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Breakfast briefing: Thursday, July 20

by July 20, 2017 General

MarketWatch: The major US stock indexes closed at record highs on Wednesday helped partly by technology stocks, which surpassed a long-standing mark, despite gains on the Dow being capped by a sharp drop in IBM shares. The DJIA rose 66.02 points, or 0.31%, to 21,640.75, the S&P 500 gained 13.22 points, or 0.54%, to 2,473.83 and the Nasdaq added 40.74 points, or 0.64%, to 6,385.04.. – Reuters


Oil prices jumped almost 2% to a six-week high on Wednesday after a US report showed a bigger weekly draw than forecast in crude and gasoline

stocks along with a surprise drop in distillate inventories. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said US crude stocks fell 4.7 million barrels during the week ended July 14, exceeding estimates for a 3.2 million draw in a Reuters poll. Brent futures for September delivery settled up 86

cents, or 1.8%, at US$49.70. – Reuters

Top foreign stories

GSK puts old antibiotics and UK Horlicks business on the block: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said it was considering the sale of its cephalosporins antibiotics business and intended to divest its small Horlicks business in Britain, while retaining the much bigger malted drink operation in India. In addition, GSK announced just over 300 job losses on Wednesday and confirmed that the UK-focused MaxiNutrition sports nutrition brand would be sold. – Reuters

AmEx profit dips as it splurges on customer rewards: American Express Co’s profit declined 33% to o $1.31 billion in the second quarter, hurt partly by higher expenses, as the card company spent heavily on rewards to woo customers amid intense competition from big US banks. – Reuters

Qualcomm’s profit forecast disappoints as Apple battle takes toll: Qualcomm Inc forecast fourth-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates as the company’s escalating patent battle with Apple Inc continues to take a toll on its licensing business. The company’s net income attributable to the company fell to US$866 million in the third quarter from US$1.44 billion a year earlier. Revenue fell 11.1% to US$5.4 billion. – Reuters

BoJ to cut inflation forecasts: The Bank of Japan is set to paint a brighter picture of the economy on Thursday but cut its inflation forecasts again, reinforcing expectations that it will lag well behind major global central banks in scaling back its massive stimulus programme. – Reuters

T-Mobile quarterly results top estimates as subscribers grow: T-Mobile US Inc’s quarterly results topped analysts’ estimates as the No. 3 US wireless carrier on Wednesday reported record low customer attrition and said it was considering a quarterly dividend. The company’s net income rose to US$581 million from US$225 million a year earlier. Total revenue grew to US$10.21 billion from US$9.29 billion. – Reuters

Top local stories

FGV mulls selling underperforming assets:Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is re-evaluating and considering disposing of its past acquisitions in plantations and other non-core businesses which will not benefit the group in the long run, says acting chairman Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob. FGV has spent RM4bil on seven acquisitions since the company went public in 2012, but so far has little to show in terms of returns. – StarBiz

CapitaLand REIT income marginally lower in Q2:CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust recorded a net property income of RM59.8mil for the second quarter, slightly down from RM60mil a year earlier, due to a lower contribution from all of its three Klang Valley shopping malls – The Mines, Sungei Wang Plaza and Tropicana City Property – which was offset by a stronger performance from Gurney Plaza and East Coast Mall. It saw its net profit drop by 34.2% to RM28.14mil on a 0.2% lower revenue of RM91.81mil.

Singtel’s NetLink makes debut slightly above offer price: NetLink NBN Trust, the broadband unit of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), rose slightly above the offer price in its market debut. NetLink opened trading at S$0.815 per unit before edging down to S$0.810 on its first day of trade. – Reuters

RAM: Malaysian ports’ prospects to remain healthy: RAM Rating Services Bhd expects the container and cargo-handling prospects of Malaysian ports to remain healthy this year, in line with the gradual global economic recovery. RAM Ratings said the throughput growth was expected to remain in the low single-digit levels, identical to the modest 3% recorded in 2016. – Bernama

Peter Lim revamps TMC Life: Singapore billionaire Peter Lim is injecting his stake in Bursa Malaysia-listed TMC Life Sciences Bhd into his Singapore- listed real estate firm Rowsley Ltd, in a deal worth up to S$1.9bil (RM6bil). The proposed acquisition of the healthcare assets will be an all-share deal for Lim’s private vehicle Sasteria Pte Ltd, the owner of Thomson Medical Pte Ltd and its 70.36% stake in TMC Life. – StarBiz

Prestariang aims to raise over RM1bil for SKIN, transformation agenda:Prestariang Bhd aims to raise over RM1bil from the capital market, within six to nine months, to realise its main transformation agenda for its technology platform and to implement the integrated National Immigration Control System (SKIN). Chief executive officer Dr Abu Hasan Ismail said the company was now on a fund raising drive before kicking off the development of SKIN. – StarBiz

Weak response to Temasek Padu general offer for KUB: Temasek Padu Sdn Bhd received acceptance of just 0.01% from the minority shareholders of KUB Malaysia Bhd for its general offer. – StarBiz

CIMB Thai earnings up 30%:CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s 94.11% indirect sub- sidiary, CIMB Thai group, saw its consolidated net profit rise 30.1% to 477.8 million baht for the six-month period ended June 30, 2017 on the back of lower operating expenses and provisions. CIMB Thai’s consolidated net profit for the second quarter jumped 794% to 356.6 million baht (RM45.46mil). – StarBiz

G3 Global unit Atilze in tie-up with U Mobile: Atilze Digital Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of G3 Global Bhd, has signed a collaboration agreement with U Mobile Sdn Bhd for the provision of 3G and 4G LTE connectivity for Atilze Connected Car devices. – StarBiz

Inflation moderates to 3.6% in June on lower fuel prices: Malaysia’s inflation moderated for the second consecutive month in June, thanks to lower fuel prices. Data from the Statistics Department showed the consumer price index (CPI) growth in June slowed to 3.6% year-on-year from 3.9% in the preceding month. – StarBiz