Breakfast briefing: Tuesday, August 1 (Update) - Business News | The Star Online


Breakfast briefing: Tuesday, August 1 (Update)

MarketWatch: The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record closing high on Monday, helped by Boeing, while selling in Facebook, Alphabet and other technology companies checked the S&P 500 and pulled the Nasdaq lower. The DJIA rose 0.28% to end at 21,891.12 points and the S&P 500 lost 0.07% to 2,470.3. The Nasdaq dropped 0.42% to 6,348.12. - Reuters




Oil prices rose to two-month highs on Monday, ending the strongest month of the year for crude futures, boosted in part by expectations of US sanctions against Venezuela's oil sector and as supply concerns have waned in recent weeks. Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 rose 0.3% to settle at US$52.65. Brent earlier hit US$52.92 a barrel, its highest since May 25. - Reuters


Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.11% to 4.2768 versus the US$

*It was down 0.76% to 5.0593 versus euro

*Down 0.80% to 5.6531 per pound sterling

*Down 0.06% to 3.1560 per Singapore dollar

*Down 0.80% to 3.4391 per Aussie

*Down 0.06% to 3.8855 per 100 yen


Top foreign stories


Bitcoin technology faces split, may create clone virtual currency: Bitcoin's underlying software code could be split on Tuesday to create a clone called "Bitcoin Cash," potentially providing a windfall for holders of the digital currency. A small group of mostly China-based bitcoin miners have initiated what is known as a "fork" - where blockchain, a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions, splits into two potential paths - that is set to be activated on Aug 1. - Reuters


Boeing takes aim at its avionics suppliers: Boeing Co said on Monday it set up an avionics group to make aircraft controls and electronics that compete with its own suppliers such as Rockwell Collins Inc, Honeywell International Inc and United Technologies Corp. - Reuters


Charter surges as Japan's SoftBank considers bid: Charter Communications Inc shares surged to a record high on Monday after a source said Japan's SoftBank Group Corp was considering an acquisition offer, even as Charter shot down the possibility of it being the acquirer in any merger with SoftBank's US wireless carrier, Sprint Corp. - Reuters


Energy Transfer to sell stake in Rover pipeline entity to Blackstone: Energy Transfer Partners L.P. said on Monday it would sell a 32.44% stake in a firm associated with the Rover pipeline project to Blackstone funds for about US$1.57 billion. - Reuters


Music streaming company Spotify has 60 million paying subscribers: Spotify now has 60 million paying subscribers, adding 10 million subscribers in less than five months, a spokeswoman for the music streaming company said on Monday. In March Spotify reported it had 50 million paying subscribers, a rise of 25% in less than six months, extending the music streaming service's lead over its closest rival, Apple Music. - Reuters


Top local stories


Lotte Chemical shares dive after plunge in profit: Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd shares dived 23.3% to RM4.70 on Monday after the company announced a huge drop in profit that was caused by a scheduled plant turnaround and a water supply cut that disrupted operations of its plants in Johor. The company posted a near 72% drop in second-quarter earnings to RM113.61mil on a revenue that declined 11.2% to RM1.77bil. Earnings per share stood at 6.58 sen compared with 23.38 sen a year ago. - StarBiz


MRCB gets nod for RM2.2b cash call: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) has received resounding approval for its proposed RM2.2b renounceable rights issue, with some 89% of its shareholders voting for the cash call. The major shareholders of MRCB, the Employees Provident Fund and Gapurna Sdn Bhd, gave their undertaking to take up their portion of the issue. - StarBiz


CIMB Niaga earnings surge to RM450m: CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s Indonesian unit saw its net profit expand 87.5% to 1.4 trillion rupiah (RM449.84mil) in the first half on higher net interest income and a decline in provision expenses. The bank’s operating income grew 6.3%. - StarBiz


United Plantations profit up 52% in second quarter: United Plantations Bhd ’s net profit surged 52% o RM109.75mil in the second quarter, driven by increased production and higher crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel prices. The planter, however, warned that the recovery in the palm oil output in the second half of the year would not be as large as it had previously expected. Its revenue jumped almost 30% to RM355.3mil. - StarBiz


BCorp calls off planned JV with Australia’s CW Retail Asia: Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) has aborted its plan to bring in Melbourne-based CW Retail Asia Pty Ltd as a joint-venture (JV) partner in operating Cosway Pharmacies, which would have paved the way for its entry into the pharmacy warehousing business. The decision was mutual. - StarBiz


Teh to retire as Public Bank chairman in 2019: Public Bank Bhd chairman Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow will leave his post on Jan 1, 2019, but will remain as “chairman emeritus” and adviser. Teh will also relinquish his position as chairman of Public Islamic Bank Bhd and Public Investment Bank Bhd with effect from Jan 1, 2018, but would stay on as non-executive director in both entities. - StarBiz


AMMB, RHB Bank to decide on merger by September: AMMB Holdings Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd expect to decide by end-August or early September whether to proceed with their merger. The banks are still at the negotiation stage, said AMMB group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Tahir. - StarBiz


Five-fold jump in MAHB’s Q2 profit: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB)’s earnings for the second quarter saw a five-fold increase to RM66.9mil on a higher contribution from its Malaysian operations, but was negated by a higher loss before taxation at its overseas operations. Revenue from its airport operations in Malaysia amounted to RM795.7mil, up 12.4% versus a year ago. - StarBiz


Mudajaya wins two jobs worth RM151m: Mudajaya Group Bhd unit Mudajaya Corp Bhd has won two contracts worth a total RM151.38mil from Petroliam Nasional Bhd subsidiary for works at the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, Johor. - StarBiz


Funds hunt for yield in emerging-market bonds: The hunt for yield will ensure foreign interest in emerging-market bonds, including Malaysian debt securities. Bond analysts said demand for Malaysian bonds can sustain given the improving economic fundamentals, stable interest rate environment and rising foreign reserves. - StarBiz


AWC unit gets RM42.4m sub-contract: AWC Bhd unit Ambang Wira Sdn Bhd has clinched a RM42.4mil sub-contract from the Public Works Department for the maintenance of Blocks WP1 and WP2 of foreign affairs ministry in Putrajaya. - Bernama


YTL Power seen delivering lower dividends: YTL Power International Bhd is expected to deliver a lower net dividends this year, as additional overhead costs associated with its Paka power plant could negatively affect the company’s dividend payout, says UOB Kay Hian Research. - StarBiz


Johari: Malaysia can buffer external shocks: Malaysia's current capital market and financial asset portfolio, worth RM5.5 trillion, will be able to support the country's economy and buffer any external shocks and fund outflows, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani. - Bernama

Breakfast Briefing