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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bursa Chat - News Highlights (05.05.2009)

AirAsia Bhd (AIRA MK, Buy, TP: RM1.90) has signed a 10-year agreement with Akamai Technologies Inc to boost the airline's online performance and reliability. Under the agreement, AirAsia's website, www.airasia.com, will be powered by Akamai's dynamic site acceleration solution that will deliver website performance up to five times faster than the original web infrastructure. AirAsia group chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said through this strategic partnership with Akamai, AirAsia will also be able to sustain its momentum in enhancing market share. (Bernama)
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Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd (BST MK, Buy, TP: RM5.60) is increasing its stake in Prime Gaming Philippines, Inc by another 6.81% for RM32.34m. Upon completion of the purchase, BToto will hold 88.3% of Prime Gaming from 81.5% before. (BT)
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Berjaya Corporation’s indirect subsidiary Cosway M Sdn Bhd has proposed to buy 900,000 shares or a 90% stake in Golden Works Sdn Bhd which owns 130 shoplots in Wisma Cosway, Jalan Raja Chulan. Bcorp told Bursa that Cosway M would buy the stake from Yang Kiat Lin, Hung Chin Wah ad Ma Yee Chen for RM19.35m or RM21.70 per share. Yang and Ma are present shareholders of Golden Works. Upon completion of the proposed acquisition, Golden Works would be a 90% owned subsidiary of Cosway M which in turn is 90% owned by Cosway Corporation Bhd (100% owned by Bcorp). (Financial Daily)
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Yum! India may expand its partnership with KFC Holdings (M) Bhd by giving the latter the franchise to open KFC outlets in cities other than Mumbai and Pune. “It depends on how fast we can grow. For now, there is a big potential in Mumbai for us to open more stores. Mc Donald’s has over 40 stores there but we have three or four. So we can scale up very fast,” said Yum! India managing director Niren Chaudhary after the signing of a memorandum of agreement with KFC yesterday. (Financial Daily)
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Hock Seng Lee Bhd is eyeing opportunities from the recently announced economic stimulus package for 2009-2010 and implementation of projects under the Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (Score). HSL’s MD expressed confidence that Sarawak would continue to require the company’s reclamation and construction services for such initiatives. HSL currently has some RM1.7bn worth of outstanding projects on hand, RM905m of which was secured in 2008. (Financial Daily)
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Work have started picking up to kick start the estimated RM7bn light rail transit (LRT) extension jobs in Kuala Lumpur. Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, a unit of the Ministry of Finance, that overseas public infrastructure projects, has invited locally incorporated companies to submit the “expression of interest (EOI)” to participate in the extension and upgrading of the
KL LRT system project. It is learnt that the government is hoping to see construction work start within the next three to four months and is pushing for Prasarana to get the ball rolling. (Financial Daily)
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Former special officer and head of policy for the government and 38 year old Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid has been redesignated as excutive director of Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB). According to MRCB, the redesignation would be effective immediately. In politics, Ahmad Zaki, is the Umno youth assistant treasurer and the Putrajaya Umno youth chief. During recent elections, he was elected into the national youth excutive council. (Financial Daily)
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INVESTMENT RESEARCH
Global
Wall Street rose Monday, pushing the major gauges to multi-month highs, as a better-than-expected housing market report intensified hopes that the economy is closer to stabilizing. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.6% (+214.3 pts, close 8,426.7). The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.4% (+29.7 pts, close 907.2) and the Nasdaq composite gained 2.6% (+44.4 pts, close 1,763.6). In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the euro and gained against the yen. U.S. light crude oil for June delivery rose US$1.27 to settle at US$54.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (CNNmoney)
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Pending sales of U.S. existing homes posted their first back-to-back gain in almost a year in March and construction spending ended a six-month slide, spurring a rally in stocks. The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes jumped 3.2% after a 2% gain in February, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday. Construction unexpectedly rose 0.3% as gains in commercial and government projects overshadowed a continued drop in homebuilding, Commerce Department data showed. Yesterday’s figures indicate the biggest slump in home construction on record may end this year. (Bloomberg)
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The European Union cut its forecast for the euro-area economy to show a contraction twice as deep as it projected just three months ago, and said the region’s budget deficit will swell to more than double the EU limit. The economy of the 16 countries sharing the euro will shrink 4% in 2009 and 0.1% in 2010, the European Commission said yesterday, revising a January estimate for a contraction of 1.9% this year. The region’s average budget deficit will swell to 6.5% of output next year, when unemployment will rise to 11.5%, the commission said. The European Central Bank may this week announce new measures to combat the recession after cutting its benchmark rate to a record low. The commission’s new forecasts are in line with numbers from the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The IMF said on April 22 that the euro-area economy may shrink 4.2% this year and 0.4% in 2010, while the OECD forecast a contraction of 4.1% this year and 0.3% in 2010. (Financial Daily)
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Retail sales in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, unexpectedly fell in March as rising unemployment prompted consumers to trim spending. Sales, adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings, declined 1% from February, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said yesterday. Economists forecast a gain of 0.2%, the median of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. From a year earlier, sales dropped 1.5%. German companies are scaling back production and cutting jobs, discouraging consumers and exacerbating the country’s worst recession since World War II. German unemployment rose for a sixth month in April and the government said last month the economy may contract 6% this year. German retail sales declined for an 11th straight month in April, the Bloomberg purchasing managers’ index showed on April 29. Companies remained pessimistic about meeting their forecasts in the month ahead because of “weak underlying economic conditions,” the survey of 500 executives showed. (Bloomberg)
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Finance Minister Yoon Jeung Hyun said South Korea has scope for further fiscal stimulus to aid an economy where the jobless rate has climbed to the highest since 2005 and bad loans have risen to the most in four years. A “full-fledged” economic rebound is dependent on a resurgence in global trade to drive export growth. Yoon said yesterday. Asia’s fourth-largest economy has leeway to add to stimulus to ensure a recovery takes hold, the International Monetary Fund and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development both signalled in recent global outlook reports. South Korea’s parliament approved on April 30 the government’s latest 17.7trn-won (US$13.8bn) package of cash handouts, cheap loans, labour-market aid and infrastructure spending that adds to 50trn won allocated in relief measures. He said the government didn’t have immediate plans to allocate more spending. South Korea’s budget deficit will be 3.2% of GDP in 2009, less than an average 10.4% shortfall for major advanced economies, according to IMF forecasts. (Bloomberg)
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