KUALA LUMPUR: Lawmakers were left amused in the Dewan Rakyat when a senior Umno MP claimed to be an "ultra Indian". Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman stood up to ask Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik on his request for Tamil schools in his constituency. "There were requests to build Tamil schools but this plan has been disrupted. Hearing this, some of the MPs in the House laughed, causing Tajuddin to ask why they were laughing. I'm ultra Indian, you know," he said.
December 11, 2018 06:33 UTC
TAIPEI: Apple Inc.’s two largest Asian suppliers unveiled decent jumps in monthly revenue, potentially assuaging investors who fear the worst about iPhone demand.Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. both posted a 5.6 percent rise in November sales, a solid figure given Apple suppliers around the globe have taken turns to cut back on output or revenue outlooks to reflect waning demand for the U.S. company’s most important product.While reflecting just 30 days of business, TSMC’s and Hon Hai’s performance comes in the middle of the year’s busiest quarter and may help balance the narrative that Apple’s latest line-up -- particularly the cheapest iPhone XR -- is falling flat with global consumers.Hon Hai’s November revenue of NT$601.4 billion ($19.5 billion) was a record for the month and takes January-November sales growth to almost 16 percent -- on track for its fastest pace of annual growth in years.TSMC’s sales of NT$98.4 billion, while reflecting a pullback in growth from October, may underscore its rare position of being the sole processor chipmaker for Apple’s most expensive gadgets. TSMC and Hon Hai climbed more than 1 percent in Taipei.From Lumentum Holdings Inc. to Cirrus Logic Inc. and Qorvo Inc., a clutch of Apple’s suppliers have cut or underperformed on their outlooks in recent months, stoking concerns about the iPhone’s prospects as competition intensifies and consumers take longer to upgrade their devices.TSMC, which is grappling also with a stalling crypto-mining market, had itself disappointed investors with a less-than-expected revenue forecast for the December quarter. That lukewarm forecast however may reflect uncertainty around growing U.S.-Chinese trade tensions, analysts said at the time.Apple accounts for close to half of main iPhone-assembler Hon Hai’s revenue and about a fifth of TSMC’s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Executives at the chipmaker -- a bellwether for the industry as well as an early barometer of iPhone demand -- have said they expect demand for premium devices to help offset crypto-sector lethargy in the second half.Its high-performance computing, automotive and Internet of Things segments should still expand by double-digits during that time as everyday objects become increasingly connected, executives have said.For Hon Hai however, the more pertinent issue may be its wafer-thin margins -- Apple is expected to apply more pressure on its manufacturing partners should volumes decline.Last week, Morgan Stanley estimated iPhone unit sales will fall 8 percent to 200 million in the current fiscal year, while slashing its target on the American company’s stock to $236 from $253.“Apple’s iPhone weakness is a long-term issue for the Asia supply chain, including Taiwanese suppliers, and we feel that iPhone shipments have peaked,” Fubon Securities’s Arthur Liao said in a Nov. 14 note. - Bloomberg
December 11, 2018 06:09 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: The lower dividend from the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) for three consecutive years since 2015 was due to the decline in dividend income received from LTAT's investment in companies and the sale of equities following the volatile domestic equity market, said Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.He said share trading activities and dividends from investments in companies were among the biggest contributors to LTAT's income, aside from real estate investments, interest from fixed deposits and rental incomes.“For the past three years (2015-2017), LTAT's income from investment dividends and shares trading activities was affected due to the volatility in the local share market,” he said during the minister's question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.He was answering a question from Ahmad Amzad Mohamed (PAS-Kuala Terengganu) on the decline in LTAT's net profit and the lower dividend paid to contributors for three consecutive years.Mohamad said LTAT's board of directors and management would continue to identify new types of profitable and viable investments and would review it from time to time to ensure that the investments were secure and would provide the best opportunities.“I have taken some steps to restructure LTAT's administration so that it will become more efficient, and we will ensure that LTAT is in a better position by February next year for the 2018 financial year,” he added.Replying to Ahmad Amzad's supplementary question on the government's willingness to consider the additional option of distributing cash bonuses instead of unit trust shares which has been the practice, Mohamad said the government would continue with the latter, as it provided more long term benefits for LTAT contributors.He said the contributors would benefit from investments and profits from the unit trust shares deposited into their accounts when they retire.
December 11, 2018 05:15 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia tracked key Southeast Asian markets lower at midday on Tuesday on growing worries about the slowing economic growth with the US-China trade tension castinga pall of gloom.At 12.30pm, the KLCI was down 6.1 points or 0.37% to 1,657.21. Turnover was 744.73 million shares valued at RM663.86mil. There were 191 gainers, 446 losers and 299 counters unchanged.Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell as lacklustre data from major economies including China and Japan have fanned worries about global economic activity, while Philippines shares edged higher ahead of the central bank policy meeting this week,Reuters reported the equities tracked broader Asia with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan diving more than 16% so far this year. It had surged 33.5% in 2017.At Bursa, Public Bank lost 12 sen to RM24.58 and erased 0.73 of a point, Hong Leong Bank 18 sen lower at RM20.12, RHB Bank 10 sen to RM5.23, CIMB three sen to RM5.62, Maybank shed two sen to RM9.35.US light crude oil rose 14 cents to US$51.14 and Brent gained 13 cents to US$60.10.However, Petronas Dagangan fell 34 sen to RM25.30, Petronas Gas four sen to RM19.06 and Petronas Chemical one sen to RM9.18. BLD Plantations lost 27 sen to RM6.73, Sime Plantation lost four sen to RM4.44, PPB Group was flat at RM17, IOI Corp shed one sen to RM4.26, KL Kepong rose six sen to RM23.96.
December 11, 2018 05:06 UTC
MUMBAI (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Even Singapore Airlines got a wedding "invite" when India's richest man hosted pre-wedding activities for his daughter. According to Indian media reports, guests in Udaipur were given access to an app that detailed the many activities, including a concert by Beyonce and song-and-dance acts by Bollywood celebrities. Beyonce's fee was not disclosed, not that it would make much of a dent in Ambani's wealth that is estimated at US$47bil (RM196bil). The action now switches to Mumbai where the wedding will be held at the Ambani residence on Wednesday (Dec 12). – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
December 11, 2018 03:33 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was lower against the US dollar early Tuesday on concerns over slowing global growth and weaker oil prices. At 9.11 am (0111 gmt), the local note stood at 4.1770/1810 against the US dollar from 4.1700/1750 at Monday's close. A dealer said worries about slowing global growth and lower oil price turned investors' interest towards the greenback. “The benchmark Brent crude oil futures settled 2.76 per cent lower at US$59.97 a barrel, while US futures fell 3.06 per cent to US$51.00 a barrel,” he added. It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0398/0438 from 3.0431/0470 on Monday and was higher against the yen at 3.6929/6971 from 3.6991/6039.
December 11, 2018 02:09 UTC
PUTRAJAYA: Former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) group president and chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy nearly caught the media unaware at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters. The press had been waiting for Arul Kanda, who was scheduled to be questioned by MACC investigators at 10am. Arul Kanda however entered the MACC building via a back entrance at 9.30am on Tuesday (Dec 11), wearing a black cap to conceal his identity. Arul Kanda is expected to be hauled to court Wednesday (Dec 12) to face charges over the alleged tampering of the 1MDB’s final audit report. Meanwhile, former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa was also spotted entering the MACC headquarters at 9.30am.
KUALA LUMPUR: Top Glove Corp Bhd recovered almost 2% in early trade Tuesday after denying allegations of forced labour. The glove-maker gained 1.98%, or 11 sen to RM 5.66, making it one of the top gainers on Bursa Malaysia. The group has denied allegations of its migrant workers facing forced labour conditions as reported in the UK’s news. The world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer said it's business as usual for the group and its supply with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) was going on as usual, despite allegations of forced labour. Separately, the Human Resources Ministry has found that there was no element of coercion on foreign workers to work overtime at Top GloveMinister M Kulasegaran said inspections by his officers at almost all factories owned by the company here and in Ipoh, Perak, found that foreign workers in the company were working overtime voluntarily as they wanted to earn more money to send back to their families.
Full-time national serviceman Chionh Ze Xing, who turned 20 last month, was sentenced to 18 months' probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service on Monday (Dec 10) after pleading guilty in September to two counts of assault. The father, Chionh Boon Seng, 49, was dealt with in court last year for his role in the assault incident on May 29, 2016. Soon after, Chionh Boon Seng retrieved a 91cm-long wooden pole and joined his son. Despite this, Chionh Boon Seng came forward and hit Teo with the pole. For each count of assault, Chionh Ze Xing could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 (RM15,218).
KUALA LUMPUR: The following factors are likely to influence Malaysian palm oil futures and other vegetable oil markets on Tuesday Dec 11. FUNDAMENTALS* Malaysian palm oil futures reversed earlier losses to close over 2 percent higher on Monday, as official data showed falling output for the first time in five months. * U.S. soy and wheat futures fell on Monday on positioning ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture crop supply/demand report and uncertainty about the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute, traders said. MARKET NEWS* The pound hovered near 20-month lows on Tuesday, as political turmoil deepened in Britain with a key vote on Brexit being delayed while U.S. shares staged a late rebound in a positive signal for Asian markets. Cargo surveyor SGS releases Malaysia's Dec 1-15 palm oil export data on Dec 15.
December 11, 2018 01:07 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: Top Glove Corp Bhd , Prestariang Bhd , Scientex Bhd , Daibochi Bhd and MAA Group Bhd are among the stocks to watch on Tuesday, according to JF Apex Research. Top Glove has denied allegations of forced labour and it's business as usual for the group and its supply with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is going on as usual. Scientex said it will issue 25.28 million new shares in the company to satisfy the proposed acquisition of a 42.41% stake in Daibochi. MAA is selling all the 24.34 million shares or 47.95% stake it owns in Australian firm Columbus Capital for RM63mil. “Following the rebound in Wall Street, the FBM KLCI could follow suit and bounce off its support of 1,660 points,” JF Apex said.
December 11, 2018 00:45 UTC
PETALING JAYA: Analysts remain positive on the oil and gas (O&G) industry, on the back of stable oil prices, prompting greater levels of activity. While the interim deal is generally positive, Maybank Investment Bank (IB) Research expects market volatility to persist next year. In order to validate the output cut as a success, oil price only needs to strengthen by US$1.50 per barrel. Opec will cut its production by 800,000 bpd to 31.7 million bpd while non-Opec countries led by Russia will lower it by 400,000 bpd. While the output cut in 2019 of 1.4 million bpd is lower relative to 2017’s cut of 1.8 million bpd, the output split between Opec and non-Opec is similar, at a 67:33 ratio.
December 11, 2018 00:33 UTC
SYDNEY: The pound hovered near 20-month lows on Tuesday, as political turmoil deepened in Britain with a key vote on Brexit being delayed while U.S. shares staged a late rebound in a positive signal for Asian markets.British Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit agreement, a move that hit risk assets globally and sent the pound spiraling to $1.2505.Separately, disappointing data from major economies including China and Japan have fanned worries about global economic activity. The ongoing Sino-U.S. trade battle has also clouded the outlook for world growth.All that has put brakes to the rapid momentum in equities, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidding more than 16 percent so far this year. It had surged 33.5 percent in 2017.The index was last off 0.1 percent. Australian shares gained 0.6 percent while Japan's Nikkei lifted 0.2 percent.Overnight on Wall Street, major indexes bounced modestly from an initial drop due in part to a recovery in Apple shares. The Dow added 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq climbed 0.7 percent.But analysts said overall sentiment was still fragile.
December 11, 2018 00:33 UTC
They were the only Asian team among the four who did not make it to the second round in the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India. Oltmans had set a top 10 target in the World Cup but he was clearly disappointed. My players don’t know how to play clever hockey like the European teams,” said Oltmans, who took charge of the national squad on Oct 1. Oltmans gave a negative reply when asked if they were indications of players quitting the team after the dismal World Cup outing. “The players would be given a break to play in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) which begins in January.
December 11, 2018 00:22 UTC
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is looking into reducing or even halting the export of eggs to ensure supply at home as well as to keep prices down. Malaysia currently exports eggs to Singapore, Mauritius and Hong Kong, among others. Saifuddin said based on information from the Veterinarian Services Department, the supply of eggs was currently at about 120%. “According to theory, if there is more supply, the prices should come down but that doesn’t seem to be the case,” he said after the ministry’s monthly assembly yesterday. “If traders are found to increase prices to get unreasonable profits, we will not hesitate to take action,” he said.
December 11, 2018 00:11 UTC