Breakfast briefing: Tuesday, March 22

  • Business
  • Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016

MarketWrap: Wall Street closed little changed on Monday as investors searched for fresh catalysts and showed concerns about fully-extended share prices after a five-week rally.
The session, which closed slightly higher and opened slightly lower, followed a market-friendly move by the US Federal Reserve last week that pushed the S&P 500 and Dow into positive territory for the year. - Reuters

The DJIA closed up 21.57 points, or 0.12%, to 17,623.87, the S&P 500 gained 2.02 points, or 0.1%, to 2,051.6 and the Nasdaq had added 13.23 points, or 0.28%, to 4,808.87.

Forex summary

*The ringgit was down 0.09% to 3.6985 per US$

*It fell 0.01% to 4.5649 per euro

*Up 0.06% to 5.8372 to the pound sterling

*0.22% up to 2.9809 per Singapore dollar

*0.50% higher to 2.8429 per Aussie

*Down 0.01% to 3.6255 per 100 yen


Oil prices rose about 1% on Monday after data showed crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for US futures fell for the first time since January, and ahead of the expiration of the US front-month contract. Oil's upside, however, was limited by concerns that US energy companies could ramp up drilling again after a two-month long recovery in crude prices, analysts said. Brent crude futures for May delivery LCOK6, the front-month, settled up 34 cents, or 0.8%, at US$41.54 a barrel. Brent has risen 53% from 12-year lows of US$27.10 hit on Jan 20. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

Marriott wins back Sheraton-owner Starwood with new offer: Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc, owner of the Sheraton and Westin brands, accepted a higher US$13.6 billion acquisition offer from peer Marriott International Inc, spurning a bid from China's Anbang Insurance Group. - Reuters

IHS to buy data provider Markit, combined company to base in UK: US-based IHS Inc agreed to buy Markit Ltd to create a US$13 billion London-based data and business research provider, in the latest example of a US company moving its domicile overseas where corporate tax rates are lower. The companies said IHS shareholders will own about 57% of the combined company following the close of the all-stock deal, which values Markit at about US$5.9 billion. - Reuters

Petrobras posts record loss on oil price slump, write downs: Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras posted its biggest-ever quarterly loss on Monday after booking a large writedown for oil fields and other assets as oil prices slumped and refinery projects faltered. Petróleo Brasileiro SA had a consolidated net loss of 36.9 billion reais (US$10.2 billion) in the fourth quarter versus 26.6 billion-real loss a year earlier. - Reuters

Top local stories

Limited upside for ringgit, say analysts: A massive inflow of funds from overseas into the local bond and stock markets in recent weeks is helping the ringgit regain some lost ground against major currencies after a dreadful 2015. But analysts said the immediate upside for the local currency seems limited by the unpredictable market condition. - StarBiz

KPS to join non-revenue water reduction scheme: Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS) plans to participate in the non-revenue water reduction programme under the federal and Selangor state governments. KPS, a subsidiary of Selangor state investment arm Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd, told Bursa Malaysia that newly acquired Nadi Biru Sdn Bhd had proposed to invest 51% in Smartpipe Technology Sdn Bhd for RM5.1mil. - StarBiz

Tan Chong co-founder dies at 97: Tan Sri Tan Kim Hor, the co-founder of the Tan Chong group, passed away on Monday. Datuk Tan Boon Pun said his father passed away after a short illness. - StarBiz

BENALEC stands to gain RM4mil from land sale: Benalec Holdings Bhd is expected to make a net gain of RM4.17mil from the proposed disposal of its beneficial interest in 4.252 acres of commercial land in Malacca RM83.5 million. - StarBiz

SC seeks feedback on cyber security risk management: The Securities Commission (SC) on Monday published a consultation paper seeking public feedback on the proposed reg- ulatory framework relating to the management of cyber security risk by capital market participants. - StarBiz

CREC and IWH to make joint bid for HSR?: China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) and Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) could jointly bid for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project. CREC and IWH are currently joint-venture partners after having bought 60% equity in the Bandar Malaysia project for RM7.41bil from 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd late last year. On Monday, CREC said it was committed to further invest US$2bil (RM8.12bil) to build its regional centre in Bandar Malaysia.

Pesona Metro JV bags RM314mil hospital job: Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd’s joint venture (JV) with GPQ Sdn Bhd and Semarak Korporat Sdn Bhd has won a RM313.85mil contract to build Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin’s teaching hospital in Terengganu. - StarBiz

Kerjaya Prospek wins maiden infrastructure job: KERJAYA PROSPEK GROUP BHD, formerly known as Fututech Bhd, has won its maiden infrastructure project worth RM181.31mil for reclamation works of the second phase of Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP2) Penang, increasing its outstanding unbilled order book to RM2.2bil from RM1.9bil. - StarBiz

Rafidah: Flexible managers and board members vital: A company must be made up of managers and board members who are flexible and objective to help sail it through the tough times ahead, said Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. The "economic contagion" was going to be part of Malaysia’s current economy,going forward, she said. - StarBiz

LPI confident of handling insurance for MRT 2: Insurer LPI Capital Bhd is confident it has the technical expertise to manage the insurance programme for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) 2 project, if it manages to secure the deal. Its insurance unit, Lonpac Insurance Bhd, which is bidding to secure the contract, is lead insurer for the existing MRT 1 project. - StarBiz

Speculative frenzy in Pos call warrants: Call warrants linked to Pos Malaysia Bhd recorded gains of as much as 3,800% in volatile trading on Monday in a frenzy of speculation by punters despite no new developments from the company, say market observers. - StarBiz

GUH moves into education by buying 25% of SIEG: GUH Holdings Bhd is venturing into the education sector by acquiring 25% equity interest in international school operator Straits International Education Group Sdn Bhd (SIEG) for RM11mil. - StarBiz

TRC Synergy bags RM231m Brunei airport works job: TRC SYNERGY BHD, which has clinched several contracts since late-2014, has bagged yet another contract, this time for B$78.8 million (RM235.43 million) to undertake airfield pavement rehabilitation works at the Brunei International Airport. - Edge FD

Credit Suisse ups stakes in CLIQ Energy, Sona Petroleum: Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG has upped its stake in Cliq Energy Bhd to 7.167%, while increasing its holdings in Sona Petroleum Bhd to 12.305%. - Edge FD

Malaysian banks’ earnings to soften: RAM Rating Services Bhd expects banks’ earnings to soften this year as loan growth eases, but noted that Malaysian banks are able to withstand challenges ahead with sound credit metrics, as it reiterated its stable outlook on the local banking sector. - Edge FD

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