Business News

Breakfast briefing: Thursday, September 3

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Market wrap: Wall Street stocks jumped almost 2% on Wednesday in the latest volatile session as investors weighed the impact of a stumbling Chinese economy and global market turmoil on the Federal Reserve's impending decision about when to raise interest rates. - Reuters

The DJIA rose jumped 1.82% to end at 16,351.31 points. The S&P 500 climbed 1.83% to 1,948.85 and the Nasdaq surged 2.46% to 4,749.98.

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.57% to 4.2345 per US$

*It fell 0.07% to 4.7523 per euro

*Down 0.70% to 6.4835 to the pound sterling

*0.34% down to 2.9876 per Singapore dollar

*0.95% lower to2.9796 per Aussie

*Down 0.44% to 3.5147 per 100 yen

Energy

Oil prices ended nearly 2% higher on Wednesday in volatile trade as rallying equities on Wall Street pulled crude up from lows after futures sank on concerns about global oversupply. Brent October crude rose 94 cents to settle at US$50.50 a barrel, having recovered from a US$47.74 low. It reached US$51 post-settlement. - Reuters

Top foreign news

US gives antitrust approval to Nikkei's purchase of FT:
Japan's Nikkei media group won US antitrust approval for its US$1.3 billion purchase of the Financial Times from Britain's Pearson Plc, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday. The transaction was on the list of deals that the FTC and Justice Department granted "early termination," essentially quick antitrust approval. - Reuters

Gross: Fed tightening now could create self-inflicted instability: Bond guru Bill Gross, who has long called for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, said on Wednesday that US central bankers may have missed their window of opportunity to hike rates earlier this year and doing so now could create "self-inflicted" instability. In his September Investment Outlook report, Gross wrote that his concept of a neutral policy rate closer to a nominal 2% "now cannot be approached without spooking markets further and creating self-inflicted financial instability." The neutral rate is the point at which the rate is neither stimulative nor contractionary. - Reuters

HP seeks to sell cyber security unit: Hewlett-Packard Co is exploring a sale of computer network security solutions unit TippingPoint ahead of a corporate split later this year, sources said. Private equity firms have expressed interest in TippingPoint, the people said. The unit could be valued at between US$200 million to US$300 million, they said. - Reuters

Top local stories

Shot in the arm for Destini: Minister of Finance Inc (MoF) unit Aroma Teraju Sdn Bhd has emerged as the second-largest shareholder of engineering specialist firm Destini Bhd, confirming a StarBiz report on Monday. Stock exchange filings showed that Aroma Teraju had acquired 200 million shares in Destini via a merit deal on Friday. Based on the last closing price of 58 sen per share on Friday, the deal is said to be worth RM116mil. - StarBiz

1MDB says none of accounts frozen: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has clarified that none of the company’s bank accounts have been frozen. In a late statement on Wednesday, 1MDB sought to clarify media reports that certain bank accounts were frozen in Switzerland over a probe launched by the Swiss authorities. "As far as 1MDB is aware, none of the company's bank accounts have been frozen.  1MDB is in the process of developing a better understanding of the ongoing investigations in Switzerland so the company can cooperate to its fullest extent." - StarBiz

MAB keeps 9,000 permanent staff: The new Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) has hired only 9,000 of its employees on permanent contracts. Another 4,000 employees of MAB are on short-term contracts.
This is a far cry from the old Malaysia Airlines (MAS) that had 20,000 employees mostly on permanent contracts. The new air- line MAB took over the operations of the old airline on Sept 1. The short-term contracts range from three months to 12 months, implying that the total workforce being eventually laid off as part of the remaking of MAS into MAB may go up to 11,000 people instead of the 6,000 announced earlier. - StarBiz

Maybank unveils RM10bil debt programme: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has set up a senior medium-term note programme totalling RM10bil to fund its working capital, general banking and other corporate purposes. The country’s largest banking group said the programme could also be used to refinance any existing borrowings incurred and/or any existing debt instruments. - StarBiz

Analysts cut FBM KLCI year-end target: Analysts have broadly cut their end-2015 target for the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index (FBM KLCI) by around 90 to 220 points, following a weak corporate earnings season for the quarter ended June, and after taking into consideration the ongoing underlying risks in the wider economy. - StarBiz

Scomi eyes more rail jobs: Scomi Engineering Bhd is eyeing a bigger slice of the rail industry pie locally and regionally, following the inking of a collaboration agreement with Czechoslovakia-based transport and engineering company Skoda Transportation. - StarBiz

HeiTech Padu wins RM121mil govt contract: HeiTech Padu Bhd has received a letter of award for the maintenance services of the main information and communications technology business system of the National Registration Department for RM120.63mil. HeiTech Padu said the contract was for a period of two years. - StarBiz

Nirvana net profit soars to RM136mil: Hong Kong-listed Nirvana Asia Ltd posted a higher net profit of RM136.1mil for the first half ended June 30. The company attributed the growth to better profit margins for tomb design and construction, higher gross profit margin for niches and funeral services, lower selling and distribution expenses, and lower profit from non-controlling interests. Revenue for the period grew 23.5% to RM284.5mil. - StarBiz

SC forum to focus on FinTech: The Securities Commission (SC) is hosting a two-day World Capital Markets Symposium till Friday, which will feature discussions on financial technology such as peer-to-peer lending, equity crowdfunding, digital wallets and crypto currencies. - StarBiz

China developer to launch RM1.2bil project: Hong Kong-listed Agile Property Holdings Ltd is proving that there is good demand for Mont Kiara living by building a RM1.2bil residential project there. Through its subsidiary Agile Real Estate Development Sdn Bhd, the Chinese developer is jointly developing the project. Agile Mont Kiara will have a gross development value of RM1.2bil and feature 11 residential towers. - starBiz

RHB offering voluntary exit scheme to employees: RHB Banking Group said on Wednesday it is offering a voluntary exit option to all permanent employees in Malaysia, in a bid to improve productivity. The offer is valid from yesterday and will close on Sept 23, it said. - Reuters

Sunway declares special cash dividend of 26 sen: Sunway Bhd has declared a special cash dividend of 26 sen. Sunway said the special cash dividend arose from the proceeds raised from the offer for sale of 398.71 million Sunway Construction Group Bhd shares offered by Sun Holdings, in conjunction with the listing after setting aside for listing expenses and working capital. - digitaledge

RGB eyes Nepal: Electronic gaming machine operator RGB International Bhd plans to enter the gaming sector in Nepal, spurred by the introduction of a new char-er on gaming rules and regulations that will help attract more gaming operators into the country. “We can see the potential there. We are now in talks with some of the bigger casino operators in Kathmandu, to work on a strategic partnership," RGB chief operating officer Steven Lim said on Wednesday. - digitaledge

AGMs/EGMs

Amcorp Properties Bhd (fka AMDB Bhd)

Time: 10.30am

Venue: connexion @ nexus , Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur



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