Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Board changes in KNM as ratings withdrawn

KNM Group saw some boardroom changes as MARC removed the company's sukuk programme from a negative ratings watch. This was done following the lapse of the SC's approval to extend the proposed implementation of the sukuk programme on 20 Apr as no issuance had taken place and the cancellation of the facility. 

Separately, the company announced the re-designation of founder and major shareholder Lee Swee Eng as CEO. He was previously executive chairman and CEO. Datuk Ab Halim Mohyiddin was appointed the new chairman. Another appointee was Datuk Dr Khalid Ngah as independent non-executive director. (Edge Daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

CPO futures fall

CPO futures dropped further yesterday on news that Indonesia would be cutting its export tax on CPO next month. The CPO futures contract for July dropped 2% to RM2,294 per tonne, closing for the first time below the RM2,300 level this year. This came about following news that CPO exports from Malaysia would fall after news emerged that Indonesia will be lowering CPO export tax to 9% next month from 10.5%. (Financial daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

UEM Land, TM in tie-up to roll out UniFi in Nusajaya

UEM Land has allocated about RM13.5m to roll out Internet connectivity for the residences in Nusajaya, Johor. Recently, the company has formed a partnership with Telekom Malaysia to provide UniFi, its HSBB service, to more than 4,000 residential units in the area. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

PNB finds buyer for Sime Darby's non-core assets

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has found a suitor to buy the non-core assets of Sime Darby Bhd, said its president and chief executive officer Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman. He said that an announcement will be made soon. PNB has four non-core assets left to divest, including those parked under Sime Darby. Other non-core assets that PNB is looking to divest include U-Insurance Sdn Bhd, the insurance arm of UMW Holdings Bhd. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

TH Plantation aims for sustainable growth

TH Plantations aims to achieve a sustainable performance through its three key growth nodes. They are value enhancement of the enlarged plantation platform, landbank expansion and humanised business operations. Its chairman Tan Sri Yusof Basiron said the plantation group is in the process of enhancing value to its enlarged plantation platform to achieve higher fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yields and oil extraction rate (OER) while lowering production costs. (Financial Daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

PT Bank CIMB Niaga reported a 12% increase in net profit

PT Bank CIMB Niaga, 97.94% owned by CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, reported a 12% increase in net profit to 1.05tr rupiah (RM3bn) for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 (1QFY13), against 937bn rupiah in the previous corresponding period. Its assets rose 26% to 217.46tr rupiah from a year ago, maintaining its fifth position in Indonesia. (Financial Daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

Selangor BN can bring in RM30b-RM40b logistics development

A new SPV is likely to be the instrument used to undertake a mammoth development of the new global logistics hub which will be the centrepiece of economic development in Selangor over the next decade, sources said. The hub will have a GDV of RM30-40bn. 
  • Barisan National deputy election director Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed expects all the technical studies to take six months to a year to be completed. "We may need to set up a new council for the development. We will also need to look at policies and incentives as we want to attract foreign investors..." he said.
  • The hub us modeled after Germany's Bremen e.V and China's Shenzhen logistics hubs. "We may want to have a rail line by-pass into the area." he said. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

KDEB to buy 56.6% stake in Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor for 76 sen/share

Kumpulan Darul Ehsan (KDEB) will buy the 56.6% stake in Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor (KHSB) from Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor (KPS) at a minimum offer price of 76 sen/share or RM193.5m. The offer price may be raised by up to 10% to reflect the market value of KHSB's landbank and investment properties. (Financial Daily)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

Petronas closes deal with Japex

Petronas has completed the deal for Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (Japex) for the latter to acquire a 10% interest in Canada's Progress Energy, which includes assets in northeast British Columbia and the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility on Canada's West Coast near Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Japex has agreed to buy a 10% of the LNG facility's production for a minimum of 20 years for domestic use in Japan. (Star)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

KLIA wins World's Best Immigration Service for staff service excellence

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) wins the World's Best Airport Immigration Service award at the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Award. MAHB senior GM of operations services, Datuk Azmi Murad said KLIA is consistently voted the best for the staff services excellence since 2010, and this was the second win for the airport in the World's Best Airport Immigration Service category awards. (Bernama)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

Sunway wins RM222m piling and sub-structure works at KLCC

Sunway has won a RM222m contract for the construction and completion of piling and sub-structure works for the proposed mixed commercial development for Lot 185 & Lot 167(K) at KLCC (package 2). The project is targeted to be completed within 82 weeks. (BMSB) 

This news is positive as Sunway continues to replenish its domestic order book. However, it is not unexpected as it is part of our assumed RM1.5-2bn worth of new jobs in 2013. This project brings total job secured YTD to RM1.5bn and raises outstanding order book to RM4.4bn.

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

CIMB Political News - 30 April 2013

PAS and DAP said they are "95% in agreement" on the Opposition manifesto that they had agreed to, together with the PKR. This was stated in a statement by PAS deputy spiritual leader Datuk Dr Haron Din. The statement was signed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
  • They said there was only a "5% difference" between them. Perlis PAS chairman Hashim Jasin said "it might be related to the hudud issue." According to the statement, PAS has the right, on its own, to champion Islam and the concept of an Islamic state. On the other hand, the DAP could champion the concept of a secular state. (Star)

Tun Daim Zainuddin slammed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as a “confused alliance” and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a “huge liar” last night when the former finance minister became the latest Barisan Nasional (BN) veteran to campaign in Putrajaya.
  • Daim rallied for BN candidate Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in the federal administrative capital just three days after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamads stump there. BN has also had former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam campaigning in what is seen as the closest general election ever in the countrys history. 
  • “When choosing a government you must choose a good one, not one which will damn the country ... They are a confused bunch, dont believe these confused people or you will suffer later,” said Daim, referring to PR. He accused Anwar of being incompetent during the latters run as finance minister in the early „90s, claiming that Anwar consulted him almost every day on how to run things. 
  • He said Anwar cheated and used his name to garner support for his tilt at Umnos deputy presidency. Anwar has been alleged to have used money politics to win the post, which catapulted him to become deputy prime minister. (Malaysian Insider)

Lim Kit Siang urged voters last night to dream of a day when “all of us are regarded as Malaysians first and last” at a mammoth Pakatan Rakyat (PR) rally at the historic Han Chiang school field which was packed with a huge crowd.
  • Every inch of space on the field here was filled with PR supporters as Lim closed out a five-hour rally by urging Malaysians to stand up for what he called “the great Malaysian dream.” While other top PR leaders like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng spoke, the loudest cheers of the night was reserved for Kit Siang. 
  • “Let us in this election stand up and dare to dream the great dream of a Malaysia of justice, good governance, freedom and in which all are regarded as Malaysians first and last,” he told supporters. 
  • After a relatively quiet start last week, PR leaders are now planning a series of mammoth rallies which started with the Han Chiang event last night. Last night, the DAP also announced it had collected RM236,851 in cash donations from those who attended. (Malaysian Insider)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

CIMB Malaysian Economic News - 30 April 2013

The Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur city centre may have grown bigger, accommodating the developments that have been rippling from the heart of the city in the past few years, Property consultancy CH Williams Talhar & Wong believes that the commercial, retail, and entertainment hub should be redefined to encompass a larger area reflecting the growth of the city.
  • "Our definition of the new Golden Triangle has expanded. Where the border originally ends in Bukit Bintang in the south, it will now include the Tun Razak Exchange while the north will be expanded from Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to The Intermark." said managing director Foo Gee Jen. 
  • He also noted that residential properties buyers needed to be aware of what they were getting into under the Developers Interest-Bearing Scheme. "There are caveats to this scheme as buyers commit to a financial obligation upon signing the S&P and interest cost are actually already passed onto buyers through higher selling prices, In many cases the 20%-30% higher selling prices do not reflect the appreciation of the market values in the locality of the projects," he said. (Starbiz)

Malaysia is on track to achieve GDP growth of 5-6% this year driven by strong domestic demand and investment inflows despite the current slowdown in China, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said. The central bank had already included the risk from global slowdown in the projection and the current situation in China will not affect the GDP target for the whole year, she said.
  • Should the global economy slow down significantly, the effect would not be as bad as previously due to the strength of domestic demand and strong growth in investment, she noted. 
  • Asked on the expansionary fiscal policy highlighted by contesting parties in the upcoming general election, she said fiscal sustainability was very important and it needed to be accompanied by increase in revenue. 
  • She also said that fiscal policy needed to be targeted at those areas that have the highest impact and ensured that everyone would receive the benefit. 
  • Meanwhile, commenting on the strengthening ringgit, she said the development of the local unit was due to the weakening of other currencies as well as good inflows of investment into the country. 
  • The capability of the local market to absorb the volatility of the global economy was due to the liberalisation of the rules for foreign exchange transaction, which has given the flexibility for corporates to better manage their exposure. 
  • As to the monetary policy, she said BNM is keeping the macroeconomic environment in a sound position so that Malaysia does not face inflationary pressures. (Bernama, BT)

The government will consider implementing a special insurance scheme to protect civil servants in enforcement positions, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa said yesterday. "It will be discussed in depth with the Public Service Department, Finance Ministry and related agencies to determine how it can be implemented," he said.
  • At present their next-of-kin receive compensation and pension if a death occurs during the course of work. 
  • An estimated 400,000 enforcement personnel will benefit from the scheme if it is implemented. (Bernama)

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) has revealed that 62% of businesses in Malaysia are finding it hard to source skilled workers. This is ahead of Singapore at 61% and well above the global average of 39%.
  • The survey also revealed that in the Asean region, the shortage of specific or technical skills is the most significant factor for businesses in Vietnam at 86%, followed by Philippines (76%) and thirdly in Malaysia at 68%. 
  • IBR highlighted other factors that hinder recruitment in Malaysia, such as the lack of appropriate work experience (63%) and also shortage of general employability skills, particularly teamwork, communication in English (62%). 
  • It said Malaysian businesses are also faced with an increased operating cost (52%), increased workload for remaining staff (47%) and also fall in customer service standards (38%). (Bernama)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has ranked Malaysia highly among developing countries for showing institutional strength which covers areas such as political stability and better bureaucracy. The index measuring institutional strength ranges from zero to 100 with a higher score indicating strong political stability, better bureaucracy, fewer conflicts and less corruption. Malaysia scored in excess of 70, way ahead of Indonesia, India, the Philippines and scored even higher than China which also featured highly in the rankings. (Bernama) 

The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) is enhancing the ecosystem of electrical and electronics (E&E) industry in a bid to promote new growth areas. Its chief executive, Datuk Redza Rafiq, said a complete ecosystem in E&E would open up new high-growth areas -- light-emitting diode, solar, medical devices, aerospace, biotechnology and technology-driven agriculture.
  • NCIA has invested about RM6m for Northern Corridor Analogue and Digital Design which has become the icon programme amid the critical needs of high-skilled graduates to support the E&E industry. (Bernama)

A new special purpose vehicle (SPV) is likely to be the instrument used to undertake the mammoth development of the new global logistics hub which will be the centrepiece of economic development in Selangor over the next decade, sources said. The hub will have a gross development value of RM30bn-40bn, and it will be built in phases, with full completion expected to take over a decade.
  • Selangor Barisan Nasional deputy election director Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed expects all the technical studies incorporating various policy changes to take six months to a year to be completed. 
  • The Selangor Global Logistics Hub, stretching from Port Klang to Kota Raja and KLIA in Sepang, aimed at attracting foreign investments and generating 560,000 job opportunities for the people of Selangor. (Starbiz)

A takeover of Northport by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary – who already controls Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and Johor Port and is set to take over the ownership of Penang Port – "would not be impossible", said Northport (Malaysia) Bhd CEO Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid.
  • He was commenting on recent reports that Syed Mokhtar was looking to acquire Northport, which is 40.3% controlled by state-owned investment fund Permodalan Nasional Bhd, 15.7% by MISC Bhd and 8.8% by Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan). 
  • Having said that, Abi Sofian concedes that the matter has not reached his level yet. "It has not reached my level. Maybe (it's) at the shareholders' stage." (Sunbiz)

CIMB Global Economic News - 30 April 2013

The US Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 76.4 in Apr from 78.6 in Mar. Economists expected a reading of 73.0. (Bloomberg) 

US personal income rose 0.2% mom in Mar (1.1% in Feb), half the consensus of 0.4%, whilst consumer spending gained 0.2% mom (0.7% in Feb), double the consensus of 0.1%. The PCE price index dipped 0.1% mom (+0.4% in Feb), matching consensus, whilst the core PCE price index experienced no change (0.1% in Feb and consensus). (Bloomberg) 

US pending home sales rose 1.5% mom in Mar (a revised -1.0% in Feb), more than double the 0.7% expected by economists. (Bloomberg) Eurozone M3 money supply grew by 2.6% yoy in Mar, down from 3.1% in Feb. (AFP) 

The European Commission’s index of executive and consumer sentiment dropped to 88.6 in Apr from a revised 90.1 in Mar, the lowest since Dec. Economists had forecast a decline to 89.3.
  • A gauge of sentiment among manufacturers fell to -13.8 from -12.3 in Mar. An indicator of services confidence dropped to -11.1 from -7, while consumer sentiment improved to -22.3 from -23.5. (Bloomberg)

The IMF assured it is "carefully" monitoring massive capital flows into Asia and urged the region's policymakers to guard against risks of overheating. (AFP) 

South Korea’s industrial output slipped 3% yoy in Mar (-9.4% in Feb), lower than analyst expectations of a 0.7% decline. (Bloomberg) 

South Korea’s current-account surplus totaled US$4.98bn in Mar, up from US$2.71bn in Feb, the biggest surplus since US$6.91bn in Nov and compares with a surplus of US$2.97bn in Mar last year. (Dow Jones) 

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned voters to brace for an austere election-year budget, unveiling a A$12bn (US$12.4bn) slump in revenues due to the strong dollar. (AFP) 

Indonesia may raise fuel prices to the same level across all categories instead of revising them by vehicle type in its bid to curb subsidies, as an announcement on the policy nears. (Bloomberg) 

Thailand’s Finance Ministry is set to impose fiscal measures to curb the baht's rise if the Bank of Thailand decides not to cut the policy rate. In related news, the private sector will submit a letter to the central bank and Finance Ministry outlining seven measures to help cope with the strong baht.
  • The measures sought by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) include keeping the baht in line with other regional currencies, helping small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) form groups to apply for insurance against risk, and letting exporters open letters of credit in baht terms.
  • The FTI also wants funds set up to guide exporters to new markets and help SMEs affected by the stronger baht. Other measures include checks on capital inflows and higher rates for export tax refunds. (Bangkok Post)

CIMB Daybreak - 30 April 2013

What's on the Table...

  • Dialog Group - Swimming upstream in Balai
  • Malaysian Pacific Industries - Higher-margin portfolio chips in
  • Tasek Corporation - Competition looms in 1Q

News of the Day...

  • Sunway wins RM222m piling and sub-structure works at KLCC
  • KDEB to buy 56.6% stake in Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor for 76 sen/share
  • PNB has found a suitor to buy the non-core assets of Sime Darby Bhd
  • New SPV set up to develop RM30bn global logistic hub in Selangor?
  • US personal income rose 0.2% mom in Mar (1.1% in Feb)
  • US pending home sales rose 1.5% mom in Mar (a revised -1.0% in Feb)

Click here for the full PDF report 

Felda Global may venture into Papua New Guinea to expand landbank

Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world‟s largest crude palm oil producer, may venture into Papua New Guinea to increase its plantation land. President and group chief executive officer Datuk Sabri Ahmad said Papua New Guinea‟s government officials were impressed with FGV‟s businesses and operations during their visit here recently. “They were impressed with the FGV model and have asked for our help to start oil palm plantations in Papua New Guinea. 

If all goes well, we will go there on a government-to-government level of cooperation. “We are conducting feasibility studies and technical due diligence and if we decide to go there, we can easily start with an initial 10,000ha. The land is suitable for oil palm and can either be greenfields or brownfields,” Sabri said. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

BiotechCorp targets RM20b investments

Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (MBC) expects to attract RM20bn in investments under Phase 2 of the National Biotechnology Policy, a five-year period that ends in 2015. Biotech Corp had previously targeted to attract some RM9bn worth of investments under the phase.

  • CEO Datuk Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal said the adjustment stems from its confidence in attracting RM1.75bn worth of investments into the local biotechnology sector this year. As it stands, total investments under Phase 2 have hit the RM12.7bn mark. 
  • “The Malaysian biotechnology industry is now visible to the top global players and the biotechnology ecosystem that offers many competitive advantages are attractive,” said Mohd Nazlee. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

WCT to focus on hospitality and shopping mall segments

WCT is looking to grow its hospitality and retail property segments. WCT chairman Datuk Ahmad Sufian said the company plans to own and operate more shopping centres. Besides Première Hotel, it also owns three shopping malls, namely Paradigm Mall, soon-to-be-opened gateway@klia2 and Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre. 

“We need a new structure to accommodate our new growth divisions in the hospitality and shopping mall sectors. Our operational needs have changed over the years and we need more flexibility in order to keep growing,” he said. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Crest Builder Holdings signs RM1bn property deal with Syarikat Prasarana Negara

Crest Builder Holdings has signed a deal with Syarikat Prasarana Negara to undertake a mixed development project, with a gross development value of RM1.04bn, at the Dang Wangi light rail transit (LRT) station. Its executive director Eric Yong said the development will feature a retail podium, small office and flexible office, office suites and luxury service apartments. “It The project is one of the first major projects that had been awarded by Prasarana‟s „rail-plus-property‟ projects programme involving about 50 mass rapid transit/LRT station sites,” he said. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

UEM set for 2nd growth phase

UEM Land Holdings, which has been busy with various projects since its incorporation in 2008, is now poised for the second phase of growth. The company, a member of the UEM Group, which is wholly-owned by Khazanah Nasional, is the master developer of the 9,600ha Nusajaya development in Johor."We have reached our tipping point with one or two more catalysts to come as part of our effort to be relevant in the global market," said its MD and CEO Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim. "This trend will continue as we have some 3,200ha of land in Nusajaya to be developed, which will keep us busy in the next few years," he said after signing an alliance agreement with Telekom Malaysia. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

TM to wire up UEM Land homes

Telekom Malaysia will wire up more than 4,000 UEM Land residential units in Nusajaya with its high-speed broadband (HSBB) service UniFi. UEM Land, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UEM Land Holdings, is the master developer of Nusajaya, part of the five flagship zones in Iskandar Malaysia. It has allocated about RM13.5m to roll out Internet connectivity for the residences in the area. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Zecon secures RM495m hospital contract in Kuching

Zecon has been awarded a RM495m contract by the Works Ministry with to build the 300-bed Petra Jaya Hospital in Kuching. Sarawak. The 42-month project is not expected to have any material impact on the earnings, net assets, share capital and substantial shareholders‟ shareholdings of the company for the fiscal year ending Jun 13. “However, it is expected to contribute positively to the company‟s consolidated net assets and earnings in the subsequent financial years,” it told Bursa Malaysia. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

CIMB to develop globally recognised Asean bankers

CIMB Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Bankers Malaysia (IBBM) to implement the Chartered Banker Education Pathway for the group's 42,000 employees. Conferred jointly in Malaysia by IBBM and the Chartered Banker Institute in Britain, the programme is a globally recognised qualification that has been customised to reflect Malaysia's banking operations and regulatory framework within its international syllabus. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia will not increase its beer prices this year

Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia will not increase its beer prices this year, says MD Soren Ravn. It was earlier reported that the last time Carlsberg increased its product prices was in May last year - by an average of 3%. 
  • Ravn said he also does not see the company adding more premium products this year. The premium beer segment was a key contributor to Carslberg's financial results last year, with significant sales growth from locally-produced Asahi Super Dry and Kronenbourg 1664. 
  • Increasing market share in the premium segment, coupled with steady growth of its flagship Carlsberg Green Label and new outlets, have further strengthened the brewer's position in a highly competitive market. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Maybank units see RM7b total gross premium, contribution

Etiqa Insurance and Takaful, the insurance and takaful arm of Maybank Group, expects its total combined gross premium and contribution for the financial year ending 31 Dec to exceed RM7bn. This would be the highest on record for Etiqa. For fiscal year 2012, the insurance and takaful operations of Maybank recorded a total combined gross premium and contribution of RM5.4bn, 15% more than the previous year. 
  • According to Mohd Sani Ayob, the executive vice-president and head of family Takaful, several initiatives and plans have been lined up to achieve the numbers this year. 
  • Etiqa is also working on plans to retain its position as the country's No. 1 operator for both general and family takaful, Mohd Sani said. These include leveraging on Maybank Group's strength and building a wider distribution footprint for its products and services. Currently, the insurance and family takaful businesses have a market share of 49.9% and 36.3%, respectively. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Hyrax Oil to set up blending plant in Mozambique

Hyrax Oil is setting up a blending plant in Mozambique, its first outside Malaysia. MD Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin said via a memorandum of understanding signed between Hyrax Oil and the national company of Mozambique, Petroleos De Mocambique, S.A (Petromoc), the two parties will register a company under the name of Petromoc-Hyrax Oil International Ltd. 
  • The purpose of the new company is to build and operate a lubricant blending plant to manufacture and market a range of petroleum products, including automotive, industrial, marine and specialty lubricants, she said. The plant is expected to be operational by year-end. 
  • "Hyrax has invested US$8m to US$10m to establish the blending plant and storage facilities on a 4.85ha land,” she said, “The plant is expected to produce in excess of two million litres of finished products in a month and it has the ability to grow further in the future." 
  • Hazimah said the new company intends to market its products not only in Mozambique but to all countries in Africa. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

CCM aims to be among top five in Southeast Asia

Chemicals Company of Malaysia (CCM), the country's largest generic pharmaceutical and compound fertilisers manufacturer, is aiming to be among the top five pharmaceutical players in Southeast Asia by 2020. The main board group, via its wholly-owned unit, CCM Pharmaceuticals (CCMP), currently holds the No. 8 or No. 9 spot in Southeast Asia, said Shamsul Idham Ahad, CCMP senior manager for over-the-counter (OTC) marketing. Shamsul said CCMP is driving up its investments in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines to tap the growing demand there. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

WCT remains committed to the Middle Eastern region

WCT remains committed to the Middle Eastern region despite being dropped from the RM1bn Oman Highway job. "This kind of things is quite normal in the Middle East; it's almost a weekly affair." Deputy MD Goh Chin Liong said. "It seldom happens in Malaysia but its quite normal in the Middle East for them to tender and withdraw it later before re-tendering again." he said. " We were notified of the results in August last year but it was still subjected to some contractual procedures before being finalised...In spite of the recent developments, the client has welcomed us to participate in the re-tendering, which we will definitely consider." he said. 

"Our priority still remains Qatar and Oman. We are tendering for some projects in Qatar as well as some follow-up projects in Oman. Our current tender book for that region in now around RM3bn." he said. (Edge Weekly)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Lion Corp sells Lion Forest stake

Lion Corp has disposed of a 72.8% stake in Lion Forest Industries via subsidiaries. In separate filings with Bursa Malaysia, Amsteel Mills had disposed of a 53.4% stake, while Lion Industries Corp hived off 19.5%, which when combined represents 168.8m shares out of its 231.6m enlarged issued and paid-up share capital. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

The prospects of the local steel industry are looking up, say industry players

After more than a year of lackluster steel prices and volumes, the prospects of the local steel industry are looking up, say industry players. "As more ETP projects come online this year, we expect to see a boost in construction activities that will in turn increase the demand for construction steel by 5% to 8%." Southern Steel deputy MD/Chairman of the South East Asia Iron & Steel Institute Chow Chong Long said. Whether or not steel players benefit from this depends on how successfully the government can curb steel dumping, he said. 
  • Last year, there was demand for around 8.9m tonnes of steel in the country, an 8% increase from 2011. However, steel importers increased by 15% yoy to 5.4m tonnes. As a result, local steel players continue to suffer from low capacity utilisation. "We are already beginning to see some positive signs in 1Q13. 
  • Once the issue of cheap steel imports, particularly from China, is addressed, industry turnaround is more certain and likely to be in 4Q13 or 1Q14." he said. Demand will be driven by construction steel, rather than industrial steel. Construction steel makes up 70% of domestic demand. (Edge Weekly)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Kenanga Investors approved as PRS provider

Kenanga Investors, a unit of K&N Kenanga Holdings has been approved as a private retirement scheme (PRS) provider by the Securities Commission. “We will be launching our PRS, known as OnePRS, to the mass retail market and also employers as soon as we receive product approvals from the regulators,” K&N Kenanga group MD Chay Wai Leong said, “OnePRS will enable participating organisations to enhance their employee remuneration package, and in turn, attract and retain talent.” The approval follows Kenanga Investors‟ completion of its acquisition of ING Funds last week. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Paramount shares traded off market

A total of 2.56m shares of property developer and education provider Paramount Corp were transacted off market at RM1.40 each, 9.09% lower than Thursday's closing price of RM1.50. The 2.6m shares represent 0.75% of the company's paid-up of 337.8m shares. Last Friday, the counter closed up one sen at RM1.55. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Maybank unit's BII 16% increase in net profit

Malayan Banking's (Maybank) Indonesian subsidiary, PT Bank Internasional Indonesia Tbk (BII), has reported a 16% increase in net profit to 309bn rupiah (RM96m) for its 1QFY13. Maybank attributed the result mainly to strong deposit growth, continued growth in the small and medium enterprise segment, mortgage and four-wheel car loan portfolio, as well as improvement in the overall asset quality. 
  • "Intense competition in the market, combined with the cap on deposit interest rate, has necessitated us to come up with differentiated strategies in growing the customer deposits," BII president director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said. 
  • During the quarter under review, BII's customer deposit saw a 24% increase to 89.3tr rupiah from 72tr rupiah in the first quarter last year. Loans grew 14% to 79.7tr rupiah, from 69.8tr rupiah previously, with SME loans grew the fastest, by 39%. The consolidated loan-to-deposit ratio improved from 96.3% in Mar 12 to 88% as end-March this year. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Luas has additional raw water supply: Selangor MB

MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said raw water supply in Selangor can be increased by 2bn cubic metres/day with the construction of a water retention pond in Sungai Selangor. The study on increasing the raw water supply by using the retention pond method to store river water which would rise whenever it rained was carried out by the Selangor Water Management Board (LUAS), he said. 

He said with the increase in the supply of raw water by 20% above the current usage of water amounting to 9.2bn cubic metres/day, it could cater for the Selangor water requirement for between five and six more years. Press reports previously said that the water problem in Selangor concerned the low level of treated water reserves which was 1% compared to the actual reserves of 20%. (KiniBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Salcon acquires remaining 40pct stake in Sacon Darco Environmental

Salcon has acquired the remaining 40% stake in Singapore-based Salcon Darco Environmental Pte Ltd from Darco Water Technologies Ltd for RM31m. The group acquired the initial 60% stake last year for RM47.5m. On rationale, the water and wastewater solutions provider said the acquisition was in line with the expansion plan of its core business activities. “Subsequent to the acquisition, Salcon would have full control on the potential upcoming expansion plan on the Wukang water treatment plant in Zhejiang, China. (Bernama)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Will Silver Bird fly again?

Despite its financial troubles Silver Bird Group should break even operationally in about six months. The number two bread and confectionary maker by market share was in the midst of creating a new line of bread products to be unveiled soon and is even looking to expand in Singapore. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

WCT developing another two malls in KL and Johor

WCT Bhd is going big on malls with the addition of another two malls in Overseas Union Garden (OUG), Kuala Lumpur, and Kemayan City, Johor to its portfolio in a bid for growth. Chairman Datuk Ahmad Sufian said there were plans in the pipeline for more developments such as Paradigm Mall in Kelana Jaya. Kemayan City is a 10-year abandoned project, which WCT plans to rebuild and include as part of its shopping mall extension. 
  • The company bought Kemayan City in Kulai for RM180m after going through an aggressive tender and is in the midst of cleaning up and conducting engineering tests on the existing structures there. He expects to commence physical works by year-end, and for it to be completed in two-to-three years' time. The mall has a gross development value (GDV) of RM1bn, and will include a hotel. (Starbiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

TM Launches Three New HyppTV Packages

Telekom Malaysia (TM) through its Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service, HyppTV, has introduced three new value-added packages namely HyppTV Mega Pack, HyppTV Sports Pack and HyppTV New Platinum Pack. "The introduction of the three new channel packages for our growing HyppTV subscribers is testament to our continuous effort in satisfying subscribers needs and preferences, from as low as RM30 a month," said Emily Wee, TM Vice-President for Business and Media Operations, New Media. HyppTV Mega Pack is a combination of HyppTV Platinum Pack and HyppTV Ruby Pack that consists of 47 HyppTV channels including eight video on demand (VOD) channels and 12 high-definition channels, priced at RM50 a month. 
  • The HyppTV Sports Pack bundles 12 HyppTV Sports channels and is priced at RM30 a month. 
  • The HyppTV Platinum Pack, also priced at RM30 a month, bundles 33 HyppTV channels and features a revised and enhanced channel line-up from the existing HyppTV Platinum Pack, focusing more on edutainment and entertainment content. 
  • To date, HyppTV is Malaysia's fastest growing IPTV service offering its customers 107 channels with 23 channels in high-definition -- consisting of 17 free to air channels with eight radio channels, 47 premium channels, 15 video-on-demand genres and 20 interactive channels. (Bernama)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Iwatani-SIG plans second gas plant

Iwatani-SIG Industrial Gas Sdn Bhd is investing in a second industrial gas production and refilling plant at Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu. SIG Gases Bhd executive director Lau Cheng Ming said the joint-venture company had decided to go ahead with the second plant project to supply liquid gases to customers in Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei. Iwatani-SIG is a 60:40 JV company between Japan-based Iwatani Industrial Gas Pte Ltd and Southern Industrial Gas Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SIG Gases. (Starbiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Oneworld factor lifts MAS passenger load 3.5% in Q1

Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) entry into the oneworld alliance, among other factors, has lifted loads, although not drastically. The airline saw a 3.5% rise in passenger loads for 1Q13 to 76.6% from 73% a year ago. It also saw a 16.5% rise in RPK in the quarter. MAS said there had been an increase in interline and code-share traffic upon joining oneworld, and that it had also seen a significant number of oneworld frequent flyer programme members using its network. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Kuok's investment in Iskandar a vote of confidence

Robert Kuok to invest in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor is a vote of confidence in the country's first economic corridor. To be sure, Iskandar has already reached a good level of success in the short seven years since its inception, having received RM111.37bn in cumulative committed investments as at the first quarter of this year. Every big Malaysian property developer has made a concerted effort to get a project in Iskandar going. But the entry of Kuok, Malaysia's richest man and South-East Asia's second richest is expected to spur international interest and catalyse more such investments. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

JCorp targets up to 15pc growth in 2013

The state investment firm has decided to carve a new growth plan in its palm oil and other non-core plantation businesses. Johor Corp (JCorp) is targeting a 10% to 15% growth this year. JCorp president and chief executive Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim believes its plantation, property development, healthcare and quick service restaurant businesses can meet the overall target. He said the group has decided to carve a new growth plan in its palm oil and other non-core plantation businesses. 

“This is supported by the flourishing property market spurred by Iskandar Malaysia, as well as potential involvement in the niche oil and gas servicing industry with the development of the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, Johor,” he said after unveiling JCorp‟s 2012 Annual Report last week. Kamaruzzaman said the group is working to be debt-free, adding that its assets are now worth RM8bn. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

CIMB Political News - 29 April 2013

As week two of campaigning starts, both BN and Pakatan Rakyat are estimated to have more than 40% of the people's support in Peninsular Malaysia, according to a study conducted by the Universiti Malaya's Democratic and Election Centre (Umcedel). The 18-day survey covered 1,407 respondents in Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Umcedel director Prof Mohd Redzuan Othman said the survey, conducted between Apr 4 and 20, found just a 5% difference between the two coalitions. The percentage of "undecided voters" has reduced from 21% in Mar to just 9%. Chinese voters, who were previously in the bulk of the "undecided", have mostly made up their minds.
  • The survey concluded that more voters were attracted to what was being offered by PR. 42% were attracted to the PR manifesto, 36% favoured BN's, and the rest were undecided. The study found almost equal support from the Malay community for BN (38%) and PR (37%), while more Chinese preferred PR (61%) compared with BN (25%). The Indian community favoured BN (53%) compared to PR's 21%. (Malay Mail)

Darell Leiking, who is standing in the parliamentary seat in Sabah, said he is one of the Opposition leaders likely to be named in the alleged Sulu incursion plot. He said he came to this conclusion because he and two other party leaders - R. Sivarasa and Tian Chua - had made a trip to Manila prior to the Feb intrusion. Darell said the trip had nothing to do with the Sulus as they were there to get information on Manuel Amalilio, who was accused of cheating Filipinos of RM1bn and is now in jail for holding a fake Philippines passport. "We condemn the Sulu incursion and we hope no one distorts the facts to make us look bad," he said. (Star) 

Penang recorded the highest number of polls-related violence as 16 of the 48 arrests made since nomination day were from the state. The number of cases, which involved fighting, arson, throwing of molotov cocktails and armed confrontations, have also spiked to 1,414 nationwide. (Star)
Encouraged by voters' response, Barisan Nasional is pushing ahead to secure a bigger victory as the campaign for the 13th general election crossed the midway mark yesterday. The growing momentum was evident from the overwhelming show of support at BN ceramah and rallies across the country and internal surveys. The optimism appears widespread, touching even constituencies where the opposition was once dominant.
  • In Kelantan, BN is confident of securing a simple majority in the state to end 23 years of Pas rule. PM Datuk Seri Najib yesterday voiced his confidence in a strong BN showing, provided it remained united. "I see that the momentum in BN is good and our position is improving. In some areas, we have rectified matters. I have said that a two-thirds victory can be achieved, on condition there are no internal problems." (NST)

Malaysian businessman Datuk Seri Stanley Thai, says he‟s joining thousands of fellow ethnic Chinese citizens in abandoning support for Prime Minister Najib Razak and voting for the opposition for the first time in elections next month. “Why are the Chinese against the government -- it‟s simple,” Thai, 53, owner of medical glove-maker Supermax Corp. said in an interview. “We don‟t want our children to suffer what we suffered, deprived from education, from career opportunities, from business opportunities.” 

Academicians yesterday expressed confidence that BN will continue to lead the country after the 13th general election. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Shamsul Abdabi Mamat said many researchers by universities showed that BN remained the favourite to win the general election. He said BN's practical and attractive policies, with emphasis on stability and improving the standard of living of the people, were responsive towards the needs of the people. Monash University Professor Dr James Chin said the giving out of the 1Malaysia People's Aid to the low-income group and the poor had proven to have a good impact.
  • He also dismissed speculation of a hung parliament after the polls. Associate Professor Dr Rohana Yusof, the director of Universiti Utara Malaysia's Northern Corridor Research Centre said a study of six state seats deemed as black areas for BN last month showed that the majority of the electorate were more than satisfied with the country's administration. (NST)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

CIMB Malaysian Economic News - 29 April 2013

PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said on 28 Apr that the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) would continue to be given because it was a focused programme which had a major impact on the people.
  • The federal government introduced in 2012 the BR1M annual payment of RM500 for every household with a total monthly income of up to RM3,000. This year, it also paid RM250 to single unmarried individuals with a monthly income of up to RM2,000.
  • He said that the government would continue to give the BR1M payment if it was given a fresh mandate in the 13th General Election come 5 May.
  • The programme might be improved as per the pledge made in the BN manifesto. The manifesto had pledged to raise the BR1M to RM1,000 next year. (Bernama)

The opposition's promise to reduce fuel price should they win the 13th general election is nothing but a lie to get the people's support, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said. "If the fuel price is reduced by 20sen per litre, the government will have to bear the extra cost of RM4bn a year,” he said. (Bernama) 

The Kemaman parliamentary constituency is expected to attract RM15bn in investment in the steel industry, that will create 5,000 job opportunities, next month. Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said the investment involved the cooperation between the Terengganu state government and a company from China.
  • The project is one of the major projects which are being implemented and will be implemented involving investments of more than RM25bn in the petrochemical, biotechnology and steel industries, creating over 10,000 job opportunities for residents.
  • Among the major projects which are nearing completion were the Perwaja Steel project, which will be operational next June and offers 800 jobs and the Eastern Steel project, which will provide 2,000 jobs and will be operational in mid-2014.
  • Apart from that, the state government will sign a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Corporation (Malaysia) to establish an iron factory with an investment of RM6.6m and offers 2,000 jobs in the near future. (Bernama)

An agreement to set up the Centre for the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Subregional Cooperation (CIMT), which will be based in Malaysia, was signed at the just-concluded 22nd Asean Summit. The operations of the centre would be funded equally by the three countries, CIMT said. (Bernama) 

Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd (BiotechCorp) has increased its target investment for Phase 2 of the National Biotechnology Policy to RM20bn from RM9bn previously. Its CEO Mohd Nazlee Kamal said BiotechCorp has already attracted investments worth RM12.72bn, surpassing the target for the entire five-year phase from 2011 to 2015. The agency aims to attract RM1.75bn worth of investments in Malaysia's biotechnology sector this year. (Bernama)
  • Malaysia is eyeing to expand local exporters' opportunities in new markets namely Africa and Latin America, said Secretary-General of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Datuk Dr Rebecca Sta Maria. She said this was an initiative taken by the government to look for more opportunities to assist the industry to grow in the new markets other than in the market-proven regions.
  • "Among the sectors that we are targeting are manufacturing, education, services, construction and oil and gas. Since our technology development is more advanced compared to these markets, we also plan to offer our technology's products and services there," she added. (Bernama)

To date Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (Mavcap), a venture capital agency set up under the Finance Ministry to support Malaysian-based ICT sector and high-growth industries, had invested up to RM509m from funds worth RM1bn managed by the agency that was attributed to 87 companies in Malaysia. Mavcap vice-president investment Renee Marcia Ramesh said: "Our typical investment size is RM5m-15m, but we had done RM20m investment on a company before." Mavcap targeted to invest between 6 and 8 companies worth RM30m-120m in investment this year, Renee added. (Starbiz) 

DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is confident that the Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) fund will grow bigger to more than RM500bn by 2020 if the people continue supporting the fund management company. At present, he said PNB was managing a RM239.6bn fund. (Malaysian Reserve) 

The project to build a railway track from Kuantan to Kertih will be extended to Bukit Besi in Dungun and is expected to be implemented by the end of this year. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said the federal project had been agreed to by PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, and it was part of the East Coast Rail Route (ECRR), which was planned from Kuantan to Kertih. "The government wants to ensure smooth development here. Many other projects such as a four-lane highway from Dungun to Kuala Terengganu will also be implemented," he said. (Bernama)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

Monday, 29 April 2013

CIMB Global Economic News - 29 April 2013

The US economy gained traction, expanding by 2.5% qoq annualised in 1Q13 (+0.4% in 4Q12). Household spending held firm and contributed almost 90% of 1Q GDP gains. Residential investment was robust but business investment moderated. Growth was pulled down by government spending and net exports. (US Bureau of Economic Analysis) 

Central banks in Southeast Asia inched closer to agreeing on rules allowing commercial banks to expand within the region in a deal that may pave the way for Indonesian lenders to broaden their horizons. To qualify for the improved market access, banks must reach the status of Qualified Asean Banks, which include having headquarters in Asean and meeting certain thresholds on capital adequacy and consolidation, restrictions on large exposures, accounting and transparency. (Jakarta Post) 

China’s industrial profits increased 5.3% yoy to Rmb464.9bn (US$75bn) in Mar, down from a 17.2% pace in the first two months. (Bloomberg) 

The Bank of Japan stood pat on new policy measures, estimating 2.9% growth in the economy for the fiscal year to Mar, up from an earlier 2.3% projection made in Jan. It also tipped inflation to hit 0.7%, also up from an earlier 0.4% projection. (AFP) 

Japan’s consumer prices fell 0.5% yoy in Mar (-0.7% in Feb), worse than economists‟ expectations of a 0.4% decline. (AFP) 

Italy’s politicians agreed to form a three-party coalition government, which will also include technocrats in key positions, ending two months of deadlock since elections in late Feb returned a highly divided parliament. (FT) 

The Greek parliament voted late Sun to adopt a law that provides for the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants as part of austerity measures imposed by the country's international creditors. The new law also extends weekly working hours for teachers, opens a number of professions to competition and reduces a controversial property tax by 15 percent. (AFP) 

Thailand’s manufacturing production index rose 0.5% yoy in Mar (-1.2% in Feb), better than street expectations of a 1% decline. Total capacity utilisation climbed to 70.4% from 62.9%. (Bloomberg) 

Singapore’s industrial production declined 4.1% yoy in Mar (-16.3% in Feb), compared with market expectations of a 3% contraction. (Bloomberg)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

CIMB Daybreak - 29 April 2013

What‟s on the Table...

  • Malaysia Airports Holdings - Waiting for uncertainty to clear
  • Bumi Armada - Bids and pieces
  • Economic Update - US 1Q13 GDP: In the shadow of the sequester
  • Alpha Edge - Still has legs

News of the Day...

  • Felda Global may venture into Papua New Guinea to expand landbank
  • WCT developing another two malls in KL and Johor
  • Zecon awarded a RM495m contract to build the 300-bed Hospital in Kuching
  • Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia will not increase its beer prices this year
  • Crest Builder Holdings signs RM1bn property deal with Syarikat Prasarana Negara
  • US economy grew 2.5% qoq annualised in 1Q13 (+0.4% in 4Q12)

Click here for the full PDF report 

Friday, 26 April 2013

Kanger set to be 10th China-based company to list on the local bourse

Bamboo flooring manufacturer Kanger International Bhd is set to be the 10th China-based company to be listed on Bursa Malaysia. The company will be issuing 80m new shares in its initial public offering (IPO), representing 18.6% of the company's enlarged issued and paid-up share capital. The company specialises in the manufacturing and trading of bamboo flooring and related products for the residential and commercial markets under its brands Kanger and KAR Masterpiece, as well as acting as an original equipment manufacturer at the request of customers. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 26 April 2013

Bright Packaging cancels dividend

Bright Packaging Industry Bhd’s new board of directors have informed Bursa Malaysia that a resolution has been passed to revoke the company’s earlier announcement on the 100% dividend policy payout for the next five years. The current board said this was because the focus of the company, for the time being, was growth. The new board comprises four new directors. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 26 April 2013

Measat sued for RM60.8b

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd's wholly owned subsidiary Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd, a defendant in a civil suit in Indonesia, has been officially served with the statement of claim which includes immaterial loss of US$20bn (RM60.8bn). The claim was served by plaintiff PT Direct Vision (PTDV). The damages arose from a dispute over a bungled direct-to-home (DTH) pay-TV business in Indonesia which had been the subject of past litigation and arbitration proceedings since 2008. Astro said, "PTDV's claim is not supported with valid grounds and the quantum of damages sought is unjustifiable." (BMSB, Malaysian Reserve)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 26 April 2013

MK Land ends RM3b JV project in India

MK Land Holdings Bhd has terminated a joint venture (JV) with Embassy Group of India and MKN Embassy Development Sdn Bhd to develop a project in India worth RM3bn in gross development value. The project was to involve building affordable housing as well as high-end integrated projects on a 300-acre land in northern Bangalore. MK Land, via its unit Ritma Mantap Sdn Bhd, had entered into a JV agreement with MKN Embassy, Embassy Group's unit Star Dreams and Milan Gateway Sdn Bhd in September 2009. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, MK Land said the parties agreed to mutually terminate the JV agreement "in view of the rising land and construction costs as well as the highly competitive real estate market in India". (Sun)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 26 April 2013

Brahim's banks on Jordan for more Mideast deals

Brahim's Holdings Bhd is banking on Jordan to promote its military food products in the Middle East and improve overseas earnings, major shareholder Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi says. The in-flight caterer also aims to expand its halal food business in the Arab region. Brahim's, via wholly-owned unit Brahim's Overseas Ventures Sdn Bhd (BOV), rolled out last week its food production factory, Arab Ready Meals LLC (ARM), at the KADDB Industrial Park in the Dhail special free zone in Jordan.The factory, which was built at a cost of US$45m, will supply 500,000 24-hour ration packs annually to the Royal Jordanian Army. ARM is a 50:50 joint venture between BOV and King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau, Jordan's defence think tank. (BT)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 26 April 2013

MAS seeks code-share with British Airways, Latam Airways

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is currently working on codeshare arrangements with British Airways and Latam Airlines, while expanding existing arrangements with Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Air. MAS said it was currently seeing a significant number of oneworld Frequent Flyer Programme members taking advantage of the MAS route network to redeem miles. Those in the know said there have been several rounds of talks between MAS and BA officials, and any deal could only be hammered out in July this year. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 26 April 2013

Oil palm growers fail to block the adoption of new RSPO principles

The oil palm grower members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) have failed in their attempt to block the adoption of the newly revised RSPO principles and criteria (P&C) for the production of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) at the grouping's extraordinary general assembly (EGA). This came as no big surprise, as oil palm growers only represent 15.4% of the RSPO members. If the other member categories vote en bloc, then the growers' views would be isolated. 
  • Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) chief executive Datuk Dr Makhdzir Mardan said that the association would have to make a decision that considered the inclusive fitness of the industry, taking cognisance of the MPOA membership at large, and also internalise the philosophy on sustainability. 
  • “It would be a strategic blunder to ignore the interests of future generations by abandoning sustainability principles. Nevertheless, the MPOA would not be dumb enough to absorb technical tariffs that are imposed on oil palm growers in the name of conserving the rainforest or saving the world from the ravages of the climate change in the guise of sustainability,” he pointed out. (StarBiz)

Source: CIMB Daybreak - 26 April 2013