Business summary from Jan 10-14

EPF in for a better year

  • EPF chief executive officer Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan said the stock market continued to be the main income contributor for the fund, accounting for 54% of total gross investment income at RM7.5bil.
  • After taking into account the cost write-down, RM13.86bil of net investment income was recorded for the third quarter of FY21.
  • Meanwhile, the EPF's investments in fixed income instruments contributed RM5bil, or 36%, of the third quarter FY21 gross investment income, which was lower than the RM8.18bil income generated a year earlier, due to lower trading gains.

Genting’s shipbuilding units in Germany file for bankruptcy

  • With travel still severely restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in Asia, the company has seen demand for huge cruise ships or luxury mega-yachts dwindle.
  • Designed to carry close to 10,000 passengers, the huge ship had been due to leave the shipyard in 2021 - but the pandemic has knocked the company's timetable off course and crimped its budget.
  • Around 600mil (RM2.85bil) is necessary to finance the completion of the vessel, for which the shipbuilder has been seeking support from the government.

Corporate News

Top Glove appoints two independent non executive directors

  • Top Glove said to foster objective and independent deliberation, review and decision making of the board, it has limited the tenure of INEDs to nine years without further extension, in line with the Malaysian Corporate Governance Code.
  • Lester Garson Huang Huang, a practising solicitor and notary, is currently the managing partner and co chairman of P. C. Woo & Co, a legal firm in Hong Kong.
  • He is currently serving as INED on the boards of Hong Kong public listed companies Guoco Group Limited, Lam Soon Hong Kong Limited and Kidsland International Holdings Limited.

Airasia taking all necessary steps to address PN17 status

  • AirAsia Group Bhd (AAGB) is in the midst of formulating a plan to regularise its financial condition in order to address its Practice Note 17
  • Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said AirAsia's robust and diverse company portfolios will allow it to fast track the regularisation of its financial position and has affirmed the strong viability of its business moving forward.
  • Importantly, we are not just an airline anymore (that is) solely reliant on airfares.


Citigroup to exit its biggest branch network

  • Citigroup Inc is planning to exit retail-banking operations in Mexico - where it has its largest branch network in the world - as part of chief executive officer Jane Fraser's continued push to overhaul the firm's strategy.
  • The exit could ultimately take the form of a sale or a public-market alternative, and will be subject to regulatory approval, Citigroup said.
  • Citigroup in 2001 agreed to pay US$12.5bil (RM52bil) for what was then known as Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival, Mexico's second-largest bank at the time.

Lim Chee Sing appointed external member of Bank Negara MPC

  • Bank Negara has appointed Lim Chee Sing as an external member of the monetary policy committee for a two-year term effective Jan 1, 2022.
  • In a statement, the central bank said Lim was the executive director and chairman of RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd from 2013 to 2017.
  • He was also the group chief economist of the RHB Banking Group and an equity market strategist for the Malaysian market for RHB Research Institute.

Omar Siddiq appointed CEO of HSBC Malaysia

  • HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd has appointed Omar Siddiq to the post of CEO, succeeding incumbent Stuart Milne who is retiring at end-March 2022.
  • In a statement, the bank said Omar, who was most recently the deputy CEO, Malaysia, and CEO of group wholesale banking at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, will report to Surendra Rosha, co-chief executive for HSBC, Asia Pacific.
  • Omar will also join the boards of HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd and HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd as an executive director, as well as a member of the Asia Pacific executive committee.


AirAsia addressing PN17 status, says Fernandes

  • Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said AirAsia's robust and diverse company portfolios will allow it to fast track the regularisation of its financial position and has affirmed the strong viability of its business moving forward.
  • Importantly, we are not just an airline anymore (that is) solely reliant on airfares.
  • Bursa Malaysia had on Jan 13 dismissed AAGB's appeal seeking to extend an 18-month relief period from being classified as a PN17 company that ended on Jan 7, 2022, Bernama reported.


Investing is about stock picking

  • WHAT if at the start of 2021, you were given a choice between picking an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks all the main Bursa Malaysia Index series, which index would you choose' Other than the FBM KLCI, Bursa Malaysia has some 20-odd indices that typically don't only track the various sectors, but are also broken into various categories like the FBM Mid 70 Index, FBM Top 100 Index, the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Index, FBM Small Cap Index, FBM Mids Cap Index, the FBM Emas Index, FBM ACE Index, and the FBM Fledgling Index.
  • At the same time, at the start of 2021, you were also informed that in the past two years, the best performing index among all the indices was the Bursa Malaysia Healthcare Index, which rose 174%, followed by the FBM ACE Index, which was up by 149%, and the BM Technology Index, which jumped 138%.
  • The Bursa Malaysia Property Index, which was down 16%, followed by the Bursa Malaysia Finance Services Index, which fell by 11%, and the third-worst performing index was the Bursa Malaysia REITs Index, which gave up about 10% in value.


Ringgit retreats against US dollar

  • The ringgit has retreated from its gains over the past few days to open lower against the US dollar on Friday despite the weaker greenback, dragged down by the declining oil price, an analyst said.
  • At 9.03 am, the local currency was trading at 4.1800/1830 against the US dollar compared with 4.1750/1775 at yesterday's close.
  • He told Bernama that the short-term outlook for crude oil still has many risks, but optimism is still high.
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EPF , AirAsia , Bank Negara , Citigroup


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