Breakfast briefing: Tuesday, July 18 (Update)

Geely-owned Volvo Car Group said on Wednesday all new models launched from 2019 will be fully electric or hybrids.

MarketWatch: US stocks closed little changed in low volume on Monday as gains in utilities and consumer stocks offset declines in healthcare, with earnings news filtering out winners and losers across the board. The DJIA fell 8.02 points, or 0.04%, to 21,629.72, the S&P 500 lost 0.13 points, or 0.01%, to 2,459.14 and the Nasdaq added 1.97 points, or 0.03%, to 6,314.43. - Reuters




Oil prices were about 1% lower on Monday as investors continued to await strong indications that an Opec-led effort to drain a glut was proving effective but output increases in some top producers eased, keeping losses in check. Brent crude fell 49 cents, or 1%, to settle at US$48.42 a barrel. - Reuters


Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.05% to 4.2860 versus the US$

*It was down 0.68% to 4.9419 versus euro

*Down 0.09% to 5.6102 per pound sterling

*Down 0.15% to 3.1338 per Singapore dollar

*Down 0.96% to 3.380 per Aussie

*Down 0.40% to 3.8227 per 100 yen


Top foreign stories


FedEx says cyber attack to hurt full-year results: Package delivery company FedEx Corp said a disruption in services in its TNT Express unit following a cyber attack last month would hurt its full-year results. The company said the financial impact of the disruption on its results was likely to be “material". - Reuters


Netflix beats subscriber targets, shares jump over 10%: Netflix Inc crushed Wall Street forecasts by adding 5.2 million new streaming customers in the second quarter and predicted continued momentum as foreign subscriptions topped those in the United States, lifting its stock 10.4% on Monday. - Reuters


'FAANG' stocks to put overall drag on second-quarter earnings: The high-flying "FAANG" stocks are expected to be an overall drag on second-quarter earnings growth despite their stock performance bolstering the S&P 500 this year. The S&P 500 index is expected to see earnings growth of 8.2% for the second quarter, but if the five FAANG stocks - Facebook Inc, Inc, Apple Inc, Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc - are excluded, that number rises to 8.4%, according to Thomson Reuters data. - Reuters


Volvo attracts KNDS, CMI bids for Renault Trucks Defence: Swedish truck maker Volvo has attracted two bidders for its armoured vehicles maker Renault Trucks Defence worth roughly 500 million euros (US$573 million), people close to the matter said. The company put the unit up for sale late last year as it sheds non-core assets to reduce complexity across a group built through a series of large acquisitions. - Reuters


India raises tax on cigarettes: India has raised the total tax on cigarettes resulting in an increase of as much as 792 rupees (US$12.31 or RM52.79) for every 1,000 cigarettes, adding about 50 billion rupees (US$777mil or RM3.33bil) in revenues for the government, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. The higher rate will be effective from July 18.


Top local stories


Labour shortage at plantations costing FGV millions of ringgit: A shortage of farm workers at Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is costing the oil palm planter around RM2mil in lost revenue a day, says acting chairman Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob. The group needed at least 7,000 additional workers to improve the collection of palm oil fruits at its plantations in Malaysia, he says. - StarBiz


DRB-Hicom unit launches paint shop in Pekan: DRB-Hicom Bhd via subsidiary Hicom Automotive Manufacturers (M) Sdn Bhd has launched an RM230mil high-tech paint shop in Pekan, Pahang. The conglomerate said this was part of the company’s efforts to strengthen its foothold as one of the preferred automotive assemblers in the region. - StarBiz


Ibraco subsidiary awarded RM303m airport project: Ibraco Bhd subsidiary Ibraco Construction Sdn Bhd has received a letter of acceptance from the Public Works Department, Kuching to construct and complete a new airport in Mukah, Sarawak for RM302.63mil. - StarBiz


PRG in tie-up with China’s JPC: PRG Holdings Bhd has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with China’s Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co Ltd to jointly undertake infrastructure, property and construction activities in Malaysia and internationally. - StarBiz


Prestariang asks for trading suspension: Prestariang Bhd has asked for a suspension of trading in its shares, pending a material announcement. It will brief the media on its current core business, the impact of its major business development, and plans of its transformational business. - StarBiz


Ong: Explore China second-tier cities: Malaysia needs to explore China’s second-tier cities such as Dalian to expand bilateral trade, which is expected to hit US$160bil (RM686.5bil). International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said Malaysia currently exported about US$9bil (RM36.82bil) worth of goods to Dalian. - StarBiz


I-Bhd Q2 profit jumps 34%:  I-Bhd’s net profit grew 33.8% to RM19.6mil for the second quarter, thanks to higher contribution from its property development division. Its revenue increased 47.5% to RM127.8mil, while its earnings per share rose to 1.85 sen from 1.38 sen previously. - StarBiz


IJM unit wins RM451m contract: IJM Corp Bhd’s unit has secured a RM451mil contract from UOB Properties (KL) Bhd to build a new corporate office in Kuala Lumpur. The latest contract will boost the construction and property development group’s outstanding construction order book to RM9bil. - StarBiz


ML Global inks deal with Sany Construction: LBS Bina Group Bhd subsidiary ML Global has inked a memorandum of understanding with Sany Construction Industry Development (M) Sdn Bhd to form a 51:49 joint venture to set up a industrialised building system plant in Nilai, Negri Sembilan. - StarBiz


Malaysia chalks up M&A deals worth US$11.7b: Global valuation and corporate finance adviser Duff & Phelps says merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions totalled 233, valued at US$11.7bil, up to June 2017. Inbound deals accounted for about 70% of the total deal value. - StarBiz

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