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Friday, December 28, 2012

RHB Islamic To Boost Domestic Operations

15 Safar 1434

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 ,2012- RHB Islamic Bank Bhd aims to strengthen its domestic operations by opening two more branches in 2013, said managing director Abdul Rani Lebai Jaafar.

Currently, RHB Islamic has 14 branches nationwide.

He said the expansion plan was in line with the bank's strategy to expand operational footprint not only in the region but also in the international stage.

"We will continue to diligently focus on strengthening our capability and capacity building. We will also bolster our syariah governance as well as review technology infrastructure requirements," he told Bernama today.

More information: BERNAMA

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cost Of Maid Recruitment Set To Increase Further

4 Safar 1434

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 ,2012- The cost of recruiting Indonesian maids incurred by employers will increase further compared to the amount agreed upon in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Malaysian and Indonesian governments in 2011.

Malaysia National Association of Employment Agencies (PIKAP) president, Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan said the increase was necessary as the cost agreed upon earlier could not be implemented as it only involved the cost incurred by both employers and maids only.

"The cost structure agreed earlier was RM4,511 as payment for the recruitment of an Indonesian maid by the employer to the agency including the RM1,800 payment for the maid's advance by the employer to the employment agency.

More information: BERNAMA

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Malaysia To Be Samsung's Largest Operations Base Outside Korea

8 Muharram 1434

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 , 2012- Samsung Korea is planning on making Malaysia its largest operations base outside of Korea by 2015.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said he had been informed by Samsung Korea's President, Datuk Park Sang Jin, that the move was being made in view of Malaysia's good industrial ecosystem including political stability, skilled local human resources and an economy that constantly paid attention to activities of high value addition.

These factors have contributed to stable business operations cost in the country.

More information: BERNAMA

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Asean Development Gaps Should Be Critically Addressed

16 Zulhijjah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, October 30, 2012- The Initiative for Asean Integration Development Cooperation Forum (IDCF), held yesterday in Jakarta, discussed initiatives for Asean integration and ways to address development gaps or disparities among Asean members nations.

As outlined in its 2009-2015 work plan, the Initiative for Asean Integration (IAI) is a tool to help narrow the development gaps in Asean by helping newer member states implement their commitments to building the Asean Community and ensuring that benefits of Asean integration are equitably shared, a statement said.

More information: BERNAMA

Sunday, October 28, 2012

iPhone 5 Expected To Be Launched In China This December

13 Zulhijjah 1433

BEIJING, Oct 27, 2012- Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to be launched in China this December, its Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook revealed in the company's quarterly financial report.

China has been one of the significant markets for Apple to tap into, as its revenue from July to September grew 26 per cent year-on-year, with sales hitting US$5.7 billion, the China Daily here reported.

More information: BERNAMA

Encouraging Response For MAS Promotions

13 Zulhijjah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, October 28, 2012-Malaysia Airlines' promotions under the banner of '40 Years of Amazing Journeys Together', which began on Oct 22, has received encouraging response with the Peninsular Malaysia-East Malaysia routes the most sought after for domestic travel.

In a statement, the airline said that around 72 per cent of domestic travel bookings snapped up by customers were for travel between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Sandakan, Tawau, Bintulu and Sibu.

It said that 27 per cent of international tickets purchased were for return travel to Beijing and Shanghai (starting at RM1,279 for economy class) as well as Hong Kong and Taipei at starting fares of RM879 and RM1,159 respectively.

More information: BERNAMA

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Malaysia Islamic Banks Ripe for Consolidation

3 Zulhijjah 1433

Malaysia’s Islamic banks are ready for consolidation as they seek ways to cope with rising operational costs, a top official with Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd (BMMB) said, signalling a greater acceptance in US$143.64 billion sector for M&As.

Islamic banks in the past have often been reluctant to merge, in part due to resistance from powerful shareholders who fear a loss of control while strains in global financial markets discourage risk-taking.

Islamic finance has grown in leaps and bounds to account for 23.7 percent of Malaysia’s total banking assets although a major aspect is missing — the development of megabanks that can issue ground-breaking products in the same way as conventional banks.

More information : Business Times Malaysia

Reports Speculative in Nature:Green Packet

2 Zulhijjah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR: Green Packet Bhd, whose share price had risen in very active trade over the speculation on the sale of its broadband business, declined to comment yesterday.

It had earlier in the day, through a public relations company, sent an email advisory to the press to expect an announcement later in the day.

Describing the articles as "speculative in nature", it said the company's public communication policy is not to comment on press articles which are speculative in nature.

"The company holds itself to the highest standards of corporate governance and will ensure that all announceable agreements or transactions will be disclosed to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd and the investors accordingly," the company said in its filing to Bursa Malaysia.

More information :Business Times Malaysia

Monday, October 15, 2012

Maybank Looking To Expand In China Through Organic Growth

30 Zulkaedah 1433

BEIJING, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) plans to become a leading "cross-border" solutions bank in the context of Asean-China by 2015, said its President and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.

"Maybank was looking to expand to other big cities in China in an organic manner without involving any merger and acquisition," he said at a press conference in conjunction with the opening of its Beijing branch, the third branch after Shanghai and Hong Kong, here today.

He said in the first half of 2012, Maybank has recorded a total profit after tax of US$37 million for its Greater China operations, which include its branches in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

More information :BERNAMA

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Call for more time to 'tweak' Basel III

29 Zulkaedah 1433

Malaysia's top two banks, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, say the Basel III package of measures to strengthen the global financial system needs more scrutiny and are calling for more time to "tweak" the new regulations.

Picture by Business Times Malaysia
One of the deepest concerns is that the banking sector could lose investor appeal, Maybank said at the Institute of International Finance annual meeting here.

The Basel III package of measures will see a gradual phase-in of the standards from next year until 2019.

"The consultative papers have been placed with the central banks," said Maybank president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.

Picture by Business Times Malaysia
Overall, while there are some elements like trade finance and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that can be tweaked, the banking sector must be prepared for Basel III.

"We saw it as an eventuality and that was why we raised US$1.2 billion (RM3.66 billion) blanket capital to make sure we are prepared," he said in reference to last week's successful completion of a bookbuilding exercise in relation to its private placement.

He called for a level playing field, arguing that the risk weighted assets of European banks are between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, one third that of Asian banks, which measure at between 50 per cent and 60 per cent.

CIMB Group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said there are details that need to be looked into as well as Basel III's implications on the banking landscape.

Basel III, he said, is crafted in the context of problems in the West, which is heavily reliant on a global ratings framework that is biased against developing countries.

Nazir said further scrutiny shows that the new regulations will be disadvantageous to Asian banks.

"It places excessive liquidity requirements on Asian banks when there is so much of liquidity in the region and likewise, there is too much emphasis on government bonds when there is enough in Asia."

Smaller banks also stand to suffer as Basel III means heavy compliance costs.

More information: BT

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Malaysia To Bank On Islamic Finance To Boost Financial Integration

18 Zulkaedah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3, 2012- Malaysia will be consolidating and capitalising on its comparative edge in Islamic finance to intensify financial integration and connectivity with international economies, mainly to support expansion of trade and investment activities.

Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, said Islamic finance has proven to be a potent tool for the nation to achieve more inclusive, well-rounded and sustainable economic development.

He said Islamic finance started as a strategy for greater financial inclusion in reaching out to the underserved segment of the Muslims and has progressed into a competitive form of financial intermediation for retail customers, businesses and the government.

More information: BERNAMA

2013 Budget: Middle-income Group Not Sidelined

18 Zulkaedah 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3, 2012- The government would not sideline the middle-income group in the 2013 Budget, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said various incentives were given out to assist this group, including one percentage point income tax reduction for those in the RM2,500-RM50,000 income bracket.

"We also provide housing programmes for the middle-income group. We give them other facilities too that benefit them like the My First Home scheme.

More information: BERNAMA

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Syed Mokhtar Firms Make RM347m. Offer for Tradewinds

29 Syawal 1433

KUALA LUMPUR: Hotel and property specialist Tradewinds Corp Bhd (TCB) has received a RM347 million takeover offer from its largest shareholder Perspective Lane (M) Sdn Bhd and two sister companies.

Perspective Lane, Kelana Ventures Sdn Bhd and Seaport Terminal (Johore) Sdn Bhd, all controlled by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary, plan to privatise TCB via a selective capital reduction (SCR) and repayment exercise.

TCB yesterday said Perspective Lane will cancel one TCB share held by other shareholders not linked to it and the other two offerors.

They will pay RM1.10 for every cancelled share, TCB said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

The SCR of 347 million shares will reduce TCB's issued and paid-up capital from 1.11 billion shares to 759.03 million shares.

Read more: Syed Mokhtar firms make RM347m offer for Tradewinds

Legoland Malaysia, Local Attraction Of International Standard

29 Syawal 1433

JOHOR BAHARU, Sept 15, 2012 First in Asia, Legoland Malaysia got a hot reception from visitors on its opening day today with some 4,000 visitors registered up to 12 pm.

Visitors thronged the main entrance of the park as early as 9 am and about 10,000 patrons are expected to visit the theme park on the first day of its opening to the public.

While waiting for the main entrance to open, the visitors are feted with an amazing performance by the Legoland orchestra, Billund Marching Band, which was specially flown in from Denmark, as well as a dance show by the crew of Legoland Malaysia.

All the visitors are excited with the public opening of the Legoland theme park and some have already made plans to revisit it.

More information : BERNAMA

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TM's Profit Almost Triples

12 Syawal 1433

STRONG BROADBAND TAKE-UP RATE: Company nets RM348.5m in second quarter 

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM), the country's largest fixed-line phone company, almost tripled its second quarter net profit to RM348.5 million, partly helped by a strong broadband take-up rate.

The company also recorded a 8.6 per cent growth in revenue to RM2.43 billion, versus RM2.23 billion in the same period last year.

During the quarter ended June 30, 2012, the company also added 37,000 new broadband customers to 2.01 million, mainly driven by growth in its Unifi customer base.

To date, TM has more than 420,000 Unifi customers. The company had earlier forecast to hit 400,000 subscribers by year-end.

More information: Btimes

Global Investor Confidence Index Falls In August 2012

12 Syawal 1433

SINGAPORE, Aug 29, 2012- Global Investor Confidence Index (ICI) fell in August 2012 on a month-to-month basis, according to State Street Global Markets, the investment research and trading arm of State Street Corporation.

The global ICI fell from July's revised reading of 94.3 to 90.9 in August.

Driving the decline was a sharp deterioration in risk appetite among North American investors: the North American ICI declined 8.7 points from July's revised level of 93.1 to settle at 84.4.

The European ICI was close to unchanged, ticking down half-a-point from 101.7 to 101.2.

Among Asian investors, risk appetite improved for the fourth successive month, and the Asian ICI rose 2.9 points from a revised level of 90.6 to finish at 93.5.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index was developed by Harvard University professor Kenneth Froot and Paul O'Connell of State Street Associates.

It measures investor confidence or risk appetite quantitatively by analysing the actual buying and selling patterns of institutional investors.

More information :BERNAMA

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Malaysian Economy To Perform Well Relative To Other Asian Nations

20 Ramadhan 1433

SINGAPORE, Aug 9,2012 - The Malaysian economy is poised to continue well relative to other Asian nations as it is supported by strong private consumption growth, says Anthony Yau, Head of Asian Emerging Markets at State Street Global Advisors.

He said the country's economy compared favourably to other Asian nations in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

"Private consumption has been the primary driver here as it is among the strongest in the region and continues to be supported by widespread pay raises for civil servants heading into the elections," he told Bernama.

More information: BERNAMA

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ananda Krishnan sells Maxis stake

7 Ramadhan 1433

KUALA LUMPUR: Tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan is selling up to 375 million shares worth around RM2.35bil in the country's largest mobile phone operator Maxis Bhd, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The shares were being priced at a range between RM6.21 and RM6.34 per share, the source said, representing a 3%-5% discount to the closing price of RM6.54 yesterday.

Officials at Maxis were not immediately available for comment. Ananda, Malaysia's second-richest man, has been selling some of his assets.

More Information: thestar online

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lotus to open KL showroom

2 Ramadhan 1433

DRB-HICOM Bhd plans to set up a dedicated Lotus showroom in Kuala Lumpur within the next three months, said group managing director Datuk Mohd Khamil Jamil.

“It will be in the city centre. We have identified several areas to house the maiden Lotus outlet in Malaysia under Proton,” said Mohd Khamil.

Bringing Lotus to Malaysia will be a milestone for national carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd, which bought Lotus nearly 16 years ago.

More information:Btimes

Google Internet business defies econ worries, ad clicks surge

2 Ramadhan 1433

SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc's core Internet business increased revenue by 21% in the second quarter, easing Wall Street worries that a slumping global economy would take a toll on the company's online advertising.
Shares of the world's No.1 search engine were up about 3% in after hours trade.
Google, which reported its first set of quarterly results since its May acquisition of Motorola Mobility for US$12.5bil (RM37.5bil), offered few details about its plans to expand into the hardware business, focusing instead on what it described as healthy trends in its traditional online advertising business.
More information: techcentral

Friday, June 29, 2012

Citi Says Not Under Probe For Interest Rate Fixing

10 Syaaban 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29, 2012- More global banks are being investigated for alleged financial market manipulation after Barclays was fined US$453 million, but Citibank has clarified that it is not one of them.

 "Citi has confirmed with U.K. government officials that it is not under investigation in the UK for Libor-related issues," Citibank Bhd said in a statement here .

More information : BERNAMA

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Telekom Malaysia remains as top pick for CIMB Research

28 Rejab 1433

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Research remains Neutral on the mobile telecommunications sector, and said it rmained cautious on DiGi.Com Bhd given that the migrant market contributes to a hefty 20% of its revenue. Maxis has said it will not let up until it captures its fair share of the market.
"Telekom Malaysia is our top pick as it is largely spared from the tussle in the mobile space," said CIMB Research.
More Information : The Star

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Google Upbeat on Chrome Web Store

25 Jamadilakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR: Google Malaysia is upbeat on a higher rate web browser adoption via localised web store with its newly-launched Chrome Web Store (CWS).

Country manager Sajith Sivanandan said Google Chrome is the number one web browser in Malaysia, thus by rolling out the CWS, it will be vastly more useful to Malaysians.
The new version of Chrome is launched every six weeks, he added.

CWS is an open marketplace that gives users an easy place to browse, discover and purchase the best applications (apps) on the web.

More information : Business Times Malaysia

TM Remains Top Pick

25 Jamadilakhir 1433

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM) remains an “outperform” with a higher discounted cashflow-based target price as we lower its weighted average cost of capital for its active capital management. It is one of our top picks due to its continued strong growth and positive earnings surprises.
Investors we met with were concerned about competition from 4G or long-term evolution. However, we think that wireless and fibre broadband are complementary as it is less cost-competitive given the scarcity of spectrum.

TM thinks that wireless broadband presents an opportunity to wholesale backhaul to the wireless operators.

TM is also trying to up-sell its services to maximise revenue and we do not expect any major asset disposals. We sense limited scope for special dividends in financial year ending Dec 31 as it sold all its substantial non-core assets and operational gains are unlikely to be very significant.

More information: thestar

Thursday, May 10, 2012

KL Hosts Regional Discussion On Takeover Developments

19 Jamadilakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 , 2012- The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the Securities and Futures Commission Hong Kong are jointly organising a three-day Roundtable of Regional Takeover Regulators of nine jurisdictions here, ending tomorrow.

The roundtable, the first such gathering in the Asia-Pacific region of regional experts in takeover regulation, is a platform for dialogue on current issues and key areas of takeover regulation which will help to foster cooperation and the exchange of information and experience amongst the different jurisdictions.

More information : BERNAMA

KWAP's Fund Size Increases To RM82.61 Billion

19 Jamadilakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 , 2012- The Retirement Fund Inc's (KWAP) fund size increased by 12 per cent or RM8.85 billion to RM82.61 billion in the first quarter 2012 compared to RM73.76 billion in the same quarter of last year.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Azian Mohd Noh in announcing the first quarter 2012 unaudited financial results, said the company's gross investment income increased to RM1.20 billion in the first quarter, which is 6.8 per cent higher than the RM1.13 billion over the corresponding period of 2011.

More information: BERNAMA

Monday, April 30, 2012

Puncak Niaga Gets RM500 Million Contracts In Oil & Gas Sector

9 Jamadilakhir 1433

SHAH ALAM, April 30, 2012- Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, which ventured into the oil and gas industry last year, has managed to secure contracts worth RM500 million, said its executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail.

Its involvement in the industry is via wholly-owned unit, Puncak Oil and Gas Sdn Bhd (POG), which had stakes in Global Offshore (M) Sdn Bhd and KGL Ltd last year.

Rozali said the company has been involved in many projects here and was ready for expansion overseas after recruiting experienced and capable staff to expand the oil and gas operations.

More information: BERNAMA

Monday, April 23, 2012

10 More Companies Will Be Disposed

2 Jamadilakhir 1433

PUTRAJAYA, April 23, 2012 - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the disposal of another 10 companies -- five under the Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) stable and another five subsidiaries of Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

The disposal was to enable all the companies to be handed back to Bumiputera companies through open tenders, said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

The decision was made at the two-hour Bumiputera Agenda Action Council meeting chaired by Najib, here Monday.

The prime minister said the decision would facilitate PNB, Malaysia's biggest fund manager, and Khazanah, the government's investment arm, to dispose non-core businesses besides providing the opportunity to potential and proven track record Bumiputera firms to take over the companies to develop them further.

More information : BERNAMA

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lodge Police Report If Loan Interest Excessive

30 Jamadilawal 1433

BACHOK, April 21, 2012- Those cheated by licensed money-lending companies into paying up to 30 per cent monthly interest should lodge a police report, said Finance Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin.

"The guideline set by the government is that such companies should impose an interest of not more than 18 per cent," he told reporters after presenting the 1Malaysia People's Assistance (BR1M) to 660 farmers and fishermen from Jajahan Bachok in Kampung Pauh Sembilan here Saturday.

More information: BERNAMA

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bank Negara's International Reserves At RM416.6 Billion As At 13 April 2012

29 Jamadilawal 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20, 2012 - Bank Negara's international reserves totalled RM416.6 billion (equivalent to US$135.8 billion) as at April 13.

More information: BERNAMA

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rich Indonesians Buy High-End Properties In Singapore

27 Jamadilawal 1433

JAKARTA, April 17,2012 - Many rich Indonesians are buying high-end properties in Singapore as a form of investment and their numbers exceeded other foreign nationals like the Chinese from China and Malaysians.

Director for residential marketing at Raffles Quay Asset Management, Thomas Yan, said Indonesians accounted for a large number of units of the Marina Bay Suites sold to foreigners.

More information : BERNAMA

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reserve Bank Of India Cuts Interest Rate First Time In Three Years

26 Jamadilawal 1433

NEW DELHI, April 17,2012. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut its interest rate by 50 basis points, first time in three years to boost waning growth.

With the cut, the repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility would accordingly drop to eight per cent from 8.5 per cent previously, it said.

"Based on current assessment, the economy is clearly operating below its post-crisis trend. This is one of the considerations behind the policy move, it said.

More information: BERNAMA

Monday, April 16, 2012

Foreign Buyers Purchase Bursa-listed Shares Amounting To RM162 Million

24 Jamadilawal 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 , 2012- Bernama reported that shares on Bursa Malaysia continued to attract foreign buyers last week with RM162 million worth of stocks purchased against RM433 million bought the week before, says MIDF Research.

It was the ninth consecutive week of foreign buying and Malaysian stocks had overtaken Thailand as the region's biggest net beneficiary of foreign investment in equity for the year until last week.

Detail information at :

Friday, April 6, 2012

TM Expects Increase In Subscribers For Cloud Services

14 Jamadilawal 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6,2012- Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd expects its customers for cloud services using Microsoft Office 365 software to increase this year.

Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said the company currently has 20 customers comprising 2,000 users who are on trial for that service.

"Although they are currently on trial, we expect to convert them to permanent customers in the future and we foresee the number of customers to increase," he told reporters after the launch of TM Career and Education fair by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah here today.

TM hoped those customers on trial will take up the service once the trial period has expired while it continued to look for potential customers.

"We believed the cloud service will be like the high-speed broadband service, UniFi, where for the first six months we only recorded 33,000 customers but after two years down the road, our customers have increased to over 300,000 at present," he said.

However, Zamzamzairani said following the introduction of the cloud service, the company planned to develop more Information Communication Technology (ICT) services for the small and medium entreprises.

"For a start, we have signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft for the Office 365 software to expand our cloud services offering by including it as part of TM's software services," he said, adding TM is also looking at other companies to enhance its cloud service.

On the development of UniFi service in other states, Zamzamzairani said TM will continue to expand coverage and is targeting to record 400,000 subscribers by year-end.

"UniFi is now enjoying a take-up rate of over 20 per cent of the premises passed, surpassing our initial estimates and expectations of eight to 10 per cent," he added.

The service is currently available at 81 exchange areas covering some 1.2 million premises. The areas are 64 in the Klang Valley, two in Penang, three in Kedah, nine in Johor and one each in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Perak.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

PNB To Hold Unit Trust Week In Kota Kinabalu From April 20

 14 Jamadilawal 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5,2012- The 13th edition of the Unit Trust Week Malaysia (MSAM) will begin at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex, Sabah, in a fortnight.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to declare open the Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) annual fair on April 20 while Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin attend the closing ceremony on April 28.

The nine-day event was expected to draw 20,000 visitors, PNB President/CEO Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman said here Thursday.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

TM Targets 10 Pct Growth In SME Subscribers This Year

29 Rabiulakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 , 2012- Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) aims to achieve 10 per cent growth in its small and medium enterprises (SME) customers by end-2012, from 494,000 customers currently.

TM SME executive vice-president, Azizi A Hadi said the company is committed in its partnership role to support SME development and growth by enabling them to achieve a competitive edge, leveraging on its wide array of solutions and extensive networks nationwide.

"SME BizFest is one of the many special platforms that we have prepared for Malaysian SMEs," Azizi said at the launch of the inaugural SME BizFest 2012 here today.

TM has projected to generate more than RM1 million in business transactions from the events, he added.

SME BizFest 2012 is a two-day event which will be held in three major cities namely Penang (April 13-14), Johor Baharu (May 11-12) and Kuala Lumpur (May 18-19).

SME BizFest 2012 aimed to provide a synergistic information communication technolgy (ICT) showcase for Malaysian SMEs to increase knowledge and awareness in products and services.

Among the highlights were interactive presentations, plenary style conferences covering a wide range of ICT and SME topics by renowned international and local speakers, latest technology demonstration and exhibitions.

SME BizFest also provided an avenue for SMEs to interact among themselves and opened up business opportunities through business matching sessions during the event.

The series of event was expected to attract more than 500,000 SME business communities in Malaysia that require ICT solutions to improve and enhance their business operations.

 Source- BERNAMA

Youtube Signs Licensing Pact With MACP

29 Rabiulakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 , 2012- YouTube has signed a licensing agreement with Music Author's Copyright Protection (MACP) that will allow Malaysian musicians and composers to earn revenue on YouYube.

YouTube Asia-Pacific director of product management, Adam Smith, said revenue would be generated when advertisements were displayed against YouTube partner's videos.

"For the first time under this agreement, Malaysian authors will receive payments from their association when rights holders distribute them," he told a media briefing here Thursday.

 Source- BERNAMA

Thursday, March 15, 2012

HSSB Agreement With REDtone To Uplift TM's Earnings

22 Rabiulakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 , 2012  Telekom Malaysia Bhd's (TM) earnings are expected to see an uplift following its high speed broadband (HSBB) agreement with REDTone International Bhd (REDtone) yesterday, said Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB).

"We would expect the agreement to contribute positively to TM's earnings whereby, it would normally encompass two types of income, recurring and usage based," HLIB said in its research note today.

Under the agreement, TM will provide both HSBB access and transmission services to REDtone with the latter having access to 1.3 million premises by year-end.

HLIB believes that REDtone would utilise the HSBB as a backhaul to complement its existing 4,500 WiFi hotspots and potentially increase it to 5,000 by year-end.

Meanwhile, it also believes that TM will continue to lead the fibre-to-the-home market segment with the advantage as the first mover.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

HLIB Research Maintains 'Buy Call' On Time dotcom

12 Rabiulakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 (Bernama) -- HLIB Research is maintaining its "buy call" on Time dotCom Bhd (TdC) with a some-of-parts target price of RM0.85.

In a research note Monday, the research division of Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd said news of TdC's potential acquiree, Global Transit Ltd, signing a pact with PT PGAS Telekomunikasi Nusantara to provide bandwidth connectivity to Indonesia was a positive milestone in TdC's regional expansion plan.

It said Indonesia was one the markets in the region with the highest growth (over 30 per cent) on the back of low mobile and internet penetration rates of 62.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

"New acquisitions, when integrated as a group will further enhance earnings due to volume synergies and the utilisation of assets at owner-cost prices," it said.

 Source - BERNAMA

Friday, March 2, 2012

Plantation Sector Is Expected To Gain Significant Momentum

10 Rabiulakhir 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 , 2012- The plantation sector is expected to gain significant momentum this year following a good performance in 2011, said JF Apex Securities Bhd in a research note.

It said demand for crude palm oil (CPO) would remain resilient and production in the first half of 2012 was expected to be lower due to bumper harvest last year and lag effect of heavy rainfall in the second half of 2011.

"The lag effect of the heavy rainfall is expected to lead to lesser formation of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs).

"However, the rainfall is predicted to be normalised in the first half of this year. Therefore, there will be no major shortfall for the FFB production in the second half of this year," it said.

JF Apex said the CPO price for the first quarter of this year would hover between RM3,100 and RM3,200 per tonne mainly due to lower production.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Arab Countries Seriously Looking At Investing In Malaysia

29 Rabiulawal 1433

By Dalila Abu Bakar(Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21, 2012- Arab countries are contemplating moving their funds to safer economies like Malaysia following the economic crisis in Europe and the United States, said Mohammed Al-Rabea, Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Economic Unity, The Arab League.

"The economic crisis in Europe and the United States has affected the revenue of Arab countries. We are looking seriously to redirect these funds into safe economies like Malaysia," he told Bernama in an interview here.

The Council of Arab Economic Unity is in Malaysia for the Malaysia Global Business Forum-Strategic Partners-Malaysia and The Arab World held at MATRADE Tuesday.

The delegation had a meeting with Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir during the forum.

Mohammed Al-Rabae said they had exchanged views on potential businesses for Malaysia and the Arab countries.

"We have exchanged views and discussed with the Arab-Malaysian Business Council and Arab-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce to develop businesses and create joint ventures and closer ties.

"I have also extended invitation to Datuk Mukhriz to visit Cairo," he said, adding that Malaysia has yet to further its business relations with all members of the Arab League.

Mohammed Al-Rabae also said the delegation was impressed with the development of health tourism in Malaysia and would implement a similar model back home.

The Council of Arab Economic Unity will visit KPJ Healthcare, Malaysia's leading healthcare provider, tomorrow to discuss potential partnerships in the area of healthcare.

Meanwhile, Arab-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce President Mohamad Radwan Alamis said he was confident that total trade between Malaysia and Arab countries would exceed US$30 billion in 2015 from US$17.6 billion over the last 10 years.

"The US$30 billion is not far to achieve. We expect much more.

"There are huge opportunities. There are huge investment opportunities for Malaysian businessmen in the Arab countries, particularly in the construction and infrastructure sectors," he said.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Investors Can Ride Out Market Volatility With Right Strategies

28 Rabiulawal 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 , 2012 - With the right investment strategies, prudent portfolio risk management and a positive attitude, investors can ride out times of market volatility to optimise returns, says Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Gan.

"There has been heavy portfolio reallocation activities over the past year for equities investing, with more investors opting for regular investing style over a diversified range of fund categories.

"Investors who stay resilient and stay in the hunt for profit-making activities have better tolerance to short-term volatile market behaviour and are in a good position to reap better longer-term investment results," he added.

Pacific Mutual on Monday received the award for the Best Equity Group Category Award and three other equity fund awards at The Edge-Lipper Malaysia Fund Awards 2012.

The Best Equity Group Award is for the third-consecutive year.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Malaysia's Transformation Programme Offers Huge Opportunities For UK Firms

26 Rabiulawal 1433

By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah(Bernama)

SINGAPORE, Feb 17, 2012 - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's Economic Transformation Programme offers huge opportunities for UK firms to share their expertise and work with Malaysia on important commercial projects, including the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit.

In stating this, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, said combined with Malaysia's continued strong economic growth, "we see major opportunities across a wide range of sectors -- education, oil and gas, infrastructure, healthcare, information, communications technology, retail, financial and professional services and defence and security."

He said the UK has strong trade and investment ties with Malaysia which it was determined to further strengthen.

"My visit to Malaysia is an excellent opportunity to meet government and business leaders to achieve this objective," he told Bernama.

Lord Green was here from Feb 14-15, 2012 to promote UK trade and investment and aerospace at the Singapore Airshow and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore before visiting Malaysia yesterday, as part of his tour of the region which also Thailand.

He said many UK firms had presence in Malaysia, including well-known brands such as Dyson, Tesco and Shell.

On the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), he said the region's growing importance to UK business was reflected in his ministry's new five-year strategy, "Britain Open for Business".

"I will be visiting three of the five Asean countries identified as priority high growth and emerging markets (Singapore, Malaysian and Thailand)," he said.

Lord Green said the European Union was currently negotiating free trade agreements with Singapore and Malaysia.

"We look forward to the successful conclusion of these talks which will unlock many new opportunities for both UK and Asean businesses," he said.

He was positive about growth prospects in Asean and Malaysia in particular.

"There is no doubt the region is becoming an increasingly important player in the global economy.

"Robust domestic demand and improving macroeconomic fundamentals will also continue to support economic growth.

"Malaysia is UK's second largest export market in South-East Asia and we want to build on this," he said.

Lord Green said there were signs that the UK's economic outlook was improving.

"This year, the International Monetary Fund forecasts the UK to grow twice as fast as Germany and three times as fast as France," he said.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Global Shares Likely To Remain Up, Says Economist

26 Rabiulawal 1433

By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah(Bernama)

SINGAPORE, Feb 18 , 2012 - Global shares are vulnerable to further consolidation or correction in the short term given high levels of investor sentiment, strong year-to-date gains and Greek worries.

However, any pullback globally is likely to be mild and the broader trend is likely to remain up, says Dr Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist of AMP Capital Investors.

"Valuations are attractive particularly against very low bond yields, the risk of a eurozone meltdown has receded, momentum in global economic indicators is positive, global monetary conditions are getting easier and easier and there is lots of cash on the sidelines," he told Bernama.

He said the "yes we have a deal no we don't" regarding Greece's latest bailout negotiations raged on again over the last week, resulting in a volatile ride for risk assets like shares.

"Our assessment is that a deal is more likely than not as both sides have potentially too much to lose, but the risks are high and in any case it could drag on a bit," he said.

In a broader sense, Oliver said there was mostly good news regarding the European debt issue over the last week.

Most importantly, bond yields in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal were little affected by the Greek related uncertainty of the last week, suggesting investors are becoming less concerned about contagion.

He said global reflation remains an ongoing theme with the Bank of Japan announcing extra quantitative easing, a short-term inflation target of one per cent and a medium-term target of two per cent.

"This is very significant. If Japan is serious about meeting its inflation targets it means more monetary easing in order to break the psychology of deflation and it could mean a fundamental turn in the Yen (down) and the relative performance of Japanese shares (up)," he said.

Oliver said data releases over the last week were mostly positive with strong US data, a weaker than expected growth contraction in the eurozone and a contraction in the Japanese economy, but signs of growth bouncing back this quarter.

He said even Australian economic data surprised on the upside, but with monetary conditions tightening on the back of rising bank mortgage rates, the strong Australian dollar, and the drumbeat of job layoffs seemingly getting louder, it is hard to see recent stronger data releases being sustained.

"We still think there is a strong case to cut official interest rates further but the strong January jobs data and the Reserve Bank of Australia's relatively relaxed stance suggest the next cut may be several months away," he said.

Oliver said the focus in the week ahead will likely stay on Greece with finance ministers to consider the bailout package on Monday. European PMI business conditions indicators (Tuesday) and the German IFO index (Thursday) will also be watched closely.

 Source- BERNAMA

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Government Confident Economy Expands Over 5 Per Cent

20 Rabiulawal 1433

IPOH, Feb 12 , 2012- The government is confident that the country's economy will grow more than five percent this year as targeted, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said.

He said the effectivesness and success of the Government Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) would surely help expand the Malaysian economy.

"Basically, we are confident that the country's economic expansion is on the right track and the expansion also may exced the five percent target," he told reporters when meeting villagers at Kampung Tengku Hussien Hujung here.

He said the success of the GTP and ETP and its role in the country's economic expansion had been discussed during a workshop chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and attended by Cabinet ministers on Thursday.

"The workshop was also attended by an international panel comprising economic experts appointed by the government to check and balance the plans implemented," he said.

Ahmad Husni said Malaysia was the only country that had in place various action plans to overcome economic crises.

He said all plans that were drawn up based on the Key Performance Index also contributed to the country's economic expansion because through it, performance could be assessed based on facts.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Malaysia's Palm Oil Exports Hit RM80 Billion In 2011

17 Rabiulawal 1433

TEMERLOH, Feb 9, 2012- Palm oil is Malaysia's biggest commodity exports, registering RM80 billion last year.

In second place was rubber with RM20 billion, Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin told reporters at Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Jengka campus near here today.

He said the country's total commodity exports were RM130 billion last year.

Other commodities exported included cocoa and kenaf, he added.

"We expect the value to continue to increase this year on the back of rising demand," he said.

He also said efforts to promote Malaysian commodity products would continue in both new and traditional markets such as Japan, China, United Sattes, West Asia and Europe.

Meanwhile, Hamzah said his ministry was encouraging cocoa cultivation due to high demand for the commodity in the world market.

"The ministry organised the People's Cocoa Programme last year to encourage people to use idle land near their houses for cocoa cultivation.

"The ministry will provide quality cocoa seeds hoping that cocoa output will increase in the next few years," he said.

There was big potential in the cocoa industry and it could bring lucrative returns, he said.

"In the 1990s, Malaysia was among the world's major cocoa producers. Cocoa cultivation area in the 1990s was 420,300ha compared to only about 20,000ha now," he said.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Malaysia Invited To Diversify Its Investment In Turkmenistan

14 Rabiulawal 1433

By Joshua Foong (Bernama)

LONDON, Feb 7 , 2012- Malaysian firms should capitalise on the vast business opportunities in Turkmenistan as the Central Asian nation seeks to intensify contacts in a broad spectrum of economic partnership.

This invitation was expressed by the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman at a meeting on Feb 1.

Anifah, who was met by Malaysian press in London yesterday, said among key areas that was raised at the meeting was the increase of Malaysian involvement in industrial, transport and communications as well as high technology and tourism sectors, especially in the context of Turkmenistan's ongoing infrastructural projects and large-scale reform initiatives.

"President Berdimuhammadov, who together with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, took the relationship of both countries to a higher level in the past year, has indicated to me that his government will be very friendly to any possible Malaysian involvements and investments in the Turkmen economy," he said.

The Turkmen market, which is rapidly developing, and the favourable investment climate in the country, provide a conducive platform for the establishment of long-term cooperation with Malaysian business circles.

"My trip to Turkmenistan was also to assist Petronas in trying to secure other further business opportunities and to request for speedy government approval to facilitate of some of the work that they plan to do there," he added.

Petronas Carigali, the exploration and production arm of Petronas, began operating in the Turkmen sector of Caspian Sea since 1996.

Ten years later, in May 2006, the national oil corporation began to diversify in more downstream activities, such as industrial production and oil export.

Moving forward, on top of wider economic links, Berdimuhammadov had also expressed hopes that both Malaysia and Turkmenistan will be able to enhance bilateral humanitarian contacts, including in areas of education, professional training, science and culture.

Anifah also said that his ministry has already identified a candidate to be appointed as Malaysia's first ambassador to Turkmenistan, with a Malaysian Embassy to be opened in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat in the coming months.

Turkmenistan is also in the process of establishing an embassy in Kuala Lumpur.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

ETP, GTP Boost Malaysia Financial Competitiveness

12 Rabiulawal 1433

IPOH, Feb 4 , 2012  The implementation of the Economic Transformation Plan and Government Transformation Plan has boosted the competitiveness of the national finances.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said, this was based on the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/2012 which was tabled at the six-day World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, beginning Jan 24.

"The report was completed in September last year and tabled during the meeting. Our country was included in terms of competitiveness because our financial level rose much higher than that of South Korea.

 "We are currently placed at No. 21, while South Korea is No. 24. Prior to this, our country was No. 26," he told reporters . He said the evaluation covered numerous angles, including the micro economic environment which is the basis for an increase in domestic investments and foreign direct investments.

Apart from that, he said, the evaluation was also based on the infrastructural development, health and education.

 Source- BERNAMA

Sugar Subsidy Up Because Of Higher World Prices

12 Rabiulawal 1433

 KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3, 2012- The sugar subsidy for this year to 2014 has increased because the higher world prices compared with the price signed under the long-term contract (LTC) from 2009 to 2011.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said sugar price has increased by US$0.26 per lb compared with US$0.175 per lb in 2009-2011.

"As a result, the subsidy borne by the government from 2009-2011 is still based on US$0.175 per lb under the LTC," he said after launching the Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia at Bank Rakyat's cafetaria here.

He said for the next three years, the subsidy would increase based on the new LTC price of US$0.26 which the government signed in January.

Ismail Sabri refuted accusations by certain parties that the government has increased the sugar subsidy despite the fall in world raw sugar prices.

He said the price was still high at US$0.175 a lb.

The higher subsidy this year was not related to the fall in raw sugar prices eight months ago, he said.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysia imported almost 100 per cent of its sugar from Australia, Brazil and Thailand via Felda's subsidiary, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, and Tradewinds.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Selling Lotus a Viable Option: Tun Mahathir

10 Rabiulawal 1433

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s former prime minister, comments on Proton Holdings Bhd after billionaire Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s DRB-Hicom Holdings Bhd agreed to buy a controlling stake from the government.

Mahathir, who helped found Proton and remains an advisor, also comments on whether DRB should sell Proton’s U.K. sports- car arm Group Lotus International Ltd. The former premier made these comments in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

On selling Lotus:

“It is a viable option and I think the new owners of Proton might consider that. But, Lotus is not just a sports-car company. It is an engineering and technology company. It’s selling engineering skills to China and helping people going into the industry.”

Whether Proton’s new controlling shareholder DRB-Hicom can make a difference:

“The man behind DRB-Hicom is a successful entrepreneur. He owns ports and businesses and took over DRB-Hicom from previous owner and has turned it around.

“DRB-Hicom was a great failure before. It lost a lot of money before he took it over and has turned it around. It’s a profitable company and many foreign automotive companies go to this company and want them to be partners. They assemble Mercedes-Benz cars, Volkswagens and Suzukis. They are financially strong. I am confident.

“Of course, they have a lot of borrowings. Nobody is rich with their own money. They are rich with money that they borrow.”

On whether Proton still needs a global strategic partner:

“If you go to Italy, small companies can design and build car, so you don’t need big companies to be with you. You can go direct to the very companies which the big companies use.

“We see big companies are more keen on swallowing us up. We feel we want to be independent. Therefore, we go to the small companies and we can now build and design cars of modern design by working through these small companies.”

On what’s needed to turnaround Proton’s fortunes:

“I think a good management. There is nothing wrong with Proton, but bad management has caused it to come down.

“There were times Proton was doing so well. It made so much money it managed to build huge facilities, including a big manufacturing center costing 1 billion ringgit. These were internally generated funds and not by borrowing from the banks or asking the government for money. It’s not usual for any car companies to be able to generate funds internally for expansion. So it’s not a failure.

“Today, it seems to be in a bad way. Of course, there were things done which should not have been done. For example, they allowed for the import of foreign cars, but these people under- declare and do all kinds of funny things. As a result, these foreign cars push out Proton from the market. So, we understand the problem. We have a chance to recover.”

Proton’s challenges:

“One time, we had a reserve of RM4 billion, which would able to finance the growth of the future. Unfortunately, due to things done by the wrong management we have lost the cash.

“In the automotive business you need a lot of money. Each model, just for the platform requires half a billion ringgit. We need that money. I hope the new investors will provide the money.”

On whether Malaysia really needs a national car:

“By itself, a national car is not a need. We could buy cheaper cars by importing them. An automotive industry generates a lot of engineering skills and it can give us a lot of the other businesses.

“Now we can manufacture components and produce a lot of other things. People who look at Proton may think of it as a failure, but we think it has helped Malaysia take many steps in the field of engineering.”

Source- Bloomberg & Business Times

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bank Negara Maintains OPR At 3 Per Cent

8 Rabiulawal 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31, 1433 - Bank Negara Malaysia has maintained the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at three per cent.

The central bank said in the recent months, global economic and financial conditions had deteriorated following the escalation of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the ongoing fiscal consolidation and the significant policy uncertainties.

"The heightened market volatility, impaired financial intermediation and weak labour market conditions continue to weigh down on growth in the advanced economies.

"These conditions pose downside risks to global growth.

"In Asia, while growth continues to be supported by sustained domestic demand, the growth momentum has moderated amid the weaker external environment, it said in a statement after Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting Tuesday.

In the domestic economy, it said, the latest indicators pointed towards continued expansion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The central bank said growth was driven by sustained domestic consumption and investment activities, while the external sector showed signs of moderation.

"Looking ahead, the economy is expected to continue to expand, underpinned by sustained private sector economic activity and further reinforced by public sector spending," it said.

Meanwhile, Bank Negara said employment conditions were expected to remain stable while the outlook for domestic-oriented sectors will continue to be favourable.

"Overall growth prospects, however, will be affected by the slowdown in external demand, resulting in slower growth in exports and industrial production," it said.

It said domestic headline inflation averaged 3.2 per cent in 2011.

Going into 2012, cost-push inflation will moderate as slowing global economic activity will alleviate the pressure on the prices of key commodities, it said.

"The impact of domestic demand factors on inflation is expected to be contained, in line with stable domestic demand conditions.

"Headline inflation, therefore, is expected to moderate in 2012.

"Nevertheless, risks to inflation could emerge arising from supply disruptions that would result in higher food and commodity prices," it said.

The central bank said in the MPC's assessment, the global environment will become more challenging going forward.

"As Malaysia's economic growth and inflation prospects will be affected by these external developments, the MPC will continue to assess carefully the risks to domestic growth and inflation," it said.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Khazanah Subsidiary And Turkish Health Provider In Synergistic Partnership

1 Rabiulawal 1433

From Dalila Abu Bakar(Bernama)

 ISTANBUL, Jan 25 , 2012- The synergistic partnership between Khazanah Holdings Bhd's healthcare subsidiary, Integrated Holdings Healthcare Sdn Bhd (IHH), and Turkey-based healthcare services provider, Acibadem Saglik Yatirimlari Holding A.S.(ASYH), would see the group emerge among the world's largest healthcare services provider with 12,316 beds and revenue.

"We are currently number two in terms of number of beds and revenue of the hospital within the group around the world. But, if you look at profitability, we'll be number one," said Saglik Hizmetleri ve Ticaret A.S.Acibadem (Acibadem) founder Mehmet Ali Aydinlar at a press conference here Tuesday following IHH's purchase of a 60 per cent equity in ASYH.

He added that the group was also looking at growth in the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Russia.

Meanwhile, Khazanah Nasional managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the group was also planning for growth in India, Singapore, Malaysia and China. he added.

"In various measures and in all counts, we are among the top in the world," he added.

Azman also said that Khazanah also planned to list IHH in 2012.

"The company will put out the relevant documents in due course. We'll be consulting our partners," he said.

IHH successfully completed the 60 per cent acquisition of the enlarged share capital in ASYH from Mehmet Ali Aydinlar and family and Abraaj Capital, a leading private equity manager investing in the Middle East, Turkey, Asia and Africa.

Khazanah Nasional, through its special purpose vehicle, Bagan Lalang Ventures Sdn Bhd, also directly acquired a 15 per cent stake in ASYH.

ASYH is the 92 per cent shareholder of listed Acibadem, a leading private healthcare services provider in Turkey.

The Aydinlar family holds the remaining 25 per cent stake in ASYH.

The transaction value of the 92 per cent of Acibadem is about RM5.308 billion for the entire Class A and Class B shares.

The consideration amount for ASYH's 92 per cent stake in Acibadem is calculated by valuing 4,249,973 Class A shares at RM276.31 per share and 87,719,149 Class B shares at RM43.17 per share.

In compliance with the Turkish Capital Markets Board regulations, a mandatory tender offer will be made to approximately eight per cent of Acibadem's minority shareholders.

The acquisition consideration was made by a combination of cash and newly issued IHH shares.

This will result in the Aydinlar family and Abraaj Capital emerging as shareholders of IHH owning about 4.2 per cent and 7.1 per cent, respectively.

Khazanah, via its wholly-owned special purpose vehicle (SPV), Pulau Memutik Ventures retains a 62.1 per cent stake in IHH while Mitsui, via its wholly-owned SPV, MBK Healthcare Partners Ltd, now owns a 26.6 per cent stake.

Mehmet Ali Aydinlar and Omar Lodhi of Abraaj Capital will join the Board of IHH.

The acquisition represents IHH's first direct presence in the private healthcare space in Turkey.

ASYH is also Khazanah's first direct investment in a Turkish firm and represents another major step for the government's investment arm in growing its investments in the healthcare sector.

The addition of Acibadem to IHH's stable is very significant and adds to its impressive existing portfolio of healthcare assets that include Parkway Holdings Ltd, Pantai Holdings Bhd, International Medical University and shareholdings in India's Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited.

With the landmark transaction, IHH is uniquely positioned as one of the largest private healthcare providers in the world with a broad footprint of assets in Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, India and with presence in China, Brunei, Abu Dhabi as well as Central and Eastern Europe.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Aussie Private Equity Groups Looking To Asia For Funds

26 Safar 1433

MELBOURNE, Jan 20, 2012- Private equity groups are looking overseas for new sources of funding as Australian superannuation funds scale back their investment in the sector.

The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL) is working to attract Asian investors as part of a push to help mid-tier funds facing hard times, its chief executive Katherine Woodthorpe said.

"Australia's much more than Archer and CHAMP (private equity funds). There are whole tiers of quality smaller firms below that.

"The pulling back of the supers has been a huge concern for smaller funds," Woodthorpe told news agency AAP.

Mid-tier private equity funds managing between A$100 million and A$250 million have struggled to find local investors as super funds pared back investments and reallocated capital to larger, international players, AAP said.

Last year, two of the private equity sector's largest investors, Victoria Funds Management Corp and UniSuper, cut their exposure to the sector in a bid to streamline costs.

Quentin Jones, a partner in mid-cap fund Equity Partners, told AAP the push for greater funding from overseas would help smaller funds by easing Asian investors' concerns about their exposure to the Australian market.

"The problem offshore investors (face) is, they often have minimum cheque sizes of say A$50 million, but don't want more than a 10 per cent stake.

"For small funds like ours, that are only around A$100 million, this creates a huge problem," he said

AAP said Australia's private equity industry has seen a drop off in activity in recent years as liquidity has dried up in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The value of deals done in 2010 slumped to A$3.9 billion with only 43 new transactions in the whole 12 months, according to AVCAL data. This was down from a peak of A$24.9 billion in 2007.

Experts forecast a pick up in 2012 as cash-rich funds coming toward the end of their investment cycle go bargain-hunting in undervalued equity markets.

 Source- BERNAMA

Malaysia's Palm Oil Export Earnings To Reach RM85 Billion This Year

25 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 , 2012 - Malaysia's palm oil export earnings is expected to reach RM85 billion this year against an estimated RM80.39 billion in 2011, due to an uptrend in the price.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said production is also expected to rise to more than 19 million tonnes this year, from the 18.9 million tonnes previously.

"Palm oil production for 2012 will see an increase as planters, who have been waiting for the crop to mature, will be able to reap a harvest now as some of it does.

"This will ensure more production for the market," he told reporters after officiating the "Palm Oil Economic Review and Outlook Seminar 2012", here today.

Meanwhile, in his opening speech, Dompok advised all concerned to increase productivity and fully utilise the downstream sector, to ensure Malaysia's competitiveness in the market with land becoming scarce for the planting of oil palm.

"The palm oil industry charted strong growth last year and it is imperative that we undertake measures to increase productivity and competitiveness.

"Value addition is a way forward for the palm oil industry to boost its competitiveness in comparison with other competing oils and fats," he added.

Dompok urged the industry to venture into diversified niche products, which have a higher market demand and premium prices.

"In this regard, the government encourages the industry to venture into new areas such as advanced oleochemical products, utilisation of biomass and production of phytonutrients.

"By venturing into the diversified niche downstream activities, value added industries will be further strengthened. This is indeed the way forward for the industry," he said.

In a separate note, the Malaysia Palm Oil Board director-general Choo Yuen May said the crude palm oil (CPO) price may remain firm this year, due to the steady Brent crude oil price, arising from geo-political instability in producing countries and in the Middle East.

She said uncertainty in weather conditions in major soybean oil producing countries, may lend support to the CPO price.

Soybean oil is the closest competitor to CPO.

"Demand for B5 implementation in the central region in Malaysia, which is expected to reach 120,000 tonnes, will also be a factor pushing up the CPO price," she added.

Choo said production will increase this year, supported by favourable weather conditions, higher fresh fruit bunch yields and an increase in the total maturing areas.

 Source- BERNAMA

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Investors Advised To Invest In Fixed Income

18 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR Jan 12, 2012- Investors are advised to invest more in fixed income or bonds, compared to equities in the current economic situation.

Citibank Malaysia's Head of Investment Strategist and Research, Wealth Management Products, Steven Yong said a defensive strategy with a larger portion of fixed income seems to be better for the cautious investor during the first half of this year.

"Fixed income is expected to do well in the first quarter," he added.

Yong said investors could focus on the emerging market debt as the economies of these countries were healthier.

While recommending fixed income for defensive investment, he said there were also opportunities in the equity markets in Asia.

"The equity markets in Asia are undervalued. This creates opportunities for investors but they have to be selective," he added.

He said the region is expected to record a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of six per cent this year compared to less than two in the developed countries.

"The Asian economies are performing much better than those of the developed countries.

"Investors need to remember that regardless of the global and domestic economies, markets and political environments, they should remain conservative yet nimble in their asset allocation.

"Investors should remain invested but investment portfolios must be properly balanced to withstand volatility," he added.

Yong also said that gold would continue to have a positive outlook on the back of investment demand. He projects gold prices to average around US$1,950/oz in 2012.

He also sees a lot of growth in the local unit trust industry with local funds performing very well.

Meanwhile, he said, oil prices would likely be supported over US$100/bbl by several factors, including geopolitical risks and expectations of more liquidity tranches to come via monetary policy.

Yong expects Malaysia to record a growth of six per cent in its GDP for 2013.

Interest rates he said, will either remain flat or be lowered before year-end while inflation would be around 2.7 per cent for 2012.


Friday, January 6, 2012

OSK Revises Time dotCom To "Neutral"

11 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 , 2012- OSK Research has revised downwards Time dotCom Bhd to "neutral" from "buy" based on an unchanged sum-of-parts fair value of 70 sen.

In a research note Thursday, it said the recommendation did not factor in the contribution from the recently acquired Global Transit Communications Sdn Bhd, Global Transit Ltd and Applied Information Management Services Sdn Bhd pending further guidance from the management.

"We expect limited price upside, even after including the implied valuations of the three companies," it said, adding that Time dotCom also proposed to acquire Global Transit Singapore and Global Transit Hong Kong.

It said the acquisitions were made to enter the international submarine cable business, tap into the regional wholesale customer base, strengthen the global bandwidth business and diversify into the high growth data centre and managed services business.

"Management reckons that earnings should grow at the mid-teens level, fuelled by the wholesale data segment.

"It (Time dotCom) believes the business will outpace the annual bandwidth price erosion of 15-20 per cent and mitigate the cannibalisation of voice revenue," OSK Research said.

 Source- BERNAMA

HSBC Cuts 2012 GDP Forecast For Malaysia To 3.7 Per Cent

11 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 ,2012- HSBC has reduced its 2012 gross domestic product forecast for Malaysia to 3.7 per cent from five per cent due to slower global growth which will continue to dampen exports.

HSBC said it, however, expected the domestic demand to hold up relatively well, supported by a solid employment outlook and monetary and fiscal stimulus as well as more projects would commence under the Economic Transformation Programme, and help to shore up the economic growth.

It said the global cooling should help reduce inflationary pressure by slowing growth and reining in international commodity price inflation.

"Hence, we expect inflation in Malaysia to moderate, although there are upside risks to food inflation owing to the floods in Thailand and the potential farm labour shortages caused by crackdown on illegal workers," it said.

The bank said given the weaker global economic conditions, Bank Negara Malaysia has started to sound more dovish of late.

 Source- BERNAMA

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

HLIB Maintains "Hold" Call On Telekom Malaysia

9 Safar 1433

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 , 2012- Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) is maintaining a "hold" call on Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), with an unchanged target price of RM4.54 per share, given the recent price rally.

"The stock is likely to continue attracting investors due to its defensive nature amid strong swings in global equity markets," said HLIB in a research note today.

The research firm said the nation's largest integrated solutions provider has budgeted between RM2.7 billion and RM3 billion in capital expenditure (CAPEX) for this year as it continued to roll out high speed broadband (HSBB) access to more areas.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Fahim To Develop Halal Integrity Management System In Ningxia Muslim Region

8 Safar 1433

From Ng Che Yean(Bernama)

 YINCHUAN, Jan 2, 2012- Fahim Technologies Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company, is expanding its halal integrity management solution service to Ningxia, north-west China's Muslim autonomous region.

Executive Chairman Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi, of Ibrahim Holdings Bhd, the parent company of Fahim Technologies, said Fahim worked together with the Ningxia provincial government to develop Ningxia as the first hub for its halal integrity management solution in China via a joint-venture company, Ningxia Fahim International Halal Industry Co Ltd.

He said the Chinese authorities need to address the people's misperception about food products safety in China, while China's central government thinks that Ningxia should take the lead in the halal industry.

The Halal integrity management solution could help build up credibility and confidence in safety and quality of food products in China, he said.

"Food safety is a critical issue for China," he told BERNAMA.

Ibrahim said the Ningxia Hui Autonomous government was excited over Fahim's introduction of the solution and it was keen to cooperate with the company to develop the system.

He said the joint-venture entity comprising Ningxia Fahim International Halal Industry, Fahim Technologies and Ningxia Autonomous Region government-owned Ningxia Comprehensive Agricultural Investment Co Ltd was established specially to develop products for the Muslim market.

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi attended the joint-venture company's launch.

"Our target is not only Muslims but also non-Muslims. I was told by some Chinese people that they preferred halal food products to allay food safety concerns as halal in Chinese literally means pure and good," he said.

Halal integrity management solution is an integrated monitoring system which can track halal products inflow from the source to end-users (farm to fork) throughout the entire value chain and monitor halal status of products to ensure safety and product quality.

The system was developed by an IBM team in Melbourne and sponsored by Fahim Technologies over the past three years.

Ibrahim said Ningxia would be the first hub to apply Fahim's Halal integrity solution and would expand to other provinces and to global level with strong support from its partner, IBM.

"Where there is an IBM branch, there is potential to be the next hub, and eventually the solution will go global," he said.

Fahim Technologies, Ningxia Fahim International and IBM China Company Limited signed a memorandum of understanding on Dec 29 to cooperate in the halal products safety control system.

Currently, about 85 per cent of the raw materials for halal food products in Malaysia were imported from countries like New Zealand, Australia and india, but Malaysia can be the leader in halal management system by providing solutions and experience to help other countries and companies develop their food safety management, he added.

Ningxia Fahim is the company's second joint-venture company in a foreign country. The firm has formed a 50:50 joint venture in Jordan.