is a political thing there are questions.”

Malaysia Airlines has been transforming its operations under two consecutive non-Malaysian bosses as it recovers from two tragedies in 2014, when flight MH370 disappeared in what remains a mystery and flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. The carrier is targeting a return to profit next year.

Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Peter Bellew said in June the carrier was in early negotiations with Airbus and Boeing for the purchase of 35-40 new long-range jets.

CAPA analyst Sobie said the airline needed widebodies for growth, as well as to replace ageing A330 aircraft over the next several years, making eight aircraft a smaller than expected order.

In the eight months ended Aug 31, Boeing announced 426 net orders compared to 215 at Airbus.

2. EPF, UEM Group say reviewing Maju’s offer for PLUS, but no intention to sell for now

UEM Group Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today said they currently have no intention of selling their respective stakes in highway operator PLUS Malaysia Bhd to Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd.

In a joint statement, the two entities said they had received a non-binding letter of intent from Evercore Asia Ltd on behalf of Maju Holdings, which indicated its intent to acquire the entire equity stake in PLUS.

The statement confirmed a report by The Edge Financial Daily today that a bid was made by Maju Holdings for their stakes in PLUS.

Quoting a Maju Holdings spokesman, the daily reported that Maju Holdings, which is controlled by businessman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed, had submitted a formal bid via its financial advisers to UEM Group and EPF.

UEM Group has a 51% stake in PLUS, while EPF controls the remainder 49%.

“We are unable to comment further as we are in the midst of reviewing the letter of intent, and until we conclude the review process, our current stand remains that we have no intention of selling our respective stakes,” UEM Group and EPF’s joint statement today read.

PLUS has five concessions. They are: Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan Bhd which has under its umbrella the North-South Expressway, New Klang Valley Expressway, Federal Highway Route 2 and Seremban-Port Dickson Highway; Expressway Lingkaran Tengah Sdn Bhd which includes North-South Expressway Central Link; Linkedua (M) Bhd which owns the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing; the Konsortium Lebuhraya Butterworth-Kulim Sdn Bhd, also known as the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway; and Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd.

In the meantime, UEM Group said PLUS is one of its long-standing core business and that it will continue to ensure that PLUS provide its customers with good and beneficial services as well as safe highway infrastructure.

“PLUS is also one of the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) core investments (49% stake) that fits well into the retirement fund’s risk profile benefitting our 14 million members,” the statement further read.

3. IKEA breaks ground in Penang

IKEA today held the groundbreaking ceremony for its fourth store in Malaysia located in Batu Kawan, Penang.

The Swedish furniture chain said the store is set to open in 2019 and will be within a one-hour drive for more than 825,000 households in Penang.

“It will be easy for millions of people to access the thousands of functional, affordable home furnishing products we have in our IKEA range — not to mention our Swedish meatballs!” said Christian Rojkjaer, managing director of IKEA Southeast Asia, in a statement.

“We have seen people from Penang driving more than 350 kilometres to shop at IKEA in Kuala Lumpur. This store in Batu Kawan will make it easy for them to come for a great day out,” he added.

The store forms part of the Aspen Vision City development, which promises to transform Batu Kawan into a vibrant community with condominiums, a financial hub, a school and parkland.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, in a separate statement, said the store will create hundreds of new jobs and create spin-off businesses for suppliers, as well as draw in tourists and new investors.

“Attracting IKEA to our state has long been a key part of our plan to make Penang an international and intelligent state that is also an attractive destination where people live, learn, work and play,” said Lim.

IKEA Batu Kawan will become the fourth IKEA store in Malaysia, with two in Klang Valley and another in Johor Bahru slated to open by end 2017.

International News

1. Li is upbeat on China economy as Lagarde cites push to curb risk

Premier Li Keqiang said China’s economy will maintain its momentum and that the leverage ratio has “decreased somewhat” as authorities push on with a drive to reduce financial risk.

Cuts to excess capacity are exceeding expectations, while new growth drivers are replacing old ones at a faster pace, Li said Tuesday in Beijing after round-table talks on trade, finance and economic growth with heads of institutions including the International Monetary Fund.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the country is making critical efforts to rein in financial risk, and cited an “incredible re-balancing” of the economy from industrial to services and technology. Short-term risks are easing as medium-term risks rise, she said.

China has spent generously to ensure the economy is holding up when the 19th Party Congress convenes next month. The IMF recently raised its estimate of annual growth rates through 2020 and said expansion is expected to remain unchanged this year at 6.7%.

The meeting is Beijing’s second time hosting the heads of six international organizations, following the first gathering last July. It’s part of an effort to enhance China’s profile in global economics and finance, which until now hasn’t matched its heft in trade.

Li said the economy will continue its first-half performance, and that the country won’t seek to boost exports by devaluing the yuan. He reiterated that proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy will continue, and said government debt is controllable.

While the IMF raised growth estimates in its latest assessment of the economy, it also warned growth would come at the cost of rising debt that increases medium-term risks to the economy. Household, corporate and government debt will increase to almost 300% of gross domestic product by 2022 from 242% last year, IMF staff estimated.

The world economy looks better than a year ago, but still has clouds on the horizon, Lagarde said. Threats to the global recovery include protectionism, vulnerability in some economies, and weak productivity growth in many nations, she said.

Protectionist Threat

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim echoed Lagarde, telling reporters at the same briefing that the global recovery remains fragile and that international cooperation is increasingly necessary as the world faces a serious challenge from rising protectionism.

Joining Lagarde and Kim in the meeting with Li were World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo, International Labor Organization Director-General Guy Ryder, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary-General Angel Gurria and Financial Stability Board Chairman Mark Carney.

China’s economy is forecast to slow from the first half, when it started the year with the first back-to-back quarterly acceleration in seven years then surprised economists by matching that 6.9% expansion again in the second quarter. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg project growth will slow to 6.6% in the fourth quarter.

Party Congress

Still, growth remains well on track to remain above the target of at least 6.5% as Communist Party officials work this year to balance preserving the expansion with curbing risk before a twice-a-decade leadership transition set for Oct 18. While President Xi Jinping and Li are likely to stay on the party’s elite Standing Committee, recent retirement conventions suggest the five other members are set to step down.

Before the meeting, Li said in a brief statement to reporters that China will communicate more with the international community as its economy is deeply fused with the world’s, and that it’s willing to hear how international economic organisations see the country’s economy. He added that the government will uphold multilateralism and respect international bodies.

2. UK inflation jump puts Bank of England back in spotlight on rates

British inflation hit its joint highest in more than five years in August as households paid more for fuel and clothing, complicating the Bank of England’s job this week of explaining why it is not raising interest rates.

The fall in the value of the pound since last year’s Brexit vote helped drive the biggest rise in clothing prices since the consumer price index was launched in 1997, up by 4.6% in annual terms, and rising global oil costs also hit.

Consumer prices overall increased by 2.9% compared with a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said, up from 2.6% in July and above the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists for a rise of 2.8%.

That took the CPI back to its level in May.

Sterling hit a four-week high against the euro after the data as investors priced in a greater chance of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee raising interest rates for the first time since before the global financial crisis a decade ago, and British government bond prices fell.

Sam Hill, an economist with RBC Capital Markets, said the BoE had been expecting inflation of 2.7% in August and while no change in rates was likely this week, the inflation reading was a challenge for the central bank.

It is worried that uncertainty about Brexit will hurt the economy and has so far held off from raising rates to avoid adding to a slowdown in growth seen in the first half of 2017.

“I think it will be a real headache for the MPC at the moment,” Hill said. “Inflationary pressure is there but there is also evidence that consumers are having a tough time.”

PIPELINE PRESSURE

The BoE targets 2% inflation, but most of its policymakers have voted to keep rates at their all-time low of 0.25% as Britain prepares for the challenge of leaving the European Union in 2019.

The BoE said last month it expects inflation to reach about 3% in October, much of it due to the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.

A further recent fall in the pound against the euro is likely to keep pressure on British inflation for longer than the BoE forecast in August.

But Paul Hollingsworth, an economist with Capital Economics, said he expected inflation to peak at 3.1% in October.

“With mixed signals on the current strength of the economy and the majority of the Committee appearing to be comfortable with a temporary, exchange-rate driven pick-up in headline inflation, we don’t think that the MPC will be panicked into raising interest rates imminently,” he said.

Tuesday’s data hinted at some future price pressure as the costs of raw materials for manufacturers and of goods leaving factories increased slightly.

Factory gate prices rose by an annual 3.4%, the first increase in the rate since February.

Economists in the Reuters poll had expected growth of 3.1%.

Prices paid by factories for materials and energy rose by 7.6%.

The ONS said excluding oil prices and other volatile components such as food, core consumer price inflation rose by 2.7%, stronger than economists’ expectations of 2.5%.

3. Battered by cyclone, Philippines suffers flooding, landslides

A cylone dumped heavy rains in the Philippine capital, Manila, and nearby provinces on Tuesday, causing widespread flooding and landslides in some areas that killed at least two people, the national disaster agency said.

Financial markets, government offices and schools were closed and port operations in some provinces were suspended, it said. Several flights were cancelled.

The weather bureau said cyclone Maring, which was packing winds of up to 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph), made landfall in the morning over Mauban municipality in the eastern province of Quezon.

Romina Marasigan, a spokeswoman for the national disaster agency, said two teenaged brothers died from a landslide in Taytay, Rizal, 20 kilometres (12.43 miles) from Manila.

“Some residents unfortunately did not heed the advice of local officials to evacuate to safer grounds,” she said in a media briefing.

Marasigan warned of more flashfloods and landslides as rains were expected to continue later in the day, before the cyclone moves back over the sea early on Wednesday.

Twenty-two passengers were rescued from a bus stuck in floodwaters in Pitogo town in Quezon, she said.

Local officials ordered the evacuation of residents in some towns under floodwaters in Quezon, Laguna, Rizal and Batangas provinces, she said.

The weather bureau said it was also keeping an eye on typhoon Talim which was packing winds of up to 120 kph (75 mph), spotted moving toward the country’s northern tip and to Taiwan.

Source: The StarTheEdgeMarkets

 

MARKET SUMMARY 11/09/2017

Domestic News

1. Ministry studying automated parking system for People’s Housing Projects

The Federal Territories Ministry is studying the feasibility of having automated multi-storey car parks at People’s Housing Projects (PPR) here to solve the problem of parking spaces.

Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the study conducted by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would use PPR Kerinchi as a pilot project as the area has a high population density, Bernama reported yesterday.

“Although the multi-storey car parks at 12 PPRs will be made this year and next year, we plan to use a new multi-storey parking with a ‘decking’ concept which will automatically operate with the existing system to enable more efficient and easier movement of vehicles such as in Japan and [South] Korea.

“We will also [be able to] increase the number of parking spaces there…if the place (PPR) already has parking spaces, we can increase it by two to three times. So far, DBKL is still evaluating which areas are suitable for this facility,” Bernama reported him as saying after launching the Jom Bantu Rakyat Lembah Pantai programme at PPR Kerinchi here yesterday.

Japan is the heaviest user of automated multi-storey car parks, already having more than 100,000 automated parking spaces per year by the late 1990s to accommodate the rapid increase in motorisation in the country.

In Singapore, the Housing Development Board introduced the first mechanised parking system in its public housing scheme in 2015.

2. SC announces senior management appointments

Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has appointed Kamarudin Hashim as executive director of its Market & Corporate Supervision business group.

He will be overseeing the institution supervision, corporate surveillance, market surveillance and risk analysis departments of the commission, SC said in a statement.

Kamarudin, who has been with SC since 1993, was formerly leading the Intermediary and Fund Supervision team and with vast experience in various areas including derivatives, bonds, fund management, Islamic capital markets and supervision.

SC has also promoted Salmah Bee Mohd Mydin to the position of director of Intermediary & Fund Supervision, in charge of supervision of market intermediaries and authorisation & licensing.

Salmah has over 20 years of experience in finance and capital markets industry. Over the years at SC, Salmah has taken different roles giving her considerable knowledge and exposure in regulatory matters including compliance, enforcement, licensing and supervision.

Additionally, SC has appointed Tengku Zarina Tengku Chik as the director of Corporate Resources.

Tengku Zarina has more than 25 years of global banking experience both in corporate and international finance. She has taken on several strategic transformation roles previously, with the latest being Maybank’s head of operational excellence for global banking.

In her new role, Tengku Zarina will be in charge of finance, knowledge management and corporate services and will be involved in SC’s ongoing work in capacity building and operational efficiency.

3. FBM KLCI up on North Korea cue as Hengyuan renews investor confidence

THE FBM KLCI closed 2.84 points or 0.2% higher today with Asian shares after North Korea refrained from missile launches during the 69th anniversary of North Korea’s founding on Saturday.

In Malaysia today, investor confidence also grew amid improved performance of shares in downstream oil and gas-related companies like Hengyuan Refining Co Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd and Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd. At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,782.74 points.

“Investors are reacting to changes in direction of petrochemical and refining companies’ stocks,” Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd research head Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com.

Hengyuan, Petron and Lotte were among Bursa Malaysia top gainers. Hengyuan closed 47 sen higher at RM8.21, Petron added 43 sen to RM9.83 while Lotte rose 26 sen to RM5.77.

Across Bursa Malaysia, gainers outnumbered decliners at 502 and 312 respectively. A total of 2.73 billion shares worth RM2.16 billion changed hands.

Malaysian shares rose with Asian equities on North Korea’s latest geopolitical sentiment. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.41% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 1.04% higher.

South Korea’s Kospi addded 0.66%.

International News

1. Hyundai Motor, Kia to temporarily shut down US plants due to Irma

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co and sister car maker Kia Motors Corp said on Monday they planned to temporarily shut down plants in the United States to avoid potential damage from Hurricane Irma.

The shut down comes at a time Hyundai’s US sales have fallen more than the market average, and after it recently announced plans to expand its SUV lineup and launch a pickup truck in the market in an attempt to reverse the slide.

In a statement, Hyundai Motor said it would suspend operation of its Alabama plant for two days — between Monday and Wednesday — while Kia Motors will stop operation of its Georgia plant for one day — between Monday and Tuesday.

The suspension is expected to result in lost production of about 3,000 vehicles for both, the Yonhap news agency earlier said on Monday, citing a Hyundai Motor group spokesman. A Hyundai spokeswoman declined to comment on the number.

Hurricane Irma took aim at heavily populated areas of central Florida on Monday as it carved a path of destruction through the state with high winds and storm surges that left millions without power, ripped roofs off homes and flooded city streets.

Hyundai’s US sales are down nearly 11% this year through July 31, worse than the overall 2.9% decline in US car and light truck sales.

Sales of the Sonata, once a pillar of Hyundai’s US franchise, have fallen 30% through the first seven months of 2017. In contrast, sales of Hyundai’s current SUV lineup are up 11% for the first seven months of this year.

2. Philippines says some rebels ready to surrender as troops advance in Marawi

Some Islamic State-linked militants besieging the southern Philippines city of Marawi have sent “feelers” they are prepared to surrender after three and a half months of fighting, the military said on Monday.

Philippine forces have used loudspeakers urging militants to give themselves up, telling the estimated 50 to 60 fighters left in the city their lives would be spared if they disarm, change out of their black clothes and walk to a designated location.

“Hopefully, we will have surrenders within the next days,” spokesman Colonel Romeo Brawner told a news conference.

“There are feelers. Definitely, there are feelers,” he added, declining to elaborate.

The surrender offer came after a renewed, if short-lived, effort by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to start back-channel talks with militants, with a former Marawi mayor Omar Solitario Ali to have acted as an intermediary.

Duterte on Saturday ruled out the possibility of allowing rebels to flee in exchange for the release of dozens of hostages.

Two troops were killed at the weekend, taking to 147 the number of security forces killed in the Marawi conflict. Some 655 militants and 45 civilians have been killed, according to the army.

Troops were engaged in running battles with the militant alliance, led by Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute of the Maute group, and Isnilon Hapilon, a factional head of the Abu Sayyaf group, and Islamic State’s so-called “emir” in Southeast Asia.

More than 20 structures were captured, many laden with booby traps. Some were commercial high-rise buildings that have been used as sniper positions to thwart government forces.

Brawner described the operations as “a big accomplishment considering the enemy established very strong defensive positions”.

While some areas of Marawi are seeing citizens return and shops and schools re-open, most of the city remains deserted. Its centre is a wasteland, pummelled by daily air strikes and ground battles.

The resistance of the militants has frustrated the more than 400,000 residents displaced from the area and raised questions about how relatively few Islamists took control of the lakeside town and held significant parts of it.

“We are receiving a lot of questions: why is it taking too long for the government to recover this area?” said Brawner.

“It is really difficult to do urban fighting.”

The United States has been giving technical and logistics support to the Philippine military and on Monday announced it had deployed a Gray Eagle unmanned surveillance aircraft over Marawi.

Australia has also provided two P3-Orion surveillance planes and last week announced it would send more defence personnel to train Philippine troops.

3. UN Security Council to vote Monday on weakened N.Korea sanctions — diplomats

The UN Security Council is set to vote on Monday on a watered-down US-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its latest nuclear test, diplomats said, but it was unclear whether China and Russia would support it.

North Korea warned the United States that it would pay a “due price” for spearheading efforts for fresh sanctions for this month’s nuclear test, which followed a series of test missile launches, all in defiance of UN sanctions.

A US-drafted resolution originally calling for an oil embargo on the North, a halt to its key exports of textiles and subjecting leader Kim Jong Un to a financial and travel ban have been weakened, apparently to placate Russia and China which both have veto powers, diplomats said.

It no longer proposes blacklisting Kim and relaxes sanctions earlier proposed on oil and gas, a draft reviewed by Reuters shows. It still proposes a ban on textile exports.

North Korea was condemned globally for conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sept 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb. NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said at the weekend that North Korea’s “reckless behaviour”, pursuing nuclear and missile programmes, was a global threat and required a global response.

The tensions have weighed on global markets, but on Monday there was some relief among investors that North Korea did not conduct a further missile test this weekend when it celebrated its founding anniversary.

Still, North Korea denounced efforts by Washington to impose new UN-backed sanctions against the country. The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United States was “going frantic” to manipulate the Security Council over Pyongyang’s nuclear test, which it said was part of “legitimate self-defensive measures.”

“In case the US eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful ‘resolution’ on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the US pays due price,” the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

DPRK stands for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“The world will witness how the DPRK tames the US gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged,” the unnamed spokesman said.

“The DPRK has developed and perfected the super-powerful thermo-nuclear weapon as a means to deter the ever-increasing hostile moves and nuclear threat of the US and defuse the danger of nuclear war looming over the Korean peninsula and the region.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said last week during a visit to Russia that shutting off North Korea’s supply of oil was inevitable this time to bring Pyongyang to talks and he called for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support.

Putin has remained firm however that such sanctions on oil would have negative humanitarian effects on North Koreans.

China, the North’s lone major ally, may be most critical though in deciding if oil sanctions go ahead because it controls an oil pipeline that industry sources say provides about 520,000 tonnes of crude a year to the North.

A Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by permanent members the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to pass.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stressed the need for consensus and maintaining peace.

“I have said before that China agrees that the UN Security Council should make a further response and necessary actions with respect to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test,” he told reporters.

“We hope Security Council members on the basis of sufficient consultations reach consensus and project a united voice. The response and actions the Security Council makes should be conducive to the denuclearisation of the peninsula, conducive to safeguarding the peace and stability of the peninsula, and conducive to push forward the use of peaceful and political means to resolve the peninsula nuclear issue.”

FALLOUT

The latest draft of the resolution reflects the challenge in imposing tough sanctions on the North by curbing its energy supply and singling out its leader for a financial and travel ban, a symbolic measure at best but one that is certain to rile Pyongyang.

It will also be a disappointment to South Korea, which has sought tough new sanctions that would be harder for Pyongyang to ignore, as it said dialogue remained on the table.

“We have been in consultations that oil has to be part of the final sanctions,” South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told a news conference, saying Pyongyang was on a “reckless path”.

“I do believe that whatever makes it into the final text and is adopted by consensus hopefully will have significant consequences on the economic pressure against North Korea.”

There was no independent verification of the North’s claim to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test, but some experts said there was enough strong evidence to suggest Pyongyang had either developed a hydrogen bomb or was getting close.

KCNA said on Sunday that Kim threw a banquet to celebrate the scientists and top military and party officials who contributed to the nuclear bomb test, topped with an art performance and a photo session with the leader himself.

The standoff is also spilling over into the business relationship between South Korea and China.

South Korea’s Lotte Shopping is considering selling its supermarkets in China and other options should political tensions between Seoul and Beijing continue next year, an official at the retailer told Reuters.

China has pressured South Korean businesses via boycotts and bans since Seoul decided last year to deploy a US-made missile defence system as a deterrent to North Korea. Beijing says the system’s radar can penetrate far into its territory.

South Korea deployed four additional units of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on Thursday after the North’s latest nuclear test.

The heightened tension could have a substantial impact on South Korea’s economy and could also disrupt trade between the United States and China, ratings agency Fitch said on Monday.

Outright military conflict on the Korean peninsula is unlikely but prolonged tension could undermine business and consumer sentiment, Fitch said.

Source: The StarTheEdgeMarkets

MARKET SUMMARY 07/09/2017

Domestic News

1. Tonton to air Outdoor Channel Asia from Oct onwards, to expand in fourth country next quarter

Media Prima Bhd announced that its over-the-top (OTT) content player ‘tonton’ — part of Media Prima Television Networks — will offer the Outdoor Channel Asia beginning Oct this year.

Outdoor Channnel Asia, part of Multi Channels Asia, is available globally in more than 45 million households, including almost 10 million households in Asia, said Media Prima in a statement today.

The channel is loaded with a first run and exclusive combination of action, adventure and survival and entertainment programmes “through the eyes of many great outdoor personalities”, it added.

Tonton — available on web and as a mobile application — currently offers linear channels and over 30,000 hours of catch-up and premium video content up to six months before they premier on the television, said Media Prima.

Launched in Malaysia in 2016, the platform has since expanded its service to Brunei and Singapore. It provides free membership for Malaysians, as well as paid premium service — coined ‘tonton VIP’ for the wider audience.

“With more than seven million users to date, 80% of its offerings is local content,” it said, adding that it is experiencing a growth of 22,000 new users weekly following its recent expansion into the two neighbouring countries.

Media Prima Television Networks director of tonton, licensing and merchandising Airin Zainul said that the network is looking to extend the content player service in one more regional country in the next quarter.

“We hope to expand the brand and its content outside of Malaysia, delivering our local content to the world,” said Airin.

Multi Channel Asia managing director Gregg Creevey said: “We are ecstatic that our partnership with tonton opens up a brand new channel for Malaysians to have access to our exclusive content, especially those that have a passion and aspiration for the outdoor lifestyle.”

At 5pm, Media Prima’s share price closed at 70 sen, up 0.5 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM776.44 million.

2. PUC gets BNM nod to issue electronic money

PUC Bhd, formerly known as PUC Founder (MSC) Bhd. said that it has received the approval from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to issue electronic money (e-money) through its mobile application.

In a filing today, PUC said the approval, granted to its wholly-owned unit EPP Solution Sdn Bhd, entails the subsidiary to launch its e-money scheme within one year from the date of BNM’s approval letter dated Sept 6, 2017.

“E-money is a payment instrument that contains monetary value that is paid in advance by the user to the e-money issuer.

“The user of e-money can make payments for purchases of goods and services to merchants who accept the e-money as payment,” said PUC.

There are two types of e-money schemes, said PUC, namely small and large schemes, which are determined by the purse size and the outstanding e-money liabilities. “The approval from BNM to EPP is for the large scheme,” it added.

At 5pm, PUC saw 90.42 million shares traded to close 12% or 1.5 sen higher at 14 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM173.91 million.

3. Malaysia says foils hijacking of Thai tanker, 10 pirates arrested

Malaysian authorities thwarted the hijacking of a Thai oil tanker on Thursday and arrested 10 suspected Indonesian pirates on board the ship, a maritime security agency commander said.

A special team from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) stormed the MT Tanker MGT1, off the coast of the northeastern state of Terengganu, nearly 10 hours after it was reported missing on Wednesday.

While the 10 were detained on the tanker, three suspects on a smaller boat nearby managed to escape, and an MMEA vessel has been sent to find them, the agency’s chief, Maritime Admiral Datuk Zulkifli Abu Bakar, said in a statement.

The boat was spotted near the tanker by a surveillance aircraft.

“Warning shots were fired from the aircraft when the boat tried to escape but the attempt to stop them failed as the aircraft was running low on fuel,” Zulkifli said.

Zulkifli identified the 10 suspected pirates that were arrested as Indonesian nationals. None of the 14 crew members on the tanker, all Thais, was hurt.

The tanker, which was transporting 2.2 million liters of diesel valued at about RM7 million (US$1.66 million), had been escorted to the town of Kuala Terengganu to help with the investigations into the case.

Piracy in Southeast Asian waters, including its busy international shipping lanes, has been a problem for years.

International News

1. Hurricane Harvey lifts US jobless claims to more than two-year high

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped to its highest level in more than two years last week amid a surge in applications in hurricane-ravaged Texas, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a firming jobs market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits soared by 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended Sept 2, the highest level since April 2015, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The weekly increase was the largest since November 2012. Data for the prior week was unrevised. A Labor Department official said last week’s data had been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas, including unprecedented flooding in Houston.

Unadjusted claims for Texas surged 51,637 last week as some people found themselves temporarily unemployed. Claims for Louisiana were also affected by the storm and increased 258.

In addition, claims for California, Hawaii, Kansas, Puerto Rico, Virginia and Wyoming were estimated because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 241,000 in the latest week.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, increased by 13,500 to 250,250 last week suggesting the labor market continued to strength.

The government reported last week that the economy created 156,000 jobs in August, with the private services sector hiring the smallest number of workers in five months.

Economists largely dismissed the slowdown in job growth, blaming it on a seasonal quirk. Over the past several years, the initial August job count has tended to exhibit a weak bias, with revisions subsequently showing strength.

The claims report also showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 5,000 to 1.94 million in the week ended Aug 26. The so-called continuing claims have now been below the 2 million mark for 21 straight weeks, pointing to shrinking labor market slack.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims slipped 4,000 to 1.95 million, remaining below the 2 million mark for the 19th consecutive week.

2. Deutsche Boerse CEO says disputed share deals were ‘moral duty’

Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Officer Carsten Kengeter on Thursday said the stock purchases at the centre of insider trading allegations against him were a “moral duty”.

Kengeter is under investigation by Frankfurt prosecutors over the allegations, which have cast a shadow over the German exchange operator’s efforts to recover from a failed merger with the London Stock Exchange.

“I believe when there is an offer from the supervisory board, then there is a moral duty to accept it,” Kengeter said of the share-based compensation package he received.

“The message that would be sent if you did not do it, is not good,” Kengeter, who has always denied any wrongdoing, told a financial conference in Frankfurt.

Kengeter has said the share purchases were part of an official Deutsche Boerse compensation plan and told shareholders in May: “Insider trading goes against everything I stand for.”

Earlier this year, as Deutsche Boerse discussed a merger with LSE, police and prosecutors searched Kengeter’s office and home amid concerns over Deutsche Boerse share purchases which were made months before the announcement of deal talks.

The LSE merger was blocked, but the allegations of insider trading continue. Kengeter and Deutsche Boerse are also under investigation by the German finance watchdog BaFin and the government of Hesse, the state that regulates Deutsche Boerse.

Earlier this year, Deutsche Boerse said the Frankfurt Prosecutor’s office had offered to settle the insider trading case in exchange for a fine of 10.5 million euros (US$13 million).

The fines would be for failing to notify the public promptly about the merger talks with the LSE and over the design of its executive share-buying scheme that allowed Kengeter to buy shares in the first place.

Deutsche Boerse has denied any wrongdoing and is still deliberating how to respond to the demand by prosecutors.

Kengeter and Deutsche Boerse have said that he was authorised to buy the shares at a fixed time, between Dec 1 and Dec 21, 2015, as part of the compensation programme — some two months before the merger talks were made official.

Kengeter also received additional virtual shares, whose value depended on the long-term development of the company’s value and is required to hold the stake until the end of 2019.

When asked at the conference about his future at Deutsche Boerse, Kengeter said:

“I am standing here and not a hologram.”

3. BMW readies mass production of electric cars, 12 models by 2025

Germany’s BMW on Thursday said it will have 12 electric cars on offer by 2025 as it prepares to unveil a new four-door zero-emissions model at the Frankfurt auto show.

“By 2025, we will offer 25 electrified vehicles — 12 will be fully-electric,” Chief Executive Harald Krueger told journalists at an event in Munich, adding that electric cars will have a range of up to 700 kilometers (435 miles).

The Frankfurt show, which starts next week, will be used to unveil a new four-door electric car positioned between the i3 city car and the i8 hybrid sportscar, Krueger said.

“We will be increasing the share of electrified models across all brands and model series. And, yes, that also includes the Rolls-Royce brand and BMW M vehicles,” Krueger said.

BMW is investing in its factories to enable all of its models to be equipped with all variants of powertrain by 2020, including fully electric variants, should demand for zero-emission vehicles take off.

Source: The StarTheEdgeMarkets