Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, December 2

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 02 Dec 2015

Market wrap: US stocks started December stronger on Tuesday as health and consumer shares bounced back while auto sales suggested upbeat growth in November. The S&P health care index jumped 1.7%, while the consumer discretionary index was up 1%, both retracing Monday's losses. - Reuters

The DJIA rose 168.43 points, or 0.95%, to 17,888.35, the S&P 500 gained 22.22 points, or 1.07%, to 2,102.63 and the Nasdaq added 47.64 points, or 0.93%, to 5,156.31.

Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.64% to 4.2327 per US$

*It rose 0.37% to 4.4898 per euro

*Down 0.01% to 6.3992 to the pound sterling

*0.47% higher to 3.0026 per Singapore dollar

*0.63% lower to 3.0862 per Aussie

*Up 0.04% to 3.4434 per 100 yen


Brent crude futures settled lower on Tuesday on bets Opec will not cut output to stem a supply glut when the world's biggest oil producers meet in Vienna on Friday, while US crude steadied as some traders expected a stockpile drop. Brent LCOc1 settled down 17 cents, or 0.4%, at US$44.44 a barrel. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

US manufacturing contracts, but rest of economy humming along: US manufacturing contracted in November for the first time in three years as the sector buckled under the weight of a strong dollar and deep spending cuts by energy firms, but robust automobile sales suggested the economy remained on solid ground. Other data released on Tuesday showed a sturdy increase in construction spending in October, which should help offset the drag from manufacturing on fourth-quarter economic growth. - Reuters

Facebook's Zuckerberg to give 99% of shares to charity: Facebook Inc chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife said on Tuesday they will give away 99% of their Facebook shares, currently worth about US$45 billion, to a new charity in a letter addressed to their daughter, Max, who was born last week. - Reuters

Cyber Monday sales top US$3b as discounts spur buyers: Americans bought more than US$3 billion worth of goods on Cyber Monday, a leading survey showed, as bigger-than-expected discounts and strong demand for electronics and toys added up to the biggest ever day for US online sales. - Reuters

KKR, Thoma Bravo, Vista eye US$4b Dell assets: Buyout firms KKR & Co LP, Thoma Bravo LLC and Vista Equity Partners Management LLC are competing for US$4 billion worth of Dell Inc's assets, people familiar with the matter said, as the computer maker steps up asset sales. The three private equity firms are vying for Dell's Quest Software, which helps with IT management, as well as SonicWall, an e-mail encryption and data security provider, they said. - Reuters

Chinese banks miss out on the party as Asian M&As pass US$1 trillion mark: A surge in Chinese cross-border technology and telecoms deals has helped mergers and acquisitions in Asia Pacific cross US$1 trillion for the first time but mainland banks are missing out on the payoffs as they badly trail global rivals in advisory work. - Reuters

Top local stories

Joint venture for Eagle High deal: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is not ruling out a potential partnership with another party in a new structure for the acquisition of a 37% stake in Indonesia’s PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk, chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah has confirmed. “That is just one (of the possibilities). We are exploring all the options available for a deal with Eagle High and do not rule out anything at the moment,” said Emir. - StsrBiz

Bank Negara in no rush to increase yuan reserves: Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz welcomes the inclusion of the yuan in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) basket of reserve cur- rencies as an “important development” that will contribute to greater stability in the international monetary system. But the central bank is in no rush to increase its holdings of yuan reserves. - StarBiz

Malakoff files suit against contractors: Malakoff Corp Bhd, the independent power producer, has filed a RM780mil suit against IHI Corp Japan and two other contractors for what it claimed to be breaches of duty that have led to various incidents at its Tanjung Bin Power plant in Johor. - StarBiz

Muhibbah gets RM300mil contract: MUHIBBAH ENGINEERING (M) BHD has won a contract worth RM300mil from Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) in Pengerang, Johor. Muhibbah said the contract was to provide engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning for Petronas Rapid Temporary Executive Village and Petronas Rapid Temporary Management Office Facilities for the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development Project. - Bernama

PRG to see new strategic shareholders: PRG HOLDINGS BHD, formerly known as Furniweb Industrial Products Bhd, said its executive director Datuk Seri Yeoh Soo Ann of ENCORP BHD fame, has stepped down from his post . Sources said his departure on Monday would lead to the emergence of a few new strategic shareholders in the company. - StarBiz

Bank Muamalat pre-tax profit rises to RM92.4mil: Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd posted a 33.5% hike in pre-tax profit to RM92.4mil for the six months ended Sept 30. Revenue increased from RM530.6mil to RM583.4mil, driven by a 11.1% growth in financing income, while total overheads were reduced by more than 10% to RM171.6mil. - StarBiz

UEM Sunrise to invest RM215mil in JV with WCT: Property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd is investing RM215mil in a joint venture with WCT Holdings Bhd to develop a new RM3bil township outside Kuala Lumpur. The project will be launched in 2017. - StarBiz

Pos Malaysia confident on new businesses: Pos Malaysia Bhd is upbeat about the prospects of its new businesses that will contribute to the company. The company recorded weak earnings in the first half due to lower profit from the mail and retail segment besides having to contend with rising cost. For the six months ended Sept 30, 2015, net profit fell 57.10% to RM26.2mil while revenue rose 6.58% to RM789.2mil. - StarBiz

Iris, Protasco win housing contracts in Putrajaya: IRIS CORP Bhd has secured a RM622.73mil contract from Perbadanan Putrajaya for a mixed development, including houses under the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPA1M), while PROTASCO BHD bagged a RM300.5mil contract to build residential properties also under the PPA1M. - StarBiz

Zecon gets nod for Super UTC: ZECON BHD has obtained the Sarawak government approval for the master plan of a proposed Super Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) that would involve mixed development of more than 21,000 residential and commercial units in Petra Jaya here. The master plan includes the site of offices for the proposed Federal Government administrative centre. - StarBiz

First fall forecast for palm oil output: World palm oil production is expected to fall for the first time next year, due to the impact of El Nino on Indonesia and Malaysia. Reduced production in Indonesia would be cushioned by the opening of new areas, and this will cause stagnant production at about 33.5 million tonnes in 2016, but in Malaysia, it is expected to decline slightly. - StarBiz

Sukuk issues to hit RM75bil in 2016: CIMB Investment Bank Bhd expects company sukuk issuance to rise to as much as RM75bil next year as the rollout of subway and road projects revives issuance after a lacklustre 2015 when RM49.3bil were issued. Next year figure would be the second most since 2012, when Malaysian companies sold RM106.9bil of syariah-compliant notes. - StarBiz

KTMB, MMC in JV for rail freight transport: KTMB has entered into a shareholders agreement with MMC Corp Bhd to form a joint venture company, KTMB MMC Cargo Sdn Bhd, to undertake rail freight transport and related businesses. KTMB and MMC have 51% and 49% stakes respectively in KTMB MMC Cargo. - Bernama

Penang LRT construction work to start in 2018: Construction work on the Penang light railway transit (LRT) project, which is part of the first phase of the island’s Transport Master Plan (TMP), will start in 2018. According to SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd, the GAMUDA BHD-led project delivery partner for the TMP, it will be finalising the cost and alignment of the entire project by year end. - Edge FD

Malaysia’s PMI drops to record low: Malaysia’s headline Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to a record low of 47 in November, from 48.1 in October, according to Markit, signalling the sharpest rate of deterioration in the operating conditions of Malaysian manufacturers since the survey began in July 2012. - Edge FD

Malaysia can exit TPP with no penalty: Malaysia can exit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement at any point of time without penalty. International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia can use the exit clause if it decides to leave the TPP within six months of notice with no penalty imposed. - Bernama

MRCB’s Salim named Global CEO of the Year: MALAYSIAN RESOURCES CORP Bhd (MRCB) group managing director Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fatih Din was picked as Global CEO of the Year at the sixth Middle East Business Leaders Awards 2015 on Monday. - Edge FD
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