MarketWrap: The S&P 500 ended a choppy session slightly higher on Wednesday helped by a rise in financials after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said it "makes sense" to gradually lift interest rates. - Reuters
The DJIA closed down 22.05 points, or 0.11%, to 19,804.72, the S&P 500 gained 4 points, or 0.18%, to 2,271.89 and the Nasdaq added 16.93 points, or 0.31%, to 5,555.65.
*The ringgit lost 0.16% to 4.4513 per US$
*It was 0.39% higher at 4.7320 per euro
*Up 0.22% to 5.4597 per pound sterling
*Up 0.35% to 3.1160 per Singapore dollar
*0.39% higher to 3.3422 per Aussie
*0.07% lower at 3.9315 per 100 yen
Oil prices fell on Wednesday to their lowest in a week, on a strong dollar and expectations that US producers would boost output even as Opec's output fell from a record high. Brent crude ended the session at US$53.92 per barrel, down US$1.55 or 2.79%. - Reuters
Top foreign stories
Credit Suisse finalises US$5.3b mortgage deal with US: Credit Suisse has formally agreed to pay US$5.3 billion to settle with US authorities over claims it misled investors in residential mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. - Reuters
ECB still to keep policy, stimulus unchanged: With eurozone growth and inflation slowly picking up pace, the European Central Bank is set to argue on Thursday that its extra-easy policy stance is still needed to keep the recovery on course. It is all but certain to leave current monetary policy in place and maintain a promise for lengthy stimulus, having extended its bond-buying programme just last month. - Reuters
BAT agrees to buy Reynolds for US$49b: British American Tobacco has agreed a US$49.4 billion takeover of US rival Reynolds American Inc, creating the world's biggest listed tobacco company after it increased an earlier offer by more than US$2 billion. - Reuters
Top local stories
A Mammoth task: The Mammoth Empire group failed to meet its target of divesting its Empire Shopping Gallery by the end of last month, a move that would have given the group its much-needed cash injection. Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd was tipped to acquire the mall for about RM570mil. - starBiz
Axiata sells down edotco stake for RM2.7b: Axiata Group Bhd has signed definitive agreements to hive off some of its stake in its wholly owned subsidiary, edotco Group Sdn Bhd for US$600mil (RM2.67bil). The deal would see Axiata paring down 34.1% of its stake and selling it to its majority shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the Innovation Network Corp of Japan. - StarBiz
WCT proposes to issue new shares to raise RM212m: WCT Holdings Bhd has proposed to place out 10% of its capital to raise up to RM212mil to partly pay off its bank borrowings and for working capital. - StarBiz
PNB makes offer for Silk unit: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is making a cash offer of RM380mil for Silk Holdings Bhd unit Sistem Lingkaran- Lebuhraya Kajang Sdn Bhd, the concession holder of the Kajang Traffic Dispersal Ring Road, or Silk Highway. - StarBiz
Plantation asset demerger to unlock value for Sime: Sime Darby Bhd may opt to demerge its plantation business while merging its property division under Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s (PNB) asset portfolio in a bid to create better value for shareholders, says UOBKayHian Research. - StarBiz
Bank Negara refutes media postings on electronic pick-pocketing: Bank Negara said recent media postings on electronic pick-pocketing on individuals with contactless cards were not true. It assured contactless cards were equipped with safety features that made them a secure mode of payment. - StarBiz
Genting unit’s US$1bil debt notes oversubscribed: GENTING BHD subsidiary GOHL Capital Ltd’s offering of US$1bil debt notes have been oversubscribed by 2.8 times. The debt offering, which will bear a fixed interest of 4.25% per annum, garnered orders from 200 accounts, with a order book of over US$2.8bil. - StarBiz
Property market to consolidate further: Malaysia’s property market is expected to remain flat this year as the outlook continues to be challenging, says real estate services firm CBRE|WTW. However, a flat market is still considered healthy for the sector, CBRE|WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen said. - StarBiz
Kwasa Land to get RM165.5m from Gadang for property job: Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd will receive RM165.5mil for the development rights and revenue sharing from Gadang Holdings Bhd for a property development project at Kwasa Damansara township. - StarBiz
Frost & Sullivan expects higher vehicle sales in 2017: Frost & Sullivan GIC Malaysia Sdn Bhd expects vehicle sales in Malaysia this year to be higher than last year’s target of 580,000 units, mainly in expectation of an economic recovery. It sees vehicle sales rising to 586,200 units this year. - Edge FD
Axis REIT Q4 net income up 6.27%, declares 2.1 sen distribution: Axis Real Estate Investment Trust posted a net income of RM23.1million for the fourth quarter, up 27% from a year earlier. It has proposed a distribution per unit of 2.1 sen, an increase of 0.1 sen from two sen a year ago. - Edge FD
* Fraser and Neave Holdings Bhd AGM at 10am.
* Ekovest Bhd EGM at 3pm.
Points of interest to be raised by MSWG over Ekovest:
* Will the disposal of 40% interest KESTU-RI lead to a need for more capital for the company?
* And how will that plan affect the company's dividend policy?
* ASIAN PAC HOLDINGS BHD Q4 2016 results
* HEINEKEN MALAYSIA BHD Q4 2016 results
* PLB Engineering Q1 2017 results
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