Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, August 16 (Update)

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 16 Aug 2017

AIG and IBM completed a pilot of a so-called smart contract multi-national policy for Standard Chartered Bank PLC.

MarketWatch: US stocks ended little changed on Tuesday as declines in Home Depot and other retailers following results offset upbeat US retail sales data. The DJIA was up 5.28 points, or 0.02%, to 21,998.99, the S&P 500 lost 1.23 points, or 0.05%, to 2,464.61 and the Nasdaq dropped 7.22 points, or 0.11%, to 6,333.01. - Reuters




Oil prices settled little changed on Tuesday after slumping to three-week lows as the US dollar climbed and signs of weaker petroleum demand in China weighed the market down for a second day. Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 settled up 7 cents a barrel at US$50.80, after retreating to US$50.02 during the session. - Reuters


Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.02% to 4.2965 versus the US$

*It was up 0.15% to 5.0436 versus euro

*Up 0.45% to 5.5270 per pound sterling

*Up 0.22% to 3.1415 per Singapore dollar

*Up 0.12% to 3.3650 per Aussie

*Down 0.06% to 3.8836 per 100 yen


Top foreign stories


Apple sets record with C$2.5b Maple bond market issue: Apple Inc priced its C$2.5 billion (US$1.96 billion) in seven-year bonds in a Canadian-dollar-denominated issue, one of the joint book-running managers said on Tuesday, setting a record amount for an issuer in the Maple bond market. - Reuters


Air Berlin files for insolvency but keeps flying: Germany’s Air Berlin announced Tuesday that it had filed for insolvency after its main shareholder Etihad Airways said it would not plough any more cash into the troubled carrier. The German government said it was providing a bridging loan of 150 million euros to keep the airline flying at a time when many Germans are still on holiday. - AFP


AIG shops US$2b death benefits portfolio: American International Group Inc wants to sell a US$2 billion portfolio of life settlements that would pay out when sick or elderly customers die, two people familiar with the matter said. AIG, the largest commercial insurer in the United States and Canada, is working with investment bankers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc to unload the assets, said the sources. - Reuters


China's Belt and Road acquisitions surge despite outbound capital crackdown: Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in countries that are part of the Belt and Road initiative are soaring, even as Beijing cracks down on China's acquisitive conglomerates to restrict capital outflows. Chinese acquisitions in the 68 countries officially linked to President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy totalled US$33 billion as of Monday, surpassing the US$31 billion tally for all of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters data. - Reuters


Top local stories


PNB’s next plan for Maybank: In a move to tap into the growing number of Islamic funds, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is working on a proposal to carve out a portion of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) shares into a separate syariah-compliant vehicle. If the proposal comes to fruition, it would create a RM20bil syariah-compliant banking entity – almost three times the size of BIMB Holdings Bhd, currently the biggest listed Islamic bank on the stock exchange. - StarBiz


KLCCP posts higher Q2 revenue but profit stays flat: KLCC Property Holdings Bhd (KLCCP) Stapled Group’s net profit for the second quarter stood at RM177.96mil, or 9.86 sen per share, compared with RM177.86mil, or 9.85 sen per share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 0.8% to RM337.52mil from RM334.57mil. - StarBiz


PNB: Mega tower not expected to create office space glut: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) does not expect its Merdeka PNB118 mega tower to create an office space glut in the KL city centre, given sufficient demand once it is completed, said group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar. Only 20% of the tower space would be marketed, representing about half a million sq ft. The remaining 60 floors of the tower will be occupied by the PNB group of companies, and 20 floors reserved for a hotel. - StarBiz


BToto’s lottery equipment subsidiary fights to regain exclusive right: Berjaya Philippines Inc is seeking three additional years of exclusive right to supply or lease lottery equipment to the state-owned Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in the Luzon territory. This is as compensation for an alleged breach of contract. - StarBiz


TNB gets RM339mil financing for Kuala Langat solar project: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has secured RM339mil financing from Affin Islamic Bank Bhd for its first large-scale solar project in Kuala Langat, Selangor. - StarBiz


UEM Sunrise hopeful new launches will help it reach RM1.2b sales target: UEM Sunrise Bhd is hopeful that its various promotional campaigns and upcoming property launches will help it achieve its RM1.2bil sales target for 2017. - StarBiz


Astro to face competition from new cable TV operator Ansa Broadcast: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s exclusivity as the sole satellite pay-TV operator in the country has come to an end, as it will soon face competition from a new cable TV operator called Ansa Broadcast. Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) said Ansa Broadcast is currently deciding which satellite solution to adopt, either to lease bandwidth from operators or launch its own satellite. - StarBiz


MRCB clinches RM369m contract: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd has bagged a RM369mil contract for the construction and other associate works under the Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Highway project. - StarBiz


Mavcom reviewing passenger service charge for KLIA2: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is also reviewing the passenger service charge (PSC) for international traffic at KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2), as it believes that it should match KLIA and other airports in the country.


Vote in favour of stake sale, investors advised: Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd has advised non-interested shareholders to vote in favour of the proposed share subscription by Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group for a 49.9% stake in Proton Holdings Bhd for RM460.3mil. - StarBiz


All eyes on HLI’s impairment in MNI: Following Media Prima Bhd’s RM142.4mil impairment of its investment in Malaysian Newsprint Industries Sdn Bhd (MNI), in which it has a 21.4% stake, the focus is now on Hong Leong Industries Bhd (HLI), which also has a stake in MNI, albeit a larger one at 33.65%. HLI has said the group would make a full impairment provision of RM171.5mil. - StarBiz


Pestech unit wins TNB job: Pestech International Bhd unit Pestech Sdn Bhd has been awarded a contract worth RM79.5mil by Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for PMU Olak Lempit in Selangor. - StarBiz


StanChart sees ringgit appreciating to RM4.10 by year-end: Standard Chartered (StanChart) remains positive on the ringgit’s performance moving forward and expects the currency to appreciate to its fair value of RM4.10 per US dollar by year-end. - StarBiz


Healthcare insurance premium may rise: Malaysian healthcare insurers expect premium rates to increase from 12% to 15% per year due to increasing demand for services from the affluent and higher incidences of chronic and lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. From 2010 to 2014, premium rate increased by an average of 12% per year, driven by high inflation in healthcare costs. - StarBiz

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