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Asian markets edge up

TOKYO: Asian stocks edged up on Thursday as a steep slide in crude oil prices which had chilled investor sentiment slowed, while the pound and euro were supported after British Prime Minister Theresa May gained cabinet support for a Brexit deal.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.15 percent. The index had declined 0.4 percent the previous day as plunging oil prices heightened anxiety about the outlook for broad demand and global growth.  Australian stocks rose 0.15 percent while Japan's Nikkei shed 0.5 percent.  All the same, stock market gains in Asia were limited after Wall Street extended their recent decline.

US stocks falls, S&P down for 5th day

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks fell on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 notching a fifth straight day of losses as financial stocks were hit by fears that regulations on the banking industry would tighten once the Democratic Party takes control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 205.99 points, or 0.81 percent, to 25,080.5, the S&P 500 lost 20.6 points, or 0.76 percent, to 2,701.58 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 64.48 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,136.39.

HK property market cools

HONG KONG: Potential homebuyers priced out of Hong Kong’s stratospheric property market may now feel more hopeful as housing prices finally begin to cool after a bullish stampede lasting more than two years.

In contrast to the past two years when new and existing flats would normally be snapped up, agents say residential property has switched to a buyer’s market, with more room to negotiate prices

Sri Lanka bank raises key rates in surprise move

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s central bank unexpectedly raised its key policy rates yesterday, a move aimed at defending a faltering rupee currency as foreign capital outflows pick up amid a deepening political crisis and rising US interest rates

Immediately after the tightening, however, the rupee dropped to a fresh record low of 176.30 against the dollar, underscoring growing pressure on the economy from political turmoil after President Maithripala Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (pic) last month.

RHB wholesale banking head Omar resigns

KUALA LUMPUR: Omar Siddiq Amin Noer Rashid, RHB Bank Bhd.’s wholesale banking head, has quit after less than six months at the Malaysian lender.

Omar Siddiq Amin Noer Rashid, RHB Bank Bhd.’s wholesale banking head, has quit after less than six months at the Malaysian lender.

Kenanga Research retains outperform for MBSB, lower target price

KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Research is retaining its outperform call for Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) but with a lower target price (TP) of RM1.25 from RM1.45. The last traded price was 97 sen.
It said on Wednesday the 9M18 core earnings came in line, as impairment allowances fell as expected.

MBSB third-quarter profit higher by 21%

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) saw a 21% jump in net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, due to a lower charge of impairment allowances on loans and financing.

MBSB group president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaini Othman(pic) said: “The group’s improved financial results are attributed to the lower impairment allowances on loans and financing in the current year, following the completion of the three-year impairment programme in December 2017, as well as the implementation of the MFRS9 compliant impairment model in January this year.”