Top foreign and local stories at 4pm - Business News | The Star Online


Top foreign and local stories at 4pm


Brent crude was 1.70% lower to US$49.77 per barrel at 3.35pm.


Ringgit up 0.11% to 4.2815 versus the US dollar at 3.29pm.

Top foreign stories

Fretting over savings, Mrs Watanabe turns to bitcoin: Long the preserve of geeky enthusiasts, bitcoin is going mainstream in Asia, attracting Mrs Watanabe - the metaphorical Japanese housewife investor - South Korean retirees and thousands of others trying to escape rock-bottom savings rates by investing in the cryptocurrency. — Reuters

Asia gasoline outshines jet fuel, diesel as supply shrinks: Asian gasoline profit margins have recently surged to overtake diesel and jet fuel margins as upcoming refinery maintenance in Indonesia and Vietnam will cut supply in the region. Gasoline’s premium to benchmark Dubai crude oil averaged US$11.22 a barrel in May, outpacing the May average premiums for jet fuel at US$10.50 and gasoil at US$10.08, according to Reuters calculations. — Reuters

KKR closes new Asia fund at record US$9.3b, seeks bigger deals: Private equity firm KKR & Co said on Friday it raised US$9.3 billion for its most recent Asia-focused buyout fund, more than expected and setting a record for the region as it looks for larger deals. — Reuters

S. Korea Q1 GDP growth revised to 6-quarter high on construction boost: South Korea’s economy grew a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in January to March, its highest for six quarters, revised central bank data showed on Friday, nicely topping an earlier estimate of 0.9%. The upward revision of quarter-on-quarter growth owed mostly to the construction sector, which grew by 5.3% from three months earlier. — Reuters

Australia seen keeping rates steady at June meeting: Australia’s central bank is all but certain to keep its cash rate at a record low of 1.5% at its monthly policy meeting next week, a Reuters poll of economists found. — Reuters

Top local stories

MAA issues advisory over faulty airbag inflator: The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has issued a consumer advisory on the faulty Takata airbag inflator recall issue. The association urged owners of affected vehicle models who had yet to get their airbag inflators replaced to contact the distributors of the vehicles immediately. — StarBiz

CIMB wins 21 awards at Asset Triple A Islamic Finance Awards: CIMB Group bagged 21 awards at the Asset Triple A Islamic Finance Awards 2017, including Sukuk House of the Year, Asia Pacific for the fifth consecutive year. — Bernama

Deeper economic integration needed to achieve AEC 2025 vision: The further removal of trade barriers, supportive national and regional policies, and investments in digitalisation are the key focus areas for Asean to achieve its ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 Vision, said Deutsche Bank. — Bernama

Subscriber contraction persists in first quarter 2017: AmInvestment Bank Research has maintained its “neutral” call on the telecommunication sector given the continued intense competition in the cellular segment. The research house said the telco sector’s first quarter 2017 results were largely in line with the exception of Axiata, as Celcom was still struggling to turn around its prepaid subscriber decline. — StarBiz

KESM to see strong structural growth ahead: KESM Industries Bhd continues to offer a compelling proposition in the automotive burn-in and test space, which is expected to see strong structural growth ahead, according to Affin Hwang Capital Research. KESM’s 9-month 2017 financial year core profit of RM30mil was ahead of expectations, accounting for 79% and 78% of Affin’s and street estimates. — StarBiz