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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bursa Chat News Highlights

Telekom Malaysia Bhd
(T MK, Buy, TP: RM4.90)
is looking at setting up new nodes in the Middle East to expand its global coverage. “We plan to put up new nodes in the Middle East, the key new growth in the telecom market. We are looking
at Oman and Saudi Arabia currently,” said Rozaimy Rahman, executive vice-president of TM Global, the global sales arm of TM. TM currently has two nodes in the Middle East, located i n Bahrain and Egypt. TM and Telstra signed an agreement yesterday to interconnect the companies’ Internet Protocol Virtual Private Networks.(Starbiz)
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Telekom Malaysia Bhd’s
(T MK, Buy, TP: RM4.90)partnership with global communications, IT and security solutions company Verizon in producing a new IP node will provide an impetus for he country to become a regional internet hub. TM Group chief said the IP node would be able to provide high-end network and IP-based services at competitive prices to local servi ce provi ders. The IP node would also support delivery of advanced data services to Malaysian-headquartered companies throughout the region.(Financial Daily)
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Australia based and ASX-listed Mission NewEnergy Ltd, which inked a RM114.54m turnkey contract with KNM Group Bhd (KNMG MK, Hold, TP: RM0.67) to build a second biodiesel refinery in Pahang, has commenced the commissioning phase of the mechanically completed plant. Concurrently, KNM founding member and group managing director Lee Swee Eng is investing about RM43.54m in the Australian firm via the subscription of 85m ordinary shares and warrants under the same financial terms as Mission’s April 2009 announced private placement. Lee’s proposed investment is to help secure funds needed for the second biodiesel plant in Pahang. (Malaysian Reserve)
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Resorts World (RNB MK, Buy, TP: RM3.00), told shareholders yesterday that the gaming firm does not see any obstacles in investing in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, but has made no decision on the move. The comments came in after intense speculation that Genting Group may be a potential buyer of MGM Mirage’s stake in a JV in Macau. (Financi al Daily)
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Time dotcom Bhd (TdC) will not be disposing anymore of its shares in DiGi.Com Bhd (DIGI MK, Hold, TP: RM22.60) in the near term as it is comfortable with the current level of borrowings. Its CEO Afzal Abdul Rahim said that though the company would continue to evaluate market conditions, it wi ll keep DIGI shares for now for dividends. In January, TdC sold 2.9% of its stake in DIGI for RM461m for debt repayment, which effectively brought its holding in the company to 7.1%. (Malaysian Reserve)
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Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) production sharing contract (PSC) operator Murphy Oil Corp has made to 2 additional discoveries on its acreages offshore Sabah and Sarawak, on top of its existing development in the offshore Kikeh field, the country’s deepwater discovery. The US based oil and gas exploration firm said the discovery wasmade at its Siakap North prospect located in Block K, offshore Sabah, Malaysia, located 6 miles from its Kikeh field development in about 4,300 ft of water.(Malaysian Reserve)
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AirAsia X, has inked a contract to buy 10 Airbus A350s worth more than US$2.2bn (RM7.8bn), with option to purchase another five. Deliveries are scheduled between 2016 and 2018. The A350s will complement its current fleet of A330s. The airline has ordered 25 A330s, due to be delivered through 2015, of which two have been delivered since October last year. The A350-900 vari ant will be configured to seat 425 passengers in a two-class layout. (BT)
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Mudajaya Group Bhd, which has an order book of RM5.6bn, is bidding for new projects worth a combined RM1.8bn. "We expect further improvement (in our revenue) from 2008 as we received progress payments from our jobs," managing director Ng Ying Loong told reporters after the group's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. "Our orderbook is at a healthy level, which will keep us busy for another three years. But we continue to participate in bids. Locally, we have bidded for some RM800m jobs," he added.
(BT)
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Despite the current economic slowdown, Aeon Credit Services (M) Bhd continues to be upbeat that it will continue to register a double digit growth in revenue this year, backed by strong demand in consumer finance and its easy payment scheme. MD Naruhito Kuroda said that while the effect of the slowdown might be reflected in results in the coming quarters, they were still seeing growth in all business divisions. (Financial Daily)
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Perwaja Holdings Bhd has filed its defense and counterclaim for up to RM105.26m from Petronas as excess payment for gas supply by Petronas. Perwaja on May 12 received a writ of summons and a statement if claim from Petronas for RM85.79m together with a claim for interest. (BT)
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The government will look at cutting its operating costs next year to keep the national budget deficit low, but will maintai n its development expenditure. Government revenue is widely expected to fall next year, given the weak economic environment. The budget deficit is projected to rise to as high as 7.6% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) i n 2010. "We are looking at our operating costs and what expendi tures we must reduce. But in terms of development expenditure, we will maintain that," Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said. On the local economy, Ahmad Husni said second quarter growth is expected to be at the same level as in the first quarter, whi ch was a contraction of 6.2%. (BT)
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Southeast Asia's bourses are working to develop electronic trading links but are unlikely to merge, as suggested by a top Malaysian banker, Bursa Malaysia said yesterday. "It's a good idea but, personally, I think it is going to be a challenge to become reali ty," Bursa Malaysia chief executi ve Datuk Yusli Mohamad Yusoff said at a media briefing here. "There are no plans at the moment." (BT)
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Global
Stocks tumbled Tuesday, falli ng for a second session in a row on continued worries that the pace of the recession is not waning as much as has been hoped. Better-than-expected reports on housing and wholesale inflation gave stocks a boost early in the session. But the advance was tepid and soon lost momentum as concerns about the economy reared up again. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.3% (-107.5 pts, close 8,504.7). The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 1.3% (-11.8 pts,close 911.9) and the Nasdaq composite dropped 1.1% (-20.2 pts, close 1,796.2). In currency trading, the dol lar tumbled versus the euro and yen. U.S. light crude oil for July delivery fell 15 cents to settle at US$70.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantil Exchange.(CNNmoney)
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President Barack Obama said the U.S. unemployment rate will reach 10% this year, even as the economy begins to emerge from the recession. Obama acknowledged that unemployment lines may keep growing despite government efforts to boost economic growth, saying he’s confident an expansion will begin “shortly.” His outlook mirrors the forecasts of pri vate economists who predict a jobless rate of 10% - a level unseen since 1983 – by 4Q09. “What you’ve seen is that the pace of job loss has slowed,” the president said. “The economy is going to turn around, but as you know, jobs are a lagging indicator and we’ve got to produce 150,000 jobs every month just to keep pace, just to flatten this out.” (Bloomberg)
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Housing starts jumped more than forecast in May while industrial production tumbled, offering a picture of an American economy stil l struggling to emerge from the deepest recession in half a century. Builders broke ground on 532,000 dwellings at an annual rate, with single-family starts posting a thi rd straight gain, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday i n Washington. Housing starts were projected to rise to a 485,000 annual pace, according to the median forecast of 71 economists surveyed by Bl oomberg News. Output at factories, mines and utilities dropped 1.1%, and the share of industrial capacity in use slid to a record l ow, the Federal Reserve said. Excluding automobil es, factory output dropped 0.6% for a second month. In addition to cars, other consumer goods retreating last month included home electronics, clothing and furniture and appliances.(Bloomberg)
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European Central Bank Governing Council member Yves Mersch said the bank has done everything it can to fight the financial crisis, suggesting he sees no scope to expand emergency poli cy measures. The ECB on June 4 kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1%. It has announced pl ans to lend banks as much money as they need for up to 12 months and said it wil l buy 60bn euros (US$83bn) of covered bonds to counter the worst recession since World War II. The Federal Reserve and Bank of England have gone further, cutting their key rates close to zero and buying government and corporate bonds to stimulate growth. Mersch indicated the ECB would only consider further action if the economy takes an unexpected turn for the worse. (Bloomberg)
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German investor confidence rose more than economists forecast to a three-year high in June
after evidence emerged that the recession in Europe’s largest economy i s bottoming out. The ZEW Center for European Economi c Research i n Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months ahead, increased to 44.8 from 31.1 in May. That’s the highest reading since May 2006. Economists expected a gain to 35, according to the median of 35 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. A gauge measuring investors’ assessment of the current economic situation rose to minus 89.7 from minus 92.8 i n May, ZEW said. (Bloomberg)
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U.K. inflation slowed less than economists forecast in May after higher taxes and the weakness of the pound sustained price pressures in the economy. Consumer prices rose 2.2% y-o-y, compared with 2.3% in April, the Offi ce for National Statistics said yesterday in London. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 30 economists was 2%. Prices increased 0.6% m-o-m. Inflation has been “sticky” because of the U.K. currency’s drop in the past year, Bank of England markets director Paul Fisher said last week. Policy makers still predict it will slow further and are spending 125bn pounds (US$204bn) of newly printed money in U.K. debt markets to prevent deflation from taking hold. Inflation has now stayed above the central bank’s 2% target for 20 months. The monthly increase in prices was twice as much as the 0.3% median prediction of 25 economists. (Bloomberg)
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Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said there’s no guarantee the economy’s revival will be sustained, signalling it’s too early for the central bank to end its unprecedented steps to channel cash to companies. “The Bank of Japan remains cautious about the strength of final demand once companies at home and overseas complete their inventory adjustments,” Shirakawa said in Tokyo yesterday after his board left the overnight lending rate at 0.1%. While the Bank of Japan said earlier that the nation’s worst postwar recession is easing, Shirakawa told reporters policy makers have yet to decide when to stop buying corporate debt and providing lenders with unlimited credit. Shirakawa said the economy is improving because of three temporary factors: replacement of stockpiles at home and abroad, global fiscal stimulus measures, and improving confidence. It’s unclear whether a recovery in demand wi ll take hold, he said. (Bloomberg)
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