Top foreign and local stories at 3pm


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015

Energy

Brent crude was 0.22% at US$58.64 per barrel at 2.27pm.

Forex

The ringgit was 0.03% higher to 3.8060 versus the US dollar at 2.56pm.

Top foreign stories

BoJ cuts annual economic growth, inflation forecasts: Japan’s central bank has cut its annual growth and inflation forecasts for the world’s third-largest economy, with analysts warning weaknesses remained and the downgrade hinted at a disappointing second quarter. After a two-day policy meeting, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) said Japan’s economy would expand 1.7% in the fiscal year to March 2016 while inflation would come in at 0.7%. That was down from 2% and 0.8, respectively, estimated earlier this year. — AFP

China growth beats forecasts as activity picks up: China’s economy grew an annual 7% in the second quarter, steady with the previous quarter and slightly better than analysts’ forecasts, though further stimulus is still expected after the quarter ended with a stock market crash. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast gross domestic product in the world’s second largest economy would grow 6.9% in April-June from a year earlier, compared with 7% in the March quarter. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 1.7% compared with 1.4% in the March quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. — Reuters

Battle over Samsung merger holds potential for change: A bitter dispute over the proposed merger of two Samsung affiliates comes to a head July 17 with a shareholder vote that could – whatever the result – force a shift in corporate governance practice among South Korea’s giant, family-run conglomerates. — AFP

BOC Hong Kong to sell unit for US$8.8bil: Lender BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd plans to sell subsidiary Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB) for HK$68bil (US$8.8bil) in the city’s largest sale to date. BOC Hong Kong is a unit of Bank of China Ltd, the fourth biggest lender by assets in the mainland, and the sale of NCB will help streamline the group’s operations by eliminating competition with BOC on the mainland. BOC HK said it will sell 100% of its stake in NCB and bids will be accepted until Aug 25. — Reuters

BHP Billiton takes US$2.8bil pre-tax writedown as oil price tumbles: Mining giant BHP Billiton said it was taking a US$2.8bil pre-tax writedown on its onshore assets in the United States as plunging oil prices hit shale gas. The Anglo-Australian company said the gas-focused Hawkville field at its Eagle Ford operations in south Texas would account for most of the charge, reflecting its geological complexity, product mix, acreage relinquishments and changed development plans. The remainder stems from an impairment of goodwill from its US$12.1bil takeover of the Petrohawk Energy Corporation in 2011. — AFP

Top local stories

June inflation higher than expected: Malaysia’s inflation rate in June rose 2.5%, which was slightly higher than the 2.4% forecast, mainly due to an increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages. “CPI for June 2015 increased 0.6% on a month-on-month basis. CPI for the first six months in 2015 also registered an increase by 1.4% as compared to the same period last year,” the Statistics Department said. — StarBiz

Maxis posts after-tax profit of RM485mil in Q2: Maxis Bhd posted profit after tax of RM485mil in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with RM455mil a year earlier, as it continued to strengthen its operating and financial performance. The telco said the better performance was underpinned by strong customer propositions and high performing network. — StarBiz

Bursa net profit surges to RM50mil: Bursa Malaysia’s net profit rose 5.6% to RM49.48mil in the second quarter from a year ago due to improvements in the securities and derivatives market, and other segments. Its revenue increased 3.14% to RM127.01mil due to a rise in trading revenue, listing and issuer revenue and depository services revenue. For the first half, its revenue was up 3.16% to RM254.11mil, while net profit rose 4.9% to RM96.54mil. — StarBiz

Maybank ties up with Thai bank to boost transaction banking: Maybank ties up with Kasikornbank Pcl, a Thai commercial bank, to boost transaction banking as well as tap into business opportunities arising from the Asean Economic Community. Maybank said both banks would provide customers with transaction banking services in Malaysia and Thailand. — StarBiz

Invitation to China: Malaysia welcomes China to jointly build a smooth, safe and highly efficient transport channel in the country, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. Describing Malaysia and China as strategic partners and that entrepreneurs from both sides as ‘brothers’, he said Malaysia would be able to emulate and benefit from China’s advanced technology. — Bernama

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