5 December 2008 Newz Bits

December 10, 2008 at 3:46 am Leave a comment

HIGHLIGHTS

On Malaysia
• Delay in transmission project is exposing Malaysia to risk of a major power failure
• MAS in talks with Qantas for a collaboration
• Proton and Mitsubishi agreed on a product collaboration
• Export in October fell 2.6%
On The Global Front
• More Americans are collecting jobless benefits than at any time in the last 26 years
• Europe’s central banks cut rates
• France unveiled €26bn stimulus plan

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB MK, Buy, TP: RM10.20) said its delayed Central Area Reinforcement (CAR) transmission project is exposing Malaysia to risk of a major power failure. The CAR project, TNB’s fourth high-capacity transmission route has been met with protests by some 20 families in Kampung Sungai Terentang, Rawang, who are affected by its implementation. The issue has since been politicised, and has delayed the RM324m project by more than a year. It should have been completed in August last year. “TNB is now operating under high risk due to insufficient transmission capacity from the existing three high capacity routes,” said TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh. (BT)
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Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS MK, Buy, TP: RM5.40) confirmed yesterday that it is in talks with Qantas Airlines Ltd for a collaboration to create synergies for growth. “MAS is in talks with a number of airlines on collaborating and creating synergies for growth. This ranges from joint ventures and code shares to interlining partnerships which include recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Qantas for a joint venture in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business”, the national carrier said in a statement. (Financial Daily)
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Air Asia Bhd’s (AIRA MK, Buy, TP: RM1.90) proposed privatisation is not taking off as its major shareholder Tune Air Sdn Bhd has been hampered by limited financing options due to the global credit crunch. It is learnt that certain investors who were initially keen to take part in the proposed privatisation of the low-cost carrier had also turned bearish. This latest news comes after Air Asia announced last week its first quarterly loss since going public in 2004. (Financial Daily)
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Proton Holdings Bhd and Mitsubishi Motors Corp have agreed on a product collaboration that would see Proton source a vehicle from Japan to replace the Waja and Mitsubishi takes the Persona and Proton’s upcoming MPV (multi purpose vehicle) to be marketed as Mitsubishis in certain markets. The agreement would also see Proton and Mitsubishi Motors jointly develop a small hatchback car that is slated to be introduced after 2010. (StarBiz)
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Lower demand for Malaysia’s electrical and electronic (E&E) and commodities such as oil and palm oil led to a drop in exports in October. Exports in October fell 2.6% to RM53.46bn from a year ago and declined by 14.2% from September, while imports declined 5.3% to RM43.84bn in October from a year ago. Total trade declined by 3.8% to RM97.3bn. Exports to the US dropped nearly 19% to RM6.44bn from RM9.74bn in October as a result of lower demand for E&E products. Exports to the EU fell 11.4% to RM6.1bn in October from a year ago. Exports to China fell 7%. However, exports to Japan surged by 33.4% to RM6bn due to a jump in sales of liquefied natural gas and wood products. Similarly exports to India increased 10.7% to Rm2.45bn and surged 52.6% to the UAE on higher exports of jewellery and iron and steel products. (StarBiz)
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Stocks tumbled Thursday as a rash of job cuts at major companies added to jitters ahead of the November jobs report. Stocks seesawed through the morning, but turned lower in the last hour of the session. The DJIA ended down 215.5 points (- 2.5%). The S&P 500 index fell 2.9% (-25.5 pts, close 845.2) and the Nasdaq composite retreated 3.1% (-46.8 pts, close 1,445.6). In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the yen but gained against the euro. US light crude oil for January delivery fell US$3.12 to settle at US$43.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a near 4-year low. (CNNMoney)
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More Americans are collecting jobless benefits than at any time in the last 26 years as companies rush to cut costs in a sinking economy. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls rose to 4.09m in the week ended November 22, the most since December 1982, the Labour Department said yesterday. (Bloomberg)
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Orders placed with US factories in October fell by the most in 8 years, signalling a decline in manufacturing will contribute to deepening the recession. Demand dropped 5.1%, more than forecast and the biggest fall since July 2000, after a revised 3.1% decrease in September, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Companies are cutting back on investments as access to credit dries up and global demand slows. (Bloomberg)
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Europe’s central banks cut interest rates as policy makers stepped up their response to the credit crisis that has pushed the region into a recession. The European Central Bank delivered a 75 basis-point reduction in its main refinancing rate, the most in its 10-year history, while the Bank of England cut its benchmark rate to 2%, the lowest level since 1951. The Swedish and Danish central banks also lowered their key rates. Central banks are battling to contain the economic damage as the 17-month credit drought weighs on companies and consumers around the world. (Bloomberg)
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European investment fell for a second quarter and consumer spending stagnated as the global financial crisis dragged the region into a recession that pushed central bankers into a third interest-rate cut within two months. Gross domestic product shrank 0.2% from 2Q08, the European Union’s Luxembourg-based statistics office said yesterday. Investment fell 0.6% in the
first back-to-back decline since 2002, and household spending stagnated after dropping 0.2% in the previous quarter. (Bloomberg)
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President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a 26bn euro (RM120bn) stimulus plan for the faltering French economy yesterday, targeting investment projects rather than directly aiding consumers. France is the latest European Union country to throw open state coffers to try to temper a sharp economic downturn and the government predicted that the measures would boost gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.6 percentage points in 2009. The package will cost the equivalent of 1.3% of GDP and push the deficit to 3.9% of GDP in 2009, well above the 3% limit normally demanded by EU. (Reuters)
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December 3, 2008 Daily Highlights 9 December 2008 Newz Bits

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