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Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, June 22

by June 22, 2016 General

MarketWrap: US stocks rose on Tuesday, led by gains in technology shares as Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen was optimistic about the economy and played down the risk of a recession, while concern over the upcoming British referendum remained subdued. Yellen, however, warned that the British vote on Thursday on whether to stay in the European Union, alongside a US hiring slowdown, posed risks to the economic outlook. – Reuters

The DJIA rose 24.86 points, or 0.14%, to 17,829.73, the S&P 500 gained 5.65 points, or 0.27%, to 2,088.9 and the Nasdaq added 6.55 points, or 0.14%, to 4,843.76.

Forex summary

*The ringgit lost 0.05% to 4.0350 per US$

*It was 0.73% higher to 4.5381 per euro

*Up 0.47% to 5.9224 to the pound sterling

*0.08% higher to 3.0061 per Singapore dollar

*0.58% up to 3.0063 per Aussie

*Down 0.18% to 3.8569å per 100 yen


Oil prices settled lower on Tuesday on profit taking after a two-day rally, then rose in post-settlement trade after data showing a larger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude stockpiles. Brent crude futures’ front-month, August LCOQ6, settled down 3 cents at US$50.62 a barrel. In post-settlement, it rose to as high as US$51.10. – Reuters

Top foreign stories

Samsung Elec investing US$1.2b in US for ‘internet of things’: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s top smartphone maker, said on Tuesday it plans to invest about US$1.2 billion in the United States over the next four years on so-called internet of things (IoT) technologies. – Reuters

China’s Tencent buys ‘Clash of Clans’ maker Supercell for US$8.6b: China’s biggest gaming group Tencent Holdings Ltd is to buy a majority stake in ‘Clash of Clans’ mobile game maker Supercell from SoftBank Group Corp in a deal valued at roughly US$8.6 billion. – Reuters

Yellen: Fed cautious on rates due to Brexit, US hiring slowdown: The Federal Reserve’s ability to raise interest rates this year may hinge on a rebound in hiring that would convince policymakers the US economy is not faltering, Fed chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers on Tuesday. In testimony before Congress that expressed general optimism about the economy and played down the risk of a recession, Yellen nevertheless said the Fed will be cautious about interest rate increases until it is clear the job market is holding up. – Reuters

Equity fund CVC Capital aims to raise US$14b: CVC Capital Partners is in early talks with investors with a view to raising US$14.1 billion for a European buyout fund in the first half of 2017, Bloomberg reported, citing sources. The fundraising, which will be the private equity firm’s seventh, will be capped at 15 billion euros (US$16.9 billion), Bloomberg said. – Reuters

Top local stories

Sona gives up: Amid weakening investor confidence on special-purpose acquisition companies, Sona Petroleum Bhd has given them a reason to be optimistic after the management gave its commitment to return money to shareholders, following its failure to get a qualifying asset (QA). The management said Sona was set to tutup kedai (close shop) and was in the midst of appointing a liquidator. – StarBiz

RHBCap unveils senior management changes: RHB Capital Bhd has announced several senior management changes within the group, as the bank gears up to optimise the business potential of Singapore. – StarBiz

Oriental Holdings sells unit to Berjaya Assets: Oriental Holdings Bhd is selling its car assembly and automotive parts manufacturing unit to Berjaya Assets Bhd for RM32.5mil. Oriental Holdings said the disposal of Oriental Assemblers Sdn Bhd was aligned with the group’s core strategy of streamlining businesses and exiting the automotive assembly operations. – StarBiz

Scomi gets another court injunction against Prasarana: Scomi Transit Projects Sdn Bhd, a unit of Scomi Engineering Bhd, has obtained a second interim order and injunction restraining Prasarana Malaysia Bhd rom terminating its contract until further orders from the court. – StarBiz

Bank Negara reserves up slightly: Bank Negara reserves at RM383.2bil: Bank Negara’s international reserves was slightly higher at RM383.2bil (US$97.4bil) as of June 15, 2016 from RM382.6bil (US$97.3bil) a fortnight ago. – StarBiz

AirAsia buys bosses’ plane: AirAsia Bhd is buying Tune Group Sdn Bhd’s private jet plane, used mainly by its executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and group chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, for US$10mil (RM40.26mil). AirAsia said the purchase would be paid for in cash from the company’s internally available funds. – StarBiz

AirAsia may sign up BNP, Credit Suisse, RHB for leasing unit sale: AirAsia Bhd is considering hiring BNP Paribas SA, Credit Suisse Group AG and RHB Capital Bhd to help sell its aircraft leasing unit as part of plans to raise funds and strengthen its finances, the group’s chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said. Asia’s biggest discount carrier also plans to garner between US$75mil (RM302mil) and US$100mil (RM403mil) from a sale of new shares in its Philippine arm, Fernandes said. – Bloomberg

Celcom Trading wins RM264mil claim against Tajudin: The High Court has allowed Celcom Trading Sdn Bhd’s claim against Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli of RM264.52mil with interest of 5% from May 13, 2013. Axiata Group Bhd said the High Court had also dismissed Tajudin’s counterclaim with costs of RM100,000 after full trial of the suit. – StarBiz

Top Glove bullish on earnings: Top Glove Corp Bhd expects net profit for its current year ending Aug 31, 2016, to improve by about a quarter versus 2015 on rising sales and cheaper raw material prices. Chairman and founder Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said FY16 would be a record year for the company and that an additional annual capacity of 3.4 billion pieces of glove would be added to Top Glove’s existing plants this year. – StarBiz

Aeon Credit upbeat on earnings: Retail financial outfit Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd expects the improved consumer sentiment since early this year to help the company to meet, if not better, its earnings target this year. – StarBiz

HeiTech to continue seeking international jobs: HeiTech Padu Bhd will continue with plans to seek international projects, particularly in the Middle-East, Africa and South-East Asian region, despite the challenging environment. The information technology system and technology services provider has already sent project proposals to Myanmar and Indonesia. – Brenda