Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, November 30

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016

The logo of healthcare company Johnson & Johnson is seen in front of an office building in Zug, Switzerland July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

MarketWrap: US stocks edged higher on Tuesday as an upbeat outlook from UnitedHealth lifted health insurers, though a sharp drop in oil prices weighed on energy shares and limited the advance. - Reuters

The DJIA rose 23.7 points, or 0.12%, to 19,121.6, the S&P 500 gained 2.94 points, or 0.13%, to 2,204.66 and the Nasdaq added 11.11 points, or 0.21%, to end at 5,379.92.

Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.08% to 4.4625 per US$

*It was 0.50% lower at 4.7546 per euro

*Up 0.50% to 5.5737 per pound sterling

*Down 0.24% to 3.1346 per Singapore dollar

*0.07% lower to 3.3416 per Aussie

*Down 0.08% to 3.9765 per 100 yen


Oil slumped by roughly 4% on Tuesday as Opec's leading oil exporters struggled to agree on a deal to cut production to reduce global oversupply and boost prices, with Iran and Iraq at loggerheads with Saudi Arabia a day ahead of meeting. Brent futures LCOc1 fell US$1.86, or 3.9%, to settle at US$46.38 a barrel. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

J&J raises Actelion takeover pressure with higher price: US healthcare company Johnson & Johnson has raised its offer for Actelion, a source said on Tuesday, stepping up pressure on the Swiss biotech firm to accept a takeover deal. - Reuters

Linde considers fresh merger overture from Praxair: German industrial gases group Linde has received a fresh approach from US rival Praxair for a merger of equals and its executive board is reviewing the proposal, Linde said on Tuesday. - Reuters

Uber defends business model, wants to avert strict EU rules: Uber defended its business model in Europe's highest court on Tuesday, saying its service had made it easier for people to get around and cut pollution as it fights a case which could leave app-based startups facing tougher regulation. - Reuters

Consumers, exports give US economy muscle in the third quarter: The US economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter, notching its best performance in two years, buoyed by strong consumer spending and a surge in soybean exports. US gross domestic product increased at a 3.2% annual rate instead of the previously reported 2.9% pace. - Reuters

Top local stories

Windfall dividend from Ajinomoto: Ajinomoto (M) Bhd’s shareholders could be in for a windfall, as the company says it will distribute the “majority” of the RM165.99mil compensation it will receive for part of its land in Jalan Kuchai Lama that will be acquired by the Government for the construction of the Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 (MRT2) project. - StarBiz

Puzzling research report on Vivocom: A research report by a local investment bank bearing almost identical results of construction firm Vivocom International Holdings Bhd that was released before the company published its earnings to Bursa Malaysia has raised eyebrows. - StarBiz

Berjaya Land to build its second Four Seasons in Japan: Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) will build a Four Seasons hotel and hotel residences on the 100-acre site in Okinawa after it launched its first Four Seasons hotel in Kyoto, Japan. The Four Seasons in Okinawa is expected to be completed in four years for an undisclosed price. - StarBiz

MP Evans assets get higher valuation: Oil palm and rubber plantation firm MP Evans Group Plc said independent valuer Khong & Jaafar has valued its assets at 46% higher than Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd’s (KLK) offer. - StarBiz

CAB revises method of acquiring Farm’s Best assets: CAB Cakaran Corp Bhd has revised its scheme of acquiring certain assets of Farm’s Best Bhd unit Sinmah Breeders Sdn Bhd, resulting in the mutual termination of a letter of intent between the two poultry firms.

* CAB’s net profit more than doubled to RM18.8mil for the fourth quarter, from RM8.8mil a year earlier on better margins. Its revenue rose 17.2% to RM307.9mil from RM262.8mil. - StarBiz

Karex unaffected by increase in latex prices: Condom maker Karex Bhd said it has not felt the rise of latex prices much as latex costs only constitute about 18% of the company’s total costs. - StarBiz

Sime targets 25% jump in property sales: Sime Darby Bhd’s property division, Sime Darby Property Bhd, is targeting a 25% jump in sales to RM2.5bil for the current financial year ending June 30, 2017, with much of the contribution coming from affordable home sales. - StarBiz

AFG earnings down slightly in Q2: Alliance Financial Group Bhd (AFG) raked in a lower net profit of RM132.6mil in the second quarter, from RM134.7mil a year earlie, as net interest income declined. Its revenue fell RM359.7mil, down 1.6% from RM365.9mil previously. AFG declared a first interim dividend of 8.5 sen per share. - StarBiz

YTL Land to buy remaining 30% stake in Sentul Raya: YTL Land & Development Bhd has proposed to buy the remaining 30% stake in Sentul Raya for RM252.42mil from KTMB and KTMB Sentul Sdn Bhd. It said the proposed acquisition would be satisfied with RM190mil in cash and RM62.4mil payment in kind comprising RM61.2mil worth of residential units in a development of Sentul Raya. - StarBiz

Rhone Ma to focus more on regional expansion: Rhone Ma Holdings Bhd, an end-to-end animal health solutions provid- er, intends to focus more on regional expansion when it goes public on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on Dec 19. - StarBiz

Putra Perdana wins RM408mil contract: Putrajaya Perdana Bhd subsidiary Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd has clinched a RM408mil contract to build a 17-storey serviced apartment for Sime Darby Ara Damansara Development Sdn Bhd. - Bernama

Good response to Mah Sing’s project: Mah Sing Group Bhd, which held the first preview of D’sara Sentral’s final tower, OLO Serviced Residence last weekend, reported encouraging responses from the public. It received overall development of 81% take-up rate.

Bright outlook seen for palm oil sector next year: The outlook for the country’s palm oil sector next year is bright on the back of higher global demand. Malaysian Palm Oil Board director-general Dr A. Kushairi Din said the US and Indonesia’s commitment to boost biofuel usage, coupled with China’s positive response towards increasing oil palm import from Malaysia, would be a boon to the industry. - Bernama

Inix external auditors express qualified opinion: INIX Technologies Holdings Bhd’s external audi- tors Messrs UHY have expressed a qualified opinion over the absence of audited financial statements of a newly acquired associate Galactic Maritime (M) Sdn Bhd. - Edge FD

Termination of MRT Line 2 job due to ‘misunderstanding’: TRC Synergy Bhd said the termination notice from MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP SSP) Sdn Bhd for a RM74.39 million MRT Line 2 contract was due to a misunderstanding. TRC said the termination was not due to default in contract by the company, but rather due to a prerogative right of MMC Gamuda as stipulated in the contract. - Edge FD

Lafarge Q3 profit plunges 95% on weak demand, pricing: Lafarge Malaysia Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter plunged 95% to RM3.7 million due to weak demand and pricing pressure in the cement industry. Revenue fell 12.5% to RM587.2 million due to lower sales contribution from the cement segment as a result of soft market demand. - Edge FD

UMW net loss widens: UMW Holdings Bhd’s net loss widened to RM128.83 million in the third quarter from a net profit of RM13.52 million a year earlier, and is expecting added pressure for asset impairment in the last quarter that may adversely impact its performance for the year. Revenue was down 19% at RM2.86 billion. - Edge FD

MyEG aborts start-up investing plan, Kazakhstan venture: My EG Services Bhd (MyEG) has aborted its plan for two collaborations — one that would see it introducee-government services in Kazakhstan and another to set up a fund to invest in technology start-ups. - Edge FD

MK Land project back on track: MK Land Holdings Bhd’s 3,000-acre (1,214 sq m) mixed development project Bandar Teknopolis Perdana (formerly known as Lembah Beriah) in Perak is back on track after a hiatus of over 10 years since the launch of the first phase of residential homes. - Edge FD

DRB-Hicom posts fourth straight quarterly loss: Conglomerate DRB-Hicom Bhd posted its fourth straight quarterly loss of RM309.63 million for the second quarter compared to a net profit of RM3.9 million a year ago. Revenue fell 18.7% to RM2.64 billion. - Edge FD

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