Breakfast briefing: Thursday, January 26 (update)

  • Business
  • Thursday, 26 Jan 2017

Pricing issue: The investigation found that an arrangement between the publishers and Apple led to higher prices for Canadians.

MarketWrap: US stocks climbed on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed atop the 20,000 mark for the first time as solid earnings and optimism over President Donald Trump's pro-growth initiatives revitalised a post-election rally. - Reuters

The DJIA rose 155.80 points, or 0.78%, to close at 20,068.51, the S&P 500 gained 18.30 points, or 0.80%, to 2,298.37 and the Nasdaq added 55.38 points, or 0.99%, to 5,656.34.


Oil prices ended less than 1% lower on Wednesday after data showed a build in US crude inventories, reinforcing the view that oil prices are range bound, buoyed by expected Opec production cuts while pressured by US output growth. - Reuters

Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.23% to 4.4290 per US$

*It was 0.11% lower at 4.7677 per euro

*Down 0.72% to 5.5995 per pound sterling

*Down 0.34% to 3.1343 per Singapore dollar

*0.43% lower to 3.3537 per Aussie

*0.10% higher at 3.9137 per 100 yen

Top foreign stories

EBay holiday-quarter revenue up 3.1%: EBay Inc reported a 3.1% rise in quarterly revenue for the fourth-quarter holiday period, offering signs of improvement at the company's traditional marketplace business and sending shares up more than 8% in extended trading on Wednesday. The company's net income rose to US$5.94 billion in the fourth quarter from $477 million a year earlier. - Reuters

Apple sues Qualcomm in Beijing seeking 1 billion yuan: Apple Inc filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc in Beijing, alleging the chip supplier abused its clout in the chip industry and seeking 1 billion yuan (US$145.32 million) in damages, Beijing's Intellectual Property Court said on Wednesday. - Reuters

AT&T's results match Street expectations, smartphone subscriber base grows: AT&T Inc, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, reported quarterly results that matched analysts' estimates, as it added more smartphone customers in a saturated wireless market, and said it was confident its deal to buy Time Warner Inc would be approved. Net income attributable to the company fell to US$2.44 billion in the fourth quarter from US$4.01 billion a year earlier, while revenue fell to US$41.84 billion. - Reuters

Top local stories

AMMB in transition: Banking icon Tan Sri Azman Hashim will relinquish his chairmanship and positions in the boards of six subsidiaries within the AMMB Group by the end of next year. Azman will, however, remain as chairman of AMMB Holdings Bhd, the holding company of the group, and focus on strategic initiatives to strengthen the group. - StarBiz

Saudi Aramco said to end talks with Petronas on Rapid project: Saudi Aramco is said to have terminated plans for a partnership with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) over the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, Johor.
Aramco concluded, after a feasibility study, the proposed joint venture would not generate sufficient returns, multiple reports say. - StarBiz

Hua Yang buys into Magna Prima: Property developer Hua Yang Bhd has acquired a 10.8% stake in developer Magna Prima Bhd for RM66.6mil.
According to stock market data, some 36 million Magna Prima shares were crossed off-market in four separate blocks at RM1.85 on Wednesday. - StarBiz

Asia Poly mulls diversifying into property development: Asia Poly Holdings Bhd plans to diversify into property development and add value to its existing product by setting up a coating plant to hard coat its cast acrylic sheets. The company on Wednesday announced several proposals, including a proposed rights issue of irredeemable convertible preference shares to fund the plant. - StarBiz

Investors seen shifting more to risky assets this year: Investors’ shift to risky assets is expected to accelerate this year, and this could benefit emerging markets, including Malaysia, whose equity market seems to offer the best yield. “Investors are returning to long-ignored markets or sectors such as cyclical stocks and emerging markets, especially as profit fore- casts are rising,” says Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Ltd global strategist Robert Rountree. - StarBiz

Prasarana aims to start LRT3 project in March: Prasarana Malaysia Bhd plans to start construction of the RM9bil Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project as early as March and will be giving out the major contracts under the system works package in May. The total number of packages to be awarded and the value of the packages were not disclosed. - StarBiz

Tang family crosses 94% shareholding in The Store: The Tang family has crossed the 94% shareholding threshold that allows it to take The Store Corp Bhd private. The family’s takeover vehicle TYS Consolidated has received valid acceptances that brought their shareholding to 94.37% of The Store’s capital. - StarBiz

Gadang Holdings profit rises 57%: Gadang Holdings Bhd posted a 57% jump in net profit to RM27.91mil in the second quarter on better margins from construction activities and higher contributions from the property segment. Revenue was also higher by 45% to RM147.88mil. - StarBiz

MQREIT realised net income down 18.8% in Q4: MRCB-Quill Real Estate Investment Trust (MQREIT) posted an 18.8% drop in realised net income of RM13.3mil for the fourth quarter amid the difficult economic conditions. Gross revenue was up 3.3% to RM38.92mil as the REIT’s manager, MRCB Quill Management Sdn Bhd, continued with an active leasing and management strategy. - StarBiz

Loob to rebrand outlets: Former Chatime franchisee Loob Holding Sdn Bhd says it will rebrand its 165 outlets by March 6. This could set the stage for a rivalry between Loob’s new chain and La Kaffa International Co Ltd’s Chatime, should La Kaffa re-enter Malaysia after prematurely terminating its franchise agreement with Loob on Jan 5. - StarBiz

Sycal plans to cut par value and place out shares: Little-known construction firm Sycal Ventures Bhd is proposing a par value reduction of the company’s shares as well as seeking a private placement of up to 30% of its existing issued and paid-up capital. MIDF Investment Bank Bhd said on behalf of the company that Sycal proposed to reduce the par value of its RM1 shares to 25 sen by cancel- ling 75 sen from every existing share. - StarBiz

CCM made reseller of Biocon’s human insulin: Pharmaceutical firm CCM Duopharma Biotech Bhd has been appointed the reseller of human insulin by Biocon Sdn Bhd, the local subsidiary of India’s Biocon Ltd. Biocon was awarded the RM300mil contract to manufacture the insulin under the Health Ministry’s off-take programme. - StarBiz

Bank of Korea, Bank Negara renew swap arrangement: The Bank of Korea and Bank Negara have renewed an agreement for a bilateral won-ringgit swap arrangement for another three years. Bank Negara said the size of the arrangement would be maintained at 5 trillion won/RM15bil. - StarBiz

Matrade expects export growth to sustain in 2017: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) expects export growth to sustain at around 1% to 2% this year, similar to 2016, amid sluggish global economic growth. - StarBiz

AirAsia load factor up 85% in third quarter 2016: AirAsia Bhd recorded a load factor of 85% in the third quarter of 2016, up two percentage points from from a year earlier The carrier said the total number of passengers it carried increased 7% year-on-year to 14.51 million, higher the 5% rise in seat capacity. - StarBiz

New chair for Tabung Haji?: Lembaga Tabung Haji could see some movements in top management, with incumbent chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim possibly making way for SME Corp Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid, sources say. - Edge FD

Malaysian Pacific Industries Q2 net profit up 67%: Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd’s net profit jumped 67% year-on-year to RM54.98 in the second, mainly on favourable foreign exchange differences, lower operating costs, and better top line. Revenue was up 6% to RM401.41 million. - Edge FD

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