Breakfast briefing November 30

  • Business
  • Monday, 30 Nov 2015

MarketWatch: The holiday shopping rush that kicked off on Friday is unlikely to bring much cheer to investors looking for a revival in retail stocks. After months of uninspiring sales growth and recent disappointments from Macy's and Nordstrom, shareholders of apparel sellers have had little to be thankful for and face a challenging holiday season. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

China brokerages investigated over margin trading contracts: Chinese brokerages currently under scrutiny from the country's securities regulator are being investigated for suspected rule breaches related to the signing of margin trading contracts, they said in separate filings on Sunday. - Reuters

Murdoch: Tribune papers likely to be sold, LA Times split off: Rupert Murdoch, co-chairman of Wall Street Journal publisher News Corp, says he has "strong word" that the Tribune Publishing Co's newspaper group will be bought by a Wall Street firm, while the Los Angeles Times will be split off and purchased by local investors including philanthropist Eli Broad. - Reuters

Greek central bank chief says need political consensus to end debt crisis: Greece's central bank chief called on the country's party leaders on Sunday to maintain their political consensus to help pull Athens itself out of its financial crisis once and for all. His comments came a day after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to secure the backing of Greek opposition parties on tough pension reforms the country has promised to implement by December under its latest international bailout. - Reuters

Top local stories

MSM eyes stake in Indonesia sugar cane firm: MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd is looking at acquiring a substantial stake in a sugar cane plantation company in Indonesia, says president and group chief executive officer Datuk Sheikh Awab Sheikh Abod. If the deal goes through, it will be MSM’s first upstream foray overseas since exiting from the sugar cane plantation business in
Malaysia some time ago, he said. - StarBiz

Zecon loses cash cow: Construction firm Zecon Bhd will be left without a “cash cow”, following the abolition of toll collection at the Tun Salahuddin toll bridge in Kuching soon. Last week, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem announced the Tun Salahuddin toll bridge across Sarawak River, which connects city south and city north, will be toll-free by next month. - StarBiz

Masteel sees better year ahead: Higher output, cheaper raw material prices and a slew of mega projects in the country could pave the way for a better year for Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd (Masteel). Managing director Datuk Seri Tai Hean Leng told StarBiz that he expected brighter prospects as its newl commissioned rolling mill in Bukit Raja, Klang would increase the production of steel bars by a third. That will contribute RM200mil more a year to its top line. - StarBiz

Courts Asia rebrands: The soft market sentiment is not hindering Courts Asia Ltd, one of South- East Asia’s leading electrical, IT and furniture retailer to embark on a nationwide rebranding exercise in Malaysia. The Singapore-listed company that more than doubled its net profit for the second quarter on higher sales in Malaysia and sales contribution from new stores in Indonesia, has set aside RM15mil to refurbish 15 outlets in Malaysia. - StarBiz

Adex drops marginally in October: Advertising expenditure (adex) extended its decline in October, dropping marginally to RM1.1bil from RM1.23bil in the previous corresponding period as cautious sentiment continued to suppress ad spend. - StarBiz

Reclaiming two islands to cost RM8b: Gamuda Bhd-led project delivery partner — SRS Con- sortium Sdn Bhd — for the Penang Transport Master Plan (TMP) estimates the cost of reclaiming two is- lands measuring about 1,300 acres (526.1ha) and 2,100 acres to be about RM7 billion to RM8 billion. - Edge FD

CPO prices seen to rise next year: The Indonesian Palm Oil Conference 2015 last week ended on a bullish note as many forecasters expected crude palm oil (CPO) prices to move up. With the growing likelihood of an El Nino event, greater de- mand from Indonesia’s biodiesel mandate and slowing production growth, CPO prices are expected to go as high as US$800 (RM3,440) per tonne free-on-board (before export tax) next year. - Edge FD

OCK expects major contracts from local telco operators: Telecommunication base transceiver station builder OCK Group Bhd, expects to clinch two major contracts from local telco operators by the first half of financial year ending Dec 31, 2016, continuing the growth momentum in the group’s top line. - Edge FD

Bonia poised to raise prices next year: Unable to absorb rising costs caused by the weakening ringgit and the implementation of the goods and services tax, Bonia Corp Bhd, the operator of retailing brands including Bonia, Sembonia and Carlo Rino, will pass on the additional costs to its customers by raising prices of its leather goods in the coming months. - Edge FD
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