Top foreign and local stories at 3.45pm


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 06 Jan 2016

Energy 

Brent crude 2.20% lower to US$36.40 per barrel at 2.13pm.

Forex

Ringgit down 0.91% to 4.3825 versus the US dollar at 2.37pm.

Top foreign stories

Iran-Saudi crisis punches another hole in Opec unity: Escalating diplomatic tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have added fresh strains on Opec’s unity as the cartel grapples with a common response to rock-bottom oil prices, experts said. — AFP

India set to extend central bank term for Rajan’s lieutenant: India’s government is set to extend the term of the central banker behind monetary policy changes that have helped reduce the country’s chronically high inflation, signalling confidence in governor Raghuram Rajan’s team at the Reserve Bank of India. Urjit Patel - the architect of a switch to formally target inflation, among other changes - is likely to stay on as a deputy governor when his three-year term ends next week, government and policymaker sources said. — Reuters

Message apps pose growing risk for China securities regulator: A growing number of China’s retail investors are opening trading accounts on messaging and social media app WeChat, and some institutional investors are even using it to instruct brokers, making it harder for regulators to monitor trades and spot illegal activity, traders and investors say. — Reuters

Apple expected to cut iPhone 6S, 6S Plus production: Apple Inc is expected to cut production of its latest iPhone models by about 30% in the January-March quarter due to mounting inventories, the Nikkei reported, rattling the nerves of investors in the US giant’s Asian suppliers. — Reuters

Huawei smartphone shipments soar 44% in 2015:
Huawei Technologies Co has become the first Chinese handset vendor to ship more than 100 million smartphones annually, defying a market slowdown to challenge leaders such as Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc. The Shenzhen-based company said on Wednesday its smartphone shipments rose 44% annually to 108 million in 2015, thanks to strong sales in China and Western Europe. — Reuters

S. Korea financial authorities hold emergency meetings after N. Korea nuke test: South Korea’s financial authorities held a flurry of emergency meetings on Wednesday after North Korea said it successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen nuclear device, which sent the South’s stocks and won lower. “The effect on financial markets from this nuclear test is unlikely to be large,” a joint statement said. — Reuters

Dick Smith collapse highlights risks of private equity turnarounds: The collapse of Australia’s biggest electronics retailer on Tuesday, just two years after listing, has sparked a fresh round of criticism about the swift and often mysterious methods that private equity firms use to prime their investments for sale. The demise of Dick Smith Electronics Ltd is part of a broader pattern: buyout firms cutting the time they spend turning their investments around and leaving the newly public companies poorly placed to weather turbulence. — Reuters

Taiwan December CPI grows below forecast: Taiwan’s consumer price index fell 0.31% in 2015 to mark its lowest rate of change since 2009, allowing room for the central bank to continue its loose monetary policy, an analyst said on Wednesday. For December, the index rose 0.14% year on year. — Reuters

Top local stories

Top Glove eyes M&A by August: Cash-rich Top Glove Corp Bhd is eyeing at least one acquisition by August this year. Chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai said the company is in talks with three parties in the rubber-related industry for the planned acquisition. — StarBiz

AirAsia to use proceeds from US$1bil notes for general corporate purposes: AirAsia Bhd intends to use the net proceeds from a US$1bil multicurrency medium-term note programme, set up by unit AirAsia Global Notes Ltd on Jan 5, for general corporate purposes. The carrier said it will use the proceeds for working capital, refinancing debts and funding the equity portion of AirAsia’s aircraft financing or other airline investment opportunities. — StarBiz

Tiger Synergy sees 200% jump in revenue: Tiger Synergy Bhd is eyeing a 200% increase in revenue for the financial year ending June 30, 2016, following the acquisition of BPE Synergy Engineering Sdn Bhd, a semi-conductor company, for RM16 million and new property launches. — Bernama

New proposed pricing mechanism for RON95 not feasible: Treasury sec-gen: The new pricing mechanism proposed by a certain party for RON95 to be based on the actual production cost of Malaysian oil refineries denominated in the ringgit is not feasible, says Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah. The country’s fuel needs are still being fulfilled by imports and denominated in the US dollar, he said. — Bernama

TM postpones e-billing for broadband to July: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has postponed its proposed e-billing as the default billing for its broadband Streamyx and UniFi customers to July. It said on Wednesday its customers subscribing only to its telephone service, without broadband, would continue to receive the printed bill for free. — StarBiz
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