Friday, 29 March 2013

BHIC gets RM47.4m with Defence Ministry during LIMA 2013

Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC) has formalised contracts worth RM47.4m with the Defence Ministry during LIMA 2013. BHIC, the government's biggest defence contractor said that the subsidiaries involved, namely BHIC Aeroservices Sdn Bhd and BHIC Defence Techservices Sdn Bhd had earlier received letters of award. Managing director Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Hj Mohd Nor said that the contracts were expected to make a positive impact to the group's bottomline in the longer term. (Starbiz)

BIMB, Dubai Financial Group, Tabung Haji seek more time

BIMB Holdings, Dubai Financial Group LLC (DFG) and Lembaga Tabung Haji are seeking an extension from Bank Negara Malaysia over their corporate exercise involving Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. BIMB, DFG and Tabung Haji had mutually agreed to seek an extension of time from BNM to conclude their negotiations which involved DFG's 30.5% stake in Bank Islam. "In this regard, the parties have each submitted their letters dated March 27, 2013 to BNM to seek for extension of time," said BIMB. BIMB and DFG had until March 31 to conclude negotiations on Bank Islam. (StarBiz)

Petronas Gas plans RM5b Islamic bond?

Malaysia’s Petronas Gas is considering setting up a RM5bn Islamic bond programme to part finance the construction of regasification plants, three people familiar with the deal said. The gas distribution arm of state oil company Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) invited proposals from investment banks to arrange the debt sale, said the people, who asked not to be named as the details are private. 

A sale would be the Kuala Lumpur-based company’s second offering of sukuk, or debt that pays returns on assets to comply with Islam’s ban on interest. It sold RM860m of Shariah-compliant notes in August via unit Kimanis Power to part finance a power plant, with maturities ranging from 2016 to 2028. The 5.05% notes due in 2023 yielded 4.23%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (BT, Bloomberg)

AirAsia: 2,000,000 Seats from Zero BIG Points

AirAsia’s upcoming Free Seats campaign will see 2,000,000 promotional seats go up for grabs when the sale opens up to the rest of the public on 2-7 April 2013. AirAsia’s BIG Loyalty Programme members known as BIG Shots will be able to redeem seats on AirAsia flights from as low as 0 BIG Points. Malaysian domestic destinations are up for grabs from only 0 BIG Points, while other exciting international destinations from only 1,700 BIG Points one way. BIG members can also redeem seats on AirAsia X’s long haul destinations. (AirAsia)

Bashir seeks to leave MAHB

Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid has requested the board to seek a suitable successor. The contract for Bashir, who has been with the company since 2003, will end in June. MAHB chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Aziz Wan Abdullah said the board, however, would like Bashir to continue to guide the company through the current challenges facing the aviation industry. "The board will in due course identify a successor and will provide sufficient time for a proper transition. The board has deliberated on the matter and has forwarded the matter to the Ministry of Finance for its decision," he said. (Bernama)

MAHB: KLIA2 on track for June 28 opening

The new low-cost carrier terminal, KLIA2 is 82% completed and on track to start operations on 28 Jun this year. Malaysia Airports Holdings chairman Tan Sri Dr. Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah said the near completion works at the new airport includes the paving of runway, air traffic control tower as well as the apron. "It (KLIA2) is progressing steadily and gaining momentum for its opening," he said. (BT)

Proton must be quick to escape struggle, says Tengu Mahaleel

Proton Holdings must fully utilise its car production platforms to dish out more car variants to the local consumers in order to sustain the stiff competition in the local automotive industry. Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, the former chief of the national car maker, said Proton owned seven automobile platforms, each with a capability to produce five car models. 

"By now, Proton should have had 35 car models in the local market. But we do not have that numbers currently,” he said, “Proton needs to keep its customers engaged with a cycle of car variants, of which for an instance, if an existing Proton car owner wants to change his car, Proton must be able to cater to his change," Tengku Mahaleel said. (BT, Bernama)

57% jump from RM3.5mil to RM5.5mil in Bursa chief Tajuddin's renumeration package hot topic at AGM

A few shareholders of Bursa Malaysia Bhd questioned CEO Datuk Tajuddin Atan's seemingly “huge” increase in remuneration during the AGM here, seeking an explanation from the board. They had wanted the board to explain Tajuddin's salary package, which according to Bursa Malaysia annual report 2012 was RM5.5mil against RM3.5mil in 2011, reflecting a 57% jump. To the question, Tajuddin calmly explained that the board had evaluated and brought in an independent consultant to go through the remuneration package. 

“It was built around the need of the job and also the persons they are looking at that time to helm the company. And it's suffice to say that, it was an agreed contracted package that was built around the key performance indicators (KPIs) that were put in place,” he told reporters after the AGM. (Starbiz)

Maybank is open to M&A within Asean

Malayan Banking (Maybank) is open to mergers and acquisitions within Asean if the right conditions and vehicle come along. In Indonesia, Maybank president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said the bank has until June 2013 to pare down its control in PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) to 80% from the current 97%. "Maybank will invest US$30 m to open Mumbai branch via licence granted to BII by July this year," he said. (BT)

Dialog Axiata, will roll out the countryfs first mobile 4G LTE network in Sri Lanka

Axiata Group's Sri Lankan subsidiary, Dialog Axiata, will roll out the country’s first mobile 4G LTE network, sealing the deal with a LKR3.2bn (RM78.2m) bid at auction, authorities said on Thursday. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), which auctioned its mobile 4G LTE spectrum at a base price of 800m rupees, said the subsidiary of Malaysia’s Axiata had beaten two local rivals. "We have auctioned 10Mhz band in the 1,800 spectrum and the highest bidder was Dialog," said TRC director general Anusha Palpita. 

We view this positively for Dialog Axiata as the spectrum will be essential for its mobile broadband. However, we do not expect any immediate impact because of the low smartphone penetration in Sri Lanka.

Affin not buying Bank Muamalat

Affin Holding terminated its negotiations with the shareholders of Bank Muamalat Malaysia (BMM), including DRB-Hicom, for a possible acquisition of equity interests in BMM. (BMSB) 

The above did not totally surprise us as we gathered that there were disagreements between both parties. Affin would have to acquire a 100% stake in Bank Muamalat for it to be merged with Affin Islamic Bank but DRB-Hicom would still wants to stay as a shareholder. 

We are neutral on the above development as based on our assessment, the acquisition of BMM would only enhance Affin’s EPS by 0.2% assuming a 50:50 debt and equity financing. Furthermore, although the acquisition of BMM would add some 50 branches to Affin’s network, there are overlaps in the operations for BMM and Affin Islamic Bank. 

With limited M&A opportunities locally, Affin Islamic Bank would have to rely on organic growth in the domestic market. In the longer term, the catalysts could come from overseas markets as the group is eyeing the opportunities for regional expansion of its Islamic banking business, particularly targeting Indonesia and China.

CIMB Political News - 29 March 2013

The last day of parliament falls on 29 April and not on 28 April which is a Sunday. The Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof clarified that although parliament would have completed its five year term on 28 April, as it is a Sunday 29 April was the last day for the Barisan National led federal government. Abdul Aziz confirmed that parliament would therefore dissolve automatically on 30 April 2013. (Star)

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday met state Barisan Nasional (BN) chairmen at the Perdana Putra Complex here, raising speculation that dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat is getting closer. It is believed the meeting was called to finalise the BN’s candidates list and final preparations before the 13th general election. Seen going into the complex were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam. Others were Selangor BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar and Sepang MP Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed, who is also Selangor BN deputy election director. (Bernama) 

Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak is confident Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can retain Kedah in Election 2013, despite Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s influence and in-fighting among PAS leaders in the country’s rice-bowl state. The influential retired prime minister is seen working hard helping Barisan Nasional (BN) regain Kedah, as rumours are rife that a victory will make his son, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the coalition’s choice for Azizan’s job as the Kedah mentri besar. 
  • “As far as I know, while I was the Kedah PAS commissioner, Mahathir has absolutely no impact,” said Azizan in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider recently.“This is because people are angry at him... Mahathir, his time is over. It’s gone. I should know, I’m the head of Kedah,” he added. (Malaysianinsider)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 March 2013

CIMB Malaysian Economic News - 29 March 2013

A total of 63,000 civil servants who are employed on temporary or contract basis will also enjoy the various benefits provided under the Social Security Organisation (Socso) effective 1 May. Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the government made the decision to ensure that the welfare of the workers and their family members would also be safeguarded under the Employment Injury Insurance Scheme and Invalidity Pension similar to those enjoyed by private sector employees. The government would spend RM30m each year with the expansion of the scheme, he said. (Bernama) 

The Malaysian government is confident that the Electrical and Electronic (E&E) 2.0 is well poised to achieve its target, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said. He emphasised that the government's focus on the 2020 target as originally outlined in 2010 would be maintained, which is to achieve RM53.4bn in Gross National Income (GNI) and to create 157,000 jobs in the sector. 
  • To give impetus to E&E 2.0, the government has identified five new projects or entry point projects (EPPs) to support the industry. 
  • Among the EPPs are systems for solar photovoltaic industry, embedded systems industry, electric vehicle component manufacturing and the nanotechnology industry, he said. (Bernama)

The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) will allocate an initial loan fund of RM20m for trainees in construction skills courses through the Skill Development Fund Corporation (PTPK). CIDB chief executive Datuk Seri Judin Abdul Karim said that a total of RM72m is allocated for training in the construction industry this year, including for acquiring construction machinery simulators. (BT) 

Hotels in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau experienced a 35% drop in business during the standoff in Lahad Datu, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. "The drop was expected. Some 800 tourists cancelled their tour packages to Sabah," she said. She added a task force that will use aggressive programmes had been formed to revive the tourism industry in the state. (The Star)

Petronas will likely maintain its yearly cash infusion to the federal government, despite the national oil firm recently proposing a lower dividend of RM27bn amid lower profits last year. PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that he wanted to increase the country’s sources of revenue, but did not indicate that there would be changes in the RM30bn dividend that Petronas has been paying the government over the past four years. (Malaysian Insider) 

Banking institutions are operating in a more regulatory environment, which has not only impacted on the importance of risk functions but also the business itself, according to a new survey conducted by Institute of Bankers Malaysia (IBBM) and KPMG, titled “Internal Audit Matters: Risk Management”. The survey reaffirms the view that banks that instilled a strong risk governance framework and culture fared much better in the downturn. The survey findings reflect a need for collaboration between risk management and internal audit functions to upscale internal auditors’ competency in various risk areas. (Malaysian Insider) 

The Financial Stability Board's (FSB) Asian regional consultative group (RCG) has formed a working group to study the continent's shadow banking sector and its implication on the financial system, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. The consultative group would compare Asia's shadow banking profile with its global peers to better understand these institutions in order to draw some policy recommendations. A report by RCG is expected to be released in Sep, she said. (Financial Daily) 

Defense Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday 24 deals involving defence assets and services worth RM4.2bn have been signed between the ministry, local and international defence firms and the Pahang state government at the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2013. These include six government contracts, three letters of acceptance by the ministry, 11 memorandums of agreements and four memorandums of understanding. (Malaysian Reserve) 

Malaysia has become the third biggest investor in Africa after France and the US, PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said. Malaysia was also ahead of China in terms of the size of its foreign direct investments (FDIs) into Africa, he said. (Bernama)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 March 2013

CIMB Global Economic News - 29 March 2013

US after-tax corporate profits moderated to 13.3% yoy in 4Q12 after achieving a 17.9% growth in 3Q12. (Bloomberg) 

US real GDP grew 0.4% qoq SAAR in 4Q12 in the third estimate from the second estimate of 0.1% (3.1% in 3Q12). This underperforms consensus of 0.6%. The GDP price index rose 1.0% qoq SAAR from the second estimate of 0.9%, higher than consensus of 0.9%. (Bloomberg) 

US President Barack Obama will unveil his long-awaited budget for the fiscal year 2014 on 10 Apr, two months after he was required by law to do so. (AFP) 

US jobless claims rose 16,000 in the 23 Mar week to 357,000 from a revised 341,000 in the prior week. Economists were expecting a reading of 340,000. (Bloomberg) 

The world's biggest economies are slowly recovering from a late 2012 slowdown, with Japan and the United States leading the way ahead of a struggling, two-speed eurozone, the OECD said in a near-term of assessment of G7 nations. 
  • Emerging economies were tipped to remain by far the strongest growth performers, with China expected to expand by well more than 8.0% in 1H13. 
  • The OECD forecast that the full Group of Seven (G7) most industrialised economies will grow by 2.4% yoy in 1Q13 and by 1.8% in the second, expressing confidence that new anti-deflationary policies in Japan would help the nation accelerate from "low levels". (AFP)

China’s industrial profits increased 17.2% in the year to date in Feb from 5.3% in Jan. (Bloomberg) 

Australia’s private sector credit rose 0.2% mom in Feb (0.2% in Jan), slightly below expectations of a 0.3% increase. (Bloomberg) 

South Korea slashed its economic growth forecast for this year to 2.3% from a Dec estimate of 3%, citing a continued slump in export markets and a weak Japanese yen. (AFP) 

India’s current account deficit for 4Q12 was US$32.6bn or 6.7% of GDP, compared with a revised US$22.6bn gap from Jul through Sep. The median estimate was for a deficit of US$30.7bn. (Bloomberg) 

Taiwan’s central bank left the benchmark interest rate at 1.875% in line with forecasts. (Bloomberg) 

Indonesia’s measure of broad money supply growth climbed to 15% in Feb from 14.4% in Jan. (Bloomberg)

Singapore’s broad money supply (M2) growth quickened to 9.7% yoy in Feb from 8.5% in Jan. Loan growth also picked up to 19.6% yoy (18.3% in Jan). (Bloomberg) 

Electricity tariffs in Singapore will go up by an average 1.5% for the next quarter of this year starting on 1 Apr. (Bloomberg) 

Thailand’s manufacturing production fell 1.2% yoy in Feb (+10.2% in Jan), below market expectations of a 3.5% increase. Capacity utilisation shrunk from 67% in Jan to 62.9% in Feb. (Bloomberg) 

Thailand’s exports fell 5.8% yoy in Feb (+16.1% in Jan) while imports gained 5.3% (+40.9% in Jan). The trade deficit narrowed to US$1.557bn from US$5.487bn in Jan. (Bloomberg)

CIMB Daybreak - 29 March 2013

What's on the Table...

  • Gamuda - Near-term positives priced in

News of the Day...

  • Affin not buying Bank Muamalat
  • Dialog Axiata, will roll out the countryfs first mobile 4G LTE network in Sri Lanka
  • The new low-cost carrier terminal, KLIA2 is 82% completed, ready to start by end-Jun
  • Petronas Gas is considering setting up a RM5bn Islamic bond programme
  • US jobless claims rose 16,000 in the 23 Mar week to 357,000 (341,000 prior week)
  • US real GDP grew 0.4% qoq SAAR in 4Q12

Click here for the full PDF report 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Nusajaya to enjoy boost from DRH

Destination Resorts and Hotels (DRH) has two new premier developments worth more than RM400m in its investment portfolio. They are the Traders Hotel and Little Red Cube, a lifestyle and family entertainment complex in Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya. DRH was established by Khazanah Nasional. Managing director Nadziruddin Basri said Little Red Cube and Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour are expected to create 1,000 jobs and contribute to the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 target of 500,000 visitors. According to DRH, it has formed a strategic partnership with Shangri-La Group to operate Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour. It will be the first international hotel brand in Nusajaya and is set to open by the second quarter of this year. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

BAuto to raise RM57.9m via IPO

Berjaya Auto plans to raise RM57.9m via its IPO exercise by offering 82.8m new shares or 10.31% of its enlarged issued and paid-up capital at an issue price of 70 sen each. Of the proceeeds, RM25.6m will be used for working capital, RM15m for investment in the local assembly operations of Mazda, RM7.5m for its finance capex and RM9.8m for repayment of bank borrowings. Post-listing, BAuto's major shareholder will still be BCorp with a 75.4% stake. (Financial Daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Nam Cheong sells six vessels worth US$72.1m

Nam Cheong has sold six vessels worth US$72.1m to two of its existing customers. Nam Cheong executive director Leong Seng Keat said in the first three months of this year, the company has seen robust sales, which is an indication of the strong momentum of the industry in the region and globally. "With the contract win, our order book to date stands at RM1.3 billion." He said the six vessels were all of American Bureau of Shipping class and will be built at the company's sub-contracted yard in China. (Bernama)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

MedcoEnergi. Puncak Niaga cooperate in O&G field development

PT Medco Energi Internasional TBK, an Indonesia-based oil and gas company, has signed a deal with Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, to cooperate in O&G field development. Medco said the agreement also includes cooperation in risk service contract projects in Malaysia as well as other exploration and production opportunities in Asean. "The two companies will jointly carry out the evaluation and study of technical data and commercial assessment regarding the viability of opportunities identified. The agreement is also expected to further develop a shared knowledge and collaborative effort between the two companies," Medco said. (Malaysian Reserve)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

APFT gets green light for merger plan

APFT Bhd gets approval from Bank Negara Malaysia for its proposed merger with Metro Money Exchange Sdn Bhd and Precious Region Sdn Bhd. The merged company will carry on wholesale foreign currency, money exchange and money remittance business. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

PJI unit wins RM207.09m Sunsea deal

PJI Holdings Bhd won a RM207m construction project in Kota Kinabalu , Sabah, from Sunsea Development Sdn Bhd. PJI said the contract was awarded to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kejuteraan Trolka Sdn Bhd, to build and complete remaining works for the proposed commercial development of a three-storey shopping podium, basement and a seven-storey designer suite block. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Privatisation offer for KSK

KSK Group Bhd (formerly known as Kurnia Asia Bhd) major shareholder Tan Sri Kua Sian Kooi has requested the company undertake a selective capital repayment (SCR) and repayment exercise. Kua, who is also the executive chairman of the group, had proposed the SCR entail a capital repayment of a proposed cash amount of 65 sen per ordinary share of 25 each in KSK held by the entitled shareholders of KSK on an entitlement date to be determined later. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Toyo Ink Group gets Vietnam's nod for power plant project

Toyo Ink Group has received the Vietnam Government's approval to be the project investor of the Song Hau 2 thermal power plant under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade and several government agencies would negotiate and sign an MoU with Toyo Ink on the project under the BOT basis. The ministry and agencies would also guide Toyo Ink on the work performance and investment preparations as well as invest and negotiate contracts of the project. It said the ministry would inform the Prime Minister to consider and approve the treating mechanism of projects according to BOT or as an independent power plant. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

GK Goh founder buys into E&O

Singapore-based GKG Investments Holdings Pte Ltd (GK Goh) seems to be fond of holding a substantial stake in Eastern & Oriental Bhd, judging by its continuous buying interest in the property developer. According to filings with Bursa Malaysia, GK Goh has been accumulating E&O shares since last May, shortly after the investment holding company hived off a 9.5% stake in the property company to Sime Darby Bhd at a premium of RM2.30. Having pocketed RM193.2m cash from the sale of 84 million shares to Sime Darby, GK Goh has so far brought back some 16.91m shares, or a 1.53% stake, in E&O on the open market since last May. (Financial Daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Perodua to launch new A-segment family car to cater for energy efficient vehicles

Perodua will be launching a new A-segment family car to cater to the energy efficient vehicle market, said MD Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh. The car is a low-cost vehicle with economical fuel consumption and spacious compartments. "We are targeting to sell a minimum of 4,000 to 5,000 units per month" Perodua will announce the launch of the new EEV when possible. (Financial Daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

BHIC to maintain Eurocopter helicopters used by M’sian agencies

Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation's (BHIC) subsidiary will maintain the helicopters manufactured by Eurocopter under a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre deal. BHIC said on Wednesday its subsidiary BHIC Aeroservices Sdn Bhd (BHICAS) was appointed as the approved MRO centre for Eurocopter. BHIC managing director Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor said BHICAS would become Eurocopter's exclusive approved MRO centre to maintain the Malaysian Government owned helicopters. He said these helicopters were those in service with the air force (EC725), navy (Fennec AS555SN) and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Dauphin AS365N3). The MRO centre agreement will be valid for three years and might be extended for successive two-year periods. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

PNB expecting higher dividends from investments this year

PNB expects better dividends from companies it had invested in this year on the backdrop of a buoyant economy in the region, said chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji. PNB is presently invested in more than 200 companies locally which are present in varied sectors such as finance, construction, plantation and property. (Star)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Timely for British Airways and Qantas to return to KLIA

Three legacy carriers are making a comeback to the KL International Airport (KLIA) over the next two months with one returning after three decades to tap into the pent up demand for air services. And their comeback could also trigger the return of two more airlines - British Airways (BA) and Qantas. 
  • The three legacy carriers are Air France, which is returning after 30 years, Turkish Airlines and Philippines Airlines (PAL), both coming back after a 10-year absence. Those in the know claimed that BA officials were in Kuala Lumpur recently to check out the facilities and were in talks with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) officials. What transpired was not clear, but they said that BA had been exploring, and they did not discount a return sooner, if not, by 2015. 
  • “It could be this or next year, if not 2015. It is waiting for some of its existing arrangements with other airlines to lapse before flying into KLIA,” said a source. The growth in Asean is forcing most of these legacy carriers to re-look at their Asian strategy as some markets are registering double-digit passenger traffic growth. 
  • A lot of pent up demand in Malaysia is being served as airlines put in more capacity, so the return now would make more sense than previously as the justification that transit traffic is necessary is more evident now than previously, said the source. 
  • India's Spicejet and Indigo are also keen, and Jet Airways which pulled out less than a year ago, may also return. The main routes - New Delhi and Mumbai - are currently only served by MAS. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Talisman gives priority to locals

Talisman, a global and diversified upstream oil & gas company headquartered in Canada, says it is committed to providing employment opportunities to national staff in all the locations it operates in. 
  • Vice president and country manager for Talisman Malaysia Ron Aston said in Malaysia, the majority of its workforce, numbering around 800 permanent or contract staff, consists of Malaysians. 
  • He added that in May last year, Talisman was awarded a new production sharing contract (PSC) - the Kinabalu Oil PSC - for the continued development and recovery from the Kinabalu Field which had previously been operated by Shell. 
  • Under the terms of the PSC, Talisman and Petronas Carigali are committed to investing around US$1bn on the field through an extensive programme of rejuvenation and redevelopment aimed at fully realising the recovery potential of the field. (Bernama)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

TM, Bertam Prop ink high speed broadband pact

Telekom Malaysia and Penang-based property developer Bertam Properties Sdn Bhd yesterday inked an agreement that will see the deployment and provision of TM's high speed broadband (HSBB) network infrastructure and services to the developer's latest residential development, Bertam Lakeside. Through the agreement, TM will provide HSBB services, namely UniFi, at the new housing project, where residents will enjoy a triple play service of high speed Internet, video and voice calls via fibre technology. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Indonesia Keeps April Palm Oil Export Tax at 10.5%

Indonesia Keeps April Palm Oil Export Tax at 10.5%. Base price for crude palm oil export will be cut to $780/t, the trade ministry says. (Bloomberg)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

Concerns that without higher offer price MISC buyout proposal may fail

MISC's stock price, which had fallen below the RM5.30 buyout price rebounded yesterday to end the day at RM5.34. The concern though is that without a higher price, the deal could fall through considering the views expressed by the EPF which owns a 9.6% stake in MISC. EPF's chief executive Tan Sri Azlan Zainol has spoken out asking for a higher price than the RM5.30 per share offered which is at 1.1x MISC's book value. MISC's other big minority shareholder is Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputra with a 6.35% stake. Since the offer is conditional upon getting this 90% acceptance, the offer will lapse if Petronas does not get that level of acceptance. The Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group has come out to say that the RM5.30 offer price by Petronas is "not compelling enough". Its chief executive, Rita Benoy Bushon said that "Petronas might do well to consider putting a larger carrot on the stick if its intention is to fully take MISC private." (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

EPF is probing the reason for the sales of 1.5m MISC shares in the open market

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is probing the reason for the sales of 1.494m MISC shares, weeks after its CEO Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said Petronas should raise its buy-out price for the national shipping company. "The selling of the MISC shares were done by one of our external portfolio managers and was not from our internally-managed portfolio," EPF public relations general manager Nik Affendi Jaafar said in a statement. As such, he said the EPF is following up with the fund manager concerned to ascertain the reason for the shares were sold, adding a total of 3.99mn shares were sold between March 12-15. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

CIMB Political News - 28 March 2013

Previously speculated dates for the dissolution of Parliament have come and gone, and The Star's Executive Director/Group Chief Editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai reckons there are several reasons why the Prime Minister is still waiting. In an interview with SwitchUp TV's election programme, he said the ongoing unrest in Lahad Datu was most likely Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's paramount concern. "No one had expected that there would be this kind of intrusion from the Filipino militants. "Even as the police are mopping up the area, we can still read of some shooting every now and then," Wong told host Anne Edwards in the taping of the show GE13: The Showdown. 
  • He added that with a number of parliamentary and state seats affected by the intrusion, it would be impossible for politicians to go there to campaign effectively.At the same time, Wong said it looked like there were still several more programmes and policies up Najib's sleeve that he may have yet to announce.
  •  "Najib would have completed four years in office by April 3. He is a very methodological person, he likes to follow things a certain way, he's very punctual and meticulous and he has said that he wants to complete many things before the dissolution. (Star)

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed shock that there was a plot to assassinate him when he was prime minister. However, he is ready to forgive former life PAS party member Zainon Ismail, who confessed recently that he was involved in a plot to assassinate Dr Mahathir in 1988. Dr Mahathir said, "I was shocked to hear that somebody had actually wanted to assassinate me when I was prime minister. While I was holding office, I had few security and bodyguards around me and I was free to go anywhere." (Star)

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can win seven states in Election 2013, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has said, predicting that the federal opposition could improve on its historic win of five states in the 2008 elections. In 2008, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and five states — Penang, Selangor, Kelantan, Kedah and Perak — to PKR, DAP, PAS, the three parties that later formed PR.
  • In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Lim said that it was possible for PR to retain its hold on the four states and regain Perak, a state which it lost after a few PR state assemblymen defected. But he appeared to admit that PAS’ hold on Kedah was not as firm, amid past reports that there was infighting within the administration there. 
  • The DAP parliamentary leader said PR would be able to win Negeri Sembilan and Perlis, once again expressing the pact’s hope to wrest control of Putrajaya. In 2008, PR had won 15 out of 36 state seats in Negeri Sembilan and would only need to gain four more to take the state, Sin Chew reported 
  • Despite his positive prediction, Lim said he saw BN and PR’s chances of winning as level, with the former having the upper hand. (Malaysianinsider)

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has warned that nascent reforms cannot be done “overnight” and that Malaysia’s economy risks slipping backwards if he does not win a strong majority in an election he must call within weeks. Najib said a reduced parliamentary majority could weaken his drive to curb Malaysia’s budget deficit and raise investment, and even cost him his job. “A strong government is necessary for us to accelerate the process of transformation in this country,” says Najib. (Reuters)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

CIMB Malaysian Economic News - 28 March 2013

Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) CEO, Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid stressed that the MRT project was currently progressing well and was not experiencing any labour shortage. He said the All Work Package Contractors for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line had not indicated any concern with the supply of labour, both local and foreign. Around 12,000 workers are expected to be employed for the overall construction of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line, he added. (Bernama)

The government will include widows and widowers of armed forces veterans in the 1Malaysia Non-Pensionable Veterans Contribution (SVTB1M), in appreciation of the deeds of their husbands or wives. Nevertheless, it was subject to service conditions applicable to these veterans. (Bernama) 

Malaysians believe that the government's initiative to build 123,000 affordable homes under the Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) is a step in the right direction to address rising property prices in the country. According to a recent Consumer Sentiment Survey conducted by Malaysia's online property portal,, almost three out of four respondents wanted the government to take further steps in ensuring affordability in the local property prices. About 67% of the respondents agreed that amendments to My First Home Scheme would also help in providing affordable housing in the country. (Bernama) 

Malaysia expects double-digit growth in bilateral trade with Australia this year from RM43.72bn last year, with the extensive implementation of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA). Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) CEO Datuk Dr Wong Lai Sum said MAFTA, which came into force in Jan, would further boost bilateral trade between both countries, which have been posting double-digit growth in two-way since 2010. For the first two months this year, Matrade has seen a jump in Malaysian exports to Australia, especially in consumer electronics, cocoa, palm oil and their derivatives, she said. (Bernama) 

Talks are under way to clinch more deals in strengthening Malaysia's aerospace industry, said Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) CEO, Datuk Noharuddin Nordin. MIDA was in the midst of discussions with six companies in the areas of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) as well as engine and components manufacturing, he said. The deals could involve multi-billion ringgit investments and talks were in advanced stages, he added. "I can't name the companies MIDA is in talks with because some are listed. They are from the US, France, UK and Japan," he said. (Bernama)

No foreign investors have withdrawn from Penang, said InvestPenang director Datuk Lee Kah Choon. “We are still a location of choice for foreign and domestic investors,” he said. As proof, Lee said Boon Siew Honda Sdn Bhd, VAT Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Bose Systems Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Malaysian Automotive Lighting Sdn Bhd are opening facilities at the Batu Kawan industrial park this year. These manufacturing facilities are expected to provide about 2,500 jobs. (Malaysian Insider) 

The construction of Bosch Solar Energy’s proposed crystalline photovoltaic (PV) plant was halted, InvestPenang director Datuk Lee Kah Choon said the situation was unavoidable as the Bosch solar energy division had reported €1bn in losses in 2012. There were 35 bankruptcies and 50 downsizing in the PV industry last year, Lee pointed out. Bosch had signed a sale and purchase agreement for a 87-acre plot in Batu Kawan in 2011 for the PV project, but the project investment of RM2.2bn had not been recorded by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority. “Bosch is looking at other businesses to be built on the Batu Kawan site so we will discuss this in April,” Lee said. (Malaysian Insider)

Malaysia more than halved its poverty statistics over the past three years, bringing down the number of poor people to 108,000 nationwide, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said Wednesday. He said the achievement, made possible by the Government's efforts to raise the country's overall household income and keep inflation down, also brought down the overall poverty rate to 1.7% in 2012, compared with 3.8% in 2009.
  • With this achievement, the target under the 10th Malaysia Plan to reduce overall poverty to 2% in 2015 has been achieved three years earlier. 
  • Bumiputeras saw a decline in poverty levels from 5.3% in 2009 to 2.2% in 2012, poverty among the Chinese reduced from 0.6% in 2009 to 0.3% in 2012 while poverty among Indians dropped from 2.5% to 1.8% in 2012. 
  • Urban poverty had declined from 1.7% in 2009 to 1% in 2012, whereas poverty in rural areas also declined from 8.4% to 3.4% in 2012. 
  • The national average household income increased from RM4,045 in 2009 to RM5,000 last year. 
  • The average Bumiputera household income also grew by 6.9% p.a. to RM4,457 per month in 2012, whereas Chinese and Indian households increased by 8% and 9% annually to RM6,366 and RM5,233, respectively. 
  • Urban household income recorded a 6.6% increase from RM4,705 monthly in 2009 to RM5,742 in 2012 while households in rural areas had shown similar increase with a 6.4% rise from RM2,545 in 2009 to RM3,080 in 2012. (NST, The Star)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

CIMB Global Economic News - 28 March 2013

US farm prices gained 1.5% mom in Mar (-9.2% in Feb). (Bloomberg) 

US pending home sales fell 0.4% mom in Feb (a revised +3.8% in Jan), better than consensus of -0.7%. (Bloomberg) 

The US MBA purchase applications index gained 7.0% wow in the 22 Mar week (-4.0% in the earlier week), whilst the refinance index rose 8.0% wow (-8.0% in the prior week). (Bloomberg) 

Cyprus’s banks will open their doors to customers today for the first time in almost two weeks, with new rules curbing access to cash, including a €300 (US$383) daily limit on withdrawals and restrictions on transfers to accounts outside the country. (Bloomberg) 

The chief executive of the Bank of Cyprus, the island's biggest lender, has been sacked by the central bank governor as part of an international bailout deal. Yiannis Kypri was fired on the instructions of the so-called troika of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. (AFP) 

Leaders from BRICS nations approved a US$100bn fund to combat currency crises, while failing to reach agreement on financing for a development bank. Officials didn’t provide details today on how the currency fund will operate. (Bloomberg) 

Emerging market giants Brazil and China agreed to exchange up to US$30bn of each other's currency, in a bid to lessen the impact of financial crises. The funds could be used to back trade even if dollars became difficult to source in the event of a crisis like the 2008 banking meltdown. (AFP) 

Economic growth in China faces mounting headwinds and could fade dramatically in the years ahead due to declining productivity and an aging population, according to a US Federal Reserve study. Trend growth could slow gradually to around 6.5% by 2030, or it could break much more sharply to a pace under 1% if forces undermining economic activity combine in a "worst-case scenario," according to the study. Over the past decade, China's economy grew on average around 10% a year. (Starbiz) 

China changes its system for setting petrol and diesel prices to more closely track refiners' crude costs. China will review fuel prices every 10 working days based on the average cost of a basket of crudes, down from 22 days previously, and a threshold for triggering a revision will be abolished, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said. The NDRC also cut petrol and diesel prices for the first time in four months, effective yesterday. (Bloomberg) 

The People's Bank of China said that it signed the agreement to enable the South African central bank to invest in the Chinese local debt market, but gave no details about the size of the investment programme. This is another step to opening up capital markets and increasing international use of the yuan currency. (Starbiz)

The European Commission’s key confidence index in Mar fell 1.1 pts from Feb to 90 pts, reflecting a downturn in the manufacturing and service sectors. Manufacturing confidence shed 1.2 pts in Mar while services, the major part of the economy and which had been on the rise since Oct, lost 1.4 pts on concerns over future orders. Consumer confidence edged up 0.1 pt, reflecting a slightly more positive view on employment prospects. (AFP) 

The Bank of Japan is likely to start open-ended asset purchases immediately rather than in 2014 and consider setting a new target to buy longer-dated bonds at its rate review next week, sources say, in a show of resolve to revive the economy under a new leadership. The central bank is scheduled to review policy on 3-4 Apr, the first meeting led by new Bank of Japan (BoJ) governor Haruhiko Kuroda. Sources familiar with BoJ thinking say it is likely to increase the amount of assets it buys and to extend the duration of bonds it targets to five years or even longer, from the current three years. (Starbiz) 

Australia plans to scrap the panel that sets its benchmark interbank borrowing rate, becoming the first major developed economy to replace its rate-setting regime after the global Libor-rigging scandal. (Bloomberg) Vietnam’s retail sales in the year to Mar rose 11.7% yoy (10.9% in Feb). (Bloomberg) 

Industrial output in Vietnam climbed 5.6% yoy in Mar after slumping 10.1% in Feb. (Bloomberg) 

Vietnam’s economy expanded 4.89% yoy in the first three months of the year. That compares with a previously reported 5.44% pace in the last quarter of 2012 and the median estimate of 5.2%. Growth in the first quarter of 2012 was revised to 4.75%. (Bloomberg) 

Fitch Ratings raised the Philippines' key long-term foreign currency issuer default ratings to 'BBB-', or investment grade, from 'BB+', citing the nation’s resilient economy and improved fiscal management. (AFP) 

Broad money supply growth in the Philippines eased to 9.9% yoy in Feb from 10.2% in Jan. Credit growth inched lower to 16.6% yoy (16.9% in Jan), better than forecasts of 14.5%. (Bloomberg)

CIMB Daybreak - 28 March 2013

What’s on the Table...

  • Dialog Group - All’s well in Balai
  • Shipping Monitor - Bulk rates recover from lows

News of the Day...

  • EPF is probing the reason for the sales of 1.5m MISC shares in the open market
  • Indonesia Keeps April Palm Oil Export Tax at 10.5%
  • Perodua to launch new A-segment family car to cater for energy efficient vehicles
  • Berjaya Auto plans to raise RM57.9m via its IPO exercise
  • US pending home sales fell 0.4% mom in Feb (a revised +3.8% in Jan)
  • Cyprus’s banks will open to customers today for the first time in almost two weeks

Click here for the full PDF report 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Former Axis adviser charged with four counts of furnishing Bursa with false statements

A former Axis Incorporation Bhd adviser has claimed trial in the Sessions Court here to supplying false company income information to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd. Lee Koon Huat, 58, was charged with four counts of furnishing Bursa Malaysia with false statements in the form of condensed consolidated income statements for Axis.The alleged offences occurred at the offices of Bursa Malaysia Securities at Bukit Kewangan here between Aug-2006 and May-2008. (Starbiz)

Spice plans to expand footprint in Malaysia

Spice Global Group, the Indian conglomerate with interests in telecom, technology, entertainment and finance globally, has plans to expand its footprint in Malaysia. The company is in talks with banking and healthcare sector players in Malaysia for a strategic alliance, a move aimed at gaining access to the large South-East Asian market. Spice Global is in talks with Maybank and Bank Islam for potential strategic partnerships for its proposed banking business. It is also in talks with IHH Healthcare. (Malaysian Reserve)

Two shareholders of Kamdar Group calling EGM to remove three directors

Two shareholders of Kamdar Group (M) Bhd, who collectively hold not less than one-tenth of the issued share capital of the company, are calling for an EGM to remove three directors and appoint two new ones. The textile retailer said in a filing with the stock exchange yesterday that it had received a letter from Bipinchandra Balvantrai and Gautam Kamdar Bipinchandra, proposing to remove Kamal Kumar Kishorchandra Kamdar, Rajesh Kumar Gejinder Nath and Liang Ah Wah @ Frank Liang from the board with immediate effect. 
  • The two shareholders are proposing to appoint Jugal Kishor Shivlal and Megat Abdul Munir Megat Abdul Rafaei to the board with immediate effect. The EGM is slated to be held on May 2. 
  • With a presence in almost all the states in Malaysia as well as Brunei, Kamdar is well-known for its extensive range and quality of garment and textile products. (Starbiz)

Perodua expands parts distribution ops centre

Perodua has expanded its parts distribution operations centre to a larger facility in Kota Kinabalu to better serve its customers in Sabah and Sarawak via faster delivery time for parts as well as a larger inventory. The new centre will allow Perodua to increase the number of line items by 300% to 6,600 units to effectively increase the total stock value by 329% to RM1.2m. "With this centre fully operational we are targeting an annual growth of 26% (for Sabah)," managing director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said. (StarBiz)

George Kent's project terminated

George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd said its 19% associate company, PNG Water Ltd, has been notified by Eda Ranu that its concession agreement for a water project in Papua New Guinea has been terminated. In 1997, PNG Water had entered into a 22-year concession agreement with NCD Water & Sewerage Pty Ltd for a water concession business in Port Moresby. The concession was supposed to expire in 2019. 
  • As part of the deal, George Kent (PNG) Ltd, a wholly-owned unit of George Kent, was awarded a sub-contract with Celtex No. 15 Pty Ltd to operate and maintain the Port Moresby water treatment plant, also for 22 years. George Kent said Eda Ranu did not indicate in the notice of termination any compensation proposal for early termination of the concession agreement and the sub-contract. (BT)

Toyo Ink to be suspended from trading today

Toyo Ink Group Bhd’s shares will be suspended from trading today, pending a material announcement to the stock exchange, the company (BT)

Bursa rejects Ayer Molek's delisting appeal

Bursa Malaysia has dismissed The Ayer Molek Rubber Company Bhd’s appeal from being delisted from the stock exchange until the Federal Court decides on Ayer Molek’s claim for the return of the 287.7ha in Segamat, which the company says is central to its regularisation plan. (BT)

OSK: MGO exemption for Ekovest boss is 'fair and reasonable'

OSK Investment Bank, in its independent advice to minority shareholders, has said that the proposed exemption sought by Ekovest Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo and parties acting in concert from undertaking a mandatory general offer (MGO) for the remaining shares in the company was "fair and reasonable". The investment bank said the proposed exemption would allow Lim and the others to increase their stake from 42.12% to 66.13% without having to extend the MGO. Ekovest had announced that it would issue 126.72m shares in return for 100% shares in Wira Kristal Sdn Bhd, which Lim and Datuk Haris Onn Hussein are the owners. OSK noted that the proposed exemption would facilitate the acquisition of Wira Kristal Sdn Bhd. Wira Kristal owns 70% of Nuzen Corp Sdn Bhd, which in turn owns a 34-year concession for the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (Duke). (StarBiz)

Bolton changed its name to Symphony Life Berhad

The Board of Directors of Bolton announced that the Company has on 26 March 2013 received the Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name of the Company (Form 13) dated 22 Mar 13 issued by the Companies Commission of Malaysia Pursuant to the above and in accordance with Section 23(2) of the Companies Act, 1965, the Company has changed its name from Bolton Berhad to Symphony Life Berhad with effect from 22 Mar 13. (BMSB)

ECS inks deal with CA Technologies

ECS ICT (ECS), has inked a deal with CA Technologies to distribute the latter's data management solutions in Malaysia. CA Technologies provides information technology (IT) management solutions that help customers manage and secure complex IT environments to support agile business services. In a joint statement, CA Technology and ECS said this deal will see ECS' wholly-owned subsidiary ECS Astar Sdn Bhd become an authorised distributor of CA ARCserve data protection and CA ERwin data modelling software. It said CA ARCserve data protection solutions simplify backup and disaster recovery for physical and virtual server environments, helping to ensure business continuity. (Bernama)

UPECA bags RM763m contract from UTC

UPECA Aerotech Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian-based aerospace manufacturer, has secured a contract worth RM763m from US-based company UTC Aerospace Systems to produce precision machined components for fan cowl assemblies over the next 17 years. UTC Aerospace's aerostructures business unit developed the fan cowl for the General Electric and Rolls-Royce engines on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the fan cowl for the Airbus A350 XWB. UPECA Technologies Sdn Bhd COO Eugene Ang said the contract, the company's biggest to date, makes it the single-source manufacturer of these parts worldwide. (BT, Bernama)

Aerospace grew 9.4pc in 2012

Malaysia's aerospace industry last year grew 9.4% to RM30.3bn compared to 2011 and contributed 3.23% to the country's gross domestic product (GDP). According to Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology's (Might) Aerospace Industry Report, the turnover was backed by the vibrant airline activities particularly the low-cost carriers, the expansion of aerospace manufacturing businesses and the positive development in the airport sub-sector. "The industry's positive development is also a result of the execution of investment projects including the Eurocopter, BHIC Aeroservices and Sepang Aircraft Engineering," Might said. (BT, Bernama)

MCCC seeks collaboration with Media Prima

Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) is looking to collaborate with Media Prima for publicity and advertising its event. MCCC President Datuk Bong Hon Liong said as a media powerhouse in Malaysia, Media Prima could offer various platform and potential for business group. 
  • "Annually, we organise more than 100 trade events in Malaysia and China and we are looking forward to work together with Media Prima as the company can offer various platforms to publicise our events," he told reporters after the corporate luncheon with Media Prima group here today. He said the cooperation with Media Prima would allow MCCC to attract more participants in its events. (Bernama)

SKPETRO set up a unit in Brunei

SapuraKencana Petroleum has set up a unit in Brunei known as SapuraKencana (B) Sdn Bhd. The unit is expected to be utilised to assist SapuraKencana's future strategic plans in Brunei. (BMSB)

SC approves Sunway unit's medium term note programme

Sunway Velocity Mall (SVM), a 59% owned subsidiary of Sunway City which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sunway, had received authorisation from the Securities Commission to establish a Medium Term Note Programme for the issuance of unrated medium term notes (MTN) of up to RM1.0bn in nominal value. (BMSB)

DRB-Hicom, Saab AB ink MoU on industrial cooperation

DRB-Hicom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sweden's Saab AB that will outline an industrial cooperation to look into areas of technology and expertise transfer to Malaysia. DRB-Hicom said the MoU broadens and deepens the existing relationship between the two companies which already signed an Industrial Cooperation Teaming Agreement at Lima 2011 to collaborate on an Airborne Early Warning and Control System. DRB-Hicom said through the MoU both parties have agreed to explore the various areas of cooperation that include the design and manufacture of advanced composite systems and components for military and commercial aerospace applications, composite repair technology, and system integration of electronic warfare, avionics and other airborne systems. (Bernama)

Kuok raises stake in Shangri-La Hotels unit

Robert Kuok, Malaysia's richest man according to Forbes, has increased his equity stake in locally listed Shangri-La Hotels, according to stock exchange filings late on Monday. The luxury hotels chain said Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, a family investment vehicle of Kuok, bought a 22.2% stake or 98m shares in Shangri-La from Standard Chartered Private Equity Ltd on March 20. The purchase raised Kuok's interest, via Kuok Brothers and Hong Kong-listed Shangri-La Asia Ltd, in Shangri-La to 74.98% from 52.78%, raising the possibility of an offer for the outstanding shares. (StarBiz)

EPF sold 1.494m MISC shares

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) sold 1.494m MISC Bhd shares, just weeks after its outgoing CEO, Tan Sri Azlan Zainol, said Petronas should raise its buyout price for the national shipping company. Based on the Malaysian Code on Takeovers and Mergers 2010, the offer price of RM5.30 was "not fair", as the indicative SOPV of the MISC Group was above the offer price. The buyout, if successful, will remove the close to RM20bn company in market capitalisation from Bursa Malaysia, making it one of the largest privatisation deals in recent times. (BT)

S&P sees Malaysia leading sukuk

Malaysia is dominating global sales of sukuk in 2013 and Standard & Poor’s forecasts the trend will continue this year even as national elections loom. Issuance in the Southeast Asian currency may account for more than 74% of worldwide offerings, compared with 49% in 2008, Rajiv Vishwanathan, associate director for corporate and infrastructure ratings at S&P in Singapore, said in a March 20 interview.
  • Global sales of Shariah-compliant notes, including government securities, may exceed US$100bn in 2013 after rising 64% to US$138bn last year, according to a 11 Mar report from the company. (Bloomberg, BT)

Tony look forward to new airport KLIA2 in 3 months

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, on his official Twitter page, stated that he conducted a monthly night time walk around the LCCT, stating, "Amazing how we survived here. Look forward to new airport KLIA2 in 3 months. The Car park is very poorly lit I don't see any car park shuttles". He also tweeted, "I'm at lcct. The taxi q is a disgrace" and "The Taxi Q has nothing to do with AirAsia but its a bad show". (CAPA)