Breakfast briefing: Monday, July 31


Audi will next year start building its first mass-produced electric model, the e-tron quattro sport-utility vehicle.

MarketWatch: High-flying semiconductor stocks may be poised for more losses in the coming weeks as a large swath of chip names reports quarterly results in a sector that may have run up too far for some investors. Investors will parse earnings from 40% of the components in the PHLX semiconductor index over the next month. - Reuters

 

Top foreign stories

 

Hutchison sells HK fixed-line business to I Squared for US$1.9b: Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Ltd said on Sunday it agreed to sell its fixed-line telecoms business to I Squared Capital for about US$1.9 billion, raising funds to invest into mobile phone services and for working capital. - Reuters

 

Facebook's Sandberg calls for new policies to boost women's pay: Facebook Inc chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg called on governments and companies to do more to close the gender pay gap on Sunday and said both girls and boys should be encouraged to become leaders from an early age. - Reuters

 

Audi targets 10 billion euros in cost cuts to fund electric-car push: Audi aims to cut costs by 10 billion euros (US$12 billion) by 2022 to help fund a shift to electric cars as it seeks to move on after the emissions scandal, sources close to the carmaker said. The bulk of the 10 billion cost savings would come from cutting research and development costs, the sources said. - Reuters

 

Vivendi CEO: Telecom Italia will not become French or merge with Orange: Top shareholder Vivendi has no plans to merge Telecom Italia with Orange nor to make it French, chief executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine told newspaper La Stampa in an interview. Telecom Italia named Vivendi's Amos Genish as its general manager for operations on Friday as the French media giant tightened its grip on Italy's biggest phone group, where it is the largest shareholder with a 24% stake. - Reuters

 

Top local stories

 

Spotlight on Encorp and Barakah: After getting strategic shareholders to come into Iris Corp Bhd, Felda has shifted its focus to improving the performance of Encorp Bhd and Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd. Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said he hoped to see changes in Encorp with a view that the property group further improve on its performance and returns. - StarBiz

 

Settlers have recovered costs: Chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said Felda settlers have recovered more than their cost of investment in the shares of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) if the latest incentive pertaining to the loans taken for the purchase of the shares is taken into account. As such, he said, the share price performance of FGV should no longer be a concern to the settlers. - StarBiz

 

Geely-Proton targets producing 280,000 cars for China and SEA markets: The government has targeted the production of about 280,000 cars for the China and South-East Asian markets from the strategic partnership between Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group and Proton Holdings Bhd, said  Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan. - Bernama

 

AmBank zeros in on SMEs: The AmBank Group is fast-tracking efforts to grow its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment, as it believes it has become one of the most lucrative segments within the banking industry. The local SME market currently has over RM300bil in assets, including in loans, reserves and investment securities. - StarBiz

 

Local stock market catching up with regional peers: The local stock market could have a few catalysts going for it in the second half of this year that may push it to catch up with the rest of the region. CIMB Principal Asset Management Bhd chief investment officer Patrick Chang said the local market has risen by some 7% year to date in ringgit terms and about 12% in dollar terms. Regional markets in comparison have gone up by 23%. - StarBiz

 

Eversendai confident about hitting turnover target: Eversendai Corp Bhd is confident of achieving its turnover target of RM2bil in its current financial year ending Dec 31, 2017. The company will focus on its core businesses, executive chairman and group managing director Tan Sri A.K. Nathan said, adding its diversification into the oil and gas sector will eventually bear fruit for Eversendai. - StarBiz

 

BSN sees higher number of premium depositors: Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) expects to increase the number of depositors for its premium savings certificate in the second half of 2017 amid the improved economy. BSN had 2.8 million depositors with savings certified valued at RM3.26bil in the first half this year. - Bernama

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