Breakfast briefing: Thursday, October 6

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  • Thursday, 06 Oct 2016

Combining images: Twitter wants to start allowing users to stick other images on their photos.

MarketWrap: Stocks on Wall Street rose Wednesday led by the energy sector as oil prices rallied and as financials gained on the increasing likelihood of an interest rate hike after strong economic data. - Reuters

The DJIA rose 112.58 points, or 0.62%, to 18,281.03, the S&P 500 gained 9.24 points, or 0.43%, to 2,159.73 and the Nasdaq added 26.36 points, or 0.5%, to 5,316.02.

Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.25% to 4.1328 per US$

*It was 0.41% higher at 4.6294 per euro

*Up 0.07% to 5.2680 per pound sterling

*Up 0.03% to 3.0200 per Singapore dollar

*0.22% higher to 3.1462 per Aussie

*Up 0.21% to 3.9949 per 100 yen


Oil prices settled up about 2% on Wednesday, hitting their highest since June, after the fifth unexpected weekly drawdown in US crude inventories added to support on hopes that major producers will agree to cut output next month. Brent crude settled up 99 cents, or 2%, at US$51.86 a barrel. It rose earlier to US$52.09, its highest since June 10. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

IMF: Debt mountain, weak banks imperil global economy: A record mountain of debt held by governments and companies and widespread weakness in banks, especially in Europe and China, imperil the global economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday. - AFP

PGIM bets on real estate and debt: PGIM chief executive officer David Hunt said the US$1 trillion asset manager is betting on debt and real estate as pension funds and insurers turn to private investments for better returns. - Bloomberg

Twitter drops 9% after report that Google won't bid: Shares of Twitter slumped 9% late on Wednesday after Recode reported that Google, owned by Alphabet, would not move forward with a bid to acquire the social network. Citing sources, Recode also said Apple was unlikely to be one of the possible suitors. - Reuters

Fed's Fischer says low neutral rate a sign of potential economic trouble: Evidence that the so-called natural rate of interest has fallen to low levels could mean the economy is stuck in a low-growth rut that could prove hard to escape, Federal Reserve vice-chair Stanley Fischer said on Wednesday. - Reuters

Lenovo to take over Fujitsu's PC business: China's Lenovo Group Ltd is set to take over the personal computer operations of Fujitsu Ltd as the Japanese company seeks to focus on IT services and other higher-priority businesses, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday. The two companies aim to reach a deal this month, the paper said. - Reuters

Samsung Electronics to acquire artificial intelligence firm Viv, run by Siri co-creator: Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Thursday it is acquiring US artificial intelligence (AI) platform developer Viv Labs Inc, a firm run by a co-creator of Apple Inc's Siri voice assistant program. Samsung said it plans to integrate the company's AI platform, called Viv, into the Galaxy smartphones and expand voice-assistant services to home appliances and wearable technology devices. Financial terms were not disclosed. - Reuters

Top local stories

World Bank revises Malaysia GDP forecast: The World Bank has cut its forecast for Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to 4.2% this year from 5% in 2015 owing to weak global demand for oil and manufactured exports. It says growth would likely rebound to 4.3% next year before accelerating further to 4.5% in 2018 on anticipated recovery in the export of manufactured goods, as well as commodity prices. - StarBiz

* Malaysia’s main challenge and opportunity in accelerating the country’s transition to a high-income economy lies in speeding up structural reforms that focus on human capital development and liberalisation and further competition in the economy, the the global financial institution says. - StarBiz

McDonald’s nears deal to sell Malaysia and Singapore franchise: McDonald's Corp is nearing a deal to sell 20-year franchise rights for its Singapore and Malaysia outlets to Saudi Arabia's Reza group, in a transaction estimated at up to US$400mil, sources said. - Reuters

Encorp to sell land in Penang for RM25mil: Encorp Bhd plans to dispose of its freehold land in Batu Ferringi, Penang, to Crescent Consortium Sdn Bhd for RM25mil to help improve its cash flow. - StarBiz

Tien Wah to buy BAT unit in Indonesia: Tien Wah Press Holdings Bhd has been invited to tender for a British American Tobacco (BAT) group member in Indonesia that is involved in printing, coupled with a six-year contract to supply packaging materials. Tien Wah said the acquisition price was about 304 billion rupiah (RM96.73mil). - StarBiz

BCorp sells Canada’s Taiga stake: Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) is selling its entire 39.09% equity interest in Canada-listed Taiga Building Products Ltd - held via unit Berjaya Forest Products (Luxembourg) Sarl - to Malaysian businessman Tong Kooi Ong’s UPP Holdings Ltd for C$12.67mil (RM39.87mil). BCorp is also disposing of the outstanding unsecured subordinated notes in Tiaga for C$52.91mil (RM166.5mil). BCorp stands to make a net gain of C$23.14mil (RM72.82mil) for from the sale. - StarBiz

IRB hits Mega First subsidiary with RM23mil claim: The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has slapped Idaman Harmoni Sdn Bhd (IHSB), a subsidiary of Mega First Corp Bhd, with notices of assessment for additional taxes and penalties totalling RM22.8mil. - StarBiz

Report: AirAsia to seek bids for leasing unit: AirAsia Bhd has started gauging interest from potential bidders for leasing unit Asia Aviation Capital Sdn Bhd, sources said. AirAsia began sending basic information on the business to interested parties last Friday and asked for first round bids by mid-November, they said. - Bloomberg

Shareholders of Singapore reinsurer ACR agree terms of stake sale: Singapore reinsurer ACR Capital Holdings Pte Ltd said its major shareholders, including Khazanah Nasional Bhd, have agreed to the terms of the acquisition of ACR by Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Holdings Co Ltd and Shenzhen Investment Holdings Co Ltd. ACR did not disclose the purchase price but it is reported the deal was worth S$1bil (RM3.03bil). - Bernama

MSports shareholders okay resolutions at special meeting: Shareholders of Chinese shoemaker Multi Sports Holdings Ltd (MSports) have passed all nine resolutions, including the appointment of five new directors, at the company’s special general meeting on Tuesday. - StarBiz

Mercedes Malaysia expects another record sales: Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is confident of achieving another record year of sales in 2016, noting that year-to-date sales were 10% higher compared with 2015. - StarBiz

Multi-Usage’s application to delay AGM rejected: Multi-Usage Holdings Bhd’s application to delay its AGM to Dec 31, 2016 has been rejected by the Companies Commission of Malaysia, the property developer and building materials provider announced. - Edge FD
Syed Mokhtar eyeing 20% in Deleum, Iran O&G assets?: Billionaire Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary is eyeing oil and gas (O&G) assets in Iran and is considering Deleum Bhd as an avenue to park these assets, with sources saying he could take up as much as 20% of the company’s shares. - Edge FD

IOI’s commitment to RSPO being audited: An independent ground verification team is now checking on IOI Corp Bhd’s commitment to comply with the certification standards set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).  If the audit shows satisfactory results, IOI gets to keep its certified sustainable palm oil grower status. Otherwise, it will face another round of suspension. - Edge FD

Rita Benoy Bushon to step down as MSWG CEO in November: Rita Benoy Bushon is stepping down as chief executive offcer of Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) next month, after almost eight years at the helm of the shareholder protection group. iI is not known who will replace Rita. - Edge FD

Putrajaya mum on funding for Splash takeover: The Selangor government has just one day left to wrap up talks with shareholders of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash) for the takeover of the state’s sole remaining private water concessionaire, but the outcome from the negotiators is uncertain as the federal government has been quiet on its decision to finance the asset purchase. - Edge FD

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