27 November 2008 Newz Bits

December 2, 2008 at 8:41 am Leave a comment


On Malaysia
• Hong Leong Asia making a mandatory general offer for Tasek Corp
• Temasek emerges as substantial shareholder in WCT
• Local steel makers making provisions for their inventories

On The Global Front
• The European Union (EU) is coordinating a €200bn (US$259bn) stimulus proposal
• China’s biggest interest-rate cut in 11 years

• TM International – 3QFY08 Results (Buy; RM3.98; TP: RM5.95)
• KNM Group – 3QFY08 Results (Hold; RM0.545; TP: RM0.85)
• Resorts World – 3QFY08 Results (Buy; RM2.65; TP: RM3.50)
• YNH Property – 3QFY08 Results (Buy; RM1.16; TP: RM2.73)

Tasek Corp Bhd’s major shareholder Hong Leong Asia Ltd (HLA) is making a mandatory general offer for all the shares it does not own in the cement manufacturer, sources said. It is learnt that Singapore-based HLA had recently bought a large block of shares in Tasek via an off-market transaction, which raised its stake to more than 33% from 25.6% previously. However, a source close to the deal said HLA had no intention to privatise Tasek. (Financial Daily)
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Temasek Holdings Private Ltd has emerged a substantial shareholder in WCT Bhd. According to filing to Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday, Temasek’s various nominees acquired a 5.04% stake in WCT on Nov 20. (Financial Daily)
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The manufacturing sector is expected to see slower growth next year amid prospects of a global economic
slowdown, according to the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM). The growth will be much less compared to this year. Most of the manufacturers said 2009 will be a tough year, with some seeing smaller growth and some seeing a contraction, FMM president Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon said. The electric and electronics industry, for example, is facing a 20% to 30% drop in orders, he said. (Financial Daily)
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The United States wants to hold back the US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks until its new government is in place by January next year, said International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said earlier this month the progress of the Malaysia-US FTA negotiations would depend on the policies implemented by the Obama administration. (Financial Daily)
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The manufacturing sector hopes the government will find ways to reduce the prices of electricity and gas to help ease the burden of producers. Minister of International Trade and Industry, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said his ministry had received the request but had not forwarded it to the National Economic Council for consideration (Financial Daily)
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Local steel makers are making provisions for their inventories following the sharp decline in prices of raw materials and finished products. On Tuesday, Perwaja Holdings Bhd and Choo Bee Metal Industries Bhd announced they had provisions of RM120.2m and RM22.3m respectively in the third quarter for impairment in the value of their inventories. Other steel companies are likely to announce a similar provision when releasing their results. (StarBiz)
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Stocks surged Wednesday, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 rallying for the fourth session in a row, as investors scooped up stocks hit in the recent selloff, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Stocks tumbled in the morning on weak economic reports, but staged a comeback in the afternoon. The latest addition to President-elect Obama’s economic team, a rally for the automakers and seasonal factors all contributed to the advance. The DJIA gained 247.1 points, or 2.9% to close at 8,726.6 and the S&P 500 index rose 3.5% (+30.3 pts, close 887.7). The Nasdaq composite gained 4.6% (67.4 pts, close 1,532.1). In currency trading, the dollar gained versus the euro and the yen. US light crude oil for Jan delivery rose US$3.67 to settle at US$54.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (CNNMoney)
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New-home sales in the US fell in Oct to the lowest level in 17 years as the credit crunch deprived potential buyers of needed financing. Purchases dropped 5.3% to an annual pace of 433,000, the fewest since Jan 1991, the Commerce Department said yesterday. The median sales price decreased to US$218k, the lowest level since Sep 2004. The housing downturn is likely to extend into a fourth year, shackling an economy that’s already sliding into a deeper slump. Foreclosures will worsen the glut of unsold properties and drive down prices further, while stricter borrowing rules and mounting job losses will keep depressing demand. (Bloomberg)
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US business investment weakened and consumers spending slid last month, heightening pressure on policy makers to take stronger steps to combat the credit squeeze. Americans cut spending by 1% in Oct, the biggest drop since the last recession in 2001, while British households slashed expenditures last quarter by the most in 13 years. A US Commerce Department report showed orders for durable goods slumped 4.4%, the biggest decline since Jan 2002 as domestic and foreign demand dried up. (Bloomberg)
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The European Union (EU) is coordinating a €200bn (US$259bn) stimulus proposal for the 27-nation economy and said more may be needed to limit the impact of the global financial crisis. The package, to which individual countries will contribute €170bn, is equivalent to 1.5% of the EU’s gross domestic product. European Commission President Jose Barroso said in unveiling the proposal in Brussels yesterday that more may be needed, adding that the plan was an “exceptional response” to an “exceptional crisis.” The remaining €30bn of the package will come from the EU budget – primarily accelerated payments already budgeted – and from the European Investment Bank, which will boost lending in Europe next year by €15bn. (Bloomberg)
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Germany’s inflation rate dropped the most in at least 12 years in Nov after oil prices plunged, giving the European Central Bank (ECB) leeway to cut interest rates. The inflation rate fell to 1.5% from 2.5% in Oct, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said yesterday. That’s the biggest decline since the office started calculating German inflation using a harmonized European Union method in 1996. The ECB is set to lower borrowing costs for the third time since early Oct after the euro area fell into its first recession in 15 years. In Germany, the region’s largest economy, companies have scaled back production as slower growth erodes demand for exports. Business confidence slumped to a 16-year low this month. (Bloomberg)
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China’s biggest interest-rate cut in 11 years highlights government concerns that the country risks spiralling unemployment, social unrest and the deepest economic slowdown in almost two decades. The central bank yesterday lowered its one-year lending rate by the most since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, less than three weeks after Premier Wen Jiabao unveiled a 4trn yuan (US$586bn) stimulus plan. The central bank cut the key one-year lending rate 108 bps to 5.58%. The deposit rate fell by the same amount to 2.52%. (Bloomberg)
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December 2, 2008 Daily Highlights November 27, 2008 Daily Highlights

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