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Sunday, September 27th, 2020

Breakfast briefing: Friday, April 21

by April 21, 2017 General

MarketWrap: US stocks rallied on Thursday, with the Nasdaq closing at a record, as a round of solid earnings led by American Express pushed equities higher. The DJIA rose 174.22 points, or 0.85%, to 20,578.71, the S&P 500 gained 17.67 points, or 0.76%, to 2,355.84 and the Nasdaq added 53.74 points, or 0.92%, to 5,916.78. – Reuters


Oil prices ended mixed on Thursday after a seesaw trading session, as investors weighed rising US production against geopolitical uncertainties and comments from leading Gulf oil producers that an extension to Opec-led supply cuts was likely. Brent futures posted modest gains, however, ending up 6 cents to US$52.99 a barrel. – Reuters

Top foreign stories

Trump administration, world financial officials clash over trade: The Trump administration had a simple but stark message for world financial leaders who gathered in Washington on Thursday amid worries about rising US protectionism: fair trade means tit-for-tat tariffs. “If you want to insist on having a tariff on a product – which we prefer you not – the president believes that we should treat you in a reciprocal fashion and that we should tax your product coming into the United States,” White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said. “That is free, that is open, and that is fair.” – Reuters

Norwegian low cost airline takes fares fight to Asia with new London-S’pore route: Low cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle announced its first route linking London and Asia on Thursday, starting a service to Singapore as it seeks a slice of the market for business and leisure travellers on longer haul flights. – Reuters

Canadian clean tech companies struggle: Canadian clean technology companies are struggling to stay afloat and falling behind global peers even as Ottawa promises to boost the sector and move the country towards a low carbon future, a report showed. Analytica Advisors said despite years of publicly funded support for research and development, losses for clean tech companies widened to C$3.56 billion (US$2.64 billion) in 2015 from C$3.18 billion in 2014. – Reuters

Western Digital would consider Japan partners for Toshiba chip unit bid: Western Digital Corp, the US partner of Toshiba Corp in a semiconductor venture, is in talks with Japanese government-backed investors and would consider a joint bid with them for the chip business, a senior official said on Thursday. – Reuters

Top local stories

EPF reckons higher dividend: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) could declare higher dividends this year if Bursa Malaysia continues its uptrend.
For financial year 2015 and FY16, the EPF’s dividend had been on a declining trend after having paid out a high of 6.75% for FY14. The reason for the lower dividends was due to impairments in the value investments that the EPF had to make for the 12% decline of Bursa Malaysia over the past three years. – StarBiz

Carlsberg sees growth despite challenging market:Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd sees flattish growth in the traditional beer market, but expects consumers’ shifting preference for premium brands to sustain its performance this year. The brewer registered a 1.2% higher year-on-year revenue growth to RM1.68bil for its financial year 2016. – StarBiz

FGV to market seeds in Indonesia, Philippines:Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has appointed exclusive agents to market its oil palm seeds in Indonesia and the Phillipines. The deal marks the first time a Malaysian company has managed to penetrate the Indonesian market. – StarBiz

KPJ Healthcare eyes 10% growth in revenue, net profit:KPJ Healthcare Bhd, a private healthcare provider, is banking on the growth of new hospitals, to record a 10% growth in revenue and net profit for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017. – StarBiz

Solid run by small-cap stocks: Smaller capitalised companies on Bursa Malaysia have had a solid run-up in the past one year, outperforming the blue chip index by a good margin. The FBM Small Cap Index outperformed the FBM KLCI by 8.5% between April 2016 and April 2017. Small-cap stocks, as measured by the FBM SCI and FBM Fledgling Index or FBM FI, have generated returns of 11.1% and 19.8%, respectively, compared to the 1.1% for the FBM KLCI. – StarBiz

Lower cigarette sales pulls down BAT net profit:British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT)’s net profit fell 33.8% to RM114.23mil for the first quarter on sharply lower cigarette sales volume. Revenue declined by 24.5% or RM250mil versus RM770.72mil a year earlier. – StarBiz

Contractor files RM44mil lawsuit against MAHB: A contractor involved in the upgrading of the Penang International Airport a few years ago has filed a RM43.99mil lawsuit against Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB). The airport operator said it had received a writ of summons from Syarikat Pembinaan Anggerik Sdn Bhd which is claiming for the RM43.99mil and other claims on damages and interest. – StarBiz

Steady loan growth drives Public Bank earnings:Public Bank Bhd has achieved a slight increase in net profit during the first quarter ended March 31, aided by higher net interest income and steady loan growth. First quarter net profit grew by 1.5% to RM1.25bil from RM1.23bil a year ago while pre-tax profit was RM1.63bil. Its revenue was RM5.03bil, up 0.4% from RM5bil.

Iskandar Waterfront seeks US$1.1bil to develop land: Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd, the world’s best performing small-cap stock this year, plans to raise as much as RM5bil via convertible bonds mainly to develop the real estate that it’s acquiring, Executive vice chairman Lim Kang Hoo said Iskandar Waterfront is also seeking a secondary listing in Hong Kong or China to attract a wider pool of investors.  Shares of Iskandar Waterfront have jumped more than 270% this year on a plan to create an entity with land assets worth RM47bil, making it the top performer on the S&P Global Small Cap Index of more than 8,500 companies globally this year. – Bloomberg

CIMB Thai posts lower first quarter net profit: CIMB Thai Bank PCL, a 93.71% unit of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, posted a 63% lower net profit ,year-on-year, to 21.2 million baht (RM2.71mil) for the first quarter due to higher non-performing loans. – StarBiz

MISC bids for contracts:MISC Bhd is bidding for contracts and looking to acquire assets in the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) sector to diversify its income stream. President/group chief executive officer Yee Yang Chien said the energy shipping firm is working on three to four potential mergers and acquisitions and bids in the FPSO segment that are related to greenfield projects globally. – StarBiz

Serba dinamik, UK firm plan JV for O&G services: Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd unit Serba Dinamik Sdn Bhd and a UK company, Nicol & Andrew Group plc are planning an exclusive partnership to provide services for the Malaysian oil and gas sector and other industries. – StarBiz

Hua Yang’s bigger stake in Magna Prima extends its Klang Valley reach:Hua Yang Bhd’s acquisition of an additional 20.12% stake in Magna Prima Bhd would allow the mid-sized property developer to extend its reach in the Klang Valley by tapping into the potential of Magna Prima’s strategic land bank, say analysts. – StarBiz