Top foreign and local stories at 4pm

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Lay Hong said the proposed private placement entailed the issuance of up to 7.62 million placement shares, representing up to about 15% of the existing issued and paid-up share capital of RM50.83mil as at March 23. Lay Hong expects to raise gross proceeds of up to RM23.1mil based on the issue price of RM3.03 per placement share. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star (Filepic of some products)


Brent crude was down 1.23% to US$33.82 per barrel at 2.22pm.


Ringgit down 1.04% to 4.2048 versus the US dollar at 2.48pm.

Top foreign news

EU president to reveal British ‘settlement’: European Union president Donald Tusk will unveil proposals on Tuesday for a “new settlement” with Britain that could prevent it becoming the first country to crash out of the bloc. — AFP

Australia central bank holds rates steady: Australia’s central bank held interest rates steady on Tuesday even as wild swings in global markets, deepening unease over China’s economy and a fresh outbreak of easing abroad suggests risks are for a further cut going forward. — Reuters

Thai central bank to keep rates on hold as it counts on fiscal spending:
Thailand’s central bank is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate steady for a sixth straight meeting on Wednesday, as it pins hopes on government spending to revive the economy. — Reuters

Indonesia’s Q4 GDP growth seen up: Indonesia’s economy is expected to have picked up the pace in the final quarter of 2015, but analysts say plummeting commodities prices and tepid global demand meant growth for the full year will still likely be the weakest in six years. — Reuters

India keeps rates on hold, says budget key to more easing:
India’s central bank kept its policy rate on hold at 6.75% on Tuesday, as widely expected, opting to wait until after the government’s annual budget statement at the end February to decide on whether to cut interest rates further. — Reuters

Germany’s Hochtief says insider trading in Australia‘inadvertent’:
German construction company Hochtief admitted to breaking insider trading rules in Australia in 2014, the nation’s financial regulator said on Tuesday as the firm said any breach was “inadvertent”. — AFP

Top local news

MBSB, Bank Muamalat merger talks fall through: The proposed merger of Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd has fallen through. MBSB said on Tuesday that after a series of discussions and negotiations, the financial institution and the shareholders of Bank Muamalat - DRB-Hicom Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd – “have not been able to reach an agreement on the terms and conditions of the proposed merger”. — StarBiz

Bursa warns of regulatory action over Lay Hong share price surge: Bursa Malaysia Securities has cautioned investors over the recent sharp rise in the price of poultry company Lay Hong Bhd, warning it would take regulatory action to ensure fair and orderly trading. — StarBiz

Bursa posts slightly higher 2015 profit: Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s full-year earnings for financial year ended Dec 31, 2015 increased marginally to RM198.61mil from RM198.23mil a year earlier. Revenue came in 2.9% higher at RM518.5mil in 2015 against RM503.76mil previously. — StarBiz

Top Glove to lay off foreign workers: Top Glove Corp Bhd intends to cut its foreign labour workforce by 5% this year in view of the new levy on foreign workers. Chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said this is also in line with the company’s plans for automation of its plants and the minimum wage hike scheduled to take place on July 1, 2016. The group currently employs about 7,000 foreign workers. — StarBiz

AWC gets RM19m plumbing job from AZRB: AWC Bhd has won a RM19mil plumbing contract for the PNB1194 project in Jalan Sultan Ismail, comprising a new hotel and the former Malaysia Airlines headquarters. — StarBiz
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