Breakfast briefing: Friday, April 28 (Update) - Business News | The Star Online

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Breakfast briefing: Friday, April 28 (Update)


MarketWrap: The Nasdaq Composite ended at a record high on Thursday, boosted by results-related gains in Comcast, PayPal and Intuit, while the S&P 500 and the Dow were little changed. The DJIA rose 6.24 points, or 0.03%, to 20,981.33, the S&P 500 gained 1.32 points, or 0.06%, to 2,388.77 and the Nasdaq added 23.71 points, or 0.39%, to 6,048.94. - Reuters

Energy

Crude prices were slightly lower after a volatile session on Thursday, as the restart of two key Libyan oilfields and concerns about lacklustre gasoline demand fed concern over whether major oil producers can alleviate the glut of global inventories. Brent crude settled down 14 cents a barrel at US$51.68. - Reuters

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.06% to 4.3492 versus the US$

*It gained 0.31% to 4.7273 versus euro

*Down 0.21% to 5.6147 per pound sterling

*Down 0.07% to 3.1156 per Singapore dollar

*Down 0.05% to 3.2518 per Aussie

*0.23% lower to 3.9159 per 100 yen

Top foreign stories

Google parent Alphabet's profit up 29% on strong ad sales: Google parent Alphabet Inc posted a surge in profit and revenue on Thursday as its core advertising business continued to grow at an extraordinary rate and problems such as an advertiser boycott of YouTube had little impact. Alphabet's profit beat Wall Street estimates and rose 29% to US$5.43 billion, a performance that analysts called exceptional for a company so large. Google's revenue rose 22.2% to US$24.75 billion from US$20.26 billion in the quarter ended March 31. - Reuters

Amazon's results beat estimates, lifted by cloud unit: Amazon.com Inc on Thursday said revenue from its cloud business, advertising and subscription services rose in the first quarter, helping it beat profit expectations and sending its shares to an all-time high in extended trading. The world's largest online retailer said net income rose 41% to US$724 million, marking the eighth straight quarter that Amazon posted a net profit. - Reuters

Singapore's automation incentives draw tech firms, boost economy: Foreign precision engineering firms are investing more in Singapore, drawn by strong semiconductor demand and government incentives aimed at re-tooling an economy short of skilled labour. The city-state is running programmes worth billions of dollars to support productivity, automation and research, attracting global chipmakers including US-based Micron Technology Inc and Germany's Infineon Technologies. - Reuters

Microsoft's quarterly profit rises 27.8%: Microsoft Corp reported a 27.8% increase in quarterly profit on Thursday, lifted by robust demand for its cloud computing services. The company's net income rose to US$4.80 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the third quarter ended March 31, from US$3.76 billion, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue on an adjusted basis climbed 6% to US$23.56 billion. - Reuters

Top local stories

Crunch time for UMW Oil & Gas: The board of UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMW-OG) is expected to decide today on the proposed acquisition of Icon Offshore Bhd and Orkim Sdn Bhd amid differing opinions on the valuations of the two assets. The group’s board is also expected to weigh in on whether the assets that are on the table would be able to secure enough contracts from national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to ensure its high utilisation. - StarBiz

TNB makes higher provisions: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) says it has made higher provisions to cover for potential losses from customers who have defaulted on their electricity bills. The utility said its net profit for the second quarter increased to RM1.48bil on a revenue that rose 6.4% to RM11.16bil. It declared an interim dividend of 17 sen a share, amounting to about RM960mil.

CIMB Niaga posts RM208.7m consolidated net profit: PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk reported an unaudited consolidated net profit of 640 billion rupiah (RM208.7mil) in the first quarter of 2017, up 137.9% from a year earlier. It earnings per share stood at 25.45 rupiah. - Bernama

SGX unit to review quarterly reporting needs for firms: Singapore Exchange’s newly-formed regulatory subsidiary will review whether companies need to continue filing quarterly results to the exchange, as part of a strategic review of the bourse’s regulations. SGX, which has the rare dual role as market operator and front-line regulator, announced the creation of Singapore Exchange Regulation Pte Ltd last year to address potential conflicts between its commercial objectives and regulatory responsibilities. - Reuters

Maxis posts strong Q1 results: Maxis Bhd reported a strong set of results for the first quarter, boosted by consumers’ growing demand for high-speed data and higher revenue from telecom services. It said its normalised net profit rose 5.4% to RM510mil from RM484mil a year ago, while its service revenue was stable at RM2.129bil compared with RM2.122bil. Revenue rose 0.8% to RM2.157bil from RM2.140bil. - StarBiz

Westports reports lower profit: Westports Holdings Bhd posted a lower net profit for its first three months to March 31, as the increased fuel cost offset gains from higher container traffic at its port. Its earnings fell 17.6% to RM140.9mil compared with RM171.07mil a year ago. Revenue rose 13% to RM520.9mil against the RM464.7mil last year. 

Maybank Indonesia records higher Q1 Patami: Maybank Indonesia’s net profit after tax and minority interests (Patami) rose 10.4% to 490.1 billion rupiah in the first quarter from 443.9 billion rupiah in the same quarter last year. - Bernama

Engtex clinches RM60mil pipe supply contract: Pipe maker Engtex Group Bhd has won five contracts worth RM60mil to supply mild steel cement- lined and ductile iron pipes to various water and infrastructure projects undertaken by the government in Johor, Pahang, Kedah and Selangor. - Bernama

Nestle eyes RM500m in e-commerce sales: Food and beverage player Nestle (M) Bhd is optimistic of achieving RM500mil in e-commerce sales in the next three to five years backed by the rapid expansion in the digital space. CEO Alois Hofbauer said Nestle tripled its e-commerce sales in 2016 versus 2015. - StarBiz

Alliance Bank launches Alliance One Account: Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd and its Islamic banking arm on Tuesday launched a new product called Alliance One Account which it called the first loan consolidation service in Malaysia that uses a mortgage product. The product seeks to convert varying interest rates charged on different debt, such as on a car loan or credit card, into a single rate backed by a housing loan. - StarBiz

HSS Engineers plans to diversify into water and power sectors: HSS Engineers Bhd plans to diversify its operations both in new vertical markets and geographical locations. Executive director and CEO Datuk Nitchiananthan Balasubramaniam says the company is actively looking into further expansion within the next 18 months. - StarBiz

Breakfast Briefing

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