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Saturday, March 10, 2012 | News | Cover feature | Companies & Strategies | Economy | View Points | Land & Property | Books | Stocks | Billings & Advertising | Foreign News |

MAS and Qantas call off talks

PETALING JAYA: Talks between Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Australian carrier Qantas to set up a new premium airline has been terminated. Both airlines were unable to come to an agreement on the deal.

Khazanah ups stake in CIMB

KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd has increased its stake in Malaysia’s second biggest banking group, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, by 1% to 29.9% in an open market purchase.

Ranjit appointed SC chairman, Ramlah deputy chief executive

PETALING JAYA: Securities Commission (SC) managing director Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh (pic) has been appointed chairman of the regulator with the retirement of Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, whose term expires on March 31.

Free messaging threat limited?

PETALING JAYA: Cellular companies globally are losing billions of dollars annually as more people shift towards free text messaging via Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and iPhone’s WhatsApp but the local celcos said there is limited impact of this new era of messaging on their bottom lines.

Condo market challenging

PETALING JAYA: With close to 2,600 high-end condominiums scheduled for completion in Kuala Lumpur this year, the outlook for the luxury condominium market in the capital city is expected to be challenging.

Your 10 Questions by Prof Datuk Mazlan Othman

Prof Datuk Mazlan Othman answers your 10 questions.

Up Close & Personal with Douglas Lim

Behind the mike, he is a deluge of jokes but off the mike, he is a practical man who has to plan shows and think about his livelihood.

Perwaja extends RCULs deadline

PETALING JAYA: The deadline for the acceptances and payment for the 7% seven-year redeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks (RCULs) with a nominal value of RM175.45mil in Perwaja Holdings Bhd, and the deadline for excess RCULs application has been extended to March 16 from March 12.

Interest rate held steady

PETALING JAYA: Policymakers at Bank Negara followed the lead of their regional peers by holding the key policy rate steady, as growth momentum moderated amid a slowdown in trade activity while upside risks to inflation remained.

Tax twists throw luxury market in disarray

Jeweller Mattia Cielo opened his exclusive boutique on top Italian luxury street Via Montenapoleone last October, only to see the flow of clients peter out after the government curbed the use of cash.

News

SP Setia said to be keen on fresh bid for London’s Battersea site

PETALING JAYA: SP Setia Bhd, which made two bids of £262mil (RM1.2bil) and £324mil (RM1.5bil) last year for London’s Battersea Power Station site, is said to be keen to make a fresh bid for the ongoing sales tender exercise for the 15.8ha (39.1 acres) freehold site.

Columbia expands Malaysia ops with launch of 10th hospital

KUALA LUMPUR: Community-focused healthcare provider, Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd, has a strong foothold in Malaysia, with a revenue contribution of 67% to its regional operations.

MBSB seen benefiting from civil servants’ pay hike

PETALING JAYA: Non-bank lenders such as Malaysia Building Society Bhd are likely to benefit from the civil servants’ salary increases of between 7% to 13% under an improved Malaysian Remuneration System.

PNB and LTH expected to accept revised offer price for Engtek

PETALING JAYA: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) are likely to accept the revised offer price in the buyout offer from TYK Capital Sdn Bhd to take Eng Teknologi Holdings Bhd (Engtek) private, if the price does not fall below RM2 per share, said OSK Research.

CIMB upgrades TNB, cites benefits from Govt reform initiatives

PETALING JAYA: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) will benefit from the Government’s reform initiatives to create an electricity supply value chain that is more transparent and driven by market economics.

Pen-drive creator setting up shop in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Pua Khein-Seng, the 38-year-old Malaysian entrepreneur who invented the pen drive and runs Taiwan-listed Phison Electronics Corp, is setting up a Malaysian branch of his business that will work closely with Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Malaysia’s premier wafer fabrication plant in Kulim, reliable sources said.

Tesco plans to invest RM60mil in next two years

BUKIT BERUNTUNG: Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd plans to invest RM60mil in the next two years to open new stores and refresh some of its existing stores in the country.

Govt targets at least RM56b investment in manufacturing

GEORGE TOWN: The Government is this year targeting to equal or surpass the RM56bil investment in manufacturing achieved last year, despite the growing economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States.

Sarawak log production last year lowest in more than two decades

KUCHING: Sarawak’s tropical log production dipped below 10 million cu m last year, the lowest level in more than two decades.

AZRB to start work on MRT viaduct this month

PETALING JAYA: Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd (AZRB) will start work on the viaduct stretching from Plaza Phoenix to Bandar Tun Hussein Onn station for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) by the end of this month.

Cover feature

1MDB bursts into the power scene

1Malaysia Development Bhd is paying a lot of money for Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd. CEO Shahrol Halmi explains the acquisition of the power assets.

CEO believes 1MDB projects should be self-sustaining

StarBizWeek spoke with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO Shahrol Halmi regarding the agency’s latest purchase of Tanjong Energy Sdn Bhd and its ongoing property projects KL International Financial District and Bandar Malaysia. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

A power grid for Asean?

FRESH from its RM8.5bil purchase of tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan’s power assets, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO Shahrol Halmi is upbeat about the potential for an Asean power grid.

Ananda Krishnan takes the spotlight again

A FAVOURITE question among corporate circles whenever T. Ananda Krishnan’s name pops up is: “Have you ever met the man?”

Companies & Strategies

New twist to Eversendai

For Eversendai Corp Bhd, its recent announcements of winning contracts in Malaysia and overseas have certainly piqued the interest of the money men and the company would be embarking on a well-tested business trajectory most listed construction firms have followed. The company’s founder and group managing director Datuk A.K. Nathan believes it’s time for the steel fabricator and contractor to venture into a new business that is inter-related to its current core business, a common path blazed by the giants of construction in Malaysia.

Economy

The right to fair pay

Minimum wage is a controversial policy, but the call for it is to reflect a basic sum that could help low-income earners meet their basic needs.

View Points

What does independence mean when boards are often reconstituted?

Errol Oh analyses the role of independent directors when boards are often reconstituted once a new guard takes over.

10 reasons why credit card rates must not be raised

P Gunasegaram has 10 reasons why credit card rates must not be raised and the same reason why they should be lowered instead.

Greece needs more aid

Lin See-Yan analyses and explains why Greece needs more aid.

When to exit your business Not all exits are decided by financial considerations

Tan Thiam Hock delves on when entrepreneurs should decide to exit their business and when enough is enough.

Land & Property

Rental eases in London market

A residental lettings agency urges Malaysian investors in London properties to be “realistic about rentals” as the market has shown signs of easing in some locations since the second half of last year.

Residential prices hardly fall

Thean Lee Cheng says there is no truth that property prices will tumble this year after a steep rise in the residential sector over the past few years. In fact, prices have gone up.

Bankers and lawyers should know better

Alan Tong says you would expect your banker and lawyer to carry out their due diligence duties to ensure that your interest is not compromised.

Books

Doing good is good business

Screw Business As Usual - Reviewed by NICK WALKER

Trust is the new currency of the global economy

Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy and Joy in a Low-Trust World - Reviewed by CHOO LI-HSIAN

Stocks

Eye on Stock

TATT Giap Group Bhd

Powerful rally seen

MARKET TREND - By K.M. LEE

Market closes on mixed note

SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia closed mixed as traders firmed their position ahead of the weekend, dealers said.

Billings & Advertising

MAS names Ogilvy & Mather master creative agency

MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) has appointed Ogilvy & Mather Advertising as its retained master creative agency.

BBDO focusing on developing and recruiting people

CREATIVE agency BBDO/Proximity Malaysia will be focusing its efforts on developing its people and recruiting new ones for this year.

People ‘n Rich hires two industry heavyweights

ADVERTISING and branding agency People ‘n Rich has recruited two industry heavyweights to strengthen its management team with the aim of building a solid base of top-flight talent for future growth.

Foreign News

Greece clinches debt swap

ATHENS: Greece has clinched a high-stakes debt swap, paving the way for an urgent bailout needed for the stricken eurozone member to avoid default.

ECB lifts annual profits in 2011

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank said its net profit for last year amounted to 728 million euros (US$965mil), up from 171 million euros a year earlier.

LSE grabs LCH.Clearnet control

LONDON: The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has agreed to buy a majority stake in LCH.Clearnet, giving it an entry into the hotly contested clearing market and landing chief executive Xavier Rolet a much-needed trophy.

Athens agrees to settle Siemens bribery row

ATHENS: Greece has agreed to settle a row over alleged bribes paid by German industrial conglomerate Siemens in a deal worth 270 million euros (US$358.37mil), the finance ministry said.

Greek economy shrinks 7.5% in fourth quarter

ATHENS: The Greek economy shrank by 7.5% in the fourth quarter of 2011, worse than thought with the economy in recession for a fifth year, official data showed.

Millers: Thailand needs to free sugar prices for single market

BANGKOK: The Thai government should start to liberalise the domestic sugar trade by floating retail prices to avoid possible shortages when South-East Asian countries launch their single market, scheduled for 2015, millers said.

More China easing seen

BEIJING: China’s annual consumer inflation slowed sharply to a 20-month low in February, and factory output and retail sales also cooled more than forecast, giving policymakers ample room to further loosen monetary policy to support flagging growth.

McDonald’s February sales miss Wall Street target

DETROIT: McDonald’s Corp has reported global February sales that missed Wall Street’s target as analysts underestimated what effect Europe’s harsh winter and economic upheaval would have on sales.

Aussie miners play down Indonesia law impact

MELBOURNE: Australian miners are playing down the impact of a new law in Indonesia limiting foreign ownership in mines to no more than 49%, even after a senior Indonesian official said the law would apply to all foreign miners.

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