Top foreign and local stories at 4pm

Petronas will reduce its output up to 20,000 barrels per day of crude oil


Brent crude was 0.57% higher to US$49.62 per barrel at 3.48pm


Ringgit down 0.14% to 4.3420 versus the US dollar at 3.54pm.

Top foreign stories

Mitsubishi, Mitsui swing back to profitability on surging metal prices: Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsui & Co, Japan’s biggest and second-biggest trading houses by assets, returned to profitability in the financial year to end-March, boosted by rising prices for coal and iron ore. Mitsubishi on Tuesday reported net profit of 440 billion yen (US$3.88 billion) in the last financial year, against a loss of almost 150 billion yen a year earlier, while Mitsui posted a 306 billion yen profit, up from an 83 billion yen loss. — Reuters

BoJ’s Kuroda says rejecting globalisation inconsistent with reality: Bank of Japan (BoJ) governor Haruhiko Kuroda gave a spirited defence of multilateralism on Tuesday, saying that questioning the value of globalisation along the lines of US President Donald Trump was at odds with 21st century reality. Countries should overcome their “narrowly-defined self-interest” and coordinate policies from the broader perspective of achieving sustainable economic growth, he says. — Reuters

German industrial output points to solid growth: German industrial production fell by less than expected in March and trade proved resilient, data showed on Tuesday, supporting robust growth expectations for the first quarter. Industrial output edged down by 0.4% on the month, Tuesday’s data from the Economy Ministry showed. This was better than the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a drop of 0.6%. — Reuters

OCBC Q1 profit rises 14%, driven by wealth management business: Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd reported a nearly 14% rise in profit to S$973 million (US$692 million) in the three months ended March 31, largely led by sustained growth in its wealth management business and robust results from insurance operations. — Reuters

Top local stories

Report: Dalian Wanda may lead development of Bandar Malaysia: Dalian Wanda Group, controlled by China’s richest man, has emerged as the frontrunner for the development of the Bandar Malaysia township, following the surprise move last week by Malaysia to boot out a consortium that was to buy a majority stake in the project, Singapore’s The Straits Times reported on Tuesday. The daily, citing sources, said negotiations with Dalian Wanda to take a central role as master developer has reached an advanced stage and the agreement is awaiting approval from China’s financial regulators. — Bernama

Ekuinas funds do well in FY16: Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas)’s Ekuinas Direct (Tranche I) and the Ekuinas Direct (Tranche II) funds recorded gross portfolio returns of RM466.4 million and RM331.6 million, respectively, for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016. The growth in the Ekuinas Direct (Tranche I) fund represented a gross annualised internal rate of return (IRR) of 13.1% and a net annualised IRR of 9.4%, while for Ekuinas Direct (Tranche II) it was 18.1% and 12.7%. — Bernama

Ekuinas relooking at list Ilmu listing on Bursa, says CEO: State-backed private equity firm Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) is relooking its initial plans to list its consolidated education group, Ilmu Education Group Bhd. CEO Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir said it would instead look at ways to maximise its investment in the education group.  StarBiz

Petronas seeks new LNG markets: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is on the lookout for ways to broaden and expand its customer base for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and sees demand coming from Japan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South-East Asia nations. — Bernama

PPB Group bullish on cinema ops, to re-enter JB market: PPB Group Bhd is bullish on its cinema operations, saying the division would likely outperform what was achieved last year. The chief executive officer of PPB unit Golden Screen Cinemas Group, Koh Mei Lee, said it plans to expand with more outlets this year and has a pipeline of movie titles coming up for the rest of the year. — StarBiz

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