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Saturday, June 29, 2013 | News | Cover feature | Companies and Strategies | View Points | Banking | Plantation | Earnings | Auto | Telecommunication | Logistics | Economy | Special Focus | Land & Property | Billings & Advertising | Books | Market Review | Stocks | Finance | Foreign News | Special Report |

Murdoch splits empire into two firmsLatest News

NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch split his corporate empire into two parts under a long-promised plan to "unlock value" by separating high-flying entertainment operations from struggling publishing activities.

China banking system 'stable' despite fund squeezeLatest News

SHANGHAI: China's bank regulator said that a recent liquidity squeeze would not hurt the stability of the banking system, in the latest government effort to soothe concerns over the funding shortage.

Wall Street Week Ahead: Fed fears may be gone but brace for volatilityLatest News

NEW YORK: Panic selling on fears of an early exit of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus efforts may be over, but the stock market may still face wild intraday swings as investors scramble to position themselves for Friday's payrolls report.

ECB 'looking carefully' at forward guidance: reportLatest News

LONDON: The European Central Bank is looking carefully at forward guidance but it is too early to say whether it will be used more extensively, executive member of the ECB's executive board Benoît Cœuré told The Times.

Volatile quarter takes global shares down, gold plunges

NEW YORK: World equity markets rose for a fourth day on Friday, but a gauge of world stocks and other assets still ended in the red for the month of June and for the second quarter as fears that U.S. monetary stimulus could soon be pared back drove volatility and weighed on sentiment.

S&P 500 posts best first half since 1998

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 ended Friday's session with its strongest first half of any year since 1998 after reaching record highs in May on a rally underpinned by the Federal Reserve's massive monetary stimulus.

News

HSL secures RM228mil job from Eastbourne

PETALING JAYA: Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) announced yesterday that it had secured a contract from Eastbourne Corp Bhd worth RM228mil.

MPHB Cap eyes top 10 spot

KUALA LUMPUR: MPHB Capital Bhd (MPHB Cap), a spin-off of Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd (MPHB), is targeting to be a top-10 general insurance player in Malaysia by end-2015.

MMC indirect unit buys Aussie firm

PETALING JAYA: MMC Corp Bhd’s indirect subsidiary, Australia-based Malakoff Holdings Pty Ltd, has acquired the entire share capital of Meridian Wind Macarthur Holdings Pty Ltd (Meridian Holdings) from Meridian Energy Ltd for RM382.2mil.

ABC aims to kick off new unit next year

PETALING JAYA: The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) Malaysia is aiming to kick off its ABCi unit, which will be responsible for auditing the online media, by the middle of next year.

Cover feature

The players in the Hong Leong Capital saga

The Hong Leong Capital buyout saga has thrust certain individuals into the limelight. While those from the Hong Leong Group are well-known in corporate circles, the one low-profile individual Datuk Dr Yu Kuan Chon has this saga to thank for him becoming a big corporate name today. Here are the profiles of the key players:

Quek’s poker game for Hong Leong Capital

AS corporate takeover sagas go, Hong Leong Capital Bhd (HLCap) will go down as one of the more colourful ones in Malaysia’s corporate history. The usually savvy tycoon Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan ought to have wrapped up the privatisation of the investment banking and asset management unit of his group by now.

Companies and Strategies

The deal-makers

The key persons behind boutique advisory firms.

The rise of boutique financial advisers

IN the local high finance corporate scene, a few boutique advisory firms have been quietly etching a name for themselves, putting together mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and other company restructuring deals.

PKNS may get a higher price for PJ Sentral stake

Instead of letting it drag out in the courts, Gapurna or the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) may acquiesce to a higher offer for the Selangor State Development Corp’s (PKNS) 30% stake in PJ Sentral, sources say.

Curbs on DIBS likely negative for developers, but little effect on banks

THE potential move to impose curbs on the Developer Interest-Bearing Scheme (DIBS) by Bank Negara may be negative for some developers in the short term and has little effect on banks.

The blame game of KLIA2

MAHB is pointing the gun at UEMC-Bina Puri for the delayed completion of KLIA2, which was due to the delayed works of the main terminal that currently stands at about 93%.

MAHB adamant about LAD fine

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is adamant on its decision to slap the main contractor of KLIA2 – UEM-Bina Puri JV – with the liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD) fine.

View Points

Highlighting the rich and evasive

When the wealthy dodge taxes, it’s time to name and shame.

Helping through informed giving

TWO weeks ago, I was on a flight back from Singapore. One of the newspapers had a poignant picture of a young boy in tears. I could practically feel him staring at me.

Now is not the time for austerity

SINCE 2008, policy debate continues to be centred on the correct mix between austerity and growth, and the need for fiscal sustainability or what economists call budgetary consolidation – i.e. measures to ensure that government budgets are balanced over time so that the servicing of rising debts is sustainable, without passing on too great a burden to future generations.

Mental dissonance and rationalisation can lead to financial trouble

HAVE you ever wondered why you can’t seem to make good decisions when it comes to your money?

Kah Beng on the thrill of motor sports

DARKNESS had set as Oh Kah Beng tailed the lead rider in a motorcycle convoy on the way back from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur.

New doesn’t mean perfect

Vis-à-vis purchase from housing developers.

Refashioning McCann Malaysia

MICHAEL Constantine experienced a range of emotions when he was offered to take over the reins of McCann Worldgroup Malaysia, one of the country’s high-profile advertising groups.

Banking

BIMB gets extension to finish talks on stake buy

PETALING JAYA: BIMB Holdings Bhd has received a further one-month extension till end-July to complete negotiations with Dubai Financial Group LLC (DFG) on the acquisition of the latter’s 30.5% stake in Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.

Plantation

Sustainable practices key for M'sian planters: Minister

YANGON: Malaysian oil palm planters constantly aim to achieve sustainable practices, including maintaining “zero burning policies”, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Unggah Embas.

Earnings

SapuraKencana net profit soars on fabrication, HUC

PETALING JAYA: SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd has recorded a 125% increase in net profit to RM93.67mil for the first quarter ended April 30 compared with RM41.66mil a year ago.

Auto

Nasim intends to launch two more outlets

PETALING JAYA: Nasim Sdn Bhd aims to launch two more outlets in the country as part of its nationwide network expansion.

Telecommunication

No special dividends seen from Axiata after failed Myanmar bid

PETALING JAYA: After failing to clinch a telecommunications licence from the Myanmar government, analysts expect Axiata Group Bhd to use its cash reserves in other ways.

Logistics

Integrated Logistics unit to sell stakes in two firms for RM519m

PETALING JAYA: Integrated Logistics Bhd announced that its indirect 70%-owned subsidiary, Integrated Logistics (HK) Ltd (IL HK) has agreed to dispose of its entire equity interest in ISH Logistics (Shenzhen II) Ltd (IL Shenzhen) and Integrated Logistics Henan (HK) Ltd (IL Henan) to Winfair International Holdings Ltd for 988 million yuan (RM519.3mil).

Economy

New challenges for the economy

WITH the global economy showing a slower recovery and the likelihood of the commodity super cycle coming to an end, the World Bank has urged Malaysia to accelerate structural reforms to ensure the country’s economy remains diversified and dynamic.

Special Focus

Towards a common goal

The Bioeconomy Transformation Programme is tasked with aligning all the various initiatives and strategies for the nation’s bio-based economy, of which the palm oil industry is a key player

Land & Property

Sunway excited over Iskandar project

IT may seem rather nondescript but the appointment of joint managing directors and the presence of Kumar Tharmalingam over at the Sunway group may be an indication of the direction the company would like to take. Or at least, the market it would like to have.

A place for work, play and engagement

A COMFORTABLE environment with plenty of green is the office of the future, says Selangor Dredging Bhd (SDB) managing director Teh Lip Kim.

Gabungan AQRS seeks 40% from property development

PETALING JAYA: Gabungan AQRS Bhd is eyeing a 40% contribution from its property development division for its current financial year ending Dec 31.

Billings & Advertising

The newspaper is king

THE newspaper, which is still the most dominant form of media in terms of Malaysian advertising expenditure (adex), is still the prominent and preferred choice for advertisers, according to industry experts.

Focusing on ‘essential’ award shows

TWO major media agencies, OMD and PHD, did not participate in the recent Malaysian Media Awards (MMA).

McCann launches new unit called Craft

MCCANN Worldroup Malaysia has started a new subsidiary called Craft to adapt and version campaigns from different markets.

Books

The demands of money

Money: The Unauthorised Biography by Felix Martin.

Snapshots

Compiled by THEAN LEE CHENG.

Market Review

Market poised to firm on better sentiment

Instead of taking some comfort from a steadier Wall Street the previous Friday, stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly frail at the start of the week as investors continued to fret about the impact of the Federal Reserve’s plans to withdraw monetary stimulus and an economic slowdown in China.

Stocks

Eye on Stock

HAP Seng Consolidated Bhd rebounded from the RM1.87 floor and charged past the RM2 psychological mark to achieve a high of RM2.05 yesterday, the best level since March 2011, in the wake of fresh bargain-hunting interest.

Finance

Foreign News

Singapore steps up property cooling measures

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s central bank has introduced rules to ensure that a property buyer’s monthly payments do not exceed 60% of his income, a move aimed at cooling the housing market and ensuring investors are not caught out by a rise in interest rates.

France deficit exceeds target

BRUSSELS: France’s fiscal deficit could slightly go over target due to poor growth and dwindling tax revenues, President Francois Hollande said, while stressing his commitment to containing public spending.

ECB says not discussing Fed-style bond programme

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank (ECB) denied a German newspaper report that it was considering launching a new bond purchase programme under which it would buy debt of all 17 eurozone countries.

Pearson denies report Murdoch to buy Financial Times

HONG KONG: British publisher Pearson has denied a report that media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Abu Dhabi’s state media group are in talks to acquire the Financial Times Group for about US$1.2bil.

Banks to repay US$2.68bil of ECB crisis loans next week

FRANKFURT: Banks will return 2.06 billion euros (US$2.68bil) of crisis loans early to the European Central Bank (ECB) next week, after the central bank assured markets this week an exit from its accommodative policy stance is distant.

M&As worldwide at four-year low

NEW YORK: Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) around the world slowed to their most sluggish pace since 2009 in the first half of 2013, Thomson Reuters data show, as recession-hit European companies put the brakes on transactions and their healthier US counterparts took a cautious approach amid market uncertainty.

Special Report

Preferred brands honoured

Which are the brands that Malaysian consumers trust the most? Reader’s Digest named the brands that have earned the highest levels of trust from Malaysians – the winners of the 2013 Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Awards – at an awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

The impact of science on humanity

ESTABLISHED in 1969, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) envisions itself as a premier research university.

Trusted brand in higher education

RELIABILITY is an important factor for those looking for suitable learning institutions.

Third gold in the bag for Sunway University

SUNWAY University is thrilled that it won the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Gold Award 2013 in the Malaysian Private University category recently.

A golden win for Stabilo

THE belief that stationery is not just a writing tool, but an important representation of one’s personality and lifestyle, has paved the way for Stabilo to win the recent Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Gold Awards in the Pencils Category in Malaysia for 2013.

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