Breakfast briefing: Tuesday, December 13

Headline-grabbing cybercrime: Hackers used stolen Bangladesh Bank credentials to try to send three dozen SWIFT messages to transfer nearly US$1bil (RM4.3bil) from its Fed account.

MarketWrap: The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell on Monday after six sessions of gains, weighed by tech sector stocks, while a rally in energy shares petered out as crude oil gains withered. - Reuters

The DJIA rose 39.58 points, or 0.2%, to 19,796.43, the S&P 500 lost 2.57 points, or 0.11%, to 2,256.96 and the Nasdaq dropped 31.96 points, or 0.59%, to 5,412.54.

Forex summary

*The ringgit was at 4.4207 per US$

*It was 0.61% lower at 4.7042 per euro

*Down 0.63% to 5.6042 per pound sterling

*Down 0.51% to 3.1061 per Singapore dollar

*0.03% lower to 3.2959 per Aussie

*0.05% lower at 3.8724 per 100 yen

Oil prices surged to an 18-month high on Monday after the world's top crude producers agreed to the first joint output cut since 2001, sparking concerns about inflation, which pushed up US Treasury yields to a more than two-year peak. Brent crude futures rose US$1.36 to settle at US$55.69, a 2.5% rise, after hitting a session peak of US$57.89, the highest since July 2015. - Reuters

Top foreign stories

Hong Kong arrests 29 in corruption probe linked to four banks: Hong Kong arrested 29 current and former staff of five financial institutions, including four banks, for alleged bribery connected with obtaining confidential customer information to market personal loans, the city’s anti-graft agency said. - Bloomberg

SWIFT confirms new cyber thefts, hacking tactics: Cyber attacks targeting the global bank transfer system have succeeded in stealing funds since February’s heist of US$81 million from the Bangladesh central bank as hackers have become more sophisticated in their tactics, according to a SWIFT official and a previously undisclosed letter the organisation sent to banks worldwide. - Reuters

Trump's tough trade talk makes US firms fear China retribution: US President-elect Donald Trump's challenges to China on trade and Taiwan are rattling American companies who have long benefited from stable relations between the two countries but now fear retaliation by Beijing if Trump were to act. - Reuters

Fox nears firm bid for Sky via scheme of arrangement: Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox aims to table a firm cash bid valuing British broadcaster Sky at 10.75 pounds per share as early as Wednesday for the 61% of the company it does not already own, four people familiar with the matter said. The two companies have agreed to press ahead with a scheme of arrangement, two of the sources said on Monday. - Reuters

Fed gives banks five years to comply with Volcker Rule limits: The Federal Reserve Board laid out on Monday how US banks can apply to take five more years to comply with the Volcker Rule, a reform emerging from the 2007-09 financial crisis that has received some of the harshest criticism from Wall Street. The rule, intended to keep banks from speculating with their customers' money, limits the amount of illiquid investments firms can hold. - Reuters

Top local stories

Busy 2017 for Gamuda: Gamuda Bhd is set to have a busy 2017 as it outlined two major projects, namely the RM28bil Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 (MRT2) project and four townships with an estimated gross development value of RM45bil. To cope with new jobs, Gamuda has set aside RM2.7bil in capital expenditure for next year for the purchase of plant, machinery and tunnel boring machines for its construction business. - StarBiz

Apple Vacations set for IPO: Apple Vacations Group of Companies is geared up to go for initial public offering (IPO) within the next six to seven months. The company is in the midst of preparing listing documents for submission to the Securities Commission by July 2017. - StarBiz

Recovery in retail sales seen only in second half of 2017: Malaysian retailers are in for challenging times next year, with a significant recovery in sales only expected the second half of 2017, says the Retail Group Malaysia. - StarBiz

Tough times for auto stocks: Local automotive stocks, which took a beating during the recently con- cluded financial reporting season, are in for tough times in light of the prevailing weakness in consumer sentiment and unfavourable import costs, say analysts. - StarBiz

SCB delivers power cables for Pan Borneo Highway project: Sarawak Cable Bhd (SCB) has completed the first of several deliveries of power cables for the Pan Borneo Highway project after it was awarded a contract last month. The contract from Shorefield Sdn Bhd is valued at about RM20.5mil. - StarBiz

Lejadi ties up with Chinese firm for EPC jobs: Lejadi Group via its bumiputra construction subsidiary, Lejadi Infra Sdn Bhd, has signed a joint-venture agreement with China’s Global Solar Co Ltd to jointly bid for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects for solar and renewable energy plants in Malaysia. - StarBiz

Najib, Lee to witness signing of HSR bilateral agreement: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong will witness the signing of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) bilateral agreement at the 7th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat on Tuesday. - Bernama

Kossan’s new plant to start in second half 2017: Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd is putting up a new automated plant, dubbed Ideal Quality 2 (IQ2), which is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2017. - Edge FD

Top Glove eyes RM10b market capitalisation in three years: Top Glove Corp Bhd, which is currently valued at RM6.16 billion compared with Hartalega Holdings Bhd’s RM7.76 billion, aims to achieve a market capitalisationn of RM10 billion in the next three years. - Edge FD

Malaysia’s resilience ‘starting to fade’:  Global investment bank Nomura warned that Malaysia’s economic growth is under threat, as it believes headwinds faced by the country over the past two years will likely be exacerbated by uncertainties over US President-elect Donald Trump’s trade policies. - Edge FD

Paramount plans more property launches: Paramount Corp Bhd is planning more property launches in the final quarter of the year after a slow nine months which saw it launching only RM90 million worth of properties compared with its 2016 target of RM770 million. - Edge FD

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