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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bursa Chat- News Highlights

AirAsia Bhd (AIRA MK, Buy, TP: RM1.90) is considering selling the entire 20% shares it plans to issue to a single institutional fund or a strategic investor in a bid to reduce debt. “Some funds have come to us and want to take the whole 20%. We may do a placement to a strategic investor or a fund,“ chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said. A strategic investor might be a private equity firm or a partner in the tourism industry, he added. He declined to be more specific, though ruled out selling a stake to a rival airline. Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes plans to meet potential investors this month and the share sale should be completed in early August. (Financial Daily)
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AirAsia Bhd (AIRA MK, Buy, TP: RM1.90) is establishing Penang as its eighth hub with the inclusion of another international flight from the state to Hong Kong starting July 31, 2009. In a statement yesterday, AirAsia said the new service was its sixth international service from Penang after Singapore, Bangkok, Medan, Jakarta, Macau and the third international service from Hong Kong after Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Its other hubs are Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Bandung, Bali, Jakarta, Bangkok and a ‘virtual hub’ in Singapore. (Financial Daily)
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KSL Holdings Bhd will be launching its first mixed property development project in the Klang Valley in the first quarter next year. Executive director Ku Hwa Seng said that the Bandar Bestari Project would be sited on 180.64ha of freehold land in Jalan Klang Banting, about 15km from the Klang town centre and would have a gross development value of RM2.5bn. (StarBiz)
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The Naza Group of Companies has again deferred the listing of its property development arm, ruling out ant initial public offering exercise within the next 6 months, according to company officials. While news of the IPO dates back to early 2008 with several delays having been acknowledged, top officials are thus far coy about the exact timeline for the exercise, often citing unfavourable market conditions as the reason for delay. The initial share sale had targeted a market capitalisation of at least RM850m with CIMB Investment Bank reportedly being hired for the exercise. (Malaysian Reserve)
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The contract for the submarine cable project to supply power from the Bakun Hydro-electric dam in Sarawak to the Peninsula is expected to be awarded in mid 2010. Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said that the project was estimated to cost between RM8bn and RM10bn. (StarBiz)
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The government may unveil a new economic model for the country under Budget 2010, which will be tabled in parliament in October, following the recent economic structural reforms. Deputy Minister of Finance Datuk Chor Chee Heung said his ministry and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) were working on a possible robust economic model to transform Malaysia from a middle income economy to one with a higher income. He added that he is unable to confirm the date for a new model to be unveiled. Chor said the new model is expected to enlarge the size of the economic cake with the participation of all ethnic groups. (Financial Daily)
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Stocks cut losses, ending mixed Monday, as worries about the duration of the recession were tempered by a rally in select blue chips. Stocks slipped through the early afternoon as investors eyed falling oil prices and a better-than-expected report on the services sector of the economy from the Institute for Supply Management. But a late-session run up in biotechs and consumer issues helped the Dow turn positive. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.5% (+44.1 pts, close 8,324.9). The Nasdaq lost 0.5% (-9.1 pts, close 1,787.4) and the S&P 500 index gained 0.3% (+2.3 pts, close 898.7). In currency trading, the dollar gained versus the euro and the yen. U.S. light crude oil for August delivery fell US$2.68 to settle at US$64.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (CNNmoney)
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U.S. service industries from retailers to homebuilders shrank last month at the slowest pace in nine months, as measures of new orders and employment increased. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non- manufacturing businesses, which make up almost 90% of the economy, rose more than forecast to 47 from 44 in May, according to data from the Tempe, Arizona-based group. Readings less than 50 signal contraction. The index’s third straight monthly improvement reflects signs of stabilization in housing and consumer spending and increased demand from overseas as a gauge of export orders rose to the highest level since February 2008. Still, mounting job losses and stagnant wages are likely to restrain some domestic purchases, limiting the impact of any recovery. The ISM non-manufacturing industries index of employment rose to 43.4 from 39 the prior month, and its gauge of new orders increased to 48.6 from 44.4. (Bloomberg)
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The Bank of Japan became more optimistic about the economy in all nine regions for the first time since January 2006 and Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said exports and industrial production are recovering. “The pace of economic deterioration was slower in all regions,” the central bank said in a quarterly report in Tokyo yesterday. “Most regions, however, emphasized
that their economies continued to be in a severe situation.” Japan’s deepest post-war recession is abating, a government index of economic health showed yesterday, yet central bank officials aren’t confident the rebound will be sustained. The coincident index climbed to 86.9 in May from 86 in April, the Cabinet Office said yesterday. It was the second straight increase in the gauge, which comprises 11 indicators including factory production and retail sales. Shirakawa said while the economy will “show clearer evidence of levelling out over time,” businesses and households are likely to trim spending. (Bloomberg)
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Three Shanghai companies agreed to settle import and export contracts in yuan for the first time, as China seeks to reduce the role of the dollar in global trade. Shanghai Silk Group, Shanghai Electric Group Co. and Shanghai Huanyu Import & Export Co. signed contracts worth 14m yuan (US$2m) with customers in Hong Kong and Indonesia, Fang Xinghai, director general of the municipal government’s financial services office, said at a press conference yesterday. China, Russia and India have said the world economy is too reliant on the dollar and called for changes in how US$6.5trn in foreign-exchange reserves are managed, before Group of Eight leaders meet this week. The settlement program and sales of yuan-denominated debt overseas are designed to make the currency more attractive for central banks to hold. (Bloomberg)

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