Breakfast briefing: Thursday, April 20 (Update)

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  • Thursday, 20 Apr 2017

Sorting it out: The company expects to remedy the issue by the end of this year.

MarketWrap: The S&P 500 and Dow closed lower and the Nasdaq advanced on Wednesday as investors digested the latest round of earnings, while a drop in oil prices weighed on the energy sector. The DJIA fell 119.13 points, or 0.58%, to 20,404.15, the S&P 500 lost 4.03 points, or 0.17%, to 2,338.16 and the Nasdaq added 13.56 points, or 0.23%, to 5,863.03.. - Reuters


Oil fell to a two-week low on Wednesday, after a surprising build in US gasoline inventories and a rise in domestic crude output that is partially offsetting cutbacks by other countries trying to reduce a global glut. Brent crude settled down 3.6%, or US$1.96 a barrel, to US$52.93. - Reuters

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.10% to 4.4050 per US$

*It lost 0.10% to 4.7187 versus euro

*Up 0.18% to 5.6288 per pound sterling

*Down 0.07% to 3.1494 per Singapore dollar

*Flat at 3.3058 per Aussie

*0.03% higher to 4.0415 per 100 yen

Top foreign stories

EBay's second-quarter profit forecast falls short of estimates: EBay Inc on Wednesday forecast second-quarter profit that fell short of analysts' estimates, as it spends heavily on revamping and marketing its e-commerce platform amid stiff competition from much larger rival Inc. EBay said it expects second-quarter adjusted profit of 43 to 45 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 47 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. - Reuters

Global investment banks beef up transaction business in Asia: With dealmaking in Asia sluggish and Chinese investment banks taking market share from global rivals, some foreign banks are ploughing resources into transaction banking, the workaday business of financing trade, managing cash and facilitating payments. While existing transaction banking powerhouses including Citigroup and HSBC are expanding sales and reach, firms who have traditionally focused more on investment banking, such as JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank, are also bulking up. - Reuters

KKR-led group ups ante in bidding war for Australia's Tatts lotto: A group backed by private equity firm KKR & Co on Wednesday said it had made a revised A$6.15 billion (US$4.65 billion) offer for Australia's biggest lottery operator Tatts Group Ltd, upping the ante in a bidding war against Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. - Reuters

China gathers state-led consortium for Aramco IPO: China is creating a consortium, including state-owned oil giants and banks and its sovereign wealth fund, that will act as a cornerstone investor in the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, sources say. Saudi Aramco, a key exporter to China along with Russia's Rosneft, is due to list next year, with a potential US$100 billion equity sale that is expected to be the world's largest to date. - Reuters

Top local stories

Hua Yang raises stake in Magna Prima: Mid-sized property developer Hua Yang Bhd via unit Prisma Pelangi Sdn Bhd is acquiring an additional 20.12% stake in Magna Prima Bhd, which owns 2.62 acres that used to house the Lai Meng School in Jalan Ampang, for RM123.7mil or RM1.85 per share. It is now the single largest shareholder in Magna Prima with a 30.96% stake. - StarBiz

PetDag: Petronas stations free to set lower prices: Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PetDag) says its dealers are free to set pump prices below the weekly rate set by the Government, if they wish to. “If dealers decide to sell at a lower price, they are responsible for their margins and not us. It is all tied up with sales volumes and margins,” said  managing director and CEO Mohd Ibrahimnuddin Mohd Yunus, adding the price-setting mechanism does not impact PetDag’s earnings. - StarBiz

KUB buying Sabah plantation land for RM100.45m: KUB Malaysia Bhd is buying an oil palm plantation land in Kinabatangan, Sabah, from Kwantas Corp Bhd for RM100.45mil cash to expand its oil palm business. KUB said the could generate immediate revenue, as the land has a significant number of prime mature palms with good yields. - StarBiz

Inflation up 5.1% on higher cost of fuel: Higher fuel prices pushed up the March inflation rate, which rose to its highest level in nearly nine years, the statistics department said. The  consumer price index (CPI) increased to 5.1%, but lower than expectations. - StarBiz

MMHE eyes RM4b contracts: Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd (MMHE) is targeting to secure some RM4bil new contracts this year, even as some of the jobs that it had eyed earlier were deferred due to the low price of crude oil. The company’s tender book currently stood at RM2.7bil. It is preparing to submit bids for another RM1.7bil worth of jobs. - StarBiz

SP Setia offers differential sum loan scheme: SP Setia Bhd has launched its differential sum loan scheme, Setia Express Advance Loan (SEAL), to cater particularly to buyers who wish to upgrade their homes, or require time to cash in profit from other investments. SEAL offers an interest rate of as low as 5.5% a year, and up to 30% of the intended property purchase price. - StarBiz

Scomi in hydropower tie-up: SCOMI GROUP BHD unit Scomi International Pvt Ltd has entered into a joint venture with with South Asia Logistics Services Ltd and Emir Equity Sdn Bhd to pursue opportunities in the engineering, procurement and construction of hydropower plants and wind farms in Asia, including Turkey. Scomi Group said it would hold 50% equity in the JV company that will be formed in Singapore. - StarBiz

Fajarbaru to jointly pioneer Australia’s high-rise indoor forest: Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd and Melbourne-based property player Beulah International have joined hands with world-class design firm Fender Katsalidis Architects and award-winning landscape designer Paul Bangay to pioneer Australia’s first high-rise indoor forest as part of the upcoming Paragon development in Melbourne. - StarBiz

Rehda: Strict lending rules contribute to unsold property stocks: Stringent lending rules is a major factor contributing to the rise in unsold stocks in the property market, according to Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda). Its president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar, in unveiling Rehda’s Property Industry Survey for the second half of 2016 and Market Outlook for the first half of 2017 on Wednesday, said end-financing remains the major problem for unsold units and loan rejection, especially for properties priced at RM700,000 and below. - StarBiz

I-Bhd’s value proposition deemed attractive: PublicInvest Research continues to like I-Bhd’s value proposition and i-City’s attractive location and still see it being in a prime position to benefit from the urbanisation of the outer Klang Valley region. It said infrastructure-related projects such as the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) and the Bus Rapid Transit in the vicinity bode well for the longer-term value enhancement of I-Bhd’s development given the Transit- Oriented Development status. - StarBiz

Eco World signs MoU with Brainy Bunch: Eco World Development Group Bhd has signed a memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Brainy Bunch International Islamic Montessori which will see the latter acquiring land in two of EcoWorld’s projects in Selangor and Johor. Brainy Bunch plans to develop an international Islamic school campus in Eco Grandeur development in Shah Alam and a Montessori kindergarten campus in Eco Tropics project in Iskandar Malaysia. - StarBiz

Malakoff looks at buying 10 power generation assets: Malakoff Corp Bhd is looking at proposals to acquire more than 10 power generation assets in line with a plan to increase its power generation capacity to 10,000 MW by 2020. To date, the group's total power generation capacity stands at 7,537 MW. - Bernama

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