Monday, December 31, 2012

Malaysia's main market index ends year at all time high

PETALING JAYA: The FBM KLCI finished 2012 with a 10.34% gain to close at an all-time high of 1,688.95 as election concerns, defensive trading and high cash holding continued to dominate the equity scene in Malaysia. For the day, the local bourse was up 7.62 points on volume of RM1.31bil shares.
The KLCI's gains were mostly done in the last 15 minutes of trading on selected key blue chip stocks.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd was the biggest gainer of the day, closing RM2.06 to RM24, pushing up the KLCI by 3.39 points while Malayan Banking Bhd rose 12 sen to RM9.02 and nudged the index by 2.25 points. AEON Co (M) Bhd was on the gainers list, up RM1.42 to close at RM14.12.
Nonetheless, the KLCI is still one of the underperformers when compared with its regional peers. It is only ahead of the Shanghai Composite Index, Taiwan and South Korea, which recorded year to date gains of 3.17%, 8.87% and 9.38%, respectively.
Not surprisingly, it was the smaller Ace market counters that hogged the gainers list for the year.
These included Microlink Solutions Bhd with a 308% gain to 51 sen andBorneo Aqua Harvest Bhd with a 118.18% gain to 72 sen.
Among the bigger stocks that did well included KLCC Property Holdings Bhd which gained 99.37% to RM6.28 on plans to form a stapled real estate investment trust (REIT).
KLCC Property's restructuring exercise will involve the company acquiring the remaining 49.5% stake in Midciti Resources Sdn Bhd which owns the Petronas Twin Towers from KLCC Holdings Bhd for RM2.86bil. Following that, KLCC Property will inject three properties into KLCC REIT.
The properties are the Twin Towers, Menara ExxonMobile and Menara 3 Petronas. Thus once the restructuring is completed, KLCC Property shareholders will own shares and units in both KLCC Property and KLCC REIT.
The best performing stock on the Main Market for the year was Bright Packaging Industry Bhd, which was up 230.58% on a year to date basis.
It closed at RM2, which is also its 10-year high, on news that the company may see a change in its board and management.
Bright manufactures aluminium foil packaging materials which are mainly supplied to the tobacco industry. Last week, the company told Bursa Malaysia that four substantial shareholders with a collective stake of 31.2% had requested an EGM to remove existing directors and appoint new ones.
Over in the Ace market, the best performing stock and overall best performing stock for whole of Bursa Malaysia for 2012 was Green Ocean Corp Bhd.- the star online

Saturday, December 29, 2012

MPA decommissions Singapore's first port operations control

SINGAPORE - The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) officially decommissioned its Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) at Tanjong Pagar Complex on Friday.
The POCC was Singapore's first port operations control and was in service for 28 years.
The other other current POCCs are at Changi Naval Base and PSA Vista.
Read the press release below for more info:
Following the commissioning of its new Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) at Changi Naval Base in July 2011 and the re-commissioning of its upgraded POCC at PSA Vista in September 2012, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) today officially decommissioned its POCC at Tanjong Pagar Complex (POCC-TPC).
Today's decommissioning of POCC-TPC marks the retirement of Singapore's first POCC after more than 28 years of faithful service in ensuring navigational safety of vessels in the Singapore Strait and Singapore's port waters.
First commissioned on 1 May 1984, POCC-TPC initially used VHF radios to manage vessel traffic in Singapore until the first radar based Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) was installed in 1990. The VTIS allowed POCC officers to see the positions of vessels in real time on a screen and provide navigational assistance to these vessels. In 2000, POCC-TPC was upgraded with a new VTIS that was able to track up to 5,000 vessels.
The decommissioning ceremony was officiated by MPA's Chief Executive, Mr Lam Yi Young, and was attended by POCC officers who served at POCC-TPC over the years, including those who have since retired from service. Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Lam paid tribute to the pioneers who were instrumental in setting up POCC-TPC and the many POCC officers who faithfully kept watch at POCC-TPC round the clock from 1984 to 2012, ensuring the safety of the thousands of vessels that call at the Port of Singapore each year.
MPA's new POCC at Changi Naval Base and upgraded POCC at PSA Vista are fully operational and manned round the clock to ensure navigational safety of vessels in the Singapore Strait and Singapore's port waters. The two centres are fully integrated to serve as mutual back-up to each other. Each centre is independently equipped and has the capability to assume control of all operational areas in times of an emergency affecting the other centre . -

Monday, December 24, 2012

KLCI ends 11 points higher before Christmas

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI closed the last trading day before Christmas 10.55 points higher to 1,669.4, at times breaching but failing to hold above the 1,670 level. On Bursa Malaysia, losers beat gainers 324 to 279, while 330 stocks were unchanged. Trading was thin as investors stayed on the sidelines in view of the holiday-shortened week, with 620.1 million transactions worth RM801.18mil. The day's gainers included Nestle up RM1.88 to RM61.98, British American Tobacco RM1.44 to RM59.46, and Petronas Gas 60 sen to RM19.70. The losers were Dutch Lady which shed 96 sen to RM45.62, Tasek 16 sen to RM12.70, and Litrak down 15 sen to RM3.95. The most active on Monday were XOX, which has been issued an unusual market activity query by the stock exchange, SP Setia-WB, Karambunai, Tiger Synergy, Asia Media, TH Heavy Engineering, Globaltec, and AirAsia. In the region, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.99% to 9,940.06. Its peers, however, saw gains, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index up 0.16% to 22,541.18, Shanghai's Composite Index 0.27% to 2,159.05, South Korea's Kospi 0.07% to 1,981.82, and Singapore's Straits Times Index 0.16% to 3,168.57. US light crude oil slipped 0.16% to US$88.52 while spot gold rose slightly to US$1,663.25. - star online

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Scania Opticruise

Scania Opticruise has been totally revised including an entirely new gearchanging strategy. You are now offered the unique possibility of choosing between a fully automated version with an automatic clutch and a classic version with a clutch pedal.

The new Scania Opticruise in action
Scania Opticruise, one of the first automated gearchanging systems on the market, has been refined in many steps over the years. The concept of a standard mechanical gearbox remains, but the system has been extensively revised with improved mechanical components and entirely new software.

Improved functionality
The gearchanging strategy has been re-developed to provide improved functionality, comfort and convenience, as well as capacity for future refinements.

Strategy and hill performance
The gearchanging strategy is designed to continually adapt to the environment, taking into account factors such as road inclination, train weight and engine characteristics, as well as the position of the accelerator pedal to match the response to the speed of the pedal movement. Early downchanges are made to maintain speed on hills without wasting fuel. The new Scania Opticruise also features a Power mode that adapts the gear changing strategy for maximum engine performance.

Scania Ecocruise, hill-hold, Scania Retarder and ACC (adaptive cruise control) are fully integrated functionally, if fitted.

Manoeuvring and low-speed driving
Thanks to the electro-hydraulic control of the automatic clutch, high-precision manoeuvring is possible. In exceptional cases the manoeuvring mode provides extra precision. The manoeuvring mode disengages automatically in high range.

To ensure smooth, safe and comfortable driving, neutral is engaged instead of low range when braking from low speed, e.g. for a roundabout or stoplight. Thereafter the system prepares the most suitable gear, which is immediately engaged when the accelerator is depressed.

Load sensing and starting
A Scania vehicle is fitted with load and inclination sensors that are used to automatically adapt the vehicle to the optimal choice of starting gear. No action is required from the driver. Interaction between Scania Opticruise, launch control and clutch protection systems will maximise clutch life.

Rocking forward or backward is automatically enabled when needed.
Rocking is possible in forward or reverse gears. The system identifies the need for rocking by comparing the rotation of the drive wheels with that of the front wheels.

Extra smooth rocking is available in manoeuvring mode which can be useful in ultra-slippery conditions.

Remote PTO operation
The gearbox power take-off can be programmed by the bodybuilder for remote operation from outside the vehicle.

Clutch control system
The automatic clutch operates independently of driver skills and is programmed to engage fully already at low engine revs. Clutch actuation is also adapted to the information from the inclination sensor and to the required starting gear. Hence, the engine speed is raised if needed to pull away cleanly.

The clutch is never slipped during gearchanges, only used to disconnect the gearbox from the engine. These functions will effectively protect the clutch and other powertrain components from mechanical abuse.

The hill-hold feature, which engages briefly after depression of the brake pedal when stationary, makes starting even more convenient. The hydro-electric control of the automatic clutch is unique in the industry, offering the benefit of particularly precise clutch actuation -

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kontena exploring JVs in logistics sector

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18, 2012): Kontena Nasional Bhd is in talks with companies both foreign and local for potential joint ventures (JVs), strategic alliances and partnerships in the logistics sector, said its CEO Hood Osman.

"We will not depend on organic growth alone. After a while, the cost and revenue stream will hit a saturation point. Once you hit a saturation point, there is no growth," he told reporters at a media luncheon here yesterday.

"We need to maintain the margin. So, we need to be imaginative on how to do things."

The third party logistics provider is currently in talks with several parties involved in the warehouse management and distribution, freight forwarding and container haulage for possible JVs, strategic alliances or partnerships.

"There are nearly 2,000 freight forwarders in the country. Most of them are not asset base. If you are able to support with the infrastructure that Kontena Nasional now has, it will be win-win situation for both," said Hood.

Kontena Nasional has set a revenue growth of RM334 million for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2012, from RM234 million in FY11, driven by organic growth and new businesses.

For FY13, it is targeting a 25% growth in revenue.

"Over the last two years, (revenue) growth has been ranging between 20% and 25%," said Hood.

"We have made good grounds (in 2012). Our margins have improved.

"For FY13, focus will be on streamlining our internal operations and people. If you take a look at the industry at large, the driver (of growth) is from the manufacturing sector and we are moving towards the fast moving consumer goods segment," he said.

The company is expected to clinch two major aeronautical contracts next year, as part of its plan to expand into other sectors.

The contract will be for three years, said Hood but declined to elaborate.

Currently, Kontena Nasional has strong presence in the oil and gas sector as well as a "fair bit" of government work, he added.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Customs net 1,500 tusks from Africa worth RM60m

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 11, 2012): Malaysian customs have seized 24 tonnes of unprocessed elephant tusks worth almost $20 million, the largest haul in the country to date, officials said Tuesday.

Some 1,500 tusks hidden in two containers were discovered by customs officials at the country's main port of Klang, in the western state of Selangor.

The tusks had been hidden within pieces of timber inside the containers, which had originated from the west African nation of Togo.

State customs director Azis Yaacub said in a statement that the cargo had been transferred from one ship to another in Spain and was believed to be headed to China.

"The two containers were found to be filled with sawn timber. Inside the wood there were secret compartments that were filled with elephant tusks," he said.

The haul is worth 60 million ringgit, which amounts to $19.6 million. Officials said that the seizure on December 7 was the fourth in the past year and was larger than the other three combined.

Wildlife trade-monitoring network TRAFFIC has described Malaysia as a major hub for illicit wildlife products.

International trade in elephant ivory was banned in 1990 with rare exceptions, such as auctions of tusks from elephants that have died naturally, or that have been seized from poachers in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

However, the ivory trade has grown globally since 2004, largely due to demand in China, where it is used in traditional medicine.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, African elephant populations may have been as high as five million in the first part of the 20th century, but their numbers could now be as low as 470,000. – AFP

Friday, November 16, 2012

Benefits for new exporters development

SMEs selected into the programmes are entitled to receive the following grooming features and benefits:
  • Customised business coaching, facilitated by MATRADE officers who act as coaches and focal point for reference to the companies in their export venture. Coaches are experienced and trained officers who have extensive knowledge in export promotion through years of exposure in overseas assignment. This arrangement is supported by officers from the Bumiputera and Women Exporters Development Unit (BWED Unit) who serve as project officers responsible for the companies’ files and records.
  • Skills enhancement trainings which are conducted on quarterly basis in the form of seminars and workshops. These trainings address critical topics such as :
    • ”Cross Cultural Understanding In International Business”;
    • ”Steps to Successful Exporting”;
    • ”International Business Communications”;
    • ”Effective Negotiation Skills”;
    • ”Formulating Export Plan & Market Entry Strategies”;
    • ”Effective Bookkeeping for Exporters”; and
    • ”Branding for Global Market”.
  • Participation in these trainings is free of charge.
  • International business exposure in which companies are given opportunities, three times in a year to promote their products and services through participation in international trade fairs, customised selling missions and specialised marketing missions. Besides, companies could also exhibit their products and services for free of charge for one-year term at Malaysia Export Exhibition Centre (MEEC). This exposure allows the entrepreneurs to obtain first hand experience in marketing their products and services in global business environment.
  • Networking and mentoring sessions amongst the companies to broaden business outreach and sharing of experience. This also enables companies to share information on business opportunities and market entry strategies.
  • Leadership and entrepreneurial qualities development sessions, held to nurture behaviour that promotes and binds interpersonal relationships which is vital in creating an effective business cooperation. Companies graduated from the programme are encouraged to share their experience and inspire others, particularly for the newcomers to unleash their full potential in export business.


For enquiries, please contact:
Bumiputera and Women Exporters Development Unit (BWED Unit)
Level 15, Menara MATRADE
Jalan Khidmat Usaha, Off Jalan Duta
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-6207 7077
Fax: 603-6203 7194

Monday, November 12, 2012

Malaysian customs officers seize drugs worth $290,000 at KLIA

SEPANG - A novel way of smuggling drugs into the country was discovered when the authorities seized more than 2,500 pieces of keychains which were stuffed with amphetamines at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Free Zone Area recently.

Each keychain contained an average of four grammes of drugs.

The total weight of the drugs found was 7.25kg and its worth about RM725,000 (S$290,000).

KLIA Customs Department director Badaruddin Mohamed Rafik said the keychains arrived in two containers from Madras, India, on Oct 15.

Following a tip-off two weeks later, Customs officers checked a warehouse and found the keychains.

"Each keychain contained a small cloth pouch. The drugs, which were in the form of a crystal-like substance, were packed into the pouch.

"The pouch was then sandwiched in between two small aluminium plates," said Badaruddin, adding that aluminium plates were used as the drugs could not be detected through the scanners.

The keychains were in boxes with "Mofaz Motorsikal Sdn Bhd" printed on them.

The recipient of the boxes was from Cheras.

However, the boxes of keychains were left unclaimed in the warehouse for two weeks before the authorities seized them.

In an unrelated case, Badaruddin also said that the KLIA Customs department had arrested 58 drug traffickers and seized drugs worth RM30.8 million so far this year.

Most of those arrested were Nigerians and Indians.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Palm slips as high exports may do little to cut stocks

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures inched down on Wednesday as the strongest exports recorded for this year may do little to cut into high stocks at a time when output is surging in the world's second largest producer of the edible oil.

Cargo surveyor data showed that Malaysian palm oil shipments in October climbed to about 1.6 million tonnes -- the highest this year, although stocks are set to hit another record beyond 2.48 million tonnes.

"Based on the shipment number, we will still end up with a higher stockpile because October's production is still very high," said OSK Research analyst Alvin Tai.

"Exports rising higher month-on-month is not surprising, but the quantum still needs to be stronger."

The benchmark January contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed 0.2 percent lower at 2,496 ringgit ($819) per tonne.

Total traded volumes stood at 28,495 lots of 25 tonnes each, slightly higher to the usual 25,000 lots.

Technicals showed that the bearish target of 2,379 ringgit per tonne for Malaysian palm oil has been adjusted to 2,468 ringgit based on its falling speed, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

Palm oil dropped to a two-week low earlier this week after its biggest rival and top producer Indonesia planned to lower monthly export taxes in November after international prices fell this month.

The lower taxes will lift margins for Indonesians and shift demand away from competing Malaysian products. Officials in Jakarta said they will not alter their tax structure which is aimed at driving its domestic palm oil downstream industry.

"The export tax structure is progressive and it has been adjusted to fluctuated palm oil prices in the international market," director general of agriculture-based industry Benny Wachjudi said at an industry meeting.

"It is very different from the Malaysian government's export tax policy. I am sure Malaysian export tax policy will not last long because it is not adjusted to the development on palm oil prices in the international market."

Brent crude held steady near $109 a barrel on Wednesday after the huge storm Sandy whiplashed the U.S. East Coast, reducing fuel demand even as refineries in the region gradually resumed operations.

U.S. soyoil for December delivery inched up 0.7 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active May 2013 soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.7 percent. - Reuters

Sembcorp Marine's quarterly profit plunges

SINGAPORE - Sembcorp Marine yesterday reported its third-quarter net profit plummeted 48.1 per cent from the corresponding period a year earlier mainly due to the timing of revenue recognition of its rig building projects.

Net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 was S$115.5 million as revenue fell 31.5 per cent to S$892.4 million, it said.

But the outlook remains positive for the world's second-largest rig builder. Offshore exploration and production spending continues to remain buoyant with discoveries in frontier areas and around the deepwater basins of the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, East and West Africa and Nigeria.

"Overall, enquiries continue to be healthy although competition remains keen and affects margin," it added.

Sembcorp Marine has secured orders worth a total of S$9.1 billion so far this year, taking its net order book to a record high of S$12.1 billion, with deliveries extending till 2019.

Before the earnings announcement, Sembcorp Marine shares fell 1 cent to close at S$4.69. AGENCIES

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New York bourse to test new storm plan

NEW YORK: NYSE Euronext plans to test a new contingency plan to help resume stalled US equity trading, and added that its famed trading floor is not damaged by Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms to hit the US.

US stock markets were closed for a second day yesterday, as Wall Street turns its attention to whether markets would be able to resume functioning on the month’s final trading day today.

Today is a key trading day because it marks the end of the month, when traders price portfolios.

If the NYSE headquarters and trading floor are unavailable today, trading in NYSElisted securities will be executed on the Arca exchange, the exchange operator said in a notice issued to traders late on Monday.

“We stress that, as of now, there has been no damage to the NYSE Euronext headquarters that would impair trading floor operations,” NYSE said in the notice.

The contingency plan was described as “precautionary” given the unpredictability of the storm that has flooded parts of New York City.

Nasdaq OMX said in a trader alert late on Monday that it will operate its production system in a testing capacity from 1130 GMT to 1600 GMT.

In the event that the markets are able to open today but the NYSE headquarters and trading floor in lower Manhattan are unavailable for trading, NYSE Arca would open and
trade Tape A equities as usual. Reuters

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bursa stages pre-Budget rally as mood in region brightens

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia surged yesterday on a pre-Budget rally and positive sentiment on regional stock markets.

At the close, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 8.5 points to settle at 1,627.80. This was driven by the better performance of stocks like DiGi. Com Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd and IJM Corp Bhd.

Analysts said the rally could be due to possible goodies in the 2013 Budget to be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today relating to real property gains tax, income tax and the power sector.

"Property stocks will react if there are some good incentives for the sector," an analyst at a foreign research house told Business Times in a phone interview yesterday.

Among heavyweights, Maybank rose 7 sen to RM9.02, Axiata improved 5 sen to RM6.39, AirAsia gained 10 sen to RM2.95 and DiGi increased 17 sen to RM5.29.

A dealer said the stronger performance was partially due to the end-month period in line with companies closing their books as well as the concluding period for futures trading.

"I don't think the FBM KLCI was reacting to the Budget too much today. It's just a coincidence. If there is good news on the property sector for example, their stocks should have been climbing for the past two to three days," the dealer said yestterday.

Analysts said global bourses generally trended upwards yesterday, although investors' sentiment was still dampened by the on-going economic slowdown in Europe.

Japan's Nikkei Index gained 43.1 points to end at 8,849.8 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 234.5 points higher to 20,762.29 points.

Thursday, August 16, 2012



Road Transport Department (RTD) announced a ban on heavy vehicles from using all roads for Four days during the Hari Raya festive in 2012. The ban will take effect on August 17-18 and August 25-26, 2012. The objective of the restriction is to reduce accidents which caused by heavy vehicles and keep the traffic flowing. 

The following are the categories of restriction on the heavy vehicles during the Hari Raya festival:

Category 1:
(Strictly prohibited on road during this period)
Lorries carried timber or building materials such as cement, steel, sand, iron and stone except permission in Category 3
Cement mixers and other heavy vehicles i.e. crane, low loaders and heavy mobile machinery (e.g. bulldozers and steamrollers.)

Category 2:
(Allowed to operate from 6.00am to 12.00 midnight during the period)
Container and cargo lorries carrying electronic and electrical goods.
Container and cargo lorries from the port to and airport of different origin (e.g. port Klang, Selangor to Senai airport, Johor)

Category 3:
(According to various constraints of the road, allowed on road from 6.00am to 6.00pm around Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Georgetown, and Ipoh only)
Concrete mixer Truck
Mobile cranes
Tipper lorries (transport stones and sand)

Category 4:
(No Restricted)
Vehicles carried medicine and chemical gas
Container and cargo lorries ply between international airport
Container and cargo lorries ply between same area airport and port
Lorries carried daily necessaries (foodstuff, fruit, vegetable, raw materials, newspaper and poultry) and sundry goods or empty lorries on return trip
Vehicles carried garbage or sewerage
Small lorries d’controlled (Below BDM 5000kg)
Container and cargo lorries between terminals in port of same origin
Lorries shuttle among warehouse, industrial area and port
Tanker lorries carried flammable substances (petroleum/diesel , gas dan LPG)
Lorries involved in Emergency and rescue operation

We strongly urges those affected by the total ban should plan their logistics and supplies in advance to minimize any adverse impact the ban would have on their businesses and operations. We hope this information be able to help members and associates in some way or another.
For further information, please contact Road Transport Department:

Address: Aras 1, Blok D4, Kompleks D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62620 WP Putrajaya
Tel: 03-8886 6412
Fax: 03-8886 6726

Download       :Notice

Monday, August 13, 2012

Q1 German businesses improve in Malaysia, Singapore

PETALING JAYA: German businesses in Malaysia and Singapore saw an overall improvement in the first quarter this year, faring better than Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the Asean Business Climate Survey 2012.
Conducted by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the five Asean countries, the survey showed that businesses in Malaysia and Singapore “saw an improvement in the overall situation of the company’s business when compared with the same time last year.”
The chamber said in a report of the survey findings that Indonesian respondents were optimistic on sales and production with 59.4% saying that the company’s overall situation at present was more than satisfactory.
Respondents from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam said overall business was about the same, except for Vietnam where a net 50% said that production was worse than last year.
On the whole, however, businesses are confident of an upward trend in sales and production with all five countries expect improvement within the next 12 months.
The survey noted that sales volumes were satisfactory for 54% of businesses and no major shifts were noted in the company businesses’ overall situation in the first quarter of 2012.
For Malaysia, the chamber highlighted several points gathered from the local respondents such as high data for a positive current financial situation of companies with 47.1% said the situation was good and 62.5% acknowledged improvements in comparison with previous year.
It also noted that Malaysian companies had employed more workers, 81.3% increase compared with the previous year, and investment had increased 37.5% compared with the previous year.
The findings found access to public contracts an important factor for German companies with 56.3% respondents agreeing with it.
“As Malaysia continues to strive towards achieving a high-income nation status by focusing on innovation-led growth, 82% of respondents in Malaysia saw an increase in the number of workforce and expect it to increase in the next 12 months,” it stated.
The survey also pointed to the high importance of inland and regional markets for German companies, especially for smaller economies like Malaysia and Singapore.
“Although the export beyond regional borders still proves to be a stronghold, products and services stay within the region. This proves to be business case for the bigger national economies Indonesia and Thailand,” the report said.
, adding that the importance of developments in Asean triumphed those in the European region.
Of the five countries, only Vietnam appeared to rely more on international markets than inland and regional ones.
Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Alexander Stedtfeld said that “the Asean region is one of the most dynamic economic regions with significant growth potential.”
He added that the growth would be spurred further by the duty-free circulation of goods by 2015, to which German businesses were major contributors.
“Amongst the Asean countries, Malaysia is one of the most attractive business destinations, including a business-friendly environment, competitive cost structures, a well-skilled workforce as well as a base for regional activities.
“The Malaysia-EU Free Trade Agreement, which is currently under negotiation, will provide an additional push,” he said.
Most of the respondents for the survey came from the services sector, including the machinery, electrical equipment and engineering sector, food and health industry and from the chemical products sector.
Questions in the survey focused on the business confidence, growth intentions and investments within the countries in the past year and for the year ahead as well as views of the general economic outlook for 2012.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Malaysia hosts Asia's first Legoland

JOHOR BAHRU, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- The opening of the Legoland Theme Park in Nusa Jaya near here on Sept 15 will see Malaysia offering another of its exotic tourist draws.
Many are familiar with Lego blocks, where individuals, particularly children, can display their talents in showcasing their creativity.
The theme park, which utilises close to 50 million Lego blocks, offers visitors the chance to view unique displays of these pieces, as well as opportunities for the whole family to build on their talents for
Built on almost 30.8 hectares, Legoland Malaysia is the sixth Legoland theme park in the world and the first in Asia.
 Nusa Jaya
This writer and a group of journalists recently visited this theme park. Legoland Malaysia general manager Siegfried Boerst, who welcomed the entourage, said the RM700-million theme park located in Iskandar Malaysia economic region is almost 90 per cent completed and scheduled to be opened Sept 15.
He said this theme park showcases seven parks, including 'Lego kingdom', 'Imagination', 'Land of adventure', 'Lego technic', 'The beginning', 'Lego city' and 'Miniland'. The parks are specially designed for families with children aged two to 12 years old.
Legoland Malaysia was developed by Merlin Entertainments Group, the world's second largest theme park development firm. The firm inked a deal with Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) in December 2008 and construction began at the end of 2009.
"Legoland Malaysia is similar to that in Germany, as the technology used is the same as that utilised in Legoland Florida. Hence, Legoland Malaysia is among the best Lego theme parks ever built," he said.
Among the facilities that will be available at the theme park are restaurants, surau and parking bays. 'The Big Shop', which is the largest premises that sells Lego products in Southeast Asia, will be located next to the main entrance of this theme park.
Three games are specifically offered for children below 11 years old.
They are City Fire Academy, Driving School and Boating School, though children need adults to be present while playing these games.
In 'City Fire Academy', a team of four, including two children and two adults, will compete with another team to put out a fire, while in 'Driving School' and 'Boating School', children will be allowed to man a small vehicle and a small boat.
In 'Miniland', visitors feel like 'giants' walking among Asia's miniaturised landmarks, such as the 10-metre tall Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, as well as other structures.
"In Miniland, local talents are involved, as 20 Malaysians were in the group that created the structures," said the general manager.
There is a roller coaster named Dragon Coaster that brings visitors into the Lego palace in Lego Kingdom that houses a torture chamber, royal dining room and a treasure chamber guarded by a dragon!
Also, children can try out their talents at the 'Imagination' park by building with the available Lego pieces. There is also a 50-metre high watch tower.
Wet park
Boerst, who has more than 20 years experience in this industry, said there are plans to create a wet park next year and a hotel in 2014.
Boerst added that development of Legoland Malaysia offers 1,000 job opportunities for Malaysians, where the locals are bound to benefit from the economic activities generated by this theme park.
More than 45,000 season passes, valid until 2013 at RM245 for an adult and RM180 for a child, have been sold, he said, adding that MyKad holders are entitled to an RM30 rebate at the entrance.
Introductory promotions for daily entrance tickets costing RM96 (adult) and RM70 (child) are being sold. Boerst said about one million visitors are expected during the first year of Legoland Malaysia's operations.
Meanwhile, Assistant Director for Johor Tourism Department, Amirul Asyraf Ibrahim, said development of Legoland Malaysia would further secure the country on world tourism maps.
He said apart from this Lego theme park, Iskandar Malaysia will also offer a cartoon-based theme park in Puteri Harbour, as well as a movie-making studio.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MALAYSIA FORWARDING AGENT: PM's National Day Message: What future do you want for Singapore?

MALAYSIA FORWARDING AGENT: PM's National Day Message: What future do you want for Singapore?

PM's National Day Message: What future do you want for Singapore?

What should Singapore’s future look like?
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered his answer in the National Day message which was aired at 6.45pm on Wednesday evening.
He named three things in particular: the country must offer hope for the future, it must have an inclusive society and it must be a home that everyone loves.
To help achieve that vision, he announced that a new ministerial committee would be set up to conduct a broad-based review of policies. It will be chaired by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and will include a number of younger ministers.
As part of his speech, PM Lee also announced that forecast for economic growth this year has been narrowed to between 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
The previous forecast was between 1 per cent and 3 per cent

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Malaysia's stock market to stay strong

MALAYSIA'S stock market is expected to hold quite well in the next few months due to numerous activities such as the recent initial public offerings (IPOs), which had drawn strong interest from investors.

The IPOs include those of Felda Global Holdings Bhd and Asia's largest healthcare operator, IHH Group.

Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Tajuddin Atan said the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) is expected to stay strong amid some positive signs in the US and European markets.

"In the latest employment data released in the US, the rate of employment and unemployment have increased at the same time. While this is a positive sign, overall, the market is still cautious.
"But from a Malaysian perspective, I think, overall, the market is moving quite well. The index is going up due to the good IPOs and investors' activities," Tajuddin told Business Times in a phone interview recently.


TA Securites head of research Kaladher Govindan had said in his Business Times column last week that a further upside could be seen for the FBM KLCI due to strong rally in US and European stocks, thanks to better-than-expected US employment data for July, which indicated sustainable economic growth.

He said further upside should be in store for the local market this week.

However, confirmation by way of strong buying momentum will be needed to sustain a breakout to new highs, otherwise profit-taking and selling will likely cap gains in the immediate term.

For this week, however, analysts said share prices on Bursa Malaysia are expected to move sideways due to uncertainty and lack of positive news flow.

Global stocks could see further losses following the failure of the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank to adopt monetary stimulus measures.

On the local front, continuous rotation out of small-cap stocks into big-cap ones since June is expected to push FBM KLCI higher.

The benchmark index is currently trying to shake off a five-day sideways consolidation range of between 1,620 and 1,635 levels.

Some key headlines that are likely to spur good market play next week include Eastern & Oriental Bhd's RM1 billion condominium launch, SapuraKencana bagging more Australian oil commissioning job, F&N's potential beverage tie-up with Coca-Cola and speculative properties play from the launch of Tun Razak Exchange.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Penang Port has what it takes to succeed

 WHEN Johor Port was being privatised in 1995, the group taking over the port - the same people that are now on the verge of taking over Penang Port - stipulated that they should be given the opportunity to build another port at Tanjung Pelepas, in south-western tip of Johor.

 The government acceded to the request and the rest as they say is history.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) today is Malaysia's single largest port, handling 113 million freight weight tonnes (fwt), almost a quarter of Malaysia's cargo throughput last year. 

PTP is so successful that it has become a threat to Singapore ports.

Not bad for a port that grew from a greenfield site of swamps.

The growth of privatised Johor Port, which handled 33 million fwt in 2011, is not so shabby either. It is now a major regional port and has the world's largest edible oil storage tank facilities and accorded the London Metal Exchange status. Both ports now are profitable and compete with each other although they share the same owner.

There are several factors behind the successes enjoyed by PTP and Johor Port. Not least of which is geographical. This is God given and those who have it must exploit it to the fullest. 

Johor Port, which is located in the southeastern tip of Johor at Pasir Gudang, has hinterland of oil palm plantations and industrial estates. This is exploited by Johor Port to the fullest to become a port of preference for local cargoes.

Similarly, the promoter of PTP knew its geographical advantage when they proposed to build a port there. 

Tanjung Pelepas, located on the eastern mouth of the Pulai River, is as near to the busy sea lanes of the Straits of Malacca as Singapore is. For ships exiting the south end of the straits, turning left for them would be PTP and right is Singapore.

However, geography alone will not guarantee the success of PTP as a transshipment port when competing with the likes of Singapore. It has to be supported by good infrastructure and fortunately, the southern state's infrastructure is well developed. 

But Singapore too has very good infrastructure. Realising this, PTP has to compete on efficiency. This it has done and with lower cost compared to Singapore, it has managed to attract businesses from big shipping lines such as Maersk and Evergreen. 

Penang Port - among the last Malaysian port to be privatised - likewise has geographical advantage. It is located at the north end of the straits, and is ideal to be a regional port serving northern peninsular, southern Thailand, north Sumatera and Myanmar.

In fact, there is no other regional port in its hinterland which has better facilities and infrastructure support than Penang Port. The only thing that is hindering its growth is efficiency. For a port, which is the oldest in the country, it still handles less cargo than Johor Port, which also is a regional port. 

At the rate that it is going now with profit before tax of RM200,000 in 2011, it would hard pressed to service its debt of about RM1.3 billion.

There is no question that Penang Port must be privatised not only to better serve its hinterland, but also to guarantee its survival. 

The completion of the electrified double-tracking of KTMB's railway line from Rawang to Padang Besar in 2014 spells more trouble for Penang Port.

If the Penang Port does not buck up by then, it would see more shippers in its hinterland sending their cargoes down south to Port Klang.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Upcoming company earnings may set tone for M'sian market

PETALING JAYA: The incoming barrage of financial results may set the underlying tone on Bursa Malaysia over the next few weeks, as eager investors searching for fresh leads may support mild gains for the index in the near term. Heavyweights including the likes of Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, plantation giant Sime Darby Bhd and the Genting Group are set to reveal their quarterly results soon. Analysts and fund managers generally expect an unexciting quarter with no big negatives and an upside bias. Kenanga Investment Bank head of research Chan Ken Yew anticipates no negative surprises this result season, with more event-driven developments driving stock prices in the near term.

He is bullish on a few sectors, namely construction, oil and gas, fast-moving consumers goods and also companies involved in the Economic Transformation Programme.
Jupiter Securities Sdn Bhd head Pong Teng Siew said although he expected a generally good results season, the performance of some large capitalised companies might excel while some might not.
“It is still a mixed bag of marbles, plantation stocks are expected to be good, buoyed by optimal weather and the traditional peak harvest season, while companies in the oil and gas sector are boosted by the domestically-driven projects and global high oil prices,” he said.
Banking and financial stocks are not high on his favoured list due to squeezing margins and stiff competition among local banks.
Meanwhile, a foreign research house analyst said the property and construction sector might also benefit from the spill-over effects of the My Rapid Transit project and other key projects.
“The results are expected to be within expectations, numbers would tend to be unassuming as there were no unsuspecting black swans that happened during the last quarter,” said the analyst.
He said 50% of the FBM KLCI component stocks would be within expectation, while 25% to 35% of that would exceed expectations.
“Fast-moving consumer goods counters would largely be in line with consensus, while oil and gas service providers might spring a surprise with the sharp rebound in the charter of supply vessels,” he said.
However, even if assuming improved corporate earnings, analysts believe that with markets being forward looking, investors tend to focus on the trend of economic and corporate earnings growth this year, rather than that of the fourth quarter last year.
Last week, Bank Negara announced that economic activities between October and December grew by 5.2% compared with 5.8% in the third quarter, underpinned by domestic demand.
Although domestic growth is present, fearful sentiment in major overseas stock markets has weighed on local investors.
The eurozone is still marred in its own financial doldrums with Greece struggling to implement its planned austerity measures, threatening the stability of the 17-country single currency zone.
Some might find consolation in the United States as upbeat data continued to rally up stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average is inching closer to the psychologically important 13,000 mark, a key mark that was touched just before the financial crisis plunged global stock prices.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bursa's website target of DDOS attack

Stock market operator Bursa Malaysia Bhd's website was the target of a distributed denial of service attack, whereby the site was overloaded with excess traffic from multiple sources. This resulted in users experiencing intermittent access to its website on Monday evening, said Bursa Malaysia in a statement today. It said contingency measures were activated to provide continued access to the website, however, international users may still be temporarily affected. "Users in Malaysia are not expected to experience any disruption," it said. Bursa Malaysia's other systems were not affected during the incident and trading in its securities, derivatives and Islamic markets continued to operate normally. The exchange will update the market on further developments. -- Bernama

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Carmakers expect slower sales

Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd, for example, has seen its registration rate dropping by up to 20 per cent last month.

The more stringent financing conditions had lead to a five per cent sales orders decline for Perodua vehicles during the month, said its managing director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh.

Analysts said more vehicle loan applications were rejected than before after Bank Negara Malaysia tightened the hire-purchase (HP) approval process and other credit controls.

Under the new guidelines, banks are now required to assess loan applications based on net income instead of gross income of borrowers.

Analysts estimated that 70 per cent of the HP loan applications had been rejected since the new ruling came into force.

MIDF Research said the move was more likely to affect consumers within the low-middle income bracket. 

In terms of vehicle makes, it felt that mid-range Japanese and South Korean models could be the hardest hit. 

It also expected second-hand vehicle prices to fall as sellers would offer discounts, given the stricter credit financing conditions.

Aminar Rashid, who spoke to reporters at Perodua's Chinese New Year luncheon yesterday, said he hoped the government would introduce a new mechanism to address the loan issue.

Perodua, he said, was expecting a tougher 2012 after selling 180,000 units last year, which were 8,000 units off its target of 188,000 units.

Still, the second national carmaker was able to maintain its position as the country's top-selling car company for the sixth consecutive year.

Perodua has a 30 per cent market share against the 26.4 per cent by Proton Holdings Bhd.

Total new car sales in December eased 12.9 per cent year-on-year and two per cent month-on-month to 47,708 units, although this was largely due to the flood in Thailand and seasonal factors.

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) had expected sales to slightly improve last month, given the ongoing promotional campaigns and the rush to deliver new vehicles ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays.

The January sales figures will be released by MAA in the middle of February.

MIDF Research has maintained its 2012 total industry volume (TIV) forecast of 611,140 units, which is lower than MAA's two per cent growth to 615,000 units, due to the more severe repercussion of the tighter credit conditions.

Last year, the TIV declined 0.8 per cent to 600,123 units.

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