Breakfast briefing: Thursday, August 11

A man talks on his mobile phone in front of a Wal-Mart store in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 16, 2016. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

MarketWrap: Wall Street retreated from record levels on Wednesday as a drop in oil prices pressured energy stocks and weighed more heavily than a surge in Walt Disney. - Reuters

The DJIA fell 37.39 points, or 0.2%, to 18,495.66, the S&P 500 lost 6.25 points, or 0.29%, to 2,175.49 and the Nasdaq dropped 20.80 points, or 0.4%, to 5,204.59.

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.46% to 4.0065 per US$

*It was 0.68% lower at 4.4813 per euro

*Down 0.09% to 5.2145 to the pound sterling

*Down 0.36% to 2.9866 per Singapore dollar

*0.22% lower to 3.0874 per Aussie

*Down 0.63% to 3.9634 per 100 yen


Oil prices fell early on Thursday as a build in U.S. crude inventories and record Saudi Arabian production weighed on markets. International Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at US$43.72 a barrel at 8.32 pm ET, down 33 cents, or 0.8%. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

Samsung Electronics says to acquire US appliances maker Dacor: South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Thursday it will acquire US-based luxury appliances maker Dacor Inc, seeking to boost high-end product sales. The company did not disclose financial terms. - Reuters

Banks and tech firms apply blockchain to trade finance: An HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch venture and financial technology firm R3 said separately on Wednesday that they had created ways of using blockchain technology to simplify trade finance processes. The two banks said they had joined with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to emulate a letter of credit transaction. - Reuters

Wal-Mart's Mexico unit selling apparel chain for about US$852m: Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Mexican unit said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell its Suburbia clothing chain to El Puerto De Liverpool for about US$852 million as the world's largest retailer streamlines operations in its largest non-US market. - Reuters

Top local stories

Options for first time house buyers: In the wake of increasing pressure on banks to relax lending rules, the Association of Banks in Malaysia advises first time home buyers to consider applying for Government schemes such as “Skim Rumah Pertamaku” (SRP) for assistance in their property purchase. - StarBiz

William Hill turns down Quek’s offer: William Hill Plc, Britain’s largest bookmaker, has turned down a £3.2bil cash-and-stock offer by Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan-controlled Rank Group Plc and 888 Holdings Plc. The bookmaker said the joint takeover bid was rejected because it “substantially undervalues” the company. - StarBiz

Ho Wah Genting signs MoU with S. Korean company: Ho Wah Genting Bhd has entered into memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korea-based SM Dutyfree Co Ltd to collaborate and evaluate the feasibility of opening duty-free outlets in Malaysia. - StarBiz

MAHB’s July passenger traffic up 5.1%: Passenger traffic for Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) system of airports in July rose 5.1% to 10.5 million versus the same period a year earlier. - Bernama

Cuscapi Q2 loss widens to RM3.7mil: Cuscapi Bhd’s net loss widened to RM3.71mil in the second quarter on weaker revenue and higher support personnel cost. iIs revenue fall 4.3% to RM9.39mil due to softer market condition in South-East Asia. - StarBiz

Govt explains rationale for contract award to Tadmax: Tadmax Resources Bhd was given the contract for a new power plant because it has land that is ideal for the project, according to the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.  But the company needed to work with Tenaga Nasional Bhd as part of the condition for the award of the project. - StarBiz

Maybank disposes of Thai subsidiary: Malayan Banking Bhd’s (Maybank) unit has disposed of 26.9 million shares, representing a 99.99% stake, in its fund-management subsidiary in Thailand, Maybank Asset Management Thailand Co Ltd, to another Thai company at an undisclosed price. - StarBiz

Daibochi records lower Q2 net profit on revised wage policy: Daibochi Plastic and Packaging Industry Bhd’s net profit declined 15.5% to RM6.1mil in its second quarter due to revised wage policy effective since January, less favourable product mix and higher production wastage. Group revenue rose 8.2% to RM97mil driven by higher exports. - StarBiz

Inventory drop may help sustain CPO prices: Declining palm oil stocks in Indonesia and Malaysia as well as improving export outlook could help sustain a recovery in crude palm oil (CPO) prices in the near term, analysts say. CPO futures contract for October on Bursa Derivatives Exchange rose to an intra-day high of RM2,512 per tonne before settling RM34 higher at RM2,500 on Wednesday. - StarBiz

VADS unveils cloud-exchange service: VADS Bhd, a unit of Telekom Malaysia Bhd, is launching what it claims to be the nation’s first cloud-exchange service, aimed at small and medium enter- prises. - StarBiz

92% of Malaysians worry about financial health: Bank Negara reveals that up to 92% of Malaysians worry about their financial health and needs at old age as well as being unprepared for retirement. Assistant governor Jessica Chew Cheng Lian says most Malaysians adopted a pas-
sive strategy for retirement, with 42% preferring to buy properties, 25% opting to save money in the bank and 18% depending EPF. - Bernama

HSS Engineers makes strong debut: Engineering and project management firm HSS Engineers Bhd made a strong debut on Bursa Malaysia, ending its first day on the ACE market at 57 sen. This was 14% higher than its initial public offering price of 50 sen. - StarBiz

GDP growth seen at 4% in second quarter: Malaysia’s economic growth could have slowed to 4% year-on-year n the second quarter of 2016 from 4.2% in the first period, economists say. - Edge FD

Maybank ‘not overly concerned’ over Swiber: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) said it is “cautious, but not overly concerned” over its exposure to distressed Singapore oil eld services firm Swiber Holdings Ltd, which is operating under court supervision following default on its loans and missed coupon payments. - Edge FD

EPF calls for law to protect the elderly: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) deputy chief executive officer Tunku Alizakri Alias is urging the government to formulate a legislation that emphasises the rights and protection of the elderly, including a re-employment policy, as well as the elimination of age discrimination. - Edge FD

M’sia to get first low head mini hydropower project: Green & Smart Holdings plc, a Malaysian firm that listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange in May, is teaming up with another renewable energy expert, Touch Meccanica Sdn Bhd, to build the country’s  rst low head mini hydropower plant. - Edge FD

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