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Hermes sales grow most in four years

Geneva: Hermes International reported its fastest quarterly sales growth in more than four years, buoyed by demand from Chinese consumers, another sign that the world’s largest luxury market is holding up.

The French maker of the famed Birkin bag reported sales growth of 12% at constant exchange rates yesterday, beating analysts’ estimates. The stock, which has gained 27% this year, briefly touched a record in Paris trading and then ceded those gains.

ECRL boost for Westports

PETALING JAYA: Westports Holdings Bhd is poised to be one of the beneficiaries of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) once it is built and ready.

Westports group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said that the increased connectivity would help support demand for cargo at its port.  “The added rail connectivity would see more industries being set up along the route, especially along the key stations or stops on the route,” Ruben(pic) told StarBiz.

Nestle to spend RM220mil on capital expenditure

KUALA LUMPUR: Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd has allocated a capital expenditure (capex) of RM220mil for this year, marking its highest capex investment in the past five years.

(From left) Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd CEO Juan Aranols, chairman Tan Sri Syed Anwar Jamalullail and chief financial officer Craig Connolly posing for a photo after the group's annual general meeting.

Etiqa Group’s insurance and takaful gross premium up

KUALA LUMPUR: Etiqa Group Insurance & Takaful’s gross premium for FY ended Dec 31, 2018 increased by 17% to RM7.2bil and retained its position as the top online insurer in the country with more than 65% market share.

“With this strong performance, Etiqa maintained its top position, in the general takaful segment with 12.3% market share (2017 11.6%) and fourth position in the life/family (new business) segment with 11.2% market share (2017:9.9%) for the Malaysian market,” the statement said.

Eastspring declares distribution of 5.92 sen

KUALA LUMPUR: Eastspring Investments Bhd has announced a gross distribution of 5.92 sen a unit for Eastspring Investments Target Income Fund 5 for the year ended Dec 31, 2018.

Eastspring said that following the bout of market volatility in 2018, investor sentiment in the Asian credit market experienced a strong turnaround in recent months.

Willowglen secures RM62.9m contracts in Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: Willowglen MSC Bhd's unit has secured a RM62.90mil in contracts from Singapore's Public Utilities Board to carry out construction and maintenance at the Johor River waterworks.

UK regulator blocks Sainsbury's US$9.4b Asda takeover

LONDON: Britain's competition regulator on Thursday blocked Sainsbury's proposed 7.3 billion pound ($9.4 billion) takeover of Walmart owned Asda - a huge blow to the supermarket groups who wanted to combine to overtake market leader Tesco.

Britain's competition regulator on Thursday blocked Sainsbury's proposed 7.3 billion pound ($9.4 billion) takeover of Walmart owned Asda - a huge blow to the supermarket groups who wanted to combine to overtake market leader Tesco.