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Breakfast briefing: Friday, September 2

by September 2, 2016 General

MarketWrap: US stocks were flat on Thursday, with gains in the tech sector offseting sluggish factory activity data and lower oil prices, as investors exercised caution ahead of a key payrolls report on Friday. – Reuters

The DJIA rose 18.42 points, or 0.1%, to 18,419.3, the S&P 500 lost 0.09 points to 2,170.86, and the Nasdaq added 13.99 points, or 0.27%, to 5,227.21.

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.28% to 4.0910 per US$

*It was 0.64% lower at 4.5788 per euro

*Down 0.39% to 5.4290 to the pound sterling

*Down 0.55% to 3.0081 per Singapore dollar

*0.34% lower to 3.0861 per Aussie

*Down 0.21% to 3.9598 per 100 yen


Oil prices fell more than 3% on Thursday, heading for their sharpest weekly slide since January as investors brushed aside talk that Opec might freeze production and focused on a growing glut from US crude stockpiles. Brent crude futures ended the session at US$45.45 per barrel, down $1.44 or 3.07%. – Reuters

Top foreign stories

South Korea GDP growth in third quarter to be slower than second quarter: South Korea’s growth is likely to be slower in the third quarter than the second, a finance ministry official said on Friday after central bank data showed growth of 0.8% over April-June. – Reuters

Hanwha Life Insurance considers Woori Bank stake: South Korea’s Hanwha Life Insurance said on Friday it is considering buying a stake in Woori Bank, adding that nothing has been decided.
South Korea said last month it would attempt to sell a 30% stake in Woori Bank to multiple suitors by the end of this year, in a move that could recoup nearly US$2 billion of taxpayer money spent bailing out the bank almost two decades ago. – Reuters

Alcoa, Alumina settle dispute, clearing hurdle to Alcoa split: Alcoa Inc and Alumina Ltd have settled a dispute and agreed to reshape their joint venture, removing an obstacle to Alcoa’s plan to split into two companies and making its Australian partner a more attractive takeover target. – Reuters

Top local stories

Shareholder fury: Shareholders of special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) CLIQ Energy Bhd sent a strong message to the management in wanting to see the company liquidated and the distribution of RM356mil. CLIQ chairman Datuk Azim Mohd Ali said the main issue raised by shareholders on Thursday was when they could get their money back after the company failed to acquire its qualifying asset within the stipulated timeframe. – StarBiz

Khazanah raises RM1.6b: Khazanah Nasional Bhd has raised US$398.8mil (RM1.622bil) from the issuance of sukuk that can be exchanged into shares in Beijing Enterprises Water Group Ltd. The exchangeable sukuk will be listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd, Labuan International Financial Exchange Inc and Bursa Malaysia (under the exempt regime). – StarBiz

DRealty in MoU to develop land with Country Garden: Construction and property development company Damansara Realty Bhd (DRealty) has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Country Garden Real Estate Sdn Bhd, a unit of Guangzhou-based Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, to jointly develop a portion of land in Tebrau, Johor Baru. – StarBiz

Kossan to open its first R&D centre in 2017: Glovemaker Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd will open its first research and development (R&D) centre in July next year as part of a transformation plan.
The company has invested about RM35mil in the centre. – StarBiz

Matang gets nod to list on ACE Market: Plantation firm Matang Bhd has obtained the approval of Bursa Malaysia for its listing on the ACE Market. The flotation will involve the issuance of 130 million new shares, or 7.18% of the company’s share capital. – StarBiz

Yong Tai shareholders approve bonus preference share issue: Property developer Yong Tai Bhd has obtained shareholders’ approval for a 1-for-10 bonus issue of irredeemable convertible preference shares. The exercise will involve the issuance of up to 20.05 million bonus ICPS on the basis of one ICPS for 10 shares held. – StarBiz

Ranhill to sell water business to Singapore firm: Water infrastructure specialist Ranhill Holdings Bhd plans to divest the company’s 60% interest in Ranhill Water (Hong Kong) Ltd to Singapore-listed SIIC Environment Holdings Ltd for RM167mil. – StarBiz

Celcom Axiata banks on Xpax Turbo: Celcom Axiata Bhd is confident the newly launched prepaid Xpax Turbo will be instrumental in boosting prepaid subscribers. “We hope to see more new subscribers using Xpax Turbo who will actively make use of our 4G network,” said chief marketing officer Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin. – StarBiz

Touch ‘n Go to launch two new products: Touch ‘n Go (TnG) Sdn Bhd is riding on the financial technology (fintech) wave, as it looks to expand its product offerings such as a digital wallet and mobile first TnG. The two products will be launched by the end of this year. – StarBiz

SK Petroleum bags RM264mil jobs: Oil and gas services company SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd has bagged five oil and gas-related contracts totalling US$65.30mil or RM264mil. – StarBiz

Manufacturing conditions deteriorate at sharper pace: Manufacturing conditions in Malaysia deteriorated at a sharper pace in August, reversing the earlier trend of a slow decline, according to the latest Nikkei Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released on Thursday. The headline PMI for August was at 47.4, down from 48.1 in July. – Edge FD

Malaysia aims to ‘harmonise’ palm oil export duty plan with Indonesia: Malaysia aims to “harmonise” its palm oil export duty plan with the more competitive Indonesian levies in a bid to win global market share, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said. – Reuters

Tourism ministry to levy hotel guests: The tourism and culture ministry plans to impose a tourism services fee of between RM5 and RM30 per room, per night on anyone who stays at a hotel or serviced apartment — be it a foreign or local tourist — as a means to increase funds to promote Malaysia as a tourism destination. – Edge FD

MRCB inks MoU with TM to wire up telecommunication, IoT abilities: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) has inked a memorandum of understanding with Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) to provide integrated telecommunications – traditional broadband or wireless – to the property developer’s existing and upcoming projects. – Edge FD