Top foreign and local stories at 4pm

HSBC Bank in London - HSBC pic


Brent crude was 0.32% higher to US$52.69 per barrel at 3.57pm.


Ringgit up 0.04% to 4.2795 versus the US dollar at 4.05pm.

Top foreign stories

Hot and cold: Eurozone grows but inflation slows: Data in the coming week should confirm the eurozone economy is running hot, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) upgraded growth forecasts and Greece returned to the debt market, although inflation figures could throw cold water on the European Central Bank’s plans to start tightening policy. — Reuters

HSBC H1 profit rises 5%, announces up to US$2b share buyback: HSBC Holdings Plc on Monday said profit rose 5% to US$10.2 billion in the first half of the year, beating analyst estimates for US$9.5 billion. A year earlier it posted pre-tax profit of US$9.7 billion. HSBC also announced an up to US$2 billion share buyback, as it uses excess capital to offset the dilutive effect of shares paid out as dividends. — Reuters

Hong Kong home prices climb to new peaks, but growth pace slows: Hong Kong’s red-hot home prices extended their record-breaking run in June, although the pace of growth slowed, underscoring the challenges the city’s new leader faces in reining in prices in one of the world’s most expensive property markets. Prices edged up 0.69% in June from May, the smallest rise since December last year, data showed. — Reuters

Japan industrial output increase hints at more stable growth: Japan’s factory output rebounded in June from a decline in May as production of cars and industrial chemicals increased, suggesting economic expansion may be on a more stable footing. Industrial output rose 1.6% in June from the previous month, just below the median estimate for a 1.7% increase and following a 3.6% decline in May. — Reuters

Top local stories

WMG makes firm debut on Main Market at 50 sen: Property company WMG Holdings Bhd made a firm debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on Monday, opening at 50 sen, which was two sen above the IPO price of 48 sen. — StarBiz

Property developer to launch RM1.3b projects in Sabah: Sabah-based property developer WMG Holdings Bhd, which was listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on Monday, plans to launch more than RM1.3bil worth of projects in the state. The company said projects in the pipeline will add to WMG’s ongoing projects with estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM445.1 mil. — StarBiz

Karambunai Corp auditors warn of going concern risk: Karambunai Corp Bhd’s independent auditors have cautioned of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern. The company said the auditors drew attention to the group’s financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2017. — StarBiz

Producer price index rises 6.4% in June: Malaysia’s producer price index (PPI) rose 6.4% year-on-year in June, largely due to mining, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry & fishing as well as electricity and gas supply, the Statistics Department said. — StarBiz

First Proton-Geely car to roll out by end 2018: The first Proton car following the national carmaker’s tie-up with Geely will enter the market by end-2018 or early 2019, said International Trade and Industry Malaysia Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan. Proton and Geely are curently focusing on the setting up of a plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak, he said. - Bernama

MAHB Q2 earnings jump 600%: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB)’s earnings for the second quarter saw a five-fold increase to RM66.9mil on higher contribution from its Malaysia operations, but was negated by higher loss before taxation from its overseas operations. Its revenue increased by 10.3% to RM1.1bil from a year earlier. — Reuters

Lotte Titan Chemical shares sink 24% after Q2 earnings slide: Lotte Titan Chemical Holdings Bhd shares skidded to a low of RM4.65 on Monday after it announced earnings fell 71.8% to RM113.61mil from RM404.03mil a year ago. Its revenue declined 11.2% to RM1.77bil from RM1.99bil, while earnings per share were 6.58 sen compared with 23.38 sen a year ago. — StarBiz

AMMB to submit merger decision to authorities by September: AMMB Holdings Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd will inform the authorities on their decision whether to proceed with their merger by the end of August or early September, said AMMB group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Tahir. — StarBiz

Malaysia to sign FTAs with HK, Iran by year-end: Malaysia is expected to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) with Hong Kong and Iran by the year-end, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan. He also said FTA talks between Malaysia and the European Union (EU) is also advancing. — Bernama

SC raps China-based Telent Outdoor, bans 2 HK directors for life: The Securities Commission rapped China-based sports equipment company, Telent Outdoor (Hong Kong) Technology Co Ltd for breaching the listing reguations. The regulator on Monday also imposed a permanent moratorium on two top officials, executive director Hui Tang Tat and his father and managing director Hui Chi Keung, both of whom are Hong Kong citizens, for submitting false information. — StarBiz
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