Breakfast briefing: Friday, June 2 (Update) - Business News | The Star Online


Breakfast briefing: Friday, June 2 (Update)

MarketWrap: US stocks advanced on Thursday, with each of the major US indexes notching record highs, after a batch of economic data suggested the economy was picking up speed. The DJIA rose 135.53 points, or 0.65%, to end at 21,144.18, the S&P 500 gained 18.26 points, or 0.76%, to 2,430.06 and the Nasdaq added 48.31 points, or 0.78%, to 6,246.83. - Reuters


Oil prices were mixed on Thursday, with Brent crude down on concerns that key producers were still adding to the global crude glut but US crude up slightly after a larger-than-expected domestic inventory drawdown. US crude futures CLc1 settled up 4 cents at US$48.36 a barrel, while Brent LCOc1 ended down 13 cents at US$50.63. - Reuters

Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.07% to 4.2835 versus the US$

*It gained 0.20% to 4.8054 versus euro

*Up 0.05% to 5.519 per pound sterling

*Up 0.23% to 3.0902 per Singapore dollar

*Up 0.44% to 3.1637 per Aussie

*Up 0.31% to 3.8370 per 100 yen

Top foreign stories

Linde, Praxair agree US$73b merger to create global gases leader: The boards of Linde and Praxair voted on Thursday to merge, creating a US$73 billion global industrial gases leader in what is likely to be the last in a wave of combinations that has resulted in a highly consolidated market. - Reuters

Deere to buy German road construction firm for about US$5b: Deere & Co said on Thursday it would buy privately held German company Wirtgen Group for about US$4.88 billion to expand its road construction operations as it looks to cut down its dependence on its slowing farm business. - Reuters

Intelsat says it expects US$14b OneWeb merger deal to fail: Satellite operator Intelsat SA said it expects its US$14 billion merger with peer OneWeb Ltd, which is backed by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, to fall through as it failed to get enough of its creditors to back the deal. - Reuters

Google faces hefty EU fine in shopping case by August: EU antitrust regulators aim to slap a hefty fine on Alphabet unit Google over its shopping service before the summer break in August, two people familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for two other cases involving the US company. - Reuters

Top local stories

Corporate earnings grow: After two years of disappointment, corporate earnings in the first quarter of 2017 grew, as banks and technology firms benefited from stronger economic growth. At least one analyst described the first-quarter results as the fastest growth in recent years. CIMB Investment Bank head of equity research Ivy Ng said that from CIMB’s universe of stocks, first-quarter corporate earnings grew 11% year-on- year (y-o-y), the fastest growth since the first quarter of 2013. However, the research house expects corporate earnings to grow 8% this year, lower than its earlier forecast of between 9% and 10%. - StarBiz

RHB-AMMB merger likely to be all-share deal: RHB Bank Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd announced that they have obtained approval from Bank Negara to commence discussions for a proposed merger. The banks said they envisaged that the transaction would be an all- share merger.
Both parties have entered into an exclusivity agreement to negotiate and finalise pricing, structure and other relevant terms and conditions for the pro- posed merger. The exclusivity agreement will expire on Aug 30, 2017. - StarBiz

M’sia slowly winning battle against FX speculators: Foreign portfolio investors say they are coming back to Malaysia’s markets, six months after many of them revolted against the central bank’s crackdown on the offshore ringgit trading market. Foreigners withdrew at least US$14bil from Malaysia’s bond markets between November and March. By April, however, about 10% of that money had come back into Malaysian government and central bank bonds. The data for May, due next week, is expected to show even more foreign outflows have returned. - Reuters

Lee appointed Bermaz director after resigning from Berjaya Food : Datuk Lee Kok Chuan has resigned as Berjaya Food Bhd (BFood) chief executive officer effective June 1 as he takes on the post of executive director at Mazda vehicle distributor Bermaz Auto Bhd . Taking over from Lee as BFood CEO is executive director Sydney Lawrance Quays. - StarBiz

WCT to list REIT by year-end: WCT Holdings Bhd expects to list its real estate investment trust (REIT) by the end of this year, says group managing director Datuk Lee Tuck Fook. The REIT could have an asset size of more than RM1bil and would include WCT’s own assets, he said. - StarBiz

KESM earnings for third quarter rise to RM10.6m: KESM Industries Bhd ’s net profit for the third quarter rose 40% to RM10.6mil on higher demand for burn-in and test services. Revenue increased to RM85mil from RM70.77mil a year earlier. StarBiz

Nationwide Express Q4 net loss widens to RM6.3m: Nationwide Express Holdings Bhd's net loss widened to RM6.3mil in the  fourth quarter compared with RM3.92mil in the previous corresponding quarter, due to lower business volume of the courier segment. Revenue increased to RM23.58mil from RM21.06mil a year earlier. - StarBiz

Star Media Group appoints two new independent directors: Star Media Group Bhd has appointed Choong Tuck Oon and Wong You Fong as new independent and non-executive directors.
The company said both appointments were effective from June 1. - StarBiz

Lower volume for Westports: Intense competition has resulted in Westports Holdings Bhd said its container volume fell 3% year- on-year to 3.95 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in the January-May period. In the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, Westports achieved a 1% growth in container volume to 2.4 million TEUs. - StarBiz

AppAsia signs MoU with China Mobile: Mobile applications, digital contents and e-commerce solution provider AppAsia Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding with China Mobile International Ltd, a subsidiary of Hong Kong and New York-listed China Mobile Ltd, to form a digital content business partnership for three years. - StarBiz

7-Eleven aborts rights issue: 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd has aborted its plan to undertake a rights issue to raise up to RM61.67mil a month after announcing the exercise. It said it decided not to proceed with the rights issue after taking into consideration the general feedback and market reaction to the proposal. - StarBiz

Factory activities down in MayThe Nikkei Malaysia manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) contracted in May due to weaker demand although employment in the sector rose for the first time since January and price pressures eased. The PMI declined to 48.7 in May, below the 50-level threshold indicating no-change, after expanding to 50.7 in April. - StarBiz

Xingquan unable to release Q3 results: Xingquan International Sports Holdings Ltd told the stock exchange that it is not able to release the financial results for the third quarter ended March 31, 2017. The company risks a trading suspension on June 8 if it fails to submit the latest quarterly earnings within the stipulated deadline. - StarBiz

Breakfast Briefing