November 28, 2008 Daily Highlights

December 10, 2008 at 2:43 am Leave a comment

MARKET REVIEW

KLCI Update
BURSA Malaysia shares ended higher yesterday, led by gains in plantation, mining and construction counters, a dealer said.Market sentiment was also supported by overnight gains on Wall Street, he said. The benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index rose 13.61 points or 1.59 per cent to close at 869.98. It had opened 2.36 points higher at 858.73.Bank Negara Malaysia is scheduled to announce the third quarter gross domestic product growth, which could give some direction to the market.

Regional Update
Asian stocks advanced for a third day after China lowered interest rates by the most in 11 years to spur economic growth. “Countries like China still have the weapons and flexibility to control the economy,” said Masahiko Ejiri, who manages Asian equities at Mizuho Asset Management Co., which oversees $26 billion in Tokyo. “For some countries the political risk seems too big, so I would avoid them even if I see value. It’s much safer to have exposure to stable countries.” The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 2 percent to 8,373.39, while China’s CSI 300 Index added 1.5 percent. All other equity benchmarks open for trading rose, except Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

US Stocks
US Stocks Market closed for Thanks Giving Day.

MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

OSK net profit dives 72pc in Q3
LOCAL brokerage OSK Holdings Bhd saw its net profit plunge 72.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year due to weak trading and global capital market activities. It reported a net profit of RM19.6 million in the July-September quarter, compared with RM71 million a year before. Revenue also tumbled 37.5 per cent to RM201.9 million from RM323.0 million during the third quarter a year earlier, it said.For the first nine months of this year, the group saw its net profit drop by almost half or 48.7 per cent year-on-year to RM119.4 million from RM232.8 million. Revenue fell 31.1 per cent to RM636.4 million from RM923.5 million.OSK Investment Bank Bhd and its subsidiaries were the main contributor, accounting for 95 per cent of the total pretax profit. Local equities and futures business contributed about 35 per cent of the group’s pre-tax profit, while the foreign subsidiaries contributed approximately 13 per cent.

AirAsia X weighing options for Europe
Malaysia’s long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X is weighing its options for Europe following the London Stansted-Kuala Lumpur (KL) service which is set to take off on March 11, 2009. “The big question is whether we put all our efforts into London and this becomes the hub for Europe, and from there (London) people can go off to France, Germany or other destinations, or whether we eventually have one place in central Europe, one place in eastern Europe, for example,” said AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.“That’s to be debated. (AirAsia X chief executive officer) Azran (Osman-Rani) and his team will look at it,” he said at the London-KL route launch, with fares starting from 99 pounds each way.Fernandes said he personally had mixed feelings about the matter.

RM20m to upgrade skills: Malaysia
THE Ministry of Human Resource has asked the government to allocate RM20 million under Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd (PSMB) to upgrade the skills of retrenched workers.”The training would prepare the workers and give them better opportunities during the upturn of economy,” its minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said.However, he hopes companies would keep retrenchment as the last resort and instead opt for other measures like cutting overtime claims, entertainment and luxury spending to trim expenses.”We hope companies would maintain employment and maybe cut down on other unnecessary spending,” he said in Kuala Lumpur. Yesterday, Subramaniam gave a keynote address at a seminar organised by Deloitte Consulting Malaysia and Thomas International.

MAHB earnings soar 61pc
MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) saw a 61 per cent rise in its third quarter net profit, helped by the reversal of provision for doubtful debts.The group said it had completed discussions with the government on the proposed corporate and financial restructuring of MAHB and is awaiting the government’s decision.”The financial performance for 2008 financial year may be determined by the outcome of the above-mentioned proposal,” MAHB told Bursa Malaysia yesterday.MAHB registered a net profit of RM89.9 million for the financial period ended September 30 2008, against RM55.7 million the year before.Revenue grew by five per cent for the quarter under review at RM369.1 million compared to the year before.The improvement on overall revenue was reduced by higher staff related costs, repair maintenance and depreciation charged during the period, it said.MAHB expects growth on passenger movement to outperform International Air Transport Association (Iata) forecast for international passenger movement.Iata had forecast a 2.8 per cent growth in international passenger movement globally and 3.3 per cent in Asia Pacific.

Oil Falls Before OPEC Discusses Output Cut to Stem Price Slump
Crude oil fell in New York trading amid speculation a potential production cut by OPEC to support prices may be trumped by concerns over declining demand amid a worsening U.S. recession. OPEC members may consider a reduction at their meeting this weekend in Cairo to stabilize the market, Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said yesterday. Crude oil futures traded in New York have slumped 63 percent since reaching a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11. “People are waiting to see if there any cuts coming out of this meeting,” said Chris Jarvis, president of Caprock Risk Management LLC in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. “Though at this point it’s really about economic numbers. OPEC doesn’t really have control over
pricing right now.”

Panasonic Shares Fall After Profit Forecast Cut 90%
Panasonic Corp., the world’s largest consumer-electronics maker, fell to the lowest in more than five years in Tokyo trading after the company slashed its full-year profit forecast by 90 percent. Panasonic dropped 11 percent to 1,144 yen as of 10:41 a.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the lowest since June 26, 2003. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.3 percent.

Japan Inflation Slows for Second Month as Oil Tumbles
Japan’s inflation slowed for a second month in October as oil and commodity prices tumbled, providing relief to cash-strapped households in a recession. Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier, slower than the 2.3 percent pace in September, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. The result matched the median estimate of 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

India’s Economy Will Likely Withstand Terror Attacks
India’s economy will probably withstand the effect of yesterday’s terror attacks in Mumbai as rising incomes and record harvests boost consumer spending. “Mumbai is no stranger” to terrorism, said Sarah Hewin, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in London. “But each time we have seen a bounce-back and this time will be no exception.” Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, who didn’t comment yesterday on the shootings and blasts in India’s business capital, expects growth to rebound to 9 percent next year from as low as 7 percent this year even as a global recession spreads

ECONOMY HIGHLIGHTS

U.S. Korea Current Account Surplus to Top $1 Billion
South Korea’s current account surplus will top more than $1 billion in November and remain in surplus in 2009, Finance Minister Kang Man Soo said. “The current account turning to a surplus provides us a basis to better manage the difficult times,” Kang said at a weekly government meeting in Gwacheon today. “We’re likely to see a November current account surplus of more than $1 billion and a similar amount next month.” South Korea posted a record $4.91 billion current account surplus in October, a report showed yesterday, which may help ease pressure on the won, Asia’s worst-performing currency this year. The won has tumbled to near a decade low as foreign investors dump emerging market assets amid the global economic and financial crisis. South Korea has posted current account shortfalls every month but two this year as high oil prices and the weaker won drove up the cost of imported goods.

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