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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Breakfast briefing: Thursday, July 27 (Update)

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by July 27, 2017 General

MarketWatch: US stocks climbed modestly on Wednesday to record closing highs after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and strong earnings reports from Boeing and AT&T. The DJIA rose 97.58 points, or 0.45%, to 21,711.01, the S&P 500 gained 0.7 points, or 0.03%, to 2,477.83 and the Nasdaq added 10.57 points, or 0.16%, to 6,422.75. – Reuters

Energy

Oil prices rose to near eight-week highs on Wednesday, with Brent crude futures above US$50 a barrel, as a much steeper than expected decline in US inventories encouraged hopes the global crude glut would recede. Brent crude futures settled up 77 cents or 1.5% to US$50.97 a barrel. – Reuters

Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.20% to 4.2762 versus the US$

*It was down 0.83% to 5.0215 versus euro

*Down 0.70% to 5.6171 per pound sterling

*Down 0.35% to 3.1526 per Singapore dollar

*Down 1.52% to 3.4366 per Aussie

*Flat at 3.8542 per 100 yen

Top foreign stories

Fed holds rates steady, expects portfolio cuts ‘relatively soon’: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and said it expected to start winding down its massive holdings of bonds “relatively soon” in a sign of confidence in the US economy. The Fed kept its benchmark lending rate in a target range of 1.00% to 1.25%, as expected, and said it was on track to continue the slow path of monetary tightening that has lifted rates by a percentage point since 2015. – Reuters

Facebook results beat estimates as mobile ad sales soar, stock at record high: Facebook Inc surpassed quarterly profit and revenue estimates on Wednesday as the social media giant found more ways to attract advertisers to its mobile app including its centrepiece product, the Facebook News Feed, sending its shares to an all-time high of US$168.25. Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders rose to US$3.89 billion in the second quarter from US$2.28 billion a year earlier. Total revenue rose 44.8% to US$9.32 billion. – Reuters

Ford results foreshadow tougher times for Detroit automakers: Ford Motor Co on Wednesday joined rival General Motors Co in reporting higher-than-expected second-quarter profits, and in the next breath warning of a rougher ride for the rest of the year. Ford reported second-quarter net income of US$2.04 billion, up from nearly US$2 billion a year earlier. – Reuters

Foxconn announces US manufacturing plant in Wisconsin: Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn on Wednesday announced plans to build a US$10 billion LCD display panel screen plant in Wisconsin. The company said it plans to invest US$10 billion over four years to build a 20-million sq ft plant that could eventually employ up to 13,000. – Reuters

Discovery in the lead to acquire Scripps Networks: US media company Discovery Communications Inc in the lead to acquire US cable TV network owner Scripps Network Interactive Inc, sources said on Wednesday. While a deal could come as early as next week, negotiations are ongoing and no agreement is certain, the sources added. – Reuters

Deutsche Bank asset management listing seen in first half 2018 at earliest: Deutsche Bank’s planned listing of its asset management arm is unlikely before the first half of next year and could be later, as it wants more time to refine and sell the business’s strategy to potential investors, people close to the matter said. – Reuters

Top local stories

Petronas likely to take a hit: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) could incur an impairment charge of about C$632mil (RM2.16bil) following its decision to abort the proposed C$36bil (RM124bil) Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in western Canada. The impairment would have an effect on the profitability of the national oil company but not its cash-flow. – StarBiz

Sunsuria in Sentul mixed project joint venture:Sunsuria Bhd plans to develop a mixed development project on 2.23 acres in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, in a joint venture with Genlin Development Sdn Bhd. – StarBiz

Heineken Malaysia posts RM61.6m profit:Heineken Malaysia Bhd posted a net profit of RM61.58mil in its second quarter amid the soft market sentiment. The brewer recorded revenue of RM406.58mil, while earnings per share stood at 20.38 sen. The group declared a dividend of 40 sen for the quarter. – StarBiz

Govt considers setting up body to regulate property industry: The Government is considering the setting up of a body to regulate the property industry.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said apart from addressing a mismatch between the demand and supply of affordable housing, the regulatory body may be necessary as there were too many complications in the development of affordable homes and pricing was an issue, among others. – StarBiz

Bursa confident positive momentum will continue: Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan says the positive trend seen in the first half of the year would continue until the end of the year, driven by recoveries in several developed economies as well as more fund-raising via initial public offerings (IPOs). But the investment momentum in the second half of the year will not be as strong as in the first half, he said. – StarBiz

AirAsia upbeat about concluding Asia Aviation deal by this year: AirAsia Bhd is optimistic of concluding a deal by this year to dispose of Asia Aviation Capital Ltd, which has been valued at US$1bil (RM4.46bil). – StarBiz

MMC plans tie-up with Japanese consortium:MMC Corp Bhd is working with a Japanese consortium to provide mechanical and engineering solutions for the high-speed rail (HSR) project that the group is bidding for, said group managing director Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh. – StarBiz

KPJ to cap dividend at RM80mil of earnings:KPJ Healthcare Bhd will put a cap on future dividend payouts at a maximum of RM80mil of its net profit to allocate more cash for the repayment of its borrowings. Executive director Aminudin Dawam said the company’s dividend payouts have always been around 40%-50% of net profits, and that the board has advised it to put a cap in absolute terms of up to RM80mil payout. – StarBiz

 

CPO prices may stay at present levels over the next two months: Crude palm oil (CPO) prices could continue to trade at current levels of RM2,500- RM2,650 per tonne over the next two months, IOI Corp Bhd CEO Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said, adding prices could sustain despite CPO production slated to increase. – StarBiz

Lower Q4 earnings for Gadang:Gadang Holdings Bhd‘s earnings for the fourth quarter fell 3.5% year-on-year to RM29.99mil on lower  revenue and higher tax expenses. Its revenue dropped 33.82% to RM163.78mil due to lower revenue contribution from its construction division. – StarBiz

Digi to continue focusing on postpaid segment:Digi.com Bhd will continue to focus on the post- paid segment as well as improving operational efficiencies for the rest of the year, says CEO Albern Murty. – StarBiz

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