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


Top foreign and local stories at 4pm

  • News
  • Wednesday, 16 Aug 2017


Brent crude was 0.87% higher to US$51.24 per barrel at 3.35pm.


Ringgit up 0.01% to 4.2965 versus the US dollar at 3.39pm.

Top foreign stories

Singapore executive condos chalk up bumper sales: Executive condominium sales hit fever pitch last month, which saw the highest figure recorded since monthly data became available in 2007. Buyers snapped up 978 units, boosting total sales of private and executive condominium homes to 2,086 - nearly double the 1,064 units sold in June. — The Straits Times

China Unicom HK shares halted, market awaits unveiling of ownership reform: Shares in China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd were halted from trade on Wednesday pending the release of a statement - a suspension that comes amid market expectations of imminent reform to the ownership structure of its state-owned parent. — Reuters

China regains spot as largest foreign US creditor: China purchased the most Treasuries in six years in June, vaulting past Japan as the largest overseas lender to the US government. In June, China’s Treasuries holdings rose to US$1.147 trillion, which was the highest level since September when it was US$1.157 trillion. Japan held US$1.091 trillion in US government debt in June, down from US$1.111 trillion in May. — Reuters

China’s Geely beats expectations as Volvo pays off: China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday that first-half profit more than doubled, scoring its fastest earnings growth in eight years as cars designed with its Swedish unit Volvo won over domestic consumers. Net profit came in at 4.34 billion yuan (US$648.96 million), 128% higher than the 1.91 billion yuan it made a year earlier and eclipsing an estimate of 3.61 billion yuan from CCB International. — Reuters

As Nafta talks begin, Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda looms large: As the United States, Canada and Mexico kick off negotiations on Wednesday to modernise the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), the biggest uncertainty is whether a deal can pass President Donald Trump’s ”America First” test. — Reuters

Australia’s Fairfax Media back in the black: Australian publishing giant Fairfax Media posted a return to profit following a cost-cutting drive, although advertising revenue for its major newspapers weakened further. Fairfax reported an annual net profit of A$83.9mil (US$65.7mil) in the year to June 30, from a loss of A$772.6mil over a previous 12-month period. — AFP

Top local stories

MMC subsidiary faces winding up over arbitration award of RM10.87m: MMC Corporations Bhd’s subsidiary Southern Water Technology Sdn Bhd has been served with a  winding up petition over an arbitration award of RM10.87mil by Suria 2000 Sdn Bhd. MMC said no material loss is expected to arise from the winding up proceedings. — StarBiz

Matrix Concepts expects stronger performance: Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd is expecting a stronger performance in its financial year ending March 31, 2018, on the back of resilient demand for its new property launches. The property developer said the total gross development value of the group’s ongoing projects is expected to exceed the previous year’s RM1.9bil. — StarBiz

Rehda calls for easing of rules for first-time home buyers: The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) is appealing to the Government to relax regulations for first-time house buyers and properties below RM500,000. President Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said the request includes a lower interest rate and longer loan tenure for transactions in the two categories. — Bernama

Consultant: Glaring mismatch between property prices and affordability: The mismatch between property prices and affordability is becoming more apparent as property price growth continued to far exceed income growth, says Jones Lang Wootton executive director Prem Kumar. — Bernama

KAPB launches real estate private equity firm: A new real estate private equity firm, called Hartanah AP Rakyat Bhd, has been launched by Koperasi Amanah Pelaburan Bhd (KAPB) chairman Datuk Ilyas Mohamed and a team of real estate experts on Wednesday. — StarBiz

Captive insurance industry at turning point, say Muhammad: The captive insurance industry may well be at a turning point and efforts should be undertaken to develop it, says Bank Negara governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim. The industry should be focused on better risk management, promoting macro-economic stability and encouraging new growth rather purely concentrated on tax planning, he said. — StarBiz

Risk of Malaysia’s fiscal slippage remains limited, says Nomura: Nomura global markets research expects the risk of fiscal slippage by remains limited despite that the year-to-date Malaysia’s fiscal deficit reached RM34bil as of June as revenue collections grew slower during the period compared with a year ago. Nomura Research still expected Malaysia to meet its 2017 fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP despite the H1 overshoot. — StarBiz

Industry captains commit to 100% certified sustainable palm oil exports by 2019: Malaysian palm oil industry captains are committed to having all their palm oil exports MSPO-certified by end-2019. At a special dialogue session held in Putrajaya, they pledged to double their combined MSPO-certified hectarage by end-2017. As at June 2017, only 237,509 of a total 3,520,833ha of estate plantation were MSPO certified. — StarBiz