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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bursa Chat News Highlights (07.04.2009)

Malaysia
PT Excelcomindo Pratama, a unit of Axiata Group Bhd (AXIATA MK, Hold, TP: RM1.77 ex-rights), plans to spend some US$600m to build more capacity in Indonesia and grow its revenue for this year. Its vice-president (finance) Johnson Chan said the company will raise funds for its expansion plans through bilateral means, syndicated bank loan, or export credit guarantee. Excelcomindo signed a US$214 million deal last month with Swedish export credit guarantee agency EKN for the purchase of second- and third-generation equipment and software licence from Ericsson. (BT)
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14 years after the RM5.4bn contract to build 6 offshore patrol vessels was awarded to Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (BHIC MK, Sell, TP: RM2.45), the last 4 of the 6 naval ships will be ready for delivery to the Royal Malaysian navy between next month and early 2010. The patrol vessels, built by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd at its Lumut yard are KD Selangor, KD Kelantan, KD Perak and KD Terengganu. (StarBiz)
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Media Prima Bhd (MPR MK, Hold, TP: RM1.25) has become a founding member of SMART Alliance. The alliance was formed by broadcasters in the region to create and deliver commercial benefits for its members by developing content, selling, marketing and technology. The six founding members - ABS-CBN (Philippines), BBTV (Thailand), International Media Corp Vietnam), Media Nusantara Citra (Indonesia), Media Prima and MediaCorp (Singapore) - met recently in Singapore and signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to work on specific areas. (BT)
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Alam Maritim Resources Bhd said an oil major has agreed to charter an anchor handling tug supply vessel from its unit, Alam Maritim (M) Sdn Bhd, for RM7.7m. The contract, which took effect on March 23, is for 200 days. It can be extended twice, once by 60 days and another by 120 days, Alam Maritim said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia. (BT)
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Thailand and Malaysia are planning to set up a joint Southeast Asian (ASEAN) fund that would pool excess foreign exchange reserves to finance infrastructure spending that would boost jobs and economic growth in the region. Finance ministers and leaders from Korea, Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand and the 10 members of ASEAN will meet in Thailand this week. (Financial Daily)
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INVESTMENT RESEARCH
Global

Stocks slipped Monday, retreating after a four-week run, on a bearish analyst note about the bank sector and a breakdown in merger talks between IBM and Sun Microsystems. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.5% (-41.7 pts, close 7,975.9). The S&P 500 index 0.8% (-7.0 pts, close 835.5) and the Nasdaq composite lost 0.9% (-15.2 pts, close 1,606.7). In currency trading, the dollar gained versus the euro and the yen. U.S. light crude oil for May delivery fell $1.46 to settle at $51.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (CNNMoney)
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A measure of U.S. job prospects fell in March for a 14th straight month, indicating the labour market will deteriorate further, a private report showed. The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index last month decreased 2.3% to 90.1, the lowest since February 1994, from a revised 92.2 in February, the New York-based research group said yesterday. The index declined 22% y-o-y. Payroll employment is likely to keep dropping as companies cut costs to ride out the recession, now in its second year. About 5.1m jobs have been lost since the start of the slump, the worst in the post-war era. The index aggregates eight labour-market indicators to forecast short-term hiring trends. On average, the employment trends gauge can predict job declines six to nine months in advance and can signal a rebound in hiring as many as three months before the fact, the Conference Board said. (Bloomberg)
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European producer prices fell more than economists forecast in February and retail sales dropped by a record, highlighting the increasing risk of deflation in the region. Factory-gate prices in the euro region fell 1.8% from the year-earlier month, the most since April 1999, the European Union’s statistics office said yesterday. Economists had forecast a 1.5% decline, according to the median of 21 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Retail sales dropped 4% y-o-y, a separate report showed. The deepening of the global slump and a 60% drop in oil prices from a July record have eased inflation pressures across the euro area. The region may record a temporary decline in annual consumer prices this year, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said on April 2 after cutting the benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to 1.25%, less than the half-point reduction economists expected. (Bloomberg)
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The Japanese government plans to unveil a new economic stimulus package worth more than 2% of GDP on Friday, the finance minister said, doubling such spending as the country grapples with its worst recession since World War Two. The new package will add around US$100bn (RM357bn) to spending already planned under previously announced stimulus measures, raising the total to around 4% of GDP. Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano did no explain how the new spending will be funded, saying there was no discussion on issuance of new bonds in his meeting with Prime Minister Taro Aso yesterday.
(Bloomberg)
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