Higher food prices push December inflation up 1.8% - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Higher food prices pushed December's inflation rate up 1.8% from a year ago but the increase was slightly lower than a Bloomberg survey of a 1.9% rise.The Statistics Department said on Wednesday the overall index for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 1.8% to 116.9 in December 2016 from 114.8 a year ago.It said the higher CPI was due to the increase in the indices for food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.7%) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+2.1%).However, the increase was absorbed by declines in the indices of communication by 2.6%, transport (-0.6%) and clothing and footwear (-0.5%).“Core inflation rose 2.1% in December 2016 compared to the same month of the previous year,” it said.The department said based on a seasonally adjusted term, the overall CPI for December 2016 remained unchanged at 116.9 as compared to November 2016.On a monthly basis, the index for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 0.6% in December 2016 following an increase of 1.0% in November 2016. The index for non-food fell 0.3% in December 2016 compared with November.

January 18, 2017 04:42 UTC

Villa backs Guardiola to turn around City fortunes - Football

MANHATTAN BEACH, California (Reuters - Former Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa has backed Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to overcome teething troubles and turn around the fortunes of the Premier League club. Villa, who now plays in Major League Soccer with New York City FC, kept faith with the manager under whom he won the Spanish league twice and the 2011 Champions League with Barca. Guardiola won three Spanish league titles and two Champions Leagues with Barca and won the Bundesliga in all three seasons at Bayern. Villa was voted MLS's Most Valuable Player in 2016 after scoring 22 goals in 32 games for his New York club. New York City FC share the same owners as Manchester City, the Abu Dhabi-owned City Football Group who also run Australian club Melbourne City and has a minority holding in Japanese J-League club Yokohama F-Marinos.

January 18, 2017 04:35 UTC

NZ court to hear Jho Low relatives' request over $232m foreign trust case - Business News

AUCKLAND: An Auckland courtroom will on Friday become a battleground over Manhattan penthouses and a private jet amid allegations that they are the proceeds of a globe-spanning mega-fraud, according to the New Zealand Herald. The newspaper reported on Wednesday the High Court at Auckland was expected to hear a request from relatives of Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, or better known as Jho Low -- who oppose the seizure of assets worth $230mil alleged by the US Department of Justice to be the proceeds of crime. US court filings said the relatives are beneficiaries of a number of New Zealand trusts that are claimed to directly own a number assets caught up the probe of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB, the NZ Herald reported. https://goo.gl/bBLaR0

January 18, 2017 03:56 UTC

AirAsia may consider dividend after sale of plane-leasing unit

A dividend may also cheer investors who were rewarded with a 78% rally in the shares in 2016, the best in six years. The asset had received an offer valued at about US$1 billion, Fernandes had said in May. Established in 2014, Asia Aviation Capital had a fleet of 59 planes as of end-September, leased primarily to the parent’s affiliates. The unit will receive an additional 100 Airbus A320 aircraft and get some A321neos were ordered last year. Asia Aviation Capital manages aircraft leased to affiliates outside Malaysia, including Thai AirAsia Co, PT Indonesia AirAsia and AirAsia India Pvt, according to filings in 2014.

January 18, 2017 03:29 UTC

Jet, mansions figure in US$232 mil foreign trust case to be heard in Auckland court

EXCLUSIVE: Auckland court to become scene of battle to prevent US seizure of assets, writes Matt Nippert. New York real estate owned by the New Zealand trusts includes two Manhattan apartments, including a $43m penthouse in the Time Warner Centre formerly owned by celebrity couple Beyonce and Jay-Z. Case rekindles trusts debateThe appearance of New Zealand trusts in the 1MDB affair threatens to re-ignite controversy over our foreign trust industry. A subsequent government inquiry, headed by John Shewan, had proposed tighter regulation and more transparency for the foreign trust industry but concluded there was "no direct evidence of illicit funds being hidden in New Zealand foreign trusts". "The Inquiry also considered it reasonable to conclude that there are cases where foreign trusts are being [abused] ...

January 18, 2017 03:22 UTC

Should I be an MD or a dentist? Here's what one Hong Kong University student chose

All the courses are conducted solely in English and throughout your stay in Hong Kong, you will eventually pick up Mandarin and Cantonese by making local friends and acclimatising. The best part of studying dentistry in Hong Kong is there is only ONE dental school in the whole of Hong Kong, which is the University of Hong Kong. The Degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) at The University of Hong Kong is recognised as a registrable primary qualification by the Dental Council of Hong Kong (DCHK). The Degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) at The University of Hong Kong is recognised as a registrable primary qualification by the Dental Council of Hong Kong (DCHK). The Faculty of Dentistry at The University of Hong Kong is the premier dental school in Southeast Asia and the only institution in Hong Kong that provides undergraduate and postgraduate dental degrees.

January 18, 2017 03:13 UTC

More affordable homes to be launched this year, says CBRE

KUALA LUMPUR: The landed residential property market within the Klang Valley is anticipated to observe more launches within the affordable price range this year, according to real estate services firm CBRE|WTW.At a briefing on Wednesday, CBRE|WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen said properties in the secondary property market is expected to stay active.He added that the rental market for condominiums in central Kuala Lumpur will compress further due to increasing supply.Foo pointed out the office market is expected to sustain interest from foreign investors that are exploring and interested to invest in Malaysia. "It is made more attractive by the weak ringgit and slower growth in the European countries, China and the US," he said.Foo said stiff competition is expected to intensify within the local retail sector, due to ongoing construction of incoming retail malls.

January 18, 2017 02:31 UTC

Obama shortens sentence of Manning, who gave secrets to WikiLeaks - World

The White House said her sentence would end on May 17 this year. But Obama's decision had nothing to do with the latest WikiLeaks controversy, the White House official said. He has served 35 years, nearly half of his life in prison," a White House official said. Manning and Lopez Rivera were among 209 commutations granted by Obama on Tuesday and Cartwright was among 64 pardons. In total, Obama has commuted sentences for 1,385 federal prisoners -- a total greater than that of the 12 previous presidents combined -- and he is expected to announce more on Thursday, the White House official said.

January 18, 2017 02:19 UTC

Blue chips extend recovery while Ekovest in focus, Ringgit firmer - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips continued to recover early Wednesday for the second day after Monday’s tumble, with Petronas Gas and Hong Leong Bank supporting the FBM KLCI, while the Ringgit firmed up against the US dollar.At 10am, the KLCI was up 3.43 points or 0.21% to 1,666.46. Turnover was 531.27 million shares valued at RM213.22mil. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for oil prices, was up four cents US$55.51 a barrel.Petronas Gas rose 22 sen to RM20.12 while Hong Leong Bank added eight sen to RM13.32.Ekovest added nine sen to RM2.61 with 3.07 million shares done after it announced plans to build a RM6.32bil expressway that consists of Kampung Baru Link, Istana Link and Kapar Link Expressway in the Klang Valley. The new expressway will be linked to the existing DUKE highway.Toyo Ink added 9.5 sen to 60 sen while KESM and Solid Automotive added eight sen each to RM10.08 and RM1.34.Matang, which was listed on Tuesday, was the most active with 44.1 million shares done. It was flat at 14 sen.BAT fell the most, down 16 sen to RM44.84 with 2,200 shares done.

January 18, 2017 02:17 UTC

'Apprentice' alum sues Trump for defamation

LOS ANGELES: President-elect Donald Trump was hit with a defamation lawsuit on Tuesday by a former contestant on his reality television show “The Apprentice” who had previously accused him of sexual misconduct. Trump has “debased and denigrated Zervos with false statements about her,” the lawsuit says. “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over,” Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania in October. Trump moved toward her aggressively during the encounter and touched her on the breast but she rebuffed him, she alleged. Zervos and several other women who made similar allegations came forward after a 2005 videotape of Trump bragging about groping women surfaced during in early October.

January 18, 2017 02:16 UTC

Half of paid work can be automated: report - Tech News

About half of the work that people are paid to do in the global economy can be automated by adapting existing technologies, according to McKinsey Global Institute. The findings come from a report by McKinsey's business and economics research arm that analysed more than 2,000 work activities across 800 occupations. The extent to which these jobs can be automated depends on the types of work involved. But as a rule of thumb, the report said about 60% of all occupations have at least 30% of activities that could technically be automated. Most occupations will change instead of being completely automated away, the report noted.

January 18, 2017 02:03 UTC

Malakoff stays on Affin Hwang Research Buy list - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Hwang Capital Research is maintaining its Buy call on Malakoff, despite lowering its target price to RM1.48 from RM1.65, given the implications of the recent change in its depreciation policy, which lowered the residual value of its existing power plants.“Nonetheless, valuation is still undemanding and we believe improvement in earnings in FY17 will act as a positive catalyst for the share price in 2017,” it said on Wednesday.Affin Hwang Research said the change in its target price was mainly due to the change in its assumptions on the residual value of the power plants post the expiry of their current power purchase agreement (PPA).“The change is also to match the recent change in Malakoff’s depreciation policy, as it has reduced the residual value of its gas fired power plants significantly, indicating that the probability of getting a renewal for its respective PPAs are now lower,” it said.The research house expects Malakoff to maintain its dividend payout in the range of 75%-82% for 2017 and 2018, which is in line with the official policy of no less than 70% of the group profit after tax and minority interests (PATMI).“As such we estimate that the group will be able to generate close to RM500mil to RM700mil in cash (free cash flow – interest – dividend) which can be used to pare down its debt and lower its gearing from the current 2.5 times net ratio.“EBITDA growth will likely continue into FY17, as Malakoff will benefit from a full year contribution from Tanjung Bin Energy (TB4) which only started contributing in 2QFY16.“Although TB4 is yet to be profitable (PATMI) due to additional barging costs, we are expecting a turnaround in 2018, as the completion of the new jetty will help eliminate the need for the additional barging.“We believe that the current valuation is undemanding based on our new DCF-based 12 month TP of RM1.48, as the recent drop in share price is unwarranted, given the fundamentals of the company remain intact despite changes in the depreciation policy,” said Affin Hwang Capital Research.

January 18, 2017 01:24 UTC

Felda to sell off overseas assets

KUALA LUMPUR: Confirming that it is paring down its stake in Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) to raise money, cash-strapped Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) disclosed yesterday that it also wants to dispose of some of its overseas assets. Newly appointed Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said the agency hopes to raise between RM500 million and RM1 billion from the sale of the assets abroad. “You will see more disposals this year, particularly overseas assets, like the hotel [in London],” he told a press conference. “In November, the board decided to review investments by Felda, including Maybank shares. “The funds raised from [the] Maybank share disposal will be utilised for various Felda settler programmes to fulfil Felda’s responsibility,” he said.

January 18, 2017 01:09 UTC

Trading ideas: Hua Yang, SP Setia, Ekovest - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: JF Apex Research expects Hua Yang, SP Setia and Ekovest to be among the stoks which could see trading action after their corporate news.It said on Wednesday Hua Yang’s net profit fell 65.5% on-year to RM10.42mil for its 3QFY17 on the back of lower revenue.As for SP Setia, its S P Setia (Indonesia), Sime Darby Bhd and I&P Group Sdn Bhd have decided not to pursue the joint venture with Indonesia’s PT Hanson International Tbk. The JV was to undertake an affordable housing project in Greater Jakarta.Ekovest will undertake a RM6.32bil job to build an expressway that consists of Kampung Baru Link, Istana Link and Kapar Link Expressway in the Klang Valley. The new expressway will be linked to the existing DUKE highway.Overnight on Wall Street, US markets ended negative led by financial counters due to concerns about President-elect Donald Trump's policies.European stocks were also lower after UK Prime Minister Theresa May's speech with rising concerns on “hard” Brexit.At Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI gained 4.19 points to close at 1,663.03. Following the bearish performance in the US and Europe, KLCI is expected to remain cautious and hover below the resistance of 1,680.

January 18, 2017 01:01 UTC

Samsung scion Lee faces court hearing on arrest warrant

A special prosecutor on Monday said it would seek a warrant to arrest the third-generation leader of the country’s largest conglomerate on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. Earlier this week, the special prosecutor indicted the chairman of the National Pension Service (NPS), the world’s third-largest pension fund, on charges of abuse of power and giving false testimony. NPS chairman Moon Hyung-pyo was arrested in December after acknowledging ordering it to support the controversial $8 billion merger in 2015 of two Samsung Group affiliates while heading the health ministry, which oversees the NPS. Jay Y. Lee became the group’s de facto leader after his father, Lee Kun-hee, was incapacitated by a 2014 heart attack. On Tuesday, the special prosecutor’s office said it did not seek arrest warrants for three other Samsung Group executives that also underwent questioning, in order to minimise the impact on Samsung business.

January 18, 2017 00:55 UTC

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