Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, January 25

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017


MarketWrap: The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set record highs on Tuesday in a broad rally led by financial and technology stocks. The advance comes as quarterly earnings season heats up and investors become optimistic that clarity on President Donald Trump's economic policies will be forthcoming.

The DJIA rose 112.86 points, or 0.57%, to 19,912.71, the S&P 500 gained 14.87 points, or 0.66%, to 2,280.07 and the Nasdaq added 48.01 points, or 0.86%, to 5,600.96.


Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday ahead of weekly US inventory data on evidence the global market is tightening as lower production by Opec and other exporters drains stocks. Brent LCOc1 futures gained 21 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at US$55.44 a barrel. - Reuters

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.06% to 4.4388 per US$

*It was 0.03% higher at 4.7661 per euro

*Down 0.42% to 5.5653 per pound sterling

*Down 0.03% to 3.1269 per Singapore dollar

*0.23% higher to 3.3500 per Aussie

*0.38% lower at 3.9137 per 100 yen

Top foreign stories

China rises with US’ TPP exit: As an uncertain future dawns on the Trans-Paci c Partnership (TPP) agreement with the official withdrawal of the US, China is seen as playing a bigger role in the changing trade landscape in the Asian region. - Edge FD

DuPont expects Dow merger to close later than expected: Chemicals and seeds producer DuPont indicated on Tuesday that its US$130 billion merger with Dow Chemical Co will take longer to wrap up than previously expected as the companies await regulatory approvals. - Reuters

US trade commission to probe Nokia complaint against Apple: The US International Trade Commission said on Tuesday it will investigate a complaint by Nokia Technologies alleging that Apple Inc has imported smart phones, tablet computers and other electronics that infringe upon its patents. - Reuters

US asset managers seek delay on new variation margin rule: US asset managers pleaded on Tuesday for a delay to international rules on variation margin, the collateral posted for swaps, saying in a letter to international regulators that many will not be ready by the March 1 start date. - Reuters

Top local stories

EPF to sell London buildings: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is looking to sell two office buildings, St James Square and Tower Bridge House, in Britain, which could fetch it £100mil (RM550mil) in profit. According to one source, the EPF is releasing both properties for a combined value of £405mil, while another source put it at about £380mil. - StarBiz

AmInvest bullish on Asian equities, REITs: AmInvest fund managers are most bullish on Asian equities and real estate investment trusts (REITs), as the two asset classes offer the prospect of double-digit returns with a lower risk profile. - StarBiz

Bank Negara imposes RM1.4m fine on financial institution: Bank Negara has imposed an administrative monetary penalty of RM1.4mil on a financial institution for failing to promptly notify it of a significant audit finding in relation to its dealers’ misconduct. The dealers were involved in the fixing of the US dollar-ringgit exchange rate. - StarBiz

AIRASIA X cleared for US flights: AirAsia X Bhd is all set to ply routes to the United States, following the approval it just got from the US Federal Aviation Authority. AirAsia X said it was the first Asian low-cost carrier to secure approval to operate scheduled passenger flights to the US. - StarBiz

TNB reports RM1.74b Q1 net profit: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB)’s net profit for its first quarter dropped 12% to RM1.74bil, mainly impacted by the strengthening of the dollar against the ringgit. Revenue rose to RM11.24bil from RM10.68bil a year earlier on higher electricity sales primarily within Peninsular Malaysia. - StarBiz

EPF signs Malaysian code for institutional investors: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has become a signatory to the Malaysian Code for Institutional Investors as part of its aim to promote good corporate governance in Malaysia. - StarBiz

FGV expands jetty ops in Pakistan: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) plans to invest RM25mil in Pakistan to expand its jetty operations in a bid to capture a bigger market share in that country as well as India and the Middle East. - StarBiz

Tasco buying Pulau Indah land, expands operations: Tasco Bhd is expanding its operations with the proposed purchase of land and buildings in Pulau Indah, Selangor, and a stake in MILS Cold Chain Logistics Sdn Bhd (MCCL) for nearly RM143mil. - StarBiz

Decision on compulsory cert: The final decision on mandatory certification for all local oil palm planters under the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil standard is expected to be announced by end-February. - StarBiz

Pharmaniaga bullish on market: Pharmaniaga Bhd plans to launch more products as it anticipates the industry to perform better this year. “Despite the global economic challenges last year, we still did well in 2016 and expect to do better this year,” says managing director Datuk Farshila Emran. - StarBiz 

Pemandu to launch final transitional phase of NTP: The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) will launch the final transitional phase of National Transformation Programme (NTP) to the civil service over a two-year period. Pemandu said the transition covered three types of activities based on the level of performance and competency assessment. - StarBiz

CIMB said to be in talks to sell stake in brokerage arm: CIMB GROUP HOLDINGS BHD is in talks to sell a stake in its brokerage business to China Galaxy Securities Co for about US$200 million (RM884 million), sources said. CIMB is in negotiations to sell a minority stake in its Malaysian securities unit and as much as 50% of its overseas brokerage business. - Bloomberg

Nationwide Express to buy air cargo co-loader for RM40m:  In a turnaround effort, Nationwide Express Holdings Bhd proposes to take over the biggest courier and air cargo co-loader consolidator in Malaysia for RM40 million in cash. The acquisitions of MTR Services Sdn Bhd, MTR Freight Sdn Bhd and MTR Services (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd are expected to be completed by June 2017. - Edge FD

MAHB actively seeks overseas expansion: The current slower passenger demand at its Istanbul air-port has not deterred MALAYSIA AIRPORTS HOLDINGS BHD (MAHB) from eyeing other airports abroad. It says it is actively seeking to expand its overseas business by not just acquiring stakes but also through the provision of services. - Edge FD

CAB Cakaran buys land from subsidiary Farm’s Best for RM58m: CAB Cakaran Corp Bhd is buying 118.98ha of agricultural land in Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor, along with 26 broiler farms, from its 53.04%-owned unit Farm’s Best Bhd for RM58.53 million. - Edge FD

Workers’ salary increment slowed in 2016: Salary increases in Malaysia slowed to 5.2% in 2016 compared with 5.6% in the previous year, says Aon Hewitt Malaysia’s 2016 Total Compensation Measurement Survey. - Edge FD

WZ Satu CEO says no intention to take company private: WZ Satu Bhd executive chairman Tengku Datuk Seri Uzir Tengku Datuk Ubaidullah, who has been steadily accumulating the company’s shares since 2013, says he has no intention, now or in the foreseeable future, to take WZ Satu private. - Edge FD

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