Kossan posts 2.5pct lower Q2 net profit of RM44.7mil - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd posted 2.5% lower Q2 net profit of RM44.7mil as compared to RM45.84mil in the previous corresponding quarter due to an increase in costs and a less favourable exchange rate in the gloves division.The group said revenue rose 1.28% to RM496.79mil from RM490.51mil in the same quarter last year.In the gloves segment, revenue slowed 2.36% to RM432.36mil in 2Q18 from RM442.83mil in 2Q17 and profit before tax (PBT) dropped 11.94% to RM46.34mil compared with RM52.62mil in the year-ago quarter. "The lower performance was mainly attributable to the time-lag in cost-pass-through arising from the increase in raw material costs (NBR +13.16%), natural gas prices (+21.91%) as well as the less favourable USD/MYR exchange rate (-8.82%) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. "The demand for glove products in the current quarter continues to be strong with stable average selling prices and higher volume sold (Vol. "The Group expects the expansion, which is currently in the planning stage, to take eight years to complete and the additional capacity which will come on-stream progressively, is projected to add a total additional output of 45 billion pieces of gloves per annum when completed. "The land’s strategic location with excellent connectivity and available sources of utilities (natural gas, electricity and water) and local manpower will facilitate the Group’s longer-term expansion programme."

Source:The Star

August 17, 2018 11:03 UTC

Malaysia's lower Q2 GDP due to external factors, say economists - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: The lower gross domestic product (GDP) growth posted for the second quarter (Q2) of this year, has been attributed to reduced growth in the commodity sector due to external factors which affected Malaysia's exports, said economists.Sunway University Business School Economics Professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the mining and agriculture sectors were open to various challenges and uncertainties, leading to fluctuations based on market demand.“However, both commodities, will pick up again in the next quarter as the dust has settled from the unexpected outcome of the 14th General Elections, as well as when China-US trade tensions subside,” he told Bernama.The US and China will be resuming talks on trade next week. It comes two months after the US imposed tariffs on Chinese products and the White House said it was open to discussions on structural issues.“Both countries are well aware of the repercussion of a full blown trade war and investors are hoping for a positive outcome from the talks,” Yeah said. He was also positive that the next quarter (Q3) would be better, boosted by the continued growth in the services and manufacturing sectors.With the country now in a better position, he said domestic private investments and foreign direct investments would soon return to support the local economy.“Confidence is up. Backed by higher domestic spending following a tax holiday and an increase in spending on consumer-related products, we expect better growth in Q3,” Yeah added.Meanwhile, FXTM Global Head of Currency Strategy and Market Research Jameel Ahmad in a statement said the GDP would likely accelerate some underlying concerns from the overall growth outlook.“We are starting to see what could be a trend of emerging market growth in the Southeast Asian region which is trending lower. The GDP reading from Singapore last week also missed expectations,” he said.Singapore's economic growth slowed to 3.8 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago as momentum in both the manufacturing and services sectors, reportedly due to the growing risks from US-China trade tensions.“The ongoing trade war concerns and the underlying political risk from the unpredictability of US President Donald Trump's administration is an ongoing theme that investors have to continuously monitor.“It does certainly hold the potential to have a negative impact on economic growth,” Jameel said.Earlier today, Bank Negara Malaysia announced that Malaysia's registering a slower 4.5 per cent growth for Q2 of 2018 compared with 5.8 per cent in the same period last year.Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said Malaysia's economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path going forward with growth supported mainly by private sector consumption and investments.

Source:The Star

August 17, 2018 09:45 UTC

Star Media Group first half profit jumps - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Star Media Group Bhd ’s saw its net profit from continuing operations increase by five-fold to RM12.7mil for the first half of this year compared to last year on the back of cost savings and significant improvement to its print and digital business.Apart from the print and digital business, which is the mainstay of the group, the event and exhibition segments also recorded improvements in profit before tax for the period.The biggest contributor to the group’s bottom-line was the print and digital segment, reporting a higher profit before tax of RM19.33mil as compared to RM11.06mil a year ago.This is mainly due to lower operating expenses expenses from print segment and higher digital revenue. This segment’s profit was also impacted by the losses from the OTT venture, dimsum.my, the group said in its notes accompany the second quarter result.The event and exhibition segment saw revenue rise to RM9.57mil due to the higher number of events held during the period. As a result of higher revenue and better-cost management, profit before tax for the event and exhibition segment also increased to RM2.89mil from RM0.05mil a year ago.The radio broadcasting segment generated RM15.37mil in revenue while profit before tax came in at RM1.63mil due to better cost management.The stronger bottom line in the first six months for the print and digital segment came amidst revenue decreasing by 12.7%, largely due to the drop in momentum in advertisement spending after the general election.For the six-month period ended June 30, 2018, revenue came in at RM208.5mil.For the second quarter, the group’s profit from continuing operations came in at RM1.4mil compared to a loss of RM1.3mil during the same period last year. The profitability is due to better cost management of its operations and efforts to optimise its workforce.“Our transformation and rationalisation initiatives have resulted in driving down operating cost while improving efficiency.“The result in the first half of 2018 group profit before tax figure reflects the efforts put in by the management in transforming the Company to be lean and agile,” the group said.Moving forward, the group expects its Print and Digital segments to perform better in 2018, compared to 2017, as a result of better cost management and robust revenue growth from the Digital segment as more advertisers migrate into this space.The company said that this segment of the business will however be affected by the retrenchment exercise related to the printing plant in Penang.For dimsum, which is currently available in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, the group said it plans to expand the service regionally.“Our subscribers for dimsum have grown significantly this past one year. The group will continue to drive subscription by bringing in the best of Asian content,” the company said.The group added that it was encouraged by the performance of its radio segment following the restructuring completed in 2016,and expects the segment to contribute positively to its results.In the events and exhibition business segment, the group said it will continue with its efforts to strengthen its market position and increase its number of events in the upcoming months.

Source:The Star

August 17, 2018 09:33 UTC

PM to witness three MoU signings on palm oil and rubber in China - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to witness the signings of three agreements on palm oil and rubber during his official visit to China from Aug 17 to 21.According to the Ministry of Primary Industries, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between the Malaysian Palm Oil Board and Tsinghua University on the promotion of Malaysian biofuel in China.A second MoU will be formalised between the Malaysian Rubber Board and Hainan State Farms Investment Holdings Group Co. Ltd on rubberised bitumen road techology and rubber tapping automation and mechanisation.A third agreement will take place between Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) Group to develop downstream applications for palm oil and palm-based products.In 2017, total trade in agricommodity between Malaysia and China came in at RM23.63bil.That year, Malaysia's export of agricommodity and agricommodity-based products to China was RM19.1bil, which was 27% more than RM15bil recorded in 2016. "The commodity export was mainly contributed by palm products valued at RM9.42 billion, followed by rubber and rubber products at RM8.09 billion," said the MinistryAs part of the Prime Minister's delegation to China, Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok will lead a mission from Aug 21 to 24 to promote Malaysian commodities. "Her delegation will comprise officials from the ministry, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysian Rubber Board, LGM Properties Corporation, Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council, Malaysian Timber Council as well as the private sector," said the Ministry.

Source:The Star

August 17, 2018 08:15 UTC

Economists stay confident with PH government post-100 days - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite delays in fulfilling its promises, economists remain confident with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who aims for a country which is corruption-free and economically vibrant.As August 18 marks the first 100 days of PH ruling after winning the 14th General Election (GE14), they said that the time frame was too short to fulfil its election pledges, see changes and bring about significant reforms.Hence, they felt that the PH government should take the opportunity to plan for the country's future direction and not only focusing on their promises made during the election.According to Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd Chief Economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, given the sheer size of economic uncertainties brought by external factors, it would be almost unrealistic to expect changes to happen immediately.“Malaysian economy is very open to global conditions and at the moment, risk aversion has increasingly become more apparent. So this may impact markets and business sentiment as well as demand.“The PH government needs to work around with the constraints that they have now such as the fiscal position and challenging economic prospects.“However, the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the subsequent reintroduction of Sales and Services Tax (SST) in September suggest that the government is committed to implementing its election promises,” he told Bernama.In addition to the fuel subsidy whereby RON95 continues to remain stable, this move had also helped the people to contend with the rise in the cost of living, he said.“Obviously this is not easy especially when dealing with the credit rating agencies, and the risks of sovereign rating downgrade is something that the government needs to acknowledge.“So we can see that the PH government is being pragmatic in implementing their election pledges as some of it are still pending,” he said.Concurring with this view, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research Executive Director Emeritus Professor Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid opined that the price control on RON95 (RM2.20 a litre), RON97 (RM2.65) and diesel (RM2.18), would help reduce household burden on fuel expenditure.“It helps a bit to lower the cost of living but the long run solution is not in the policy of retaining the price of RON95 and diesel,” he said.Abolition of GST, stabilisation of fuel prices, postponement of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation's (PTPTN) loans, investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions for housewives were among the immediate accomplishments under the PH's manifesto of 10 promises.To recap, two months before the GE14, PH had unveiled its 60-point election manifesto that set out its policies which were divided into two broad categories – the first covering 10 promises within PH's first 100 days in government and the second which spelt out the remaining pledges with a fulfilment deadline of five years.During question time in the Dewan Rakyat recently, Dr Mahathir gave the assurance that the government would adhere to the promises in the PH manifesto for GE14 and was committed to fulfilling them.He also said that the focus of the government was not just on implementing the promises but also improving the government administration.Meanwhile, when asked on whether the zero-rated GST from June to August had reduced the cost of living, Mohd Afzanizam said the effect was not really broad-based.“Perhaps, business practices are also the main contributing factor for the rise in the cost of living. This is especially true when the Malaysians tendency to spend is quite high, and to some extent, they are just price-takers.“So this would allow businesses to maintain or even raise their prices. Therefore, the enforcement of the existing laws such as Price Control and Anti Profiteering Act holds the key to stabilising prices,” he added.On the government's move to re-implement SST starting next month, Top Glove Corporation Bhd image: https://cdn.thestar.com.my/Themes/img/chart.png's Executive Chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said it seemed positive for businesses as this would eliminate the outstanding input tax refundable issue.“SST is also more direct, simpler and easier to understand, compared with GST (for example: technical terminologies like blocked input tax, exempt supply and zero-rated supply). “Furthermore, we understand there will be a “My SST” website where everything will be done online, which will result in more efficiency,” he said.However, Dr Zakariah said the reinstitution of SST after a period of tax holiday would mean a fresh addition to cost.“Certainly, it will increase goods prices in the short term because of the additional cost as sellers maintain their mark-up pricing,” he pointed out.

Source:The Star

August 17, 2018 07:41 UTC

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