Wednesday, May 22, 2013

RON97 price down by 20 sen

KUALA LUMPUR: The retail price of RON97 petrol nationwide was reduced by 20 sen per litre to RM2.70 per litre from RM2.90 per litre effective last night.

This was confirmed by Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hassan Malek to Bernama when contacted here today.

The price of RON97 petrol was last reviewed in March 2013 and was at the RM3 per litre level in September 2012.

The retail price of RON97 petrol is determined by a "managed float" in which the price will be changed according to market forces.

Meanwhile, Deputy President of Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia Datuk Zulkifli Abdul Mokti said the reduction in the price of RON97 petrol was welcomed and it showed the government's policy in prioritising the rakyat's needs.

"I believe this (reduction) is accurate. The government is seen as upholding its policy," he said when contacted.

He said the reduction was because the global oil market price has dropped slightly besides the policy of oil price float adopted by the government.

He also did not expect an increase in the prices of both RON95 and RON97 petrol in the near future.

In the meantime, Zulkifli emphasised that the reduction in the RON97 petrol price would not disrupt the operations of petrol stations throughout the country and would not cause losses to the operators of the petrol stations.  -- BERNAMA

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pharmaniaga swings into the black

PETALING JAYA: Pharmaniaga Bhd posted a higher net profit of RM24.77mil for its first quarter ended March 31, 2013, reversing a loss of RM7.9mil recorded in the preceding quarter. Revenue rose to RM500.3mil from RM482.4mil previously.

Year-on-year, the company recorded a 13.6% lower net profit for the quarter under review from RM28.68mil previously.

“It is a good start to the financial year with the group registering a higher profit.

“We achieved better operational efficiency in our domestic as well as overseas businesses. In addition, we recorded an increase in revenue as a result of heightening demand from both the government as well as private sectors.

“As such, we are indeed on track to sustain our growth momentum for the rest of the year,” chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said in a statement.

The company has also declared a dividend of 7.5 sen per share, while its net assets per share stood at RM4.12.

The improved performance was attributed to the improved efficiency of its manufacturing division as a result of the discontinuation of outsourced manufacturing.

He further added that the company was positive of greater growth in the country’s pharmaceutical sector and was looking forward to maintaining its position as one of the leading players in this sector.

The company has also declared a dividend of 7.5 sen per share, while its net assets per share stood at RM4.12. - The Star Online

Monday, May 13, 2013

New record for Malaysian stocks

Bursa Strong broad-based buying pushes local market to record close

PETALING JAYA: Buying momentum continues in the local stock market with the benchmark FBM KLCI closing at a record high as political uncertainty eases post-general election.

The benchmark index breached the immediate resistance of 1,785 with foreign funds adding support to the market through extended buying.

The broader market was up with gainers outpacing losers 889 to 141 or a six-to-one ratio while 166 other counters were traded unchanged. The FBM KLCI closed up 0.88% or 15.52 points to 1,787.90. The index had risen to an intraday high of 1,788.03.

Volume stood at 2.86 billion shares with a face value of RM3.04bil. Banking stocks were among counters that saw buying interest with CIMB among the top gainers. The counter gained 17 sen to RM8.46, Maybank rose 14 sen to RM10.22 and Public Bank added 12 sen to RM16.72. Meanwhile, heavyweights such as DiGi gained 11 sen to RM4.80 and Tenaga Nasional rose 19 sen to RM8.45.

MIDF Investment Bank Bhd research head Zulkifli Hamzah said in a report that foreign investors had given a resounding “thumbs-up” for the outcome of the general election by buying an unpredecented RM3.1bil net of Malaysian equity in the open market, marking a record 22 straight weeks of net foreign buying.

“So far this year, foreign investors have bought RM17.4bil net of Malaysian equity in the open market compared with RM13.7bil in 2012. Foreign participation rate surged 52% to RM1.86bil, the highest ever, and prior to last week, participation rate averaged only RM979mil per week in 2013,” he said.

While foreign investors have been snapping up Malaysian equities, local investors took the opportunity to offload their positions significantly.

“Local retail investors sold RM727mil last week of heightened participation rate of RM1.5bil. So far this year, local retailers have already sold net RM5.9bil, surpassing the RM4.2bil recorded for the entire 2012,” he noted.

Zulkifli said selling by local funds also hit unprecedented levels last week, with net sale by local funds hitting RM2.39bil, also at an unpredecented participation rate of RM3.57bil.

“So far in 2013, local funds have reduced their equity exposure by a massive RM11.5bil net, compared with RM9.5bil for the entire 2012.”

The FBM KLCI topped the charts with a historic high of 1,826.22, up 131.45 points, or 7.76% before ending last Monday up a hefty 57.25 points, or 3.38% to 1,752.02 points.

The index gained a total of 77.61 points last week, or 4.6% to 1,772.38, versus 1,694.77 on May 3.

“On our end, we are actually not that hot on the market, as we think valuations are quite fair at this point in time. We think the oil and gas sector and consumer sector would hold up fairly well compared to the other sectors,” Fortress Capital Asset Management (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Thomas Yong said.

He said stocks are quite fairly priced now according to their topline projections but there might still be the possibility of the goods and services tax being implemented, which might impact projections.

“Malaysian equities have been on a low beta over the past few years with a defensive stance, and it is always positive when external funds are buying in,” he said. - The Star Online

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Malaysia-Market factors to watch on May 8.

KUALA LUMPUR: Following is a list of events in Malaysia as well as news company-related and market news whichcould have an influence on the Malaysian market Wednesday. GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks climb higher as investors chase performance

SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia up on post election rally; Thai SET index hits 1,600


* Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd press conference on first half financial results, Level 1, Training Room, No 3, Jalan Metro Pudu 1, Fraser Business Park, Off Jalan Yew, Kuala Lumpur at 10 am (0200 GMT).

* Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd press conference in conjunction with IPO prospectus launch, Starhill 2, Level 4, JW Marriot Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur 10.30 am (0230 GMT).

* Press conference by European Union Delegation to Malaysia on EU-Malaysia relations, Hall 11, Golden Screen Cinema, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur at 4 pm (0800 GMT).


> Nikkei climbs to new five-year highs on U.S. stocks, German data

> Dow ends above 15,000 for first time, S&P closes at record

> Prices dip, but range bound in new debt supply

> Markets calm, kiwi stung by RBNZ comment

> Gold down over 1 pct as ETF outflows continue

> Oil down after rally on German data, Mideast tensions

> Palm oil ends higher; firm ringgit caps gains MALAYSIA IN THE NEWS:

> Malaysia-based Titan pays discount for June naphtha

> PREVIEW-Malaysia likely to hold steady on interest rates - Reuters

VEGOILS-Market factors to watch May 8(Wednesday)

KUALA LUMPUR: The following factors are likely to influence Malaysian palm oil futures and other vegetable oil markets on Wednesday.


* Malaysian palm oil futures ended higher on Tuesday, fuelled by bargain-hunting from the previous day's nearly five-month low, although gains were capped by a firm ringgit and key industry data due at the end of the week.

* Chicago Board of Trade corn futures turned higher on Tuesday in a recovery bounce after their biggest plunge in five weeks on Monday as U.S. farmers struggle to plant corn in muddy fields.

* Brent crude oil fell more than $1 on Tuesday as worries about market fundamentals curbed an early rise that had brought the price close to $106 a barrel on strong German data and concern about tension in the Middle East. MARKET NEWS

* Major stock indexes in Germany and the United States hit all-time highs on Tuesday after data bolstered expectations that Germany has returned to growth, while Australia reminded markets that accommodative policies from central banks have room to run.

* Oil fell on Tuesday after initially rallying on optimism about a recovery in Europe and worry over growing Middle East tensions, while copper consolidated from a 3-week high as commodity investors turned cautious ahead of trade data from China. RELATED NEWS

> Emerging market growth expectations hit seven-month low -HSBC > Exxon to develop Julia field in Gulf of Mexico

> Brazil's Petrobras says makes offshore oil find near Iara area DATA/EVENTS

> Industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board to release the country's palm output, stocks, exports and imports for April on Friday. - Reuters

Thursday, April 25, 2013

PChem and BASF investing RM1.5bil in Kuantan plant

PETALING JAYA: Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PChem) and German chemicals giant BASF are investing US$500mil (RM1.5bil) in an integrated aroma ingredients production facility in Gebeng, Kuantan, expanding on an existing joint venture (JV) there.
The project, which is subject to a final investment decision by the board of PChem before the end of the year, will be executed on a 60:40 basis between BASF, the world’s largest chemicals maker, and PChem.
Both companies already have a JV in the form of BASF-Petronas Chemicals Sdn Bhd, which operates a complex in Gebeng, Kuantan, that produces acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol, also on a 60:40 basis.
PChem said in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday that the new aroma ingredients plant would enable the firm to meet growing global demand in the flavour and fragrance industry, especially in Asia.
The proposed complex will comprise a plant for citral and the precursor plants, which will be integrated with PChem and BASF’s facilities in Gebeng.
They will also invest in downstream production for aroma ingredients, including a new world-scale plant for L-menthol and a plant for citronellol.
To be developed in phases, the first plant will be operational by 2016, creating some 110 new employment opportunities.
“The integrated aroma chemicals complex would open up a new business frontier for PChem, tapping into the flavours, fragrance and pharmaceutical markets.
“This indeed presents exciting prospects for the company, as we endeavour to provide innovative customer solutions,” PChem chairman Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said.
“The Gebeng expansion adds further value creation to our existing product streams, and we are strengthening the JV by leveraging on our strategic partner’s technology and expertise in the aroma ingredients,” president/CEO Dr Abd Hapiz Abdullah said.
BASF is one of the leading producers of aroma ingredients worldwide, with a product range that includes geraniol, citronellol, linalool and L-menthol.
Aroma ingredients are sold to the flavour and fragrance industry and used mainly in home and personal care products and fine fragrances, as well as in the food industry. - The Star online

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kuok’s investment may spur more foreign interest in Iskandar

PETALING JAYA: “Sugar King” Robert Kuok's entry into Iskandar Malaysia will create a ripple effect, drawing more interest from international investors and creating new jobs and opportunities in the region.

“Because Kuok has close ties with China, more investments are also likely to pour into Iskandar Malaysia from the world's second-largest economy,” an industry observer told StarBiz.

Kuok had recently invested in a 5.06ha freehold land in Puteri Harbour, Johor, for about RM182mil.

The observer said the tycoon's entry into the region, incidentally his birthplace, would draw more international attention to the economic development in the southern region.

He also pointed out that Australian property mogul Lang Walker had invested in Iskandar because of Kuok's recommendation.

It was reported that Walker was alerted to the potential of Iskandar by Kuok, his partner in the Collins Square redevelopment project in Melbourne.

“With Kuok's help, Walker identified two sites in Johor Baru Lido Beach and Senibong, both of which were driven by the construction of a new coastal highway,” said the report.

Aside from Kuok's endorsement in the region spreading to the international business sphere, Iskandar is also set to be a beneficiary ensuing the inflow of these investments, he noted.

The observer said: “Johor's job growth prospects continue to rise on the strength of investments into Iskandar Malaysia.”

An analyst told StarBiz that the authorities would create job opportunities to support the ecosystem there.

She said the boom in different sectors like manufacturing from automobile manufacturing plants, niche developments like Motorsports City and services industries for resorts and theme parks would create various job opportunities.

She said there would be a snowball effect, as the jobs created would fuel further advancement in Iskandar.

She expected transaction prices in the region to head north, now that a record high per sq ft (psf) selling price of RM334 had been set for the Puteri Harbour land.

However, she was quick to note that the said piece of land was located in a prime spot and was one of the last few pieces fronting the marina.

The price came at a premium compared with the RM330 psf valued by Messrs Assetz Sdn Bhd.

Another analyst, meanwhile, said that while the RM182mil investment might not be as big as other transactions in the region, it was a mark of confidence from Kuok and a comeback of sorts, as the billionaire had stopped investing actively in his homeland for close to two decades. - Star online

Friday, April 5, 2013

Malaysia's February exports shrink 7.7% to RM52.46b

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's February exports fell 7.7% to RM52.46bil from a year ago, due to the shorter working days and the festive season, the Statistics Department said.

It said on Friday, there was a decline in exports of electrical and electronic products, crude petroleum and palm oil.

"Lower exports to China, Japan, the USA and Singapore were main contributors to the decrease," it said.

The 7.7% contraction in exports was sharper than the consensus of a decline of 4.8%.

February imports in February fell 4.4% to RM44.26bil from a year ago, which was in contrast to consensus' expectations of a 3.5% increase.

The Statistics Department said the three main categories of imports by end use were intermediate goods valued at RM25.27bil or 57.1% share of total imports (down by 14.8%).

Capital goods totalled RM7.4bil or 16.7% of total imports (up 5.9%) and consumption goods accounted for RM2.95bil or 6.7% of total imports (down 7.6%).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Indian woman caught with drugs

KUANTAN: Pahang Customs Department foiled a second attempt to smuggle drugs through the Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport (LTSAS) with the arrest of female Indian national four days ago.
The 49-year-old suspect was caught while she tried to smuggle in 5kg of ketamine worth RM175,000 on March 14. State Customs Department director Datuk Sarip Ismail said the method was similar to an attempt on Dec 26.
"The suspect had departed from Calcutta on March 13 and transited at Singapore before arriving here the next day. We are focusing on the possibility of syndicates trying to smuggle drugs through smaller airports like LTSAS," he said at Wisma Kastam here yesterday.
On Dec 26, a 37-year-old male Indian national was caught trying to smuggle 4.9kg of methamphetamines worth RM171,500 through LTSAS. - New strait Times

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Export licence for wooden product

MYTLAS License

Implementation of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) will come into force from March 2013. Enforcement of EUTR means timber products can only be exported to the EU if the product:
(i) is accompanied with  FLEGT VPA Licence; or
(ii) has been able to meet the requirements of 'due diligence'.

Malaysia is supportive of the of the EU FLEGT VPA initiative and is in the final stages of concluding this Agreement.  Underpinning the VPA is the Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) that will assure the legality of timber and timber products exported to the EU. Since the FLEGT VPA has not been concluded and the instruments that need to be placed have not been subjected to the necessary scrutiny as required in the Agreement, Malaysia is not in a position yet to implement the FLEGT Licensing System (FLS) and issue the FLEGT VPA Licence.

However, Malaysia is sufficiently confident that the TLAS for Peninsular Malaysia can be implemented and that its implementation more than meets the requirements of the due diligence under the EUTR.  The TLAS has been subjected to four sessions of evaluation by the Joint Expert Meeting (JEM) and has been agreed at the technical level. The instruments that are necessary for implementation of the TLAS have also been activated.  This includes the setting up and operation of the Implementing Agency Coordination Committee (IACC) to facilitate coordination, information flow and enforcement activities of the eight (8) implementing Agencies to the Licensing Authority.

In addition, an independent consultant was commissioned to develop Guidelines and Checlist to facilitate auditing of the TLAS. This Guidelines and Checklist will be used by an accredited auditor to undertake a compliance audit to assess the robustness of the system. This exercise will commence in mid February 2013 during the trial run of the TLAS.

The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) has tasked the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) to undertake the trial run of the TLAS and issue the MYTLAS Licence from February 2013 (Click Here). It should be clear that the issuance of the MYTLAS Licence is purely a Malaysian Government decision. It is still subjected to endorsement by the relevant authorities in the EU.

Malaysian exporters wishing to obtain the MYTLAS Licence can apply for  using the following Application Form;

i) FORM A (For use by companies that have an MTIB export licence),
ii) FORM B (For use by companies that do not have an MTIB export licence).

For more information, please contact the officer in FLEGT Unit at 03-9282 2235;

i) Ms. Sunita Muhammad ( ) (ext: 1215) and
ii) Mr. Zulhelmi Mohd Ali ( ) (ext: 1357)

- Malaysia Timber Industry Board

Monday, February 18, 2013

M’sia to impose anti-dumping duties on steel wire rods

PETALING JAYA: The Government has proposed to impose anti-dumping duties on steel wire rods from selected companies in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia, following the completion of a detailed investigation into the import of the commodity.

“The Royal Malaysian Customs will enforce the collection of the anti-dumping duties, and this measure will be effective for five years from Feb 20, 2013,” according to a statement from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) said yesterday.

Imports of steel wire rods from Turkey, on the other hand, would not be slapped with any anti-dumping duties due to the dumping margin being below 2%, the ministry said.

The Government began an anti-dumping investigation on June 25, 2012, based on a petition filed by Amsteel Mills Sdn Bhd on behalf of the domestic steel wire rod industry.

The petitioner alleged that the imports of steel wire rods originating in or exported from China, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and Turkey were being imported into Malaysia at a much lower price than in the domestic markets of those countries.

This, the petitioner claimed, was causing material injury to the domestic industry producing the same product in Malaysia.

According to Miti, anti-dumping duties on imports of steel wire rods from Taiwanese companies would be as follows: China Steel Corp 10.98%; Feng Hsin Iron and Steel Co Ltd 9.04%; and others 25.20%. Imports of steel wire rods from China-based companies Jiangsu Shagang International Trade Co Ltd and Jiangsu Yonggang Group Co Ltd would not be slapped with any anti-dumping duties, while imports of steel wire rods from other Chinese companies would be slapped with an anti-dumping duty of 25.20%.

Imports of steel wire rods from companies in Indonesia would also be subject to an anti-dumping duty of 25.20%, except for those sourced from PT Ispat Indo, which would not be imposed with such a levy.

Imports of steel wire rods from companies in South Korea would also be subject to an anti-dumping duty of 25.20%, except for those sourced from Posco, which would be imposed with an anti-dumping duty of 3.03%. - the star online

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Price boom in Iskandar Malaysia

WHEN we first heard about Iskandar Malaysia back in 2006, there was a fair bit of skepticism. Many of us wondered, "Where is this Iskandar Malaysia?"

Today, the skepticism and doubts about Iskandar Malaysia have turned into confidence, to judge by the visible changes in the southern development corridor, the result of a feasibility study conducted by Khazanah Nasional, the government's investment arm, in 2005.
Formerly called the Iskandar Development Region and South Johor Economic Region, Iskandar Malaysia covers 2,217 sq km. It is three times bigger than Singapore and twice the size of Hong Kong.
According to KGV International Property Consultants executive director Samuel Tan, prices of residential properties have risen by an average 40 percent since 2006, in a city that used to suffer from a real estate overhang.
Tan said the prices, which had been sluggish after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, started to see a rising trend due to a combination of factors.
Johor, he said is starting to play catch-up with places like Kuala Lumpur and Penang, with the gaps in its prices of properties narrowing.
While this is certainly sweet music to the ears of developers and those to the property development sector, local folk will find it daunting to own property in Iskandar Malaysia.
The upward trend started in 2009, with the "quantum leap" occurring in 2011, when prices of upscale service apartments broke the ceiling of RM500 per sq ft and climbed into RM700 per sq ft.
Many Singaporeans saw property in Iskandar Malaysia as a good investment for a holiday home and for capital appreciation, and not so much for rental yield.
On Jan 11, the Singapore government announced the revised rates under the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD), applicable to purchases or residential property acquisitions. The ABSD had previously applied to Singaporeans buying their third residential property and permanent residents getting their second.
The latest measure will affect its citizens, permanent residents (PR) and foreigners who buy property in the island republic.
A check with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore revealed that foreigners who buy residential property in Singapore will now be subject to pay the ABSD of 15 per cent of the purchase price, up from the previous 10 per cent. Singaporeans buying their second homes will be hit with an ABSD of seven per cent, while those with permanent residency status will pay an additional stamp duty of five per cent on their first home purchase.
This development has also boosted interest in properties in Iskandar Malaysia.
Residential enclaves in Bukit Indah, Setia Eco Gardens and Setia Tropika, all developed by the SP Setia Bhd Group, for instance, have foreign owners who buy the properties to live in, and not on speculation, according the group divisional general manager M.L. Hoe.
Some are asking if the booming property market in Iskandar Malaysia is the result of hype.
I do not think as the changes and developments there can be seen by the eye. It's not all frivolous talk followed by nothing!
Look at the Western Coastal Highway that leads to Nusajaya, the Southern Link to Masai and the Eastern Dispersal Link from the Pandan Interchange to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex in the heart of Johor Baru.
Given its well-planned infrastructures, amenities, catchment and accessibility, Iskandar Malaysia is a mine of low-risk investment opportunities. Of course, Investing in projects by a reputable developer is a vital factor.
Places of interest such as Legoland and the Puteri Harbour theme park, and the education hub Educity, are added draws for foreign investors.
Iskandar Malaysia is a 20-year-plan, and changes are slowly but surely taking place. It is up to the local authorities to monitor the property sector to ensure that there will not be an over-supply in the future.
- News strait Time

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Larangan Penggunaan Kenderaan Semasa Tahun Baru Cina 2013


Kategori 1
1.1         Lori balak, lori pengangkutan bahan binaan seperti simen, besi, keluli, batu, pasir dan tanah.
1.2     Jentera berat.
 Sepanjang masa (at all times).
Kategori 2
2.1         Lori kontena / kargo membawa barang-barang elektronik / elektrik.
2.2         Lori kontena / kargo yang berulang-alik di antara Pelabuhan dengan Lapangan Terbang yang tidak berada di tempat yang sama.
 Dari jam 12.00 tengah malam hingga 6  pagi.

Kategori 3

3.1         Lori pembancuh simen (Concrete Mixer Truck).
3.2         Kren bergerak (Mobile Cranes)
3.3         Lori tipper pengangkut batu dan pasir

 i) Sepanjang masa (at all times); atau
 ii) Dari jam 6.00 petang hingga jam 6.00  pagi, kawasan Lembah Klang (70 km  dari pusat bandar) dan di kawasan  Johor Bahru, Ipoh dan Kuantan (50 km  dari pusat bandar) tertakluk kepada had  masa operasi yang
Kategori 4
4.1         Lori gas dan kimia untuk bekalan perubatan dan industri kimia.
4.2         Lori kontena/kargo dari dan ke lapangan terbang
4.3         Lori kontena/kargo dari pelabuhan ke lapangan terbang setempat.
4.4         Lori kargo membawa bahan keperluan harian (makanan dan minuman dari kilang, buah-buahan, sayuran, bahan-bahan mentah, barang runcit, akhbar dan ternakan) atau lori tiada muatan dalam perjalanan pulang.
4.5         Lori mengangkut sampah dan bahan kumbahan (sewerage).
4.6         Kenderaan barangan BDM 5,000 kg dan ke bawah.
4.7         Lori kontena/kargo antara terminal di pelabuhan  setempat (ITT).
4.8         Lori kontena/kargo dari pelabuhan ke gudang dan sebaliknya serta sekitar kawasan industri yang berhampiran dengan pelabuhan.
4.9         Lori tanker pengangkut bahan bakar (petroleum/diesel, gas dan LPG)
4.10      Lori dan jentera yang terlibat dalam kerja-kerja kecemasan dan menyelamat (rescue operation).

Tidak dikenakan sekatan

Muat Turun Jadual Larangan

- Portal Rasmi Jabatan pengankutan Jalan Malaysia

Monday, February 4, 2013

Global Logistic Properties expands Japanese JV to US$2.2b

SINGAPORE : Global Logistic Properties (GLP) announced on Monday the expansion of GLP Japan Development Venture to US$2.2 billion.

It will commit an additional 29 billion yen (US$316 million) to the joint venture to develop modern logistics properties in Japan.

GLP has a 50 percent stake in the JV with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Singapore-listed GLP is one of the world's leading providers of modern logistics facilities, with a market-leading position in China, Japan and Brazil.

"Our investment pipeline is considerably ahead of schedule and we are seeing strong demand for our developments, reflecting attractive fundamentals for modern logistics facilities in Japan," the group's co-founder, Jeffrey Schwartz, said.

"Today's announcement is also an important milestone in the continued growth of GLP's best-in-class fund management platform, as we continue to leverage our strong relationships with the world's leading institutional investors. Assets under fund management now stand at US$8.4 billion," he added.

GLP Japan Development Venture was formed in August 2011 with an equity commitment of US$500 million and a target loan-to-value of 50 percent.

To-date, the Venture has invested in four development projects totalling 43 billion yen (US$469 million) - ChannelNewsAsia

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Malaysian State Energy Company Proposes MISC Takeover

Malaysian state-owned energy company Petroliam Nasional Bhd. (Petronas) has offered to take full ownership of MISC Bhd. (MISC), buying the 37 percent of the shipping company that it doesn't already own for 8.7 billion ringgit ($2.8 billion), Bloomberg reports.

The offer comes after MISC's share price fell 46 percent over the past two years.

Last year the shipping company left the container shipping business, which had lost $789 million over three years, and shifted its focus to liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers.

"The offer represents a significant step by Petronas to take MISC private and obtain full control of the company," the energy company said.

"That will provide Petronas with greater flexibility in deciding MISC's strategic direction."

MISC runs the second largest fleet of LNG ships in the world, following Qatar Gas Transport Co.

Industry-watchers predict mixed results for LNG carriers over the next few years, with the market suffering in the near term due to limited supply but picking up as more natural gas projects come online over the following few years. - ship and bunker .com

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mandarin oranges more expensive this year

Mandarin oranges more expensive this yearSIBU: Price of Mandarin oranges from China is higher by more than 10% this year compared to the price last year.

Chairman of Sarawak China Trades Importers and Exporters Association, Hong Wing Huong, said the surge in the price was due to two factors.

“The increase in the wages of workers in China is one of the reasons. The other reason is the cold snap and drought in the country, which affected the planting of the crop,” Hong said after the presentation of ang pau to Sibu Benevolent Society yesterday.

The bad weather, he said, had resulted in fewer oranges.

“For this coming Chinese New Year, we are importing according to the demand,” he said.

A box of Mandarin oranges costs between RM26 and RM28, depending on their sizes.

The prices of other goods from China, he said, were also on an upward trend but not as much as Mandarin oranges. At the ceremony, the home administrator Alexander Lau received the ang pau from Hong.
 -the star online

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A new Swede beginning in Malaysia

WELCOME BACK: Sweden, which closed its embassy here in 2011, is busy playing catch-up

 "WE are on track again. It's business as usual," says new Swedish ambassador to Malaysia Bengt Carlsson, who has spent the past five months repairing the damage done by the closure of the mission in 2011.
To be sure, it was a financial problem over budget allocations that spilt over into diplomacy.
But it has been left to diplomats like Carlsson, and the handful of others sent to reopen closed missions, to build relations from scratch.
They also have to convince the host countries and the local Swedish communities that all is well despite having sold the ambassadors' residences and tying up all loose ends before leaving not too long ago.
Despite Carlsson's efforts to downplay the effect of the closure, it must surely have been difficult for the Swedish business community here to liaise with their embassy in Jakarta over urgent matters.
"The damage caused by the closure of the embassy here was limited. We are happy to be back," he tells me as we sit in the small conference room of the mission on the 16th floor of G-Tower in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian-Swedish Business Association (Masba) president Hans Bjonered, who had lamented two years ago on learning of the closure, must surely be smiling now.
He had said that business would be more difficult to conduct here for Swedish companies without a mission in Kuala Lumpur.
Embassy staff, sharing premises with Business Sweden (formerly the Swedish Trade Council), headed by Carl Malmqvist, can be expected to be looking forward for the move to Hampshire Place nearby on April 1.
The date is no laughing matter, really, for Carlsson who probably may see the physical move as a new beginning in Malaysia to a bilateral relationship going back decades that was temporarily inconvenienced in a moment of bureaucratic madness.
There are many things on his plate that the former deputy head of mission in Thailand needs to attend to, starting with trying to bring in more small Swedish businesses here.
"The big Swedish multinationals like Ikea, Volvo and Eriba know the country well. We are looking more into small businesses now employing between 20 and 40 people," he says, adding that the accent this year would be on, among others, green technology and recycling.
Other areas that he will look into include innovation projects among Malaysians, life sciences and healthcare, traffic safety and academic cooperation between Swedish and Malaysian institutions of higher learning.
Carlsson says Masba, of which he is an honorary council member, will play a crucial role in trying to ensure greater bilateral trade this year.
I ask about defence cooperation and Carlsson is all smiles as he talks about ongoing independent discussions between Saab, Bofors and the Malaysian government on possible purchases.
"This is a very exciting area with a history of the Malaysian navy buying equipment from our side. There is quite a bit of scope in this," he says, adding that Defence Attache Lt-Col Johan Tornqvist is based in Stockholm and visits almost monthly.
Tornqvist cannot be based here for good reason: he is also the aide-de-camp to the King of Sweden, which obviously is a very heavy responsibility.
Moments later, Tornqvist pops in, exchanges business cards, and prepares for the trip back home but not before promising to be back for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima).
At this juncture, Malmqvist comes in to brief me for a few minutes on what Business Sweden is all about in a pre-arranged schedule that smacks of efficient Swedish time management.
He explains that the new entity came into effect on Jan 1 this year with the merging of the Swedish Trade Council and Invest Sweden.
"I am part trade commissioner, too, besides my role as market manager of Malaysia for Business Sweden. I want to attract new Swedish companies to Malaysia," he says, adding that he wants to create a local talent pool for Swedish companies here.
Swedish exports to Malaysia generally consist of telecommunication equipment, motor vehicles, chemical products, power generating machinery and equipment, machines, paper, as well as iron ore and steel.
Swedish imports from Malaysia comprise electronics and electrical components, machinery and apparatus, textiles, palm oil and rubber - New strait Time

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vehicle sales surge to record high

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 – Sales of passenger and commercial vehicles in Malaysia soared last year to achieve a record high of 627,753 units, said the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) today.
The sales exceed the previous record of 605,156 units in 2010, and outperformed an industry forecast of 615,000 units.

MAA today forecasted a further increase to 640,000 units in 2013 owing to the introduction of a large number of 200 new models and aggressive promotional campaigns by car companies.

“2012 had indeed been a very challenging year for the local automotive industry,” said MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad here.

“Despite these challenges, the local automotive industry had performed very well.”

Aishah highlighted the massive Thai floods in 2011 and implementation of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) responsible financing practices guidelines as having a major impact on the industry last year.

Total registration of passenger vehicles such as cars, multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) and sports utility vehicles (SUV) in 2012 was 552,189 units or 88 per cent of the total industry volume (TIV).

Commercial vehicles like pick-ups, trucks and buses reached a total of 75,564 units, or 12 per cent of the TIV.

Compared to 2011, sales in 2012 shot up 4.6 per cent from 600,123 units. Passenger vehicles sales grew by 3.2 per cent, while commercial vehicles sales grew by 16.2 per cent.

MAA attributed the record performance in 2012 to a strong economic growth, especially thanks to a number of projects under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which increased consumer and business confidence.

There was also the introduction of several new models at competitive prices, and Aishah agreed that the buying trend for cars in the middle price range will continue in the next few years.

“What we find is ... consumers are more at the middle income level,” Aishah said, pointing out to increasing market share of Toyota and Nissan.

The association will also lobby for continued incentives for hybrid and electric cars, considering an increase of sales around 84 per cent last year.

MAA also expressed concern over the low quality diesel supplied in Malaysia, which is stopping new models to be introduced in the country.

Malaysia has been granting import and excise duty exemption for hybrid and electric vehicles starting from Budget 2011.

The government subsidises diesel and petrol fuel sale in Malaysia as part of its RM42 billion annual subsidy.
- The Malaysian Insider

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thai billionaire Charoen builds empire with F&N takeover

(Reuters) - For self-made Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the takeover of Singapore's Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) (FRNM.SI) will add legions of assets to his drinks and real estate empire that already stretches from Southeast Asia to the United States.

Charoen, the son of a Bangkok street vendor whom Forbes ranks as Thailand's third-richest person with a net worth of $6.2 billion, is no stranger to a challenge.

He lost to Heineken NV (HEIN.AS) last year in a battle for F&N's stake in Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APBB.SI), the maker of Tiger beer, but forced the Dutch giant into a higher offer that made him a tidy gain on shares his group had amassed.

This week, Charoen emerged victorious when a consortium led by Indonesian tycoon Stephen Riady pulled out of the bidding for F&N's soft drinks, dairy and publishing businesses plus a real estate portfolio worth more than S$8 billion ($6.5 billion).

"He was ecstatic," said a person involved in the takeover who met Charoen just after his rival withdrew.

The $11.2 billion deal, Southeast Asia's biggest takeover, adds popular brands and distribution networks to Charoen's Thai Beverage PCL (TBEV.SI) that brews Chang (Elephant) beer and makes spirits, energy drinks and instant coffee.

F&N is the leader in Singapore and Malaysia's soft drinks markets, according to Euromonitor, and it has a 55 percent stake in Myanmar Brewery Ltd, a joint venture that produces the rapidly emerging country's best-selling beer.

Charoen, 69, is also heavily into property. His privately held TCC Land owns shopping malls and hotels, including the Hotel Plaza Athenee in New York, and he has substantial assets in Singapore's booming real estate market.

In 2007, the Straits Times newspaper reported he bought 47 of the 48 units in a luxury Singapore condominium a day before a private preview sale. He would have bought the whole thing, it said, if local laws did not prevent a foreigner from owning all of the units in a single development.

The F&N acquisition fits the pattern of expanding Charoen's drinks business and is also a chance for his son, who heads Thai Beverage, to cut his teeth with a big international deal.

Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, the third of the billionaire's five children, was named president and chief executive of Thailand's top beer and spirits group in 2008.

As patriarch, Charoen has kept the business in the family in other ways. He is chairman of venerable Thai trading firm Berli Jucker BJC.BK, but son-in-law Aswin Techajaroenvikul leads it as it embarks on major expansion plans in the region.


Starting in the trading business, Charoen and his family expanded aggressively in the liquor, sugar milling, banking and insurance fields during the 1980s and early 1990s.

Charoen entered the Thai beer market in 1995 by setting up a joint venture with Danish brewer Carlsberg (CARLb.CO) to produce Chang. He later formed Beer Thai Co to manage marketing and distribution.

Asia's financial crisis of 1997/98, which led to the closure of financial institutions owned by his family, forced Charoen to leave Thailand and stay overseas for a while.

His fortunes changed after the firm intensified a battle for Chang's market share in 1999 by cutting its wholesale prices and gained ground on rival Singha Corp, which has been selling Thailand's best-known beer Singha (Lion) since 1933.

Beer Thai was later restructured and became part of Thai Beverage before listing in Singapore in 2006 as it faced opposition from monks and anti-alcohol activists at home. Since 2009, the beer business has made losses due to tax burdens and Chang's loss of market share.

Thai Beverage bought nearly 65 percent of Serm Suk PCL SSC.BK, the local bottler of Pepsi, in 2011 to expand its soft drinks business. In 2008, it took over Thai green tea and sushi maker Oishi Group OISH.BK for $214 million.

Charoen has also ventured beyond drinks and real estate.

In 2004, he expressed interest in buying a stake in English soccer giants Liverpool FC with then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as a potential partner in a 25 percent share.

The agreement fell through but Charoen stayed close to English soccer by winning a deal to advertise Chang on the shirts of Everton, Liverpool's biggest rivals.- (Reuters)

BASF, Petronas call off Malaysia joint venture

German chemical maker BASF has announced it will stop plans to form a joint venture in the chemicals sector with Malaysia oil giant Petronas. Instead, the world's biggest chemicals company landed a big fish in Norway.
Plans for the joint venture have been shelved because the two companies were unable to agree on the terms and conditions, the world's biggest chemicals maker, BASF, said Monday.
The proposed joint venture was called off on the basis of mutual understanding, BASF said in the statement, adding that both companies would remain committed to continuing their existing long-term partnership.
In March 2012, BASF and Petronas signed a letter of intent to construct and operate a joint production facility for specialty chemicals in Pengerang, Malaysia. The project was estimated to cost about 1 billion euros ($1.32 billion), and meant to enlarge already existing cooperation at the site.
The two companies didn't specify what exactly had caused the joint venture to be called off.
Branching out into nutrition
Also on Monday, BASF said it had acquired Norwegian fish oil producer Pronova in a bid to expand into the growing nutrition market.
"The acquisition is going to strengthen the positions of both BASF and Pronova as leading producers of Omega 3 fatty acid," BASF Chief Executive Michael Heinz said.
BASF has been able to buy out 97.7 percent of Pronova shares, offering 13.5 Norwegian kroner (1.8 euros) per share.
The buy-out, worth about 684 million euros, comes after BASF's 3.3-billion-euro takeover of German chemicals rival Cognis and Scottish firm Equateq, which are both active in the nutritional supplements market.
BASF said it expected the market of Omega 3 fatty acids, which prevent coronary and heart diseases, to grow by 8 percent annually until 2020 -

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Malaysian entrepreneurs now more confident of success than ever before

KUALA LUMPUR: The fear of failure rate among Malaysian entrepreneurs had fallen significantly over the last four years, from 65% in 2009 to 36% in 2012, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said.

“This trend was demonstrated from entrepreneurial pursuits that was shaped and focused on available opportunities, and signals an increasing rate of innovations, initiatives, and an improvement in the country's economic situation,” he said at the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 yesterday.He noted that Malaysia's early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity or TEA rate for 2012 has increased to 7% compared to 4.4% in 2009.

“This increase was mainly driven by improvement-driven opportunity entrepreneurship as compared with necessity-driven entrepreneurship,” he said.

Ahmad Husni wants Malaysia's business retention rate getting even better although it has showed siginificant improvement over the past four years.

In 2009, only 4.3% of new businesses survived beyond 42 months period and that has increased to 7% in 2012. “Our retention rate is higher than the advanced countries such as United Kingdom (6%) and Germany (5%), while South Korea and China have higher rate at 10% and 12% respectively,” he said.

In line with that, Ahmad Husni said the Government was giving more attension towards improving entrepreneurs's capabilities through advisory services, coaching, training and funding via government agencies including Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, SME Corp, Malaysian Biotechnology Corp and Multimedia Development Corp. He added that the agencies under his ministry and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry had augmented the status of local entrepreneurship andestablished a positive perception of entrepreneurship as a career.

“The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report in 2012 showed that Malaysia ranked 25th out of 144 countries, mainly in health and primary education as well as financial market development,” he said - the star online

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Iskandar and JB the investment zones to look out for in 2013, says consultant

KUALA LUMPUR - The Iskandar region and Johor Baru will be the hottest places to invest in this year, given the booming development in the area, said Swhengtee International Sdn Bhd president and founder Gavin Tee.

"There is a lot of action going on in Iskandar and we expect more after the general election," he said, adding that even Singaporeans are crossing the border to invest there.

"The Iskandar region and Johor Baru will take the lead this year while the southern part of the Klang Valley, although quieter this year, will still be buzzing due to the development of many new townships and mega projects, including the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)," he said at the sidelines of the Swhengtee Annual Property Forecast Talk here yesterday.

Tee also listed Cyberjaya as an upcoming hotspot as well as places in greater Kuala Lumpur which have been earmarked for big projects such as the Tun Razak Exchange and the re-development of the former Pudu jail and Sungei Besi airport.

Other hotspots include Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Kuching, Pangkor, Malacca and areas near the KL International Airport.

Tee added, however, that it was important to identify the best places within the hotspots to ensure proper investment returns.

The international property consultant and speaker also said that this year would likely see more Malay participation in the property market.

He attributed this trend to the increasing number of young Malay investors, especially those interested in buying property in urban areas as well as future development in Malay reserve lands, kampung areas or special economic zones.

Tee, who founded the SwhengTee International Real Estate Investors Club, advised those who wished to buy properties to do their research and speak to those in the know as well as the locals to help them make a better informed decision.

"When buying, try to avoid difficult financing areas as it will be quite hard to dispose of them when you eventually want to.

"As investors, I hope people recognise the changes and invest based on the facts and the future.

"Property is something very personal; you need to feel it," he said -

Export data to influence CPO futures prices

Crude palm oil (CPO) futures prices on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives next week are expected to be influenced by the export data to be released by cargo surveyors, dealers said.

Cargo surveyors, Societe General de Surveillance (SGS) and Intertek Testing Services (ITS), are scheduled to release export estimates for the first 20 days of January, which may provide a new impetus for the market.

A dealer said the CPO futures prices are expected to be traded in the range of between RM2,350 and RM2,450 per tonne next week.

Another dealer said the extended zero-tax on CPO for February announced by Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok on Monday, will help to attract more buyers next week.

On concerns over high inventory, the implementation of the 10 per cent palm biodiesel blending (B10 programme) nationwide by the government will ease the current record high palm oil stock, Dompok said.

For the week just-ended, CPO prices were traded higher on most days, influenced by the minister's announcement as well as the movement in the soybean oil prices.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, February 2013 improved RM25 to RM2,358 per tonne, March 2013 chalked up RM15 to RM2,383 per tonne and April 2013 added RM4 to RM2,400 per tonne.

January 2013 ended at RM2,330 per tonne on Tuesday while new contract month June 2013 debuted at RM2,419.

The weekly turnover fell to 203,175 lots from 233,651 lots last week while open interest on Friday was up at 217,050 contracts versus 213,783 contracts previously.

On the physical market, February South stood at RM2,280 per tonne.-- BERNAMA

Black gold strike

MIRI: Rich deposits of crude oil and gas have been discovered in underground reserves onshore in the vicinity of this city.

This is the first time in about 25 years that the “black gold” has been found in such sizeable volume inland in Malaysia. The discovery by Petronas and Nippon Oil is poised to open up new frontiers in oil and gas exploration inland, with the possibility of more such discoveries here and the rest of northern Sarawak, said a delighted Miri MP Datuk Seri Peter Chin yesterday.

Chin, who is Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, said he had been informed by Petronas executive vice president (Exploration and Production Business) Datuk Wee Yaw Hin yesterday that the national oil giant had announced the discovery of the oil and gas in Block SK 333 onshore of Sarawak, via the Adong Kecil West 1 well, some 20km northeast of the city.

“This is a discovery well drilled by Nippon Oil and it has yielded such a sizeable amount of oil and gas reserves. The drilling tests achieved a flow rate of 440 barrels of crude oil and 11.5 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

“Actually, I have known for quite sometime that there will be such a find, because Miri still has a lot of untapped oil and gas underground.

“More than 20 years ago, the oil companies abandoned their onshore drilling operations and ventured offshore Sarawak because they found enormous amounts of oil and gas there,” he said.

Chin said the latest discovery showed that there might be still a huge amount of oil and gas inshore.

“This discovery is very exciting in that it will open up another frontier for oil and gas exploration on our shores.

“The potential of more of such inland discoveries is very high. It augurs well for future social and economic growth of Miri, of Sarawak and of the country because of the potential revenue that will come in to the national coffers. I was also informed by Petronas bosses that there are two other discoveries of oil and gas offshore Miri just recently,” he said.

He said sizeable reserves had been found offshore between Miri and Bintulu in the Guang North Gasfield, and another reserve in the SK307 Tukau Timur East field,” he said.

Chin said the new discoveries, es-pecially the one inland of Miri, showed that the Najib administration had been right in pushing for fresh drilling operations in areas that had not been given much attention before.

He said that under the Economic Transformation Programme, one of the key areas of focus was to try to tap for oil and gas in marginal areas.

“The focus was to carry out intensive drilling in oil fields that were considered marginal or that which had been abandoned long ago.

“This included drilling inland in places like Miri, which has the country’s first inland oil well on top of Canada Hill. The decision to drill again inland is starting to bear handsome results,” he said.

Chin said Petronas bosses had informed him that there would be more intensive drilling in more areas here, and they would open up more wells to get a more accurate picture of the quantity of oil and gas on land.

State leaders are also delighted with the news of the discovery.

Communications Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the Nippon Oil top brass had informed him that the new discoveries would spur another socio-economic boom in northern Miri.

“They confirmed that they had discovered hydrocarbon reserves during a discovery drilling. They want to drill another discovery well to ascertain the exact volume of oil and gas inside and they will also carry out another seismic survey.

“Nippon Oil has not decided when the drilling for commercial production will start, but this discovery is a very good sign that there are better days ahead for the oil and gas industry in northern Sarawak,” he said.

Lee said any oil and gas boom would trigger a boom in food-retail, housing, air transportation, banking and other fronts, including the creation of more jobs in the supporting industries.

Petronas, in a press statement issued from the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, said the last time such an onshore discovery was made was in 1989, in the Asam Paya Oilfield, also in Sarawak.
- star online

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bright Packaging questions move

 PETALING JAYA: The board of Bright Packaging Industry Bhd is still questioning the move by four of its shareholders that who collectively own 31.19% in the aluminium foil packager to replace some of its experienced directors as it has not received any comments from the requisitionists since they announced the date for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

The company announced an EGM to be held on Feb 21 to remove managing director Wong See Yaw, executive director Yap Kok Eng, non-independent non-executive director Wong Siew Yoong and independent non-executive director Yeap Cheng Chuan as well as any new directors who might be appointed from the date of the requisition to the date of the EGM.

Among the questions raised by the board in a statement yesterday were the reasons for the removal of these directors, is the proposal to remove them in the best interest of the company and who will helm the company if the proposed motion was passed at the forthcoming EGM.

“At the meeting held with the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group (MSWG) this week, it was understood that MSWG was also interested to reasons behind the proposed motion.

“The board is appealing to all shareholders to vote against the proposed resolutions to ensure there is continuity in the present management who has been delivering sterling results,” said the statement.

On another matter, Bright Packaging has decided to pay out all of its distributable profits as dividend made for the next five financial years to reward shareholders.

It also announced its net profit for the first quarter ended Nov 30 climbed to RM1.7mil from RM663,000 a year ago despite a lower turnover

It registered a lower revenue of RM11.4mil compared with RM13.7mil in the same quarter of the last financial year due to reduced orders from a local tobacco manufacturer currently undergoing a major restructuring and relocation of operation exercise while the higher margin was attributed to lower costs of material and improved operational efficiency.

“Barring unforeseen circumstances and in light of the on-going boardroom tussle or a potential change of entire board, the directors are unable to comment on the future performance,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday. - the star online

Thursday, January 3, 2013

GW Plastics to maintain listing

KUALA LUMPUR: GW Plastics Holdings Bhd will maintain its listing status on Bursa Malaysia after the disposals of Great Wall Plastic Industries Bhd and GW Packaging Sdn Bhd to Scientex Packaging Film Sdn Bhdfor RM283.2mil.
GW Plastics chief executive officer Lim Kok Boon said: “We will be looking for new opportunities to make sure we stay listed. The company will only pick potentially viable activities in order to continue benefitting the shareholders.” Speaking after the company’s EGM here yesterday, he said this would take time as numerous discussions were involved. – Bernama

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