26 November 2008 Newz Bits

December 2, 2008 at 7:03 am Leave a comment

HIGHLIGHTS

On Malaysia
• MISC called off proposed takeover of Ramunia
• MMC quashed speculation on privation of or asset injection into Zelan
• BNM set new floor to bank’s fixed deposit rates
On The Global Front
• U.S. economy shrank in 3Q08 faster than estimated
• Federal Reserve took two new steps to unfreeze credit for homebuyers, consumers and small businesses, committing up to US$800bn
REPORTS
• Asiatic – 3QFY08 Results (Buy; RM3.38; TP: RM4.10)
• IJM Corp – 2QFY09 Results (Buy; RM2.40: TP: RM6.10)
• Sunway City – 1QFY09 Results (Buy; RM1.49; TP: RM3.60)

Brahmal Vasudevan has emerged as a substantial shareholder in Glomac Bhd (GLMC MK, Hold, TP: RM0.62) after securing 14.6m shares or 5% equity in the company. Although not prominent on the local scene, Vasudevan is known to be an associate of tycoon T Ananda Krishnan. (Financial Daily)
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CIMB Group, a unit of Bumiputra-Commerce (BCHB MK, Buy, TP: RM8.60), said global investment firm TPG Capital has accepted its tender offer for TPG’s 36.74% stake in BankThai. With TPG’s acceptance of the offer, CIMB Group’s stake in BankThai rises to 78.87%. (BT)
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MISC Bhd’s proposed reversed takeover (RTO) of Ramunia Holdings has been called off “due to unsatisfactory due diligence findings”. MISC has elected to terminate the conditional sale and purchase agreement with Ramunia with immediate effect, but did not give details. (Financial Daily)
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MMC Corporation Bhd has dismissed as speculation a report that it plans to privatise its 39%-owned Zelan Bhd or to inject MMC Engineering Group Bhd into Zelan. “We currently have no intention to take Zelan private or to inject MMC Engineering into Zelan,” it told Bursa Malaysia yesterday. “We wish to add that MMC is committed to work with Zelan and strengthen its financial standing and future prospects,” it added. (BT)
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Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has set a new floor to banks’ 12-month fixed deposit (FD) rates at 3.5% from 3.7% previously, according to industry observers. The one-month floor, it is learnt, remains unchanged at 3%. The new floor was set the same time when the central bank reduced the overnight policy rate (OPR) to 3.25% on Monday. Given the new floor, banks were now expected to cut the 12-month FD rates to 3.5% in the next few days. Loans pegged to base lending rate (BLR) will benefit as the interest rates of loans will be adjusted accordingly. Maybank and CIMB Bank cut their base lending rate (BLR) to 6.5% from 6.75% effective Dec 1. (Financial Daily)
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The full effects of the global economic crisis could be felt on emerging economies in the first half of next year, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said. “We are monitoring growth in the fourth quarter very closely and the first half of next year when probably, the full effects of the crisis taking place in the developed countries will have an effect on the emerging economies,” she said. “Right now, even in the third quarter, we have already seen the effects on our export sector,” she said. (StarBiz)
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Palm oil producers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea may sell 1m mt of “sustainable” palm oil next year, up tenfold on 2008 although still only a tiny fraction of global sales, officials said. The first sale of the certified products is due to hit the market this month with a shipment from Malaysia to Rotterdam. The 500 tonne shipment was produced by United Plantations, with Unilever and Britain’s third largest grocer J. Sainsbury among the buyers. (Reuters)
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The Nasdaq slipped Tuesday, but the Dow and S&P 500 ended higher for the third straight session as investors welcomed the government’s latest efforts to jumpstart lending, but remained cautious. Stocks rose in the morning after the government announced a pair of new programs that will provide roughly US$800bn to increase the availability of consumer and mortgage lending. But the advance petered out and stocks plunged through the afternoon as investors sorted through weak economic readings and opted to cash out of some of the recent technology winners. The DJIA gained 36 points, or 0.4% to close at 8,479.5 and the S&P 500 index rose 0.7% (+5.6 pts, close 857.4). The Nasdaq composite lost 0.5% (-7.3 pts, close 1,464.7). In currency trading, the dollar gained versus the euro and the yen. US light crude oil for Jan delivery fell US$3.73 to settle at US$50.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (CNNMoney)
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The US economy shrank in 3Q08 faster than previously estimated as consumer spending plunged by the most in almost three decades. Gross domestic product contracted at a 0.5% annual pace from July through September, the most since the 2001 recession, according to revised figures from the Commerce Department yesterday. The government’s advance estimate issued last month showed a 0.3% decline. The world’s largest economy has sunk into an even deeper recession this quarter as the credit crunch, the worsening housing market, and mounting job losses cause consumers and businesses to retrench. (Bloomberg)
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The Federal Reserve took two new steps to unfreeze credit for homebuyers, consumers and small businesses,
committing up to US$800bn. The central bank will purchase as much as US$600bn of debt issued or backed by governmentchartered housing-finance companies. It will also set up a US$200bn program to support consumer and small-business loans. Policy makers hope the initiatives will bring down the interest rates on mortgages and consumer loans, offsetting the withdrawal of private-sector financing. (Bloomberg)
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The decline in US house prices accelerated in Sept but consumer confidence rose unexpectedly while the economy shrank in 3Q08 at a faster pace than first estimated as the grip of the credit crunch tightened. The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index fell 17.4% y-o-y. However, consumer confidence rose this month to 44.9, the second-lowest reading since 1974, from 38.8 the prior month. (Bloomberg)
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French business confidence fell to the lowest in more than 15 years and Italian consumers grew more pessimistic as the euro-region economy slipped into a recession, threatening to choke exports and employment. An index of sentiment among 4,000 French manufacturers declined to 80 in Nov, the lowest since Oct 1993. Italian consumer confidence fell to near July’s 15-year low of 95.8. (Bloomberg)
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1 December 2008 Newz Bits November 26, 2008 Daily Highlights

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