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Saturday, March 17, 2012 | News | Cover feature | View Points | Stocks | Auto | Management | Commodities | Companies and Strategies | Land & Property | Economy | Finance | Foreign News | Billings & Advertising | Books |

Nadzmi resigns as Proton chairman and director

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has resigned as Proton chairman and director effective immediately due to the change in shareholdings in Proton Holdings Bhd.

Pushing back the retirement age

THE debate swirling around the Government’s intention to officially set the private sector’s retirement age at 60 raises a number of questions, none of which are new.

Nine shortlisted for Prai power project

PETALING JAYA: Nine consortia and sole bidders have been shortlisted by the Energy Commission (EC) to participate in the tender process for the Prai combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power project.

News

Metronic and Ariantec answer UMA queries

PETALING JAYA: Metronic Global Bhd and Ariantec Global Bhd said they were unaware of any factor that might have contributed to the sharp increase in the price and trading of their shares after the stock exchange issued unusual market activity queries to both the ACE Market companies.

Mega First, Rock Chemical request suspension

PETALING JAYA: Mega First Corp Bhd and its 60.43% subsidiary, Rock Chemical Industries (M) Bhd, requested for trading suspension of its securities from 9am to 5pm yesterday, pending a material announcement. As of press time, both companies had yet to make any announcement.

Faster processing for secondary listings

PETALING JAYA: The Asean Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) announced yesterday that corporations in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand would be able to enjoy an expedited review of secondary listings.

EPMB into highway concession

KUALA LUMPUR: EP Manufacturing Bhd (EPMB) made its foray into highway concession through its acquisition of Maju Expressway Sdn Bhd (MESB), the concession owner and operator of Maju Expressway (MEX), for a total RM1.15bil.

Khazanah buys into listed Sri Lanka conglomerate

KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd, via its special-purpose vehicle Broga Hill Investments Ltd, has acquired an 8.85% stake in John Keells Holdings Plc (JKH), Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate, in a deal worth RM366mil.

Outsourcing sector poised to reach RM1.9mil next year

CYBERJAYA: Malaysia expects the outsourcing industry to be worth RM1.9bil next year, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

Esso not seeking other takeover offers

PETALING JAYA: The board of Esso Malaysia Bhd is not seeking any alternative takeover offers after it received notice of an unconditional takeover offer from San Miguel Corp (SMC).

Credit Suisse: BN will prevail

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) is expected to win a stronger mandate from the people in the upcoming general election, which is expected to be held in the middle of this year, said Credit Suisse in a note to its clients.

AsiaEP board files suit against Lestari, seven others

PETALING JAYA: The board of AsiaEP Resources Bhd, led by its executive chairman-cum-managing director Dr Tan Boon Nunt, has filed a suit against Lestari Pasifik Bhd and seven other defendants.

MCMC: No memo issued on 6% prepaid tax

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said it has not issued a memo to telecommunication companies instructing them to be prepared for a proposed 6% tax on prepaid phone subscribers.

Fashion retailer Jordone Group seeks Bursa listing

PETALING JAYA: Jordone Group Bhd (JGB), which specialises in brand building, concept development, fashion designing, marketing, distribution and retailing for casual and business wears, is seeking a listing on Bursa Malaysia Main Market.

Pharmaniaga plans expansion in Mideast, South-East Asia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s largest homegrown pharmaceutical group Pharmaniaga Bhd plans to expand its market in the Middle East and South-East Asia, particularly Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Your 10 questions with Datuk Jaffar Indot

Datuk Jaffar Indot answers your 10 questions.

Up close and personal with Nancy Zimpher

From teacher to university chancellor, she talks about what education means and why, after 40 years, she is still passionate about teaching.

Cover feature

Malaysia needs flexible labour laws

RIGID labour laws are a major obstacle to setting a higher retirement age for the private sector because employers are reluctant to retain those they deem as unfit for any number of reasons, including disciplinary and health reasons.

Prospects for retirees

WITH Malaysia in the final stages of drafting a new law to increase the retirement age in the private sector from 55 to 60, retirees can look forward to the opportunity of working longer and earning more money.

World’s ageing population

WITH the world’s population growing older, there will be a lot more elderly people willing and able to work longer periods in their lives in both developed and emerging economies.

View Points

Unwinding the MAS-AirAsia alliance

P. Gunasegaram outlines the reasons why the Malaysia Airlines-AirAsia alliance should be aborted.

No room for quitting quietly

Errol Oh discusses the significance of listed companies disclosing why their highranking officers tender their resignations.

The future of Asian banking business models

Andrew Sheng looks at how banks in the US and Europe changed roles and working culture, and how this would impact the future of the banking industry in Asia.

Think business, think margins

Tan Thiam Hock gives his take on high margin business opportunities and who should consider them.

Political risk recedes for stock market

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s approval ratings rebounded strongly in the latest Merdeka Centre polls, climbing to 69% from 59% in August last year.

TSM Global privatisation via acquisition of assets and liabilities

Privatisation via the acquisition of assets and liabilities route, despite the revision of the Listing Requirements (LR) on the shareholders’ approval threshold, from 50% to 75% by the Securities Commission and Bursa Malaysia on Jan 28, 2011 has not appeared to have dwindled. Neither has its success rate been reduced.

Looking at relevance in development

Angie Ng feels that development projects need to consider building communal camaraderie as much as erecting concrete structures in a place.

The many extras on offer can be irresistible for the home buyer

Teh Lip Kim gives reasons why now is as good a time as ever for property buy ers to take their cheque books out.

Stocks

Zelan shares jump on new govt contract

KUALA LUMPUR: Zelan Bhd shares rose as much as 7.5% in early trading, the biggest intraday gain in two weeks, after the company signed a 25-year concession agreement with the Government.

Affin Investment plans 3 more stockbroking branches

PETALING JAYA: Affin Investment Bank Bhd plans to have three more stockbroking branches this year after the launch of its latest branch at SEA Park.

Kenanga launches Bt Pahat branch

KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd, a subsidiary of K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd, has launched its sixth branch in Batu Pahat, Johor.

Subdued trading likely

Shares on Bursa Malaysia started out the new week little changed above the flat line, with the FBM Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) advancing 0.83 of a point to 1,579.83, extending the previous session’s gain on follow-through buying, spurred by the steadier US markets overnight.

Eye on Stock

AFTER a steep rally, mTouche Technology Bhd pulled back from the top on correction owing to an apparent profit-taking activity, dragging prices down from the 51.5 sen level on Feb 27, the highest in four years, to a low of 39.5 sen in late March before bouncing off in the wake of renewed bargain hunting interest.

Auto

Proton confident of selling 4,000 latest car per month

PETALING JAYA: Proton Holdings Bhd is optimistic of achieving monthly sales of 4,000 units for its new model, codenamed P3-21A, group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said.

Management

New AmanahRaya group MD after board meeting

PETALING JAYA: Amanah Raya Bhd (AmanahRaya) is likely to make an announcement on its new group managing director after a board meeting to be held soon, sources said.

Commodities

Oil price remains a concern

PETALING JAYA: The elevated price of crude oil, which translates into higher costs, will continue to be the main concern among Asean economies as they face a slowdown in growth due to a drop in exports.

Companies and Strategies

Unlocking value in Hibiscus

Malaysia’s first special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, which raised RM234mil from its initial public offering in July 2011, will soon come out of its SPAC status to become a Main Market company.

Land & Property

OSK Property plans rights issue with warrants

Petaling Jaya: OSK Property Holdings Bhd has proposed a renounceable one-for-10 rights issue of up to 23.74 million new shares in OSK Property together with up to 71.21 million free detachable warrants on the basis of three warrants for each rights share subscribed to, on an entitlement date to be determined later.

The lure of Melbourne city

RESIDENTIAL properties in Melbourne, Australia can be an attractive option for Malaysian property investors, despite the high exchange rate of the Australian dollar vis-a-vis the ringgit (A$1 equals RM3.20) and restrictions on foreign buyers, property consultants concur.

Investment choices in Melbourne

AUS Property Corp co-founder Steve Galanos says that foreigners investing from abroad should focus more on buying landed residential units.

Economy

Countries in the region are facing issues of surging food and raw material prices

HOUSEWIFE Aminah, 45, finds that she has to fork out at least RM150 more on her weekly grocery shopping compared with more than a year ago.

Finance

Foreign News

Singapore economic prospects brighter

SINGAPORE: The city-state’s exports recovered strongly in February, led by electronics and pharmaceuticals, providing an early sign the picture could brighten for Asia’s trade-dependent economies.

MoU on supervision of credit rating agencies

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the supervision of credit rating agencies.

World Bank gives US$200mil loan for China rail line

BEIJING: The World Bank has approved a US$200mil loan to China to help finance the construction of the ZhangHu (Zhangjiakou-Hohhot) railway line.

India sets modest path to trim deficit

NEW DELHI: The Indian government played it safe in unveiling its 2012/13 budget, pledging reforms but setting only modest targets for trimming a ballooning fiscal deficit, disappointing bond market investors.

Client pans Goldman’s slowness to reassure clients

LONDON: APG, one of Europe’s largest asset managers, has criticised Goldman Sachs Group Inc for not communicating quickly enough with clients after ex-banker Greg Smith’s public condemnation of the way the bank treats its clients.       

Schaeuble tipped to be new Eurogroup chief

FRANKFURT: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has tipped Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to take over as head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Lamy plays down rare earth row

TOKYO: The head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has played down a dispute over China’s controls on exports of rare earth minerals, saying it was unlikely to escalate into a trade war.

Spain’s public debt hits record high

MADRID: Spain’s public debt soared to a record 68.5% of economic output at end-2011, Bank of Spain figures show.

Billings & Advertising

PR companies need to engage clients to stay ahead

WITH technological advancements and the world moving at a crazy-rapid pace, companies need to engage public relations (PR) firms at management meetings to make critical, crisis-avoiding decisions.

Digital dilemma plagues Malaysian marketers

ONE cannot trivialise the impact of digital media, writes HARMANDAR SINGH.

Books

Building credible leaders

The writers discuss why leaders need to build and maintain credibility and say how this could be done.

Snapshots

Compiled by THEAN LEE CHENG.

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