Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, March 30


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016

EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said that the non-bank financial provider is working with Bank Negara Malaysia to revamp to bring it up to bank standards and is looking at a solution towards entering into the mainstream market.

MarketWrap: The S&P 500 closed at its highest in 2016 on Tuesday after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen called for caution on raising interest rates - music to Wall Street's ears. In her first comments since the Fed held steady on rates earlier this month, Yellen said global risks remained, including uncertainty over China and low oil prices. - Reuters

The DJIA rose 0.56% to end at 17,633.11 points, the S&P 500 gained 17.96 points to 2,055.01 and the Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.67% to 4,846.62.

Forex summary

*The ringgit rises 0.61% to 3.9700 per US$

*It fell 0.45% to 4.4865 per euro

*Down 0.39% to 5.7148 to the pound sterling

*0.36% lower to 2.9298 per Singapore dollar

*0.84% lower to 3.0316 per Aussie

*Up 0.38% to 3.5292 per 100 yen

Energy

Oil prices fell about 3% on Tuesday, reflecting growing concern that a two-month rally was fading as demand fails to keep up with swelling global supply, including new output from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Brent LCOc1 futures settled down US$1.13 at US$39.14 a barrel. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

Tata Steel says puts entire UK business up for sale: India's Tata Steel, Britain's largest steelmaker, is considering the sale of its entire UK business to stem heavy losses, a move that would draw a line under its almost decade-long foray into Britain. - Reuters

GE to sell US$1.4b US hotel franchise loan portfolio: General Electric Co said it had agreed to sell GE Capital's US hotel franchise loan portfolio to a unit of Western Alliance Bancorp. The business, which includes outstanding loans of about US$1.4 billion, provides real estate financing to owners of limited service hotels. - Reuters

Spotify raises US$1b in convertible debt: Spotify has raised US$1 billion in convertible debt from private equity firm TPG Capital and hedge fund Dragoneer Investment Group, a spokeswoman for the music streaming service said. The deal is expected to close at the end of this week, Spotify spokeswoman Marni Greenberg confirmed to Reuters. Terms were no disclosed. - Reuters

Top local stories

Telenor chief on award of spectrum: Telenor Group president and chief executive officer Sigve Brekke has called on the Government to be transparent in awarding spectrum to the players, saying the exercise should be done on a competitive basis to ensure only genuine players ended up getting the assets. - StarBiz

FGV appoints Zakaria new CEO: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has appointed Datuk Zakaria Arshad its new chief executive officer, effective April 1. Zakaria takes over from Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, whose contract expires on March 31. - StarBiz

Two divisions pull down BCorp profit: Berjaya Corp Bhd’s (BCorp) net profit for the third quarter slumped to RM15.8mil from RM975mil a year ago due to a lack of contribution from the auto division and lower income from its gaming business. BCorp said its revenue for the third quarter fell 2% to RM2.17bil from RM2.21bil previously. - StarBiz

Atlan seeks waiver from shareholders’ vote: ATLAN HOLDINGS BHD is seeking a waiver from having to obtain shareholders’ approval for its subsidiary to dispose of up to a 25% equity interest in DFZ Capital Bhd, one of the country’s biggest duty-free retailing groups. - StarBiz

Arun Bhatia sells AIRASIA India stake to Tata Sons: Arun Bhatia, who sparked concerns over the control and shareholding of AirAsia India recently, has finally inked a deal to get out of the venture, while one of India’s biggest conglomerates, Tata Sons, is raising its stake in the airline to 49%, matching AirAsia Bhd’s equity. - StarBiz

Bison ends slightly higher on debut: Press and convenience retail group Bison Consolidated Bhd closed at a seven-sen premium or 6.4% over its initial public offering (IPO) price of RM1.10 on its debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday. - StarBiz

Bina Darulaman postpones EGM: Bina Darulaman Bhd has postponed its EGM scheduled for Thursday, as its major shareholder Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Kedah wants more time to consider the effects of the company’s proposed long-term incentive plan. - StarBiz

George Kent earnings hit record: GEORGE KENT (M) BHD’s net profit more than doubled to RM19.88mil in its fourth quarter from RM8.29mil a year earlier. Its revenue also more than doubled to RM267.47mil from RM117.23mil in the previous corresponding quarter. The group has proposed a final single tier dividend of 3.5 sen per share. - StarBiz

Sunway offers 88% financing to boost sales: Sunway Bhd is offering up to 88% financing to home buyers under a unique ownership campaign as the developer seeks to boost sales.
Under the Sunway Property Certainty Campaign, the company would offer financing from internally generated funds as an option if the buyers were unable to get financing from banks. - StarBiz

MRT Corp awards RM535.3mil contracts: Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) has awarded more contracts, valued at RM535.3mil, for the construction of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang- Putrajaya and MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Lines. - StarBiz

MBSB to transform into Islamic lender after failed mergers: After two failed merger attempts with Islamic banks, MALAYSIA BUILDING SOCIETY BHD is opting to transform into a syariah lender by itself. MBSB has stopped offering conventional loans and sees more room for growth in Islamic services, chief executive officer Ahmad Zaini Othman said in an interview on Monday. - Bloomberg

Pharmaniaga sees turnaround in Indonesia ops: Pharmaniaga Bhd expects its pharmaceutical business in Indonesia to make a profit this year, as the group pumps in RM10mil to upgrade its manufacturing plant there and the unit into its regional export hub. The group had recently increased its stake in Indonesia’s PT Errita Pharma, a manufacturer of generic pharmaceutical products based in Bandung, from 75% to 85% for US$2.4mil (RM11.97mil). - StarBiz

Govt won’t set floor price for rubber, says minister: The Government will not set a floor price for rubber as this requires a large source of income, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said, adding: “Setting a floor price will also encourage speculation.” - Edge FD

AGMs/EGMs

Integrated Logistics Bhd

Time: 10am

Venue: Selangor 3, Grand Selangor Ballroom Dorsett Grand Subang, Subang Jaya, Selangor

BOUSTEAD HEAVY INDUSTRIES CORPoration Bhd

Time: 10am

Venue: The Royale Ballroom Level 2, The Royale Chulan Damansara, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Sona Petroleum Bhd

Time: 10am

Venue: Sabah Room, B2 Level, Shangri-la Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur

Sona Petroleum seeks shareholder nod for acquisition by Sona E&P (Perth) Pty Ltd of Stag Oilfield from Quadrant Northwest Pty Ltd for US$25 million cash.


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