Most Recent/Updated Most Recent/Updated en PNB to increase investments in private equity
“PNB always makes investments from time to time in capital markets, both equity and debt capital market, as well as private equity. Investments in private equity may be less in the past and maybe in the future we will make new plans to increase investments in private equity. However, any investments announced before this will continue,” group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar told reporters at a briefing yesterday, adding that PNB’s concept and direction will be maintained under the new management.

He said PNB, via its entity PNB Equity Resource Corp, is already invested in many private companies and some of these companies have been very successful, including Perodua.

“We would like to see other opportunities being created and I think this is something which the management team would have to evaluate further,” he added.

However, it has not targeted any specific companies or segments yet.

Commenting on the changes in PNB’s management, Abdul Wahid said PNB’s concept will be maintained despite the many challenges that the new team expects to face and hopes to improve PNB’s performance.

Abdul Wahid joined PNB as chairman on Aug 1, 2016, replacing Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid. PNB will also have a new president and group CEO in Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad effective Oct 1, 2016, replacing Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah who is retiring.

Yesterday, PNB’s wholly-owned subsidiary Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) announced an income distribution of 6.10 sen per unit for Amanah Saham 1Malaysia (AS 1Malaysia) for the financial year ending Sept 30, 2016 (FY16). The income distribution will involve a total payment of RM700.63 million to more than 393,000 unit holders who subscribed to 11.486 billion units of AS 1Malaysia.

Abdul Wahid said the fund’s performance for FY16 was affected by uncertain market conditions. The income distribution for the fund was 6.40 sen per unit last year.

“During FY16, the FBM KLCI gained 3.1% up to Sept 23, from 1,621.04 points on Sept 30, 2015, to 1,670.99 points. However, the FBM KLCI’s average daily trade for FY16 was lower than FY15, recording a 5% drop from 2015’s average of 1,757.12 points to 1,668.39 points this year,” he said.

Up till Sept 23, 2016, AS 1Malaysia recorded a gross income of RM777.63 million. Profit from the sale of shares contributed RM344.87 million or 44.4% while dividend income from investee companies contributed RM321.27 million or 41.3% from the gross income. The remaining RM111.49 million or 14.3% is derived from investments in short- term instruments and other income.

The income distribution will be reinvested in additional units and will be automatically credited into unit holders’ accounts on Oct 1.]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:48 +0000 Eva Yeong 397472 at
Taliworks to look at SILK Highway again
“We are continuously on the lookout for toll road and other infrastructure project opportunities, including SILK, that meet our desired 12% equity IRR (internal rate of return) and dividend yield criteria, that we have announced in the past,” Taliworks executive director Datuk Ronnie Lim Yew Boon told SunBiz yesterday.

He declined to elaborate further.

WZ Satu last Friday said a definitive agreement could not be reached with SILK Holdings Bhd, the parent company of SILK. The deal was potentially worth RM368 million.

In May this year, Taliworks said it was close to concluding a deal to buy SILK Highway. A month later, however, WZ Satu announced that it had entered into an agreement with SILK Holdings.

Taliworks chief investment officer Kevin Chin Soong Jin said then that both parties were in discussions on pricing, given that traffic volumes had gone down after a toll rate increase last October.

“We expect this acquisition to conclude in the next few months ... the outcome is favourable. The motivation for Taliworks to buy and the vendor to sell is there,” Chin had said.

Taliworks has a 51% stake in Cerah Sama Sdn Bhd, the concessionaire for the Cheras-Kajang Highway and the New North Klang Straits Bypass Expressway.

SILK is the concession holder for the 37km Kajang Traffic Dispersal Ring Road, better known as SILK Highway. It has a 33-year concession to operate and maintain the highway. The concession period ends on July 31, 2037.

SILK Holdings has been looking to divest its interest in SILK Highway since June 2014, when it said that proceeds from the sale would help expand its oil and gas support services business.

At that time, SILK Holdings had entered into a heads of agreement with Road Builder (M) Holdings Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of IJM Corp Bhd, but the deal fell through due to non-fulfilment of conditions within the agreed timeline.

SILK Holdings shares were unchanged at 36 sen yesterday with 515,500 units traded while Taliworks edged up 1 sen RM1.46 with 141,200 shares done.]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:48 +0000 Ee Ann Nee 397473 at
Safeguard duties on steel could lead to runaway prices: MBAM
In a statement, MBAM said the government recently introduced safeguard duties of 13.9% on steel coils and 13.4% on steel rebars following a petition by local steel industry players.

It said the local players alleged that the increase in imports of the steel products into Malaysia caused serious injury to the domestic industry producing similar items.

“This safeguard rate will be imposed on top of the existing 5% import duty. This action has an enormous impact on consumers of steel in Malaysia. Steel is used as an input in different industries and any further rise in steel prices will increase the cost of production,” the association said.

MBAM said the government should look at a sustainable long-term plan on this issue, as the local producers were not supposed to be protected for their inability to stay competitive.

“Besides, this measure is a U-turn from the government’s previous decision in 2008 to liberalise the steel industry by abolishing price control/ceiling prices,” it added. – Bernama]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:48 +0000 397474 at
India’s crude palm oil import duty cut seen as positive, timely
India on Monday cut the import duty on crude palm oil to 7.5% from 12.5%. It also reduced duties on imports of wheat and refined vegetable oils. India is the world’s largest impoter of edible oils.

“We also think that the move is timely as it should relieve consumer burden in India ahead of the Deepavali festival which will fall on Oct 29 this year. All in, we expect exports of palm oil to India to stay strong in September after a very strong pickup in August (+126% month-on-month to 428,652 tonnes) due to sustained pre-stocking activity ahead of Deepavali,” MIDF Research said in a report yesterday.

The research house believes that palm oil inventories in Malaysia should stay low at 1.55 million tonnes in September (+6% month-on-month). Key assumptions are an export decline of 15%, and production growth of 7%. Cargo surveyors’ data shows exports declined by 16% month-on-month in the first 25 days of September.

“We have increased our inventory estimate slightly (previously 1.46 million tonnes) as demand has weakened slightly as price approached RM3,000 per tonne in the spot market.”

MIDF Research maintained a positive view on the sector, adding that the crude palm oil price is expected to stay strong at the range of RM2,500 to RM3,000 a tonne in the next three months.

Yesterday, CPO futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed lower. Spot month October 2016 shed RM51 to RM2,849 a tonne.

“Our top pick is KLK (Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd) due to its high exposure to the palm oil business and good earnings growth of 18% year-on-year to RM747 million in the nine months of FY16.

“We also like IOI Corp Bhd due to its pure exposure to palm oil business both in the upstream and downstream divisions. The company’s earnings are expected to recover in FY17 after the uplift of RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) suspension,” said MIDF Research.]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:49 +0000 397475 at
Malaysian, German firms to build RM80m factory in Gebeng
AWS Schaefer is a prominent family-owned company specialising in pipe-forming and pipe-manufacturing machines with more than 50 years of experience.

AWS Schafer CEO Hubertus Engels signed the agreement on behalf of the German company and Satellite Pipeline was represented by managing director Abdullah Osman. The signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who is here on a three-day official visit beginning on Monday.

The plant in Gebeng will be involved in engineering, fabrication and installation of a heat induction bending facility which is used mainly in the oil and gas industry. The factory will also have a heat treatment facility and laboratory. – Bernama]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:49 +0000 397476 at
Islamic chamber proposes law to boost corporate waqf
Its president, Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim, said this would boost waqf activities and enable more bodies to approve the endowment activities.

“We need to encourage waqf institutions to grow so that property ownership can last a long time and can be shared together, unlike corporations that are usually owned by individuals.

“This will help improve the income of the less fortunate, thus empowering the Muslim community financially and economically,” he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Malaysia’s Islamic Capital Market Seminar, here yesterday.

At present, waqf or Islamic endowment contributions are given only to state Islamic religious councils.

In his speech, Muhammad Ali also proposed to the government to consider the participation of waqf institutions in the privatisation of government-linked companies to ensure the continuity of corporate ownership being fairly distributed in the society.

“Priority should be given to waqf institutions, if there is any, as it will contribute directly to the economic development of the country besides safeguarding public interest.

“The government should also explore the possibility of allocating shares to waqf institution as a condition for IPOs ,” he said. – Bernama]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:49 +0000 397477 at
Analysts believe odds are against Best Oracle
Sources say Best Oracle, which is led by CLIQ Energy managing director and CEO Ahmad Ziyad Elias, is studying whether the shareholders meeting can still be held following the High Court’s order that allowed CLIQ Energy’s petition to wind up the company.

The shareholders meeting is also to seek an extension of time from the Securities Commission (SC) to complete the qualifying acquisition (QA).

When contacted, both interested and non-interested directors of CLIQ Energy declined to comment on queries.

Analysts however opined that although CLIQ Energy’s major shareholder is trying hard to complete the QA, its shareholders are likely to vote against the deal given the lacklustre outlook for the oil and gas special purpose acquisition companies.

They believe the probability of CLIQ Energy obtaining the SC’s nod for the extension of time is also very low.

“The window is closing. Things are very late in the cycle for them to stop the liquidation process. It’s coming to the end already,” Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told SunBiz.

“Ultimately if shareholders voted against this (resolution), very little can be done. Chances are very low that they will be granted (time extension),” he added.

Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research analyst Lim Sin Kiat concurred, saying that there will be not much change in the current situation.

“I think the liquidation will still be on no matter what. Chances are low for them because the High Court has allowed the liquidation process,” he noted.

On Monday, the High Court allowed a petition to wind up CLIQ Energy naming Onn Kien Hoe and Mok Yuen Lok of Crowe Horwath Advisory Sdn Bhd as liquidators. The board of directors of CLIQ Energy also said that they ceased to have any powers and that all queries should be directed to the company.

Several attempts have been made by Best Oracle to prevent the dissolution of CLIQ Energy after the SC returned the company’s submission of oil and gas assets buy in Kazakhstan for US$110 million (RM430 million) last January.]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:50 +0000 Lee Weng Khuen 397481 at
Bank Negara: Market determines ringgit’s exchange rate
The ringgit has fallen 1.7% in the past month, but is still up more than 4% since the start of the year, having been Asia’s worst performing currency last year.

Speaking at an economic forum here on Monday, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim made his first public comments about the ringgit since the recent bout of volatility. The text of his remarks was made available yesterday.

“Despite the extreme volatility experienced in recent years, our thinking has remained the same – market forces ought to determine the direction and level of the exchange rate,” said the governor, who was appointed in May.

“The central bank’s role should be to contain the degree of volatility, which we know has significant implications for an open economy like ours,” he said.

Bearish factors influencing the ringgit have included weak export markets, low prices for Malaysia’s oil, gas and commodities, and concerns over state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

“In the short term, exchange rate movements could react to news headlines and market sentiment, instead of reflecting the underlying strength of the economy,” Muhammad said.

He also said there was a misperception over Malaysia’s reliance on commodities, which he said accounted for 19% of exports, while the oil and gas industry accounts for 22% of government revenues.

The governor said it was important to ensure the availability of ample reserves, maintain strong economic fundamentals and manage exposure to external debt. – Reuters]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:49 +0000 397478 at
StemLife to work with Brunei hospital
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the company said it entered into an agreement with Brunei-based JPMC for the collaboration on Sept 1, 2016.

The stem cell banking services include collection, testing, processing and preservation of umbilical cord blood stem cells, umbilical cord tissue, Wharton Jelly and peripheral blood stem cells services.

“With the agreement signed, JPMC will be the first hospital in Brunei to offer a comprehensive cord blood and tissue stem cell collection, transportation and cryopreservation services in Brunei. Now Bruneian parents are able to store the cord blood and tissue of their newborn infant, for potentially a lifetime,” said the company.

The agreement is valid for one year from the commencement date and will not have any material effects on the earnings, net assets and gearing of StemLife for the financial year ending June 30, 2017.]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:50 +0000 397479 at
George Kent’s earnings up twofold to RM20.5m in second quarter
Revenue for the quarter under review also expanded 43.7% from RM114.66 million to RM164.77 million.

The group has proposed an interim dividend of 3 sen per share.

In a filing with the stock exchange, George Kent said it is optimistic on its prospect for the rest of the year with a very strong order book and the good execution.

George Kent’s first-half net earnings surged 93.7% from RM18.34 million to RM35.52 million. Revenue was 65.75% higher at RM287.73 million compared with RM173.69 million in the same period a year ago.]]>
Business Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:36:50 +0000 397480 at