Summary of business news: March 22-28

The Penang government has revised the master agreement (MA) on the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project, with the RM3.8bil reclamation of Island A fully funded by the project delivery partner (PDP).

Vincent Tan passes the baton

  • The company must be about collective individuals, not me alone, says Tan.
  • Essentially, BCorp is a fund manager of various businesses that will allocate capital and measure this against ROE (return on equity).
  • New CEO Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasheed is an authority on good corporate governance and transparency, said the group.

Jalil acquires 70 million BCorp shares days after named new CEO

  • Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasheed has acquired a stake in the company days after he was appointed to the post.
  • BCorp, in a statement, said Jalil had acquired 70 million shares at 28 sen each, which gave the former boss at Permodalan Nasional Bhd a 1.4% equity interest in the company.
  • BCorp had earlier said that Jalil was brought in with a mandate to transform the sprawling business group into a high-performing organisation.

Ringgit slips to 4.133 at opening over Covid-19 resurgence fears

  • The ringgit slipped further versus the US dollar as demand for the safe-haven greenback spiked due to persistent concerns over the COVID-19 resurgence and global lockdowns.
  • It was reported that benchmark Brent crude oil price slumped to US$60.86 per barrel on Tuesday from a high of US$69.63 per barrel on March 11, 2021 before rebounding to nearly US$64 per barrel by Wednesday.

Penang's Island A to be fully funded by PDP

  • The Penang government has revised the master agreement (MA) on the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project, with the RM3.8bil reclamation of Island A fully funded by the project delivery partner (PDP).
  • Due to the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and the withdrawal of the financial guarantee by the federal government, the PDP was told to look at alternative funding plans.
  • In a letter dated Feb 15, the PDP proposed the reclamation of Island A under the PSR to be borne fully by SRS Consortium without the state having to fund the project.

Zafrul: Malaysia mulling new taxes once economy recovers

  • Malaysia remains in discussions with auditors and legal firms to recover assets lost in the 1MDB scandal.
  • Zafrul ruled out a capital gains tax on stocks.
  • Malaysia sees no need to list Petronas on the stock market, as it can raise funds in the bond market.

Blocked Suez canal minimal impact on Malaysia

  • The Suez Canal Authority announced that navigation through the Suez Canal is temporarily suspended and the floatation efforts included towing and pushing the grounding vessel using eight large tugboats.
  • The passage accounts for approximately 30 per cent of container ship traffic globally each day, with the alternative shipping route between Asia and Europe -- navigating around the African cape -- taking a week longer.
  • According to FreightWaves, which provide updated information on the global logistics industry, the Ever Given sails on Evergreen's China-Europe-Mediterranean service.

Asian shoppers snap up gold bangles amid price slump

  • Gold price's slump to near a nine-month low is drawing jewellery shoppers in Asia to hunt for bargains.
  • After a year of demand being in the doldrums, retailers are buying more of the precious metal to cater to people like Seema B, a 35-year-old housewife who ventured to Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar to get new bangles after months of putting it off.
  • The demand for physical gold may stem the slide in prices that have been pummelled by rising bond yields and outflows from bullion-backed exchange-traded funds.

The unsustainable prices of crude palm oil

  • Worker shortage in oil palm plantations in Malaysia is believed to have ballooned to about 50,000, resulting in a loss of around 25% in palm oil yield.
  • Palm oil is hoarding all the limelight once again because the prices of crude palm oil (CPO) have sprung up to levels not seen since 2008.
  • Mielke stresses that the development of palm oil production is very important for the price trend and the pace at which vegetable oil prices will weaken for the remainder of the year.

Tropicana Gardens Mall expecting 80% take-up rate by year-end

  • Tropicana Corporation Bhd expects the take-up rate at its retail mall in Tropicana Gardens Mall to reach 80 per cent by the end of this year, from the current 68 per cent, despite the challenging economic situation due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Managing director of group asset management Andrew Ashvin said the company believed that the retail segment would bounce back in line with the opening of the economy in the country and worldwide.

Revival of mega infrastructure projects to benefit Gamuda

  • Gamuda's 60%-owned subsidiary SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd is the project delivery partner (PDP) for the PTMP.
  • Gamuda said the Penang state government had accepted the terms of project development of Island A on March 25.
  • The project will be implemented through a joint venture (JV) with the Penang state government, and fully funded by the consortium through internally generated funds and bank borrowings.
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