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Saturday, March 24, 2012 | News | Cover feature | View Points | Stocks | Market Review | Special Focus | Companies and Strategies | Economy | My Money | Insurance | Land & Property | Foreign News | Billings & Advertising | Books |

News

PNB projected to get more than 5.5% yield from latest London office

PETALING JAYA: Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s (PNB) latest and fourth purchase of a London office building is expected to have a yield exceeding 5.5%, a source familiar with the deal said.

EPMB buy positive for long term

PETALING JAYA: EP Manufacturing Bhd’s (EPMB) acquisition of Maju Expressway Sdn Bhd (MESB) may not appeal to investors now but the deal is expected to give EPMB a sustainable income stream from toll collection in the long term.

Genting Singapore gets nod to operate junkets

PETALING JAYA: Genting Singapore has received the Singapore gambling regulator’s nod to operate junkets at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), capping off a good week of newsflow for its parent, Genting Bhd.

GuocoLand expects 18% yield from PJ City, PJ Corp acquisitions

KUALA LUMPUR: GuocoLand Malaysia Bhd expects a firm yield of 18% from the recent related party transaction to purchase PJ City Development Sdn Bhd and PJ Corporate Park Sdn Bhd from Guoline Asset Sdn Bhd and MPI Holdings Sdn Bhd respectively.

Pembinaan BLT making third sukuk issue

KUALA LUMPUR: Pembinaan BLT Sdn Bhd’s (PBLT) third issue of RM1.35bil Islamic medium-term notes, or sukuk, is expected to carry lower rates, compared with the earlier two series.

Perak Corp unit enters joint venture

PETALING JAYA: Perak Corp Bhd subsidiary PCB Development Sdn Bhd has entered into a heads of agreement with Sanderson Project Development (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (SPDM) for a joint venture to develop and operate an international standard animation theme park, resort hotel and serviced apartments in Ipoh. The project has a gross development value of RM506.7mil.

Samling gives its rationale

PETALING JAYA: The Samling group said the rationale behind the proposed privatisation of its listed units Lingui Developments Bhd and Glenealy Plantations Bhd is the fact that the two counters have been “thinly traded” over the past year.

Inflation eases to 2.2% in February

PETALING JAYA: Overall prices for February as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.2% to 104.5 from a year ago largely due to an increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages after climbing 2.7% in January.

KLB names PDagangan partner, supplier of lubricants

KUALA LUMPUR: Konsortium Logistik Bhd (KLB), a logistics service provider has signed a long-term contract agreement with Petronas Dagangan Bhd, making the latter its exclusive partner and supplier of lubricants.

S&P downgrades MISC credit rating

MUMBAI: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) had lowered its long-term corporate credit rating on energy shipping company MISC Bhd to BBB from BBB+ with a negative outlook.

Genetec clinches RM28mil orders

PETALING JAYA: Genetec Technology Bhd, an ACE-listed high-precision engineering design and build specialist, has secured new orders amounting to RM27.9mil, bringing its order-book to RM106.4mil.

KPJ buys into Indonesia firm

KUALA LUMPUR: KPJ Healthcare Bhd said its wholly-owned subsidiary Kumpulan Perubatan (Johor) Sdn Bhd has proposed to acquire an 80% stake in Indonesia-based PT Khidmat Perawatan Jasa Medika for RM15.84mil cash.

Your 10 questions with Pete Teo

Pete Teo answers your 10 questions.

Up close and personal with David Farr

He was 45 when he took over as Emerson’s CEO and here speaks animatedly about the coveted position and the responsibilities that come with it.

Clarification

WITH reference to the article “The PR initiative” published on March 17, IPREX’s global president Kathryn Tunheim has clarified that while having standards and accreditation helps demystify what PR people do and the skills that they bring to an organisation, she also believes that making it mandatory is definitely a red flag and that it should be done voluntarily by practitioners. It has also been clarified that IPREX has 72 partners globally as at 2011.

Cover feature

Principles and targets of lending guidelines

StarBizWeek posed some questions to Bank Negara via email on the lending guidelines and below are the answers.

Reining in household debt

The responsible lending guidelines, among the pre-emptive measures by Bank Negara to contain surging household debt, have made a strong impact on most people. Will the guidelines be effective to control the alarming levels of household debt and put the brakes on loan growth?

Tighter screening of loans

THE local property sector is expected to see some “cooling down” in the number of transactions this year following the implementation of the responsible lending guidelines by Bank Negara on Jan 1.

MAA says new rules already impact sales of new vehicles

NEW rules means new consequences and the first industry to raise its displeasure over new funding guidelines was the auto industry.

View Points

External factors remain a concern

Need to moderate excessive loans for property, cars, personal use and credit cards

Major headache for minority shareholders

Errol Oh wonders if ordinary shareholders can understand the convulated resolutions in the upcoming EGM of asiaEP Resources.

Retired and wondering whether to dabble in business?

Tan Thiam Hock advises those who plan to start a business after retirement – the dos and don’ts as he sees them.

Tohoku – a year after tsunami

Lin See-Yan writes about his trip to Japan and evaluates the state of the Japanese people and the economy, among others, one year after the tsunami.

At what price the pursuit of novelty?

Thean Lee Cheng talks about buying a dream villa in the middle of ocean and wonders if this is a wise investment.

Stocks

QSR’s share price hit by privatisation concerns

PETALING JAYA: Fears that the proposed privatisation of QSR Brands Bhd by Johor Corp (JCorp) and London-based CVC Capital Partners Ltd may fall through may be the reason why the company’s share price has been under selling pressure since last week.

Masterskill CEO raises shareholding to 23.81%

PETALING JAYA: Masterskill Education Group Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara bought more shares in his beleaguered company on Thursday, forking out some RM7.7mil to mop up 7 million shares at a price of RM1.10, according to Bursa Malaysia filings.

Jaya Tiasa draws fresh interest after exercise

PETALING JAYA: Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd shares surged to a high of RM8.44 – the highest in 12 years – but finished short of the intraday high after it announced a bonus issue, share placement and one-for-20 share dividend.

Metronic, Ariantec continue to see active trade

PETALING JAYA: Shares in Metronic Global Bhd and Ariantec Global Bhd continued to draw active trade although both companies succumbed to selling pressure and ended the day in the red.

Two firms sell Ingenuity shares

PETALING JAYA: Titanium Hallmark Sdn Bhd and Landasan Sinfoni Sdn Bhd have disposed of 76.71 million shares on the open market in ACE Market-listed Ingenuity Solutions Bhd, filings with the stock exchange show.

More forced sale of Silver Bird shares

PETALING JAYA: Shares belonging to suspended Silver Bird Group Bhd managing director Datuk Jackson Tan totalling 2.01 million were force-sold at prices ranging from 18 to 18.6 sen from March 14 to 20, filings with the stock exchange show.

Eye on Stock

WONG Engineering Corp Bhd recovered from the “double-bottom” formation of 17.5 sen on Sept 19, last year to achieve a high of 38.5 sen on March 14, the best level in two years.

Market Review

Bulls attempt to rally

Overnight Wall Street snapped the seven-day winning streak to finish down 20.14 points at 13,232.62. In stark contrast, crude oil prices rose US$1.95 to US$107.06 a barrel, as worries of supply disruption from Iran drew investors back to the commodity.

Special Focus

Reaching out beyond business

THEY are the big boys in the plantations industry and global players as well. But beyond the golden harvests that bring in the money, they also do their part to give back to society. And for these companies, their corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda is focused on community work and the environment.

Companies and Strategies

Analysts support KLK’s plan to sell English retail business

PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd’s (KLK) plan to dispose its underperforming English retailing business of body and home products Crabtree & Evelyn for a one-off RM123mil gain, or about 11.5 sen per share is seen as a positive move among analysts.

Chieftains losing control of mTouche?

DATUK Kamarudin Meranun, co-founder of AirAsia Bhd and big corporate name created some stir this week when he doubled his stake to 11.53% in smallish mTouche Technology Bhd.

Prelude to more amicable water ties?

THE Federal Government is allowing Selangor to operate the recently completed Labu treatment plant, possibly sending a signal that the water talks could move to more amicable ground.

Economy

Challenges to the economy this year

BANK Negara’s annual report for 2011 shows that the global environment has not changed much where sustaining growth is concerned for 2012.

My Money

Does it pay to be a clown?

ASK any youngster what they want to be in life, and the usual response will be a doctor, lawyer, accountant or engineer. And in today’s world of high finance, many may also aspire to be an investment banker.

Insurance

Syarikat Takaful invests in new IT system

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd has invested RM3mil for an information technology system that allows it to operate in a paperless environment.

Land & Property

Glomac posts higher profit on property sales

PETALING JAYA: Glomac Bhd posted a higher net profit of RM21.9mil for its third quarter ended Jan 31, 2012, up 32.7% from RM16.5mil recorded in the previous corresponding quarter.

UOA banks on strategic projects

PURSUING pocket developments in mature neighbourhoods will be the forte of UOA Development Bhd to build up a stronger presence in the Klang Valley property market.

Tropicana Ivory’s RM10bil Penang World City to feature diverse cultural components

GEORGE TOWN: Tropicana Ivory Sdn Bhd’s (TISB) RM10bil Penang World City (PWC) project in Bayan Mutiara will have affordably priced high-rise units and a ‘world culture’ component, featuring different cultural residential enclaves.

Foreign News

AIJ loses US$1.3b in bad options bets

TOKYO: Tokyo-based AIJ Investment Advisors lost US$1.3bil in bad bets on equity and bond derivatives, losing the bulk of the pension funds it was managing, Japan’s financial regulator said after stripping the firm of its registration.

Nigeria finance minister to run for World Bank top job

PRETORIA: Nigeria’s finance minister will run for the World Bank top job, her South African counterpart announced yesterday, the deadline for nominations to succeed Robert Zoellick.

China, Indonesia sign deals worth potential US$17bil

BEIJING: China and Indonesia signed prospective deals worth potentially more than US$17bil in the fields of mining, hydropower and steel, state media reported, during a visit by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Beijing.

Singapore inflation eases

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 4.6% in February from a year ago, the government said, slowing from January’s pace as food prices increased by a smaller quantum.

Fed shouldn’t overcommit to easy policy

HONG KONG: The US Federal Reserve should be wary about “over-committing” to an ultra-easy monetary policy that has served the economy well in recent years but could be detrimental down the line, a top Fed official said.

Credit Suisse boss’ 2011 pay halved

ZURICH: The pay of Credit Suisse chief executive Brady Dougan fell by more than half last year to 5.8 million Swiss francs (US$6.35mil) in salary and share-based bonuses as the bank’s profit shrank 62% and its stock dropped 41%. Dougan, was paid 12.8 million francs in 2010,       

US high-frequency traders on watchlist

NEW YORK: The US securities watchdog is looking at whether some high-frequency trading firms have used their close links to computerised stock exchanges to gain an unfair advantage over other investors, according to the Wall Street Journal.       

Opel likely to submit plant closure plan

FRANKFURT: General Motors’ Opel managers will present a business plan next Wednesday to the unit’s board that likely will involve closing two plants in Europe to reduce manufacturing capacity by some 30%, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking.

Billings & Advertising

Communications group bids to expand PR clientele

MALAYSIA-BASED communications company GO Communications Group is going regional in a bid to expand its clientele in the fast and competitive public relations business.

Star annual report 2010 wins design award

STAR Publications (M) Bhd’s annual report 2010 beat 39 other entries to win a design award in the annual report category at the Conqueror Design & Print Awards 2010/2011 this month.

Spin targets 20% revenue growth

SPIN Communications Sdn Bhd, a three-year-old boutique agency based in Petaling Jaya, expects an exciting year in 2012.

Books

The bubble is not new

This is a compilation of George Soros’ essays about when the financial crises in the US and Europe began and what caused them.

Snapshots

Compiled by THEAN LEE CHENG.

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