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Author: PublicInvest   |   Latest post: Thu, 15 Nov 2018, 09:59 AM

 

PublicInvest Research Headlines - 13 Mar 2018

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Economy

Global: WTO head warns of retaliation risk after US trade tariffs. US President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum could spark retaliation from other countries and lead to unforeseen consequences, the head of the World Trade Organization said on Monday. “You know when it starts but not how it will turn out” when countries engage in mutual retaliation, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said. Brazil has said it will seek exemption from the newly imposed tariffs. (Reuters)

US: Commerce secretary to push EU to lower tariffs, says Trump. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will urge the European Union to lower its trade barriers, US President Donald Trump said on Monday, calling them unfair to US farmers and industry, a view the EU firmly rejects. The EU is seeking to be exempted from planned US import duties of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, but says Washington has not made clear how the exemption process works. (Reuters)

EU, UK: EU will make UK's case for Trump tariff exemptions, Fox says. The UK will rely on the European Union to make the case for an exemption from Donald Trump’s steel tariffs, even though the country is due to leave the bloc in a year’s time. Trade Secretary Liam Fox said that while Britain remains in the EU it will abide by the club’s rules, which state that the European Commission conducts trade negotiations on behalf of its members. The EU has drawn up plans to hit the US with new duties after the president’s announcement, ahead of a formal trade dispute. (Bloomberg)

UK: London house prices drop at the fastest pace since 2009. London house prices are falling at the fastest pace since the depths of the recession almost a decade ago, with the capital’s most expensive areas seeing the biggest declines. Average prices fell to GBP593,396 (USD820,000) in Jan, an annual decline of 2.6%, according to a report published by Acadata on Monday. That’s the most since Aug 2009. (Bloomberg)

China: Seen slowing spending on belt and road energy projects. China’s thirst for overseas energy investments is slaking, at least by one tally. The nation’s financing for so-called Belt and Road Initiative energy projects dropped 28% to USD14.3bn last year from USD19.9bn, according to data released Monday by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center. Spending last year included investments in gas pipelines in Malaysia, coal power plants in the Pakistani desert and an oil terminal in Bangladesh. (Bloomberg)

India: Slowing inflation is reprieve for Asia's worst bond market. Inflation in India dropped below 5% for the first time in three months, giving the central bank room to keep interest rates on hold for longer while providing relief to battered bond investors. Government data on Monday showed inflation at 4.44% in Feb, lower than the 5.07% pace in Jan. The easing for the second straight month will give bond investors in India, the worst performing bonds market among major growing Asian economies, something of a temporary cheer. (Bloomberg)

Malaysia: Debt still manageable, says PM. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stressed that Malaysia's debt is still manageable and does not exceed 55% of the GDP. Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the debt level is currently at 50.8% of GDP. "This means, our debt is still manageable and Malaysia is categorised as a country of medium debt, while compared with a number of developed countries, the government debt to the GDP there is much higher, with some exceeding 200%," he added. (Bernama)

Markets

CIMB (Trading Buy, TP: RM7.40): Partners Bayad Center, FINTQnologies in preparation for Philippine ops in 4Q. CIMB Bank has teamed up with CIS Bayad Center Inc and FINTQnologies Corp, both affiliates of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), to leverage on the companies' extensive network and broad range of services, thus helping CIMB to scale up its reach to customers across the Philippines. (The Edge)

Ho Hup: Signs JV for RM180m Kuantan project. Ho Hup Construction Co has signed a JV pact to undertake a mixed development project in Kuantan, Pahang. The group said its wholly owned Ho Hup Ventures (Kuantan) SB signed the JV agreement with landowner Koperasi Serbausaha Makmur (KOSMA) to develop a parcel of freehold commercial land measuring 8,129.9 sq m in Kuala Kuantan. Under terms of the JV, KOSMA will be purchasing the hotel block for RM30.98m, and the three commercial office floors for RM7.08m. KOSMA will also be entitled to a consideration sum of RM25m. (The Edge)

KSL: Buys land in Tebrau for RM133.6m. KSL Holdings announced that it is acquiring two parcels of land in Tebrau, Johor, for RM133.59m cash. The parcels will be utilised for landed property development. The Johor-based property developer said its wholly owned Goodpark Development SB has signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Grace Versatile SB for the exercise. The two parcels of land situated in the Ulu Tiram locality are for a lease of 99 years, expiring on Jan 3, 2115. (The Edge)

Ekovest: Bags RM99.9m contract for River of Life (Phase 2) project. Ekovest has bagged a RM99.89m contract to undertake the improvement and beautification works under Package 2, Taman Titiwangsa, KL, which forms part of the second phase of the River of Life project. Ekovest said its wholly-owned subsidiary EkoRiver Construction SB has received a Letter of Acceptance from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for the proposed project. The completion period for the works is 78 weeks. EkoRiver Construction is also undertaking works on Phase 1 of the River of Life project. (The Edge)

Econpile: Bags RM25.9m job for redevelopment of hospital. Piling and foundation specialist Econpile Holdings has bagged a contract worth RM25.9m for the redevelopment of an existing seven storey hospital building and an additional 12-storey building in Kota Damansara. The company said its wholly-owned subsidiary Econpile (M) SB has received a letter of award from Putra Perdana Construction SB for site preparation, earthworks, piling, basement, carpark lower ground and retaining wall of the existing hospital and additional building. The duration of the contract is approximately 15 months and is expected to contribute positively to its revenue and earnings for FY18. (The Edge)

UMW-OG: Bags three-year contract to provide drilling HWU for Petronas Carigali. UMW Oil & Gas Corp (UMW-OG) said its wholly owned unit UMW Workover SB was awarded an umbrella contract for the provision of a 460K drilling hydraulic workover unit (HWU) for Petronas Carigali SB. The group said the umbrella contract is for the provision of a HWU to undertake workover services for Petronas Carigali, for which UMWOG will assign its HWU — UMW Gait 6. The contract is for a term of three years commencing Feb 6, 2018, with a one-year extension option. (The Edge)

Nexgram: Partners Chinese firm to operate communication cables. Nexgram Holdings has inked a strategic cooperation framework agreement with a Chinese-listed group to undertake operations in the field of communications cables. The group said the tie-up with Jiangsu Tongguang Electronic Wire & Cable Co Ltd would allow it to carry out all-round operations in radio-frequency coaxial cables, high temperature resistant wires and cables for aerospace, aluminium-alloy electrical cables, submarine optical fiber cables and other optical cables along power transmission lines. (The Edge)

PUC: Unit teams up with CARI to roll out cross-marketing initiatives. PUC’s subsidiary RedHot Media SB has signed a partnership agreement with CARI Internet SB which will see the rollout of cross-marketing initiatives to strengthen the companies’ foothold in their respective industries. PUC said that RedHot will become the preferred advertising and media agency for CARI’s channels covering CARI Forum, one of Malaysia’s largest online forum, its website, mobile app, and on-ground activations. (The Edge)

Sedania: To provide GreenTech solutions to major telco. Sedania Innovator has teamed up with Matrix Energy SB (MESB) to jointly deliver green technology (GreenTech) solutions to a major telecommunications company (telco) in Malaysia, aiming to achieve annual savings of 22% in energy costs. Sedania said the rationale for the partnership is consistent with its corporate objective of profit maximisation, enhancement of shareholders’ value and improve business sustainability. "The agreement will commence from March 9 and will continue throughout the period of 10 years from the date the GreenTech solutions are installed in each site," it added. The expected timeframe for the installation of the solutions to be completed is seven months ending Sept 30, 2018. (The Edge)

ManagePay: ACO accepts ManagePay’s Digital Economy EcoSystem proposal. ManagePay Systems (MPay) said the Asean Cooperative Organization (ACO) has formally accepted the company’s proposal for an ACO Digital Economy EcoSystem for the development of a cashless community to cater to ACO’s 60m cooperative members. MPay said the proposal is subject to a formal joint venture agreement to be agreed upon and executed between MPay Mobile SB and MyANGKASA Holdings SB. (The Edge)

T7 Global: Petronas Carigali awards umbrella contract. Petronas Carigali SB has awarded T7 Global's wholly-owned subsidiary Tanjung Offshore Services SB an umbrella contract for the provision of a 600K hydraulic workover unit. Petronas Carigali is the upstream arm of Petroliam Nasional (Petronas). T7 said that the three-year contract, which has been taken effect since Feb 6, 2018, will expire on Feb 5, 2021. The contract comes with a one-year extension option, according to T7. (The Edge)

MAHB: Malaysia Airports' passenger numbers hit monthly record in Feb. The number of passengers passing through the 39 airports Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) manages in the country rose by 4.7% to 7.69m in Feb 2018 from 7.34m a year ago — the highest recorded for the month of Feb. "The overall Malaysia passenger traffic growth of 4.7% for Feb 2018 was mainly driven by the international sector," said MAHB. The airport operator said international traffic recorded 4.1m passengers with a YoY increase of 10.8%. "The international passenger volume for Feb 2018, despite having only 28 days, is also higher than Jan 2017 which was also the Chinese New Year month. (The Edge)

Market Update

The FBM KLCI might open flat today after a mixed performance on Wall Street overnight. Gains for US technology stocks helped the Nasdaq Composite index reach a fresh intraday record high, although the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average struggled to extend Friday’s strong gains. Underlying support for US and global equities continued to come from Friday’s US jobs report, which showed much stronger than expected job creation last month but tepid earnings growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 157.13 points, or 0.6%, to 25,178.61. The S&P 500 index fell 3.55 points, or 0.1%, to 2,783.02, with the industrials sector shedding more than 1.2%. The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index meanwhile, was up 27.51 points, or 0.4%, to 7,588.32, after hitting an intraday high of 7,609.10. In Europe, Germany’s DAX 30 index surged 0.6% to finish at 12,418.39, while France’s CAC 40 index was up less than 0.1% to close at 5,276.71. Bucking the positive trend, the UK’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1% to end at 7,214.76.

Back home, the FBM KLCI index gained 17.30 points or 0.94% to 1,861.22 points. Trading volume increased to 2.47bn worth RM2.40bn. Market breadth was positive with 558 gainers as compared to 360 losers. The regional markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng was up 1.93% while Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.65% and China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.59%.

Source: PublicInvest Research - 13 Mar 2018

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