Breakfast briefing: Tuesday, October 3 (Update)

MarketWatch: US stocks started the fourth quarter on a strong note on Monday, with all three major indexes hitting record high closes as data pointed to underlying strength in the economy. The DJIA rose 152.51 points, or 0.68%, to 22,557.6, the S&P 500 gained 9.76 points, or 0.39%, to 2,529.12 and the Nasdaq added 20.76 points, or 0.32%, to 6,516.72. - Reuters




Oil fell more than US$1 a barrel on Monday as a rise in US drilling and higher Opec output put the brakes on a rally that helped prices notch their biggest third-quarter gain in 13 years. Brent crude  settled down 67 cents or 1.2% to US$56.12 a barrel. - Reuters


Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.20% to 4.2428 versus the US$

*Up 0.08% to 4.9684 versus euro

*Up 0.33% to 5.6200 per pound sterling

*Up 0.08% to 3.1071 per Singapore dollar

*Down 0.34% to 3.3439 per Aussie

*Up 0.07% to 3.7521 per 100 yen


Top foreign stories


Bain says aims to buy Japan ad agency Asatsu-DK for US$1.4b: US private equity firm Bain Capital said it aims to buy 100% of Japan’s third-largest advertising agency, Asatsu-DK Inc, for 152 billion yen (US$1.35 billion), in one of the largest buyouts in Japan this year. Bain said it plans to buy all of Asatsu-DK’s shares from existing shareholders, including top shareholder WPP, for 3,660 yen a share, a 15.4% premium over Monday’s close. - Reuters


Metro Inc to buy Jean Coutu Group in US$3.60b deal: Metro Inc, Canada’s third biggest food retailer, said on Monday it would buy pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group for C$4.5 billion (US$3.60 billion), or C$24.50 per share. Jean Coutu operates drugstores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario, and it acquired a generic drug maker in 2007. Metro operates more than 600 food stores across Canada. - Reuters


OMERS buys landmark Berlin property Sony Center for US$1.3b: Canadian pension fund OMERS and US buyout group Madison are acquiring Berlin’s landmark property Sony Center from South Korean national pension fund NPS for 1.1 billion euros (US$1.3 billion), the companies said. - Reuters


Takata says US$1.6b KSS deal to be signed in within two weeks: Key Safety Systems has agreed to terms on the US$1.6 billion purchase of assets of Takata Corp, stricken by a recall of its faulty vehicle air bags, and final documents will be signed in less than two weeks, a lawyer for Takata’s US unit said on Monday. - Reuters


US mulls further Wells Fargo sanction over sales abuses: The main regulator for Wells Fargo & Co is considering whether to sanction the US bank over improperly charging customers for car insurance and mortgage loans, according to a source familiar with the matter. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has for weeks debated how to take action on the insurance and mortgage issues which came to light this summer, said the source. - Reuters


Top local stories


Saudi Aramco takes stakes in two petrochemical plants: The state oil company of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco, is taking up a 50% stake in a plant that produces polymers for US$900mil (RM3.8bil) from Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and also absorb the proportionate share of borrowings tied to the plant. Saudi Aramco has also sealed an agreement to take up a 50% equity interest and 50% of the shareholder loans in PRPC Refinery and Cracker Sdn Bhd from Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) unit, Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Corp Sdn Bhd. The two deals are inter-conditional. - StarBiz


Johor Sultan raises stake in Berjaya Assets : Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has become the second-largest individual shareholder in Berjaya Assets Bhd, after he bought 80 million shares in the company and raised his stake to 120 million, a 10.09% stake. - StarBiz


Golden Palm Growers gets nod to structure realisation proposal: Golden Palm Growers Bhd said that 98% of the GPGS investors, or growers, had voted to pass a resolution, giving the management company 12 months from Oct 2 to find a buyer for the scheme’s plantation project in Gua Musang, Kelantan, and structure an optimal realisation proposal. - StarBiz


MAHB courting five more airlines for KLIA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is in the midst of wooing five new airlines, a mix of full and budget carriers, to fly to the KL International Airport (KLIA). If the efforts pay off, the new airlines would be joining KLIA’s operations next year, said MD Datuk Badlisham Ghazali. - Bernama


Affin Holdings expects to complete listing transfer in first half 2018: Affin Holdings Bhd (AHB) expects the proposed transfer of its listing status to Affin Bank Bhd to be completed within the first half of 2018. - StarBiz


Khazanah, KWAP go big on tech firms: Khazanah Nasional Bhd has invested close to US$1bil (RM4.2bil) in about 25 technology-related companies worldwide, while Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) has earmarked about RM1.34bil for investment in technology-based companies. - StarBiz


Lotte says stop-work order has no material impact: Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd said the stop- work order issued by the Department of Environment on one of its reactors at its project site in Pasir Gudang, Johor, will have no material impact on its financial performance. - StarBiz


Mustapa; Proton can revive Asean car project: The restructuring of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (Proton) could see the revival of the Asean Car project, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. The ministry plans to start “conversation” with Asean members to bring the project to fruition, he said. - Bernama


JAKS sells factory and land for RM26m: JAKS Resources Bhd has inked an agreement with Hectare Square Sdn Bhd to dispose of 1.214ha free- hold industrial land together with a one-storey factory in Jalan Subang, Selangor, for RM25.9mil. - StarBiz


Asean economy poised to grow 6% annually in next five years: The Asean economy has bright prospects and has the potential to grow at 6% annually in the next five years, despite the global geopolitical issues, said Khazanah Nasional Bhd board member Tan Sri Andrew Sheng. - Bernama


Loan growth to stay robust in fourth quarter: Analysts expect banks to ramp up loan disbursements in the fourth quarter after loan growth increased 5.8% year-on-year in August. Affin Hwang Capital Research said the banking system’s loan disbursement in August came in higher at 9.7% month-on- month versus 5.4% in the preceding month. - StarBiz


Government offers incentives for MSPO adoption: The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry said audit costs incentives of up to 70% would be offered to estates with planted area above 40.46ha to 1,000ha to help them obtain the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification. - StarBiz

Breakfast Briefing