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Author: PublicInvest   |   Latest post: Wed, 20 Nov 2019, 9:59 AM

 

PublicInvest Research Headlines - 20 Mar 2019

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Economy

US: Factory orders show slight uptick in Jan. The Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday showing new orders for US manufactured goods edged only slightly higher in the month of Jan. The Commerce Department said factory orders inched up by 0.1% in Jan, matching the 0.1% uptick in Dec. Economists had expected orders to rise by 0.3%. The modest increase in factory orders came as durable goods orders rose by 0.3% in Jan after jumping by 1.3% in Dec. Orders for transportation equipment showed a substantial increase, surging up by 1.2% in Jan after soaring by 3.2% in the previous month. (RTT)

US: Economic growth is likely to slow sharply this year and next. US economic growth is likely to slow sharply this year and next, according to respondents to the CNBC Fed Survey for March, and weaker global growth and tariffs are seen as the major culprits. The outlook for slower growth has prompted the 43 survey respondents to lower their expectations for Fed rate hikes this year and next, barely forecasting one hike and some even seeing rate cuts on the horizon. The average forecast for gross domestic product growth this year is just 2.3%, down from 2.4% expected in the Jan survey and a further slowing from the actual 3.1% YoY pace for the 4Q of 2018. (CNBC)

EU: Eurozone construction output falls in Jan. Eurozone construction output fell in Jan after rising in the previous two months, reflecting declines in both building and civil engineering segments, data from the statistical office Eurostat showed on Tuesday. Construction output declined a calendar and seasonally adjusted 1.4% MoM in Jan, reversing a 1.1% rise in Dec. Output grew 0.3% in Nov. Civil engineering declined the most by 2.9% and building construction fell 1.1%. On a yearly basis, construction production fell a calendar adjusted 0.7% YoY in Jan, after a 2.1% rise in the previous month. In the EU28, construction output remained unchanged monthly in Jan after edging down 0.2% in Dec. YoY output rose 0.7% in Jan following a 1.1% increase. (RTT)

UK: Employment highest since 1971. UK employment level climbed to a record high in the three months to Jan, while the jobless rate eased to its lowest level since the mid-1970s, as the labor market shrugged off the chaos caused by the uncertainties linked to Brexit. Employment grew by 222,000 persons to a record 32.7m in the three months to Jan. Economists had forecast an increase of 120,000. This was the largest rolling quarter-increase since the period Sept to Nov 2015, the ONS said. This is in contrast with the recent weakness in GDP growth, especially given that real wages growth rates have been rising, the agency added. The employment rate of 76.1% was the highest since the series began in 1971. The unemployment rate eased to 3.9%. (RTT)

China: Stabilization in sight as stimulus kicks in. China’s economy is poised to stabilize in 2Q as stimulus starts to gain traction. A pickup in investment and retail sales suggests domestic demand is steadying. Weaker global demand continues to drag on industrial output. The trade war also remains a big uncertainty, despite signs of progress in talks with the US. Of the upside and downside scenarios we saw as potential paths for the economy this year, our base case still looks the most likely -- a modest slowdown to 6.3% from 6.6% in 2018, with a broadly balanced growth composition. This would be within the government’s target range of 6.0-6.5%. (Bloomberg)

Markets

JAG: Inks MoU to explore bauxite mining in Langkawi. JAG has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Empire Mining SB to jointly explore bauxite mining opportunities in Pulau Langkawi, Kedah. The MoU is to set out intentions with the possible joint venture between JAG or its nominated subsidiary and Empire Mining, to extract, process, and produce bauxite there. (The Edge)

Salcon: Bags RM124.7m water treatment plant contract. Salcon has secured a water treatment plant construction contract in Sabah worth RM124.7m. The contract will involve works for the capacity expansion works for the Telibong II water treatment plant in Tamparuli, Sabah. The expansion, which will be carried out on its main pipeline and storage tank, will increase the plant’s capacity from 80m to 160m litre a day. (The Edge)

Mah Sing: Allocates RM28m for digitalisation initiative. Mah Sing Group has allocated RM28m for its digitalisation transformation for 3 years, from 2017 to 2019. Executive director Datuk Steven Ng Poh Seng said as of now, slightly over RM6 million has been spent for the said digital initiative. “We need to ride on digital transformation for sustainable value creation, in order to stay ahead of the times”. (The Edge)

LKL International: Gets 2-year BenQ medical products distributorship LKL International has secured an agreement to distribute BenQ’s ultrasound system, surgical light and surgical table, as well as related spare parts and software. The distributorship agreement is for a period of 2 years, expiring on Feb 28, 2021. Under the agreement, MGen will be appointed as BenQ’s distributor to carry out sales activities in Malaysia. (The Edge)

Green Packet: Seeks arbitration against MYTV. Green Packet announced it has requested to commence arbitration proceedings against MYTV Broadcasting SB. The request was filed with the Asian International Arbitration Centre, in connection with MYTV's abrupt termination of an agreement inked between the companies for the supply of set-top boxes (STB) to MYTV. The deal was signed in January last year. (The Edge)

T7 Global: Signs HoA for marine services business venture. T7 Global signed a heads of agreement (HoA) with Marine Crest Technology SB and India-based C2C-DB Systems Pvt Ltd (C2C DBS) to form a joint venture company (JV Co), which will engage in marine services and naval technology business in Malaysia. T7 Marine will own 40% shareholding in the JV Co, while C2C-DBS and Marine Crest will each hold 30%. (The Edge)

Glomac: Reports 70.3% fall in 3Q net profit. Glomac announced today a 70.3% YoY net profit slump in its 3QFY19, following the completion of certain development phases and fewer ongoing phases, compared to the previous corresponding quarter. Net profit for 3QFY19 fell to RM1.43m or 0.18sen per share. Revenue fell 24% to RM79.03m. (The edge)

Construction (Neutral): CIDB sees construction sector growing despite uncertainties. The local construction sector is expected to grow in 2019, despite lingering uncertainties concerning mega infrastructure projects, intense competition and potential consolidation. While the on-going re-evaluation of mega infrastructure projects has led to more intense competition, it has also transformed construction players to be stronger and more efficient in terms of project delivery. (The Edge)

Market Update

US markets eased off overnight as trade-related uncertainties flared up again. Reports have it that US officials are worried China may be pushing back against its demands in the countries' ongoing trade talks. The report also said Chinese negotiators are worried they have not received assurances that tariffs imposed on Chinese goods would be lifted once a deal is struck. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% while the S&P 500 lost 0.37pts to close just below break-even. The Nasdaq Composite inched 0.1% higher despite declines in industry bellwether Apple (-0.8%). European markets ended higher nevertheless, with investors keeping close watch on heightened Brexit-related uncertainties while waiting on the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting. Autos stocks were up more than 2.4% after French daily Los Echos reported that the Peugeot family could favor Fiat Chrysler as a candidate for possible consolidation operations. Germany’s DAX was the major gainer on the continent, up 1.1%. UK’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3% and 0.2%. Asian markets were mostly listless earlier in the day as investors also waited on the conclusion of a host of central bank meetings (US, UK, Indonesia and Thailand, amongst others) in which monetary policies are expected to be dovish. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2% as the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1%. The Hang Seng Index inched 0.2% higher however. Singapore’s STI rose 0.3% as our FBM KLCI fell 0.2%.

Salcon has secured an RM124.7m contract to construct a water treatment plant in Sabah. Total waste management company JAG has signed an MoU with Empire Mining Sdn Bhd to jointly explore bauxite mining opportunities in Langkawi.T7 Global has formed a joint venture to engage in marine services and naval technology business in Malaysia. Uzma has been awarded a 3-year contract to provide onshore hydraulic workover services.

Source: PublicInvest Research - 20 Mar 2019

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