Breakfast briefing: Friday, March 31 (update) - Business News | The Star Online


Breakfast briefing: Friday, March 31 (update)

MarketWatch: Wall Street gained on Thursday, led by financial shares, after data showed US economic growth was stronger than previously reported last quarter, helped by robust consumer spending, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq set a record closing high. The DJIA rose 69.17 points, or 0.33%, to 20,728.49, the S&P 500 gained 6.93 points, or 0.29%, to 2,368.06 and the Nasdaq added 16.80 points, or 0.28%, to 5,914.34. - Reuters


Oil prices jumped for a third day on Thursday to their highest in three weeks after Kuwait backed an extension of Opec production cuts to reduce a global glut. Brent crude oil LCOc1 settled up 54 cents, or about 1%, to US$52.96 a barrel after hitting US$53.10. - Reuters

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.14% to 4.4265 per US$

*It rose 0.33% to 4.7272 versus euro

*Down 0.77% to 5.5264 per pound sterling

*Flat at 3.1678 per Singapore dollar

*0.11% lower to 3.3878 per Aussie

*0.10% lower to 3.9533 per 100 yen

Top foreign stories

Global equity listings start to recover after 2016 slump: Global equity listings rose in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, driven by issuance in Asia and the United States, Thomson Reuters data showed, pointing to a more buoyant year for share sales than 2016. Companies globally issued US$189 billion of equity in the first quarter of the year, up 58% from the first quarter of 2016. - Reuters

US judge clears Toshiba's Westinghouse to tap bankruptcy loan: A US bankruptcy judge on Thursday cleared Westinghouse Electric Co, a unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp, to borrow an initial US$350 million to support the company's global operations while it restructures operations. - Reuters

US economic growth revised higher: US economic growth slowed less than previously reported in the fourth quarter as robust consumer spending provided a boost that was partially offset by the largest gain in imports in two years. Gross domestic product increased at a 2.1% annualised rate instead of the previously reported 1.9% pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday in its third GDP estimate for the period. The economy grew at a 3.5% rate in the third quarter. - Reuters

Top local stories

KWAP buys into E&O project: Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) will purchase 20% in Eastern & Oriental Bhd’(E&O)’s second phase of Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP 2A), a township being developed on reclaimed land with an estimated gross development value of RM17bil. The fund will also subscribe to 66.1 million new shares or a 5.26% stake in E&O, raising the former’s stake to 6.75%. Both deals are worth a total of RM887.7mil. - StarBiz

Goldis gives IGB more time: IGB Corp Bhd said Goldis Bhd has agreed to its request for an extension of time to April 28 for the group to evaluate the proposed offer from Goldis to acquire the outstanding shares it did not already own in IGB at RM3 each. - StarBiz

Yinson profit climbs 2.2% in fourth quarter on higher revenue: Oil and gas services provider Yinson Holdings Bhd ’s net profit rose 2.2% to RM51.2mil for its fourth quarter on a revenue that was up 59.6% to RM185.5mil. Yinson proposed a final interim dividend of two sen per share, bringing the total dividend declared to date to 16.60 sen. - StarBiz

Star dividend players: Star Media Group Bhd is ranked among the top companies on Bursa Malaysia for consistent dividend payouts and positive operating cash flows over the past 10 years. The publisher of The Star newspaper has a rolling four-quarter dividend yield of 7.34% with a dividend payout ratio of 120.88%, according to statistics compiled by independent research firm - StarBiz

BCorp Q3 earnings surge to RM22.8m: Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) saw its net profit surge 44.6% to RM22.88mil in the third quarter compared with RM15.82mil a year earlier. Its revenue to RM2.22bil from RM2.16bil, while earnings per share increased to 0.47 sen from 0.37 sen previously. - StarBiz

Daya to sell offshore construction vessel for RM442m: Daya Materials Bhd has proposed to sell its offshore subsea construction vessel, Siem Daya 1, via the disposal of the group’s wholly-owned unit, Daya Global 1 Ptd Ltd to Siem OCV Ptd Ltd for US$100mil (RM442mil). The deal will reduce Daya’s borrowings by about RM406.9mil. - StarBiz

Mitsui OSK Lines buys 20.9% stake in PKT Logistics: Mitsui OSK. Lines Ltd said its acquisition of a 20.9% stake in PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd would provide it with an opportunity to significantly enhance its operational capabilities in Malaysia. - StarBiz

Oldtown expands in China: Oldtown Bhd has appointed a local partner in China to expand its business there, with plans to open its first outlet in Fujian in the third quarter this year. It has signed a territorial licence agreement with Xiamen Kuaike Investment Management Co Ltd, giving the latter the rights to operate the restaurant business under the “Oldtown White Coffee” brandname in Fujian. - StarBiz

PetChem Q1 to show windfall: Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem)’s first quarter 2017 results, due for release at end-April, will be a windfall underpinned by strong volume and higher average selling price, says Maybank Investment Bank Research. - StarBiz
RAM: Banking system liquidity sound: The domestic banking system’s liquidity is sound as the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) exceeded the minimum of 100%, says RAM Rating Services Bhd. The banking sector’s Basel III LCR has averaged 125% since its implementation and stood at 128% as at end-January 2017. - StarBiz

Price hikes will only help illegal cigarette market, says trade body: The Confederation of Malaysian Tobacco Manufacturers says the impression that smokers will quit when cigarettes are too expensive ignores the fact that there are cheaper alternatives in the market. It warned that price increases would instead provide more fuel to the booming illegal market. - StarBiz

Breakfast Briefing