Breakfast briefing: Thursday, October 20

Capitalising on the modern age: Digital banking is a cheaper and faster way to grow in Asia than traditional banking channels.

MarketWrap: US stocks notched a second straight day of gains on Wednesday, as climbing oil prices lifted the energy sector and earnings from Morgan Stanley provided a boost to financials. - Reuters

The DJIA rose 40.68 points, or 0.22%, to 18,202.62, the S&P 500 gained 4.69 points, or 0.22%, to 2,144.29 and the Nasdaq added 2.58 points, or 0.05%, to 5,246.41.

Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.18% to 4.1770 per US$

*It was 0.64% higher at 4.5811 per euro

*Up 0.65% to 5.1315 per pound sterling

*Up 0.58% to 3.0065 per Singapore dollar

*0.33% higher to 3.2108 per Aussie

*Up 0.37% to 4.0304 per 100 yen


Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Wednesday, with US crude settling at its highest in 15 months after the government reported a surprisingly large drop in inventories for the sixth week out of seven. Brent crude settled up 99 cents, or 1.9%, at US$52.67. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

Saudi Arabia to sell record US$17.5b of sovereign bonds: Saudi Arabia plans to raise US$17.5 billion (RM73.33 billion) in the biggest-ever bond sale from an emerging-market nation, according to four people with knowledge of the offering, as it seeks to shore up finances battered by the slide in oil. - Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley profit jumps on bond-trading comeback: Morgan Stanley reported a better-than-expected profit on Wednesday, boosted by a surge in bond trading. Morgan Stanley's earnings applicable to common shareholders rose 62% to US$1.5 billion, from US$939 million in the same quarter a year earlier. - Reuters

Morgan Stanley, Citi vying to clear yuan trades in US: Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc are among those vying to be the designated US bank clearing yuan trades in the United States alongside Bank of China Ltd (BoC), China's fourth-biggest bank by assets, a senior BoC executive said on Wednesday. - Reuters

Top local stories

CIMB-China Galaxy tie-up synergies: CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s tie-up with China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd will lead to a further reduction in cost and give it access to the North Asia market. CIMB Group chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said the Beijing-based stockbroker was picked over several interested parties because of its scale and technology. Tengku Zafrul however declined to disclose pricing, says the final details are still being worked worked. - StarBiiz

September vehicle sales down 5.7%: Vehicle sales hit another slow patch in September, but the industry is expecting a slight pick-up in October on the back of new model launches. Total industry volume in September fell 5.7% to 51,099 units from 48,191 a year earlier, says Malaysian Automotive Association. - StarBiz

Maxis earnings rise in Q3: Maxis Bhd recorded a 19.8% increase in net profit for the third quarter to RM503mil compared with a year ago. Its revenue for the quarter was flat, at RM2.16bil, from RM2.17bil previously. The group declared a third interim dividend of five sen net per share. - StarBiz

Priceworth buys timber concession for RM260m: Priceworth International Bhd is buying a com- pany with logging and replanting rights over a forest area of 101,161ha in Sabah for RM260mil. The area is expected to yield some 6.5 million cu m of renewable timber over the next 81 years. - StarBiz

Zeti made member of AIIB international advisory panel: Former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz has been appointed a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) international advisory panel. Zeti would join 10 other key personnel on the advisory panel. - Bernama

Higher Q3 profit for Digi: Bhd saw a 10.5% jump in net profit to RM438.4mil from a year ago, despite a 3% drop in revenue to RM1.62bil. The company attributed its earnings growth to improved cost management as well as strong growth in postpaid revenue and prepaid sustainable growth. It declared a third interim of 5.6 sen a share. - StarBiz

Chamber calls for road map for corporate tax, branding: The Government should come out with road map to improve the current corporate tax structure and a holistic plan for Malaysian branding, says the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. - StarBiz

Treasury quashes talk of GST hike: The Government has no intention of increasing the existing 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Budget 2017. Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani brushed off rumours that the Government would increase the GST by 2%. - Bernama

SC files suit against Sreesanthan for insider trading: The Securities Commission (SC) has filed a civil suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against Datuk Sreesanthan Eliathamby for insider trading relating to the shares of Worldwide Holdings Bhd. - StarBiz

Ajinomoto accepts offer for Maypak despite it deemed ‘not fair’: Ajinomoto (M) Bhd has accepted the offer from Japan’s Taisei Lamick Co Ltd to sell its entire stake of 5% in Malaysia Packaging Industry Bhd (Maypak) at RM1.37 million, or 65 sen per share, which has been deemed “not fair” by an independent adviser. - Edge FD

Abdul Rashid is new group CEO of SMRT Holdings: SMRT Holdings Bhd has appointed Datuk Ab- dul Rashid Mohd Sharif group chief executive officer. The post had been left vacant since last month after Syed Mohd Muzakir Syed Hussin resigned. - Edge FD

CIMB IB top lead manager for bonds, sukuk: CIMB Investment Bank Bhd (CIMB IB) came out tops on RAM Rating Services Bhd’s league tables for both corporate bonds and sukuk as at end-Sep- tember 2016 after having arranged RM21.25 billion worth of RAM-rated corporate bonds and sukuk to date. - Edge FD

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