Breakfast briefing: Monday, October 9

  • Business
  • Monday, 09 Oct 2017

MarketWatch: The Trump administration’s plan to cut corporate taxes may add more fuel to the already hot rally in the shares of automation companies. Fund managers from Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Hodges Capital and Hood Capital say they expect that companies will use part of their tax savings to invest in high-cost machines that will allow them to reduce labour costs over time. - Reuters


Top foreign stories


Extraordinary steps may be needed in 2018 to rebalance oil market: Opec's Barkindo: Opec and other oil producers may need to take “some extraordinary measures” next year to rebalance the oil market, the Opec secretary-general said on Sunday. “There is a growing consensus that ... a rebalancing process is under way. We are gradually but steadily achieving our common and noble objectives,” said Mohammad Barkindo. - Reuters


Honeywell prepares to spin off businesses: Honeywell International Inc plans to spin off non-core assets and create at least two new publicly listed companies, as the US industrial conglomerate seeks to streamline its business, says sources. - Reuters


Subprime lender OneMain putting itself up for sale: The subprime lender OneMain Holdings Inc has put itself up for sale and is running an auction to solicit takeover bids, according to a person familiar with the matter. - Reuters


White Tale activists increase Clariant stake: Activist investors seeking to block specialty chemical maker Clariant’s US$20 billion merger with Huntsman Corp own “significantly more” than 15% of Clariant shares and want to increase their stake, Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft reported. - Reuters


Australia's WorleyParsons to buy AFW's former oil & gas assets for US$298m: Australian engineering firm WorleyParsons Ltd said on Monday it would buy the former upstream oil and gas assets of Britain’s Amec Foster Wheeler Plc for 228 million pounds (US$298.22 million), marking its entry into the UK North Sea market. - Reuters


Chief of Credit Agricole expresses interest in Commerzbank: Credit Agricole’s chief, Philippe Brassac, has expressed interest in Commerzbank if the German lender were to be up for sale, according to an interview with the Handelsblatt newspaper. - Reuters


Top local stories


AIA says it’s not in talks to cut stake in AIA Malaysia: AIA Group Ltd, one of the leading pan-Asian life insurance groups, dispelled speculation it is reducing its stake in 100%-owned AIA Malaysia, saying it is not in any discussion. Separately, Great Eastern Holdings said it is “assessing possible options” relating to a minority stake in its Malaysian unit to comply with Bank Negara’s 70% foreign ownership cap for insurance companies. - StarBiz


Prasarana may award seven more contract packages: CIMB Research said it understands Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, the project owner of Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3), may award seven more major civil work packages, which is expected to be concluded by year-end. Last week, some RM4bil worth of LRT3 contracts were awarded to three companies, bringing the total number jobs awarded so far to RM7.4bil. - StarBiz


ASTINO eyes new markets: Astino Bhd plans to produce a new range of roofing tiles and roof truss products to capture new markets and boost its growth in the 2018 financial year. In FY17, the company’s output was 114,000 tonnes, comprising building materials, roofing products, and agro- house multi systems. - StarBiz.


Mah Sing’s latest RM2,.2b project in Cheras: MAH SING GROUP BHD has planned a mixed development project, called M Vertica, on a 11.25-acre leasehold land in Cheras which has an estimated gross development value of RM2.2bil. Stadium Badminton Kuala Lumpur is currently sited on the land. - StarBiz


Japanese firms eye Malaysia’s halal industry: Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp is looking to back a push by Japanese firms planning to invest in Malaysia’s syariah-compliant halal market, an official said. Japanese companies active in food, cosmetics, logistics, transportation and storage are keen to tap the Malaysian market in a drive to appeal to Muslim customers globally. - Reuters


Vitrox investing RM130m to expand ops: Vitrox Corp Bhd will invest RM130mil to expand its operations this year and next  in view of the growing demand for its test equipment and systems. Group CEO Chu Jenn Weng said the capex would be spread equally in 2017 and 2018. - StarBiz


HSL to launch more luxury homes at La Promenade: Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) is riding on the good demand for luxurious homes at its flagship mixed development La Promenade by launching more million-ringgit houses. The project will be unveiled in first half of 2018. - StarBiz

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