Brent crude was 0.58% higher to US$31.04 per barrel at 2.12pm.
Ringgit up 0.41% to 4.3958 versus the US dollar at 2.40pm.
Top foreign stories
China trade volume falls 7% in 2015: China’s total trade volume fell 7% year-on-year to 24.59 trillion yuan (around US$3.74 trillion) in 2015, Customs said on Wednesday, hit by slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy and plunging commodity prices. — AFP
Hotel Lotte could raise up US$5b in S. Korea’s largest-ever IPO: Hotel Lotte Co Ltd could raise up to US$5 billion in what would be South Korea’s biggest initial public offering, IFR reported on Wednesday, citing people close to the deal. The listing could reach US$3 billion to US$5 billion, potentially surpassing the US$4.04 billion record set in 2010 by Samsung Life Insurance Co Ltd, said IFR. — Reuters
China winning offshore yuan battle, but may be losing the war: In the space of about five years, the offshore market in Chinese yuan has gone from the poster child of Beijing’s financial market liberalisation to a battleground to regain control of the currency, spooking investors and raising questions about the future of the market. — Reuters
Commodity price falls a US$160b bonus for China: Slumping prices saved China more than US$160 billion on its imports of commodities such as oil, iron ore, coal and copper last year, official figures showed on Wednesday. — AFP
Foreign investment plummets in junta ruled Thailand: Foreign investment in Thailand plummeted last year, official data showed, the latest sign that the kingdom’s once-vibrant economy continues to falter under prolonged military rule. Total investment applied for by foreign companies between January and November 2015 plunged 78% from a year earlier to 93.8 billion baht (US$2.62 billion), according to figures from Thailand’s state-run Board of Investment. — AFP
Google reveals self-driving car slip-ups: Google on Tuesday said that while its self-driving cars have safely driven more than a million miles, there have been times when humans have had to take over to avoid crashing. System “anomalies” caused drivers to take the wheel 272 times in California test cars in the 14 months leading up to December, Google said in a report to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. — AFP
Disney to open Shanghai theme park in June: Disney’s long-awaited theme park in China’s commercial hub Shanghai, its first on the mainland, will open on June 16, the company announced on Tuesday. The US$5.5 billion facility was originally slated to open last year,— AFP
Top local stories
Bina Puri targets RM1b contracts for 2016: BINA PURI HOLDINGS BHD targets to secure RM1bil of local and overseas construction jobs this year. The construction company currently has about RM3.4b of ongoing projects and an outstanding order book of RM1.89bil. — StarBiz
Khazanah’s assets slightly higher at RM150.2bil in 2015: Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s portfolio realisable asset value (RAV) increased 3.2% to RM150.2bil in 2015 amid a challenging year on with volatility on both the domestic and global fronts and it expects this to continue this year. The sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday the RAV was slightly higher than the RM145.5bil in 2014. “While portfolio net worth adjusted (NWA) decreased slightly by 1.6% to RM109.0bil in 2015 (RM110.7bil in 2014), it was in line with FBM KLCI’s 1.0% decline (in total shareholder return) and outperformed six of seven reference market indices. Khazanah said unaudited profit before tax fell to RM1.18bil from 2014’s RM3.22bil. — StarBiz
UEM Edgenta unit forms JV with Township Management Services: Sunrise Edgenta TMS Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between UEM SUNRISE BHD and Edgenta Township Management Services Sdn Bhd, has formed a 70:30 JV with Township Management Services Sdn Bhd. “The JV company will offer integrated facilities management which includes building facility management, security management, estate management and related services for building owners and residents of Medini and Iskandar Puteri (formerly known as Nusajaya) townships, UEM Edgenta said. — StarBiz
New production complex to double Ramly group’s revenue to RM2b: Ramly Group, a home-grown burger producer, expects its revenue to double to RM2 billion from RM1 billion now once its new production complex on Pulau Indah, Selangor is fully operational in 2018. — Bernama
MPOB gets gold medals, special awards from Korean institute: The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) received three gold medals and one special award from the Korean Institute of Patent Information at the Seoul International Invention Fair 2015 (SIFF 2015). — Bernama
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