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Miners welcome Indonesia's new jobs bill that could spur coal growth
/ Others
JAKARTA: Miners have welcomed proposed changes to Indonesian mining rules under a new law aimed at boosting investment, though critics are concerned that the changes could underpin an expansion in polluting coal and threaten environment protection. President Joko Widodo's sprawling "Job Creation" bill seeks to change about 80 laws affecting many business sectors, including mining, in order to fix rules deemed cumbersome for investors. Indonesia is a top exporter of thermal coal, tin and nickel products, but overall mining investment dropped from 79 tril rupiah (RM24.09 bil) in 2017 to 59 tril rupiah last year, data from its investment board ...
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Covid-19: Hedge funds take do-it-yourself approach to gauge impact
/ Others
NEW YORK: As investors crunch numbers to determine how Covid-19 will hit China’s economy, hedge fund manager Nathaniel Polachek has tied much of his outlook to the fate of a ship anchored near Weihai, China. The vessel carries some 750 tons of lead concentrate that Polachek, head of New York-based Commodity Asset Management, purchased in Greece to sell on the Chinese mainland. The virus outbreak has kept the ship idling off China’s coast for weeks, as movement restrictions and factory closures slow swathes of the world’s second-largest economy to a crawl. Word that the ship has been allowed to dock ...
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Thai measures, budget to help economy weather Covid-19: central bank chief
/ Others
BANGKOK: The Thai government's support measures and the passage of a delayed budget bill will help ease the economic blow from the Covid-19 virus, the country's central bank governor said on Tuesday. It will take some time to assess the overall impact of the virus outbreak, which is hitting tourism and supply chains, Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told reporters. The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects the number of foreign tourists to fall by 5 million this year to about 35 million owning to the outbreak. Spending by foreign tourists accounted for no less than 11% of Thailand's GDP ...
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China races to contain job losses as Covid-19 batters economy
/ Others
BEIJING: When cameraman Mark Xia returned to his job this month after holidays, the Shanghai video production house where he worked told him to take three months of leave with no pay, as a Covid-19 epidemic takes a toll of China's businesses. Now Xia is looking for a part-time job after the company, with a workforce of about 100, rejected his request to pay at least half his monthly salary during the suspension, and left him no choice but to resign. "I understand the company's cashflow is tight," Xia, 25, said. "We postponed some shooting due to the virus outbreak, ...
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HSBC to slash investment bank, 35,000 jobs in strategy overhaul
/ Others
HONG KONG/LONDON: HSBC Holdings PLC said on Tuesday it would shed US$100 bil (RM415.4 bil) in assets, shrink its investment bank and revamp its US and European businesses in a drastic overhaul that will mean 35,000 jobs cut over three years. The bank, which has struggled to keep pace with leaner and more focused rivals, is seeking to become more competitive as it grapples with slowing growth in its major markets, the Covid-19 epidemic, Britain's European Union exit and lower central bank interest rates. In the latest in a series of overhauls since the 2008 financial crisis, HSBC said it ...
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Petronas Gas sees FY19 net profit rise to RM1.93 bil
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Gas Bhd's net profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY 2019) rose to RM1.93 bil from RM1.79 bil in 2018. Revenue, however, was slightly lower at RM5.45 bil from RM5.49 bil previously due to the lower revenue from gas transportation and the Pengerang liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal following the implementation of the Incentive-Based Regulation. However, this was offset by higher revenue from the gas processing and utilities segments arising from improved reservation charge under the second term of the Gas Processing Agreement and higher selling prices, it said in a filing with ...
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MISC posts higher net profit RM1.43 bil in 2019
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: MISC Bhd posted a higher net profit of RM1.43 bil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 from RM1.31 bil in the preceding year. Revenue went up to RM8.96 bil versus RM8.78 bil, while basic earnings per share stood at 32 sen, up from 29.40 sen. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, the shipping company said the higher revenue was contributed mainly by the petroleum shipping segment, which was able to reap some of the benefits of the robust albeit volatile market and ended the year on a stronger note. “The tanker market is widely expected to ...
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ATTA Global stops operations of subsidiary to help police probe
/ Featured, Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: ATTA Global Group Bhd has ceased the operations of Syarikat Perkilangan Besi Gaya Sdn Bhd (SPBG) to facilitate the ongoing police investigations following the remand of its ex-executive chairman Ooi Chieng Sim on drug charges. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the manufacturer and distributor of steel products said while the group’s business operation continues, the business conditions of other subsidiaries have become more difficult as some suppliers and customers have adopted a more cautious stand. "But every effort is being made by the executive directors and management staff to explain (the situation) to them in order ...
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Southeast Asia stocks: Most markets slip after Apple warns on Covid-19 impact
/ Others
MOST Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday, after Apple Inc said it was unlikely to meet its March-quarter sales guidance as the Covid-19 outbreak slowed production and weakened demand in China. The warning from the world's most valuable technology company dashed investor hopes that stimulus measures from China and other countries would protect their economies from the impact of the epidemic. Shares in Thailand fell 0.9%, even after the central bank governor said the government's support measures and the passage of a delayed budget bill would help ease the economic blow from Covid-19. Singapore also announced financial packages worth ...
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Terengganu ECRL project to create 23,000 new jobs - MB
/ Featured, Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: The East Coast Rail Link route (ECRL) in Terengganu spanning 250 km will cost RM15 bil, said its Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar. He said the ECRL is capable of becoming a game changer for the state, and would be able to stimulate the state’s overall economic growth. Additionally, it is also expected to open up 23,000 new job opportunities in the state. Ahmad Samsuri said this at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Terengganu Incorporated Sdn Bhd (Terengganu Inc), Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn ...
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Sapura Energy bags Abu Dhabi contract for offshore engineering
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura Energy Bhd, in partnership with Petrofac Emirates LLC, has secured its first contract in Abu Dhabi from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for the Dalma Gas Development Project for offshore engineering, procurement and construction. In a statement today, Sapura Energy said the scope of work includes engineering, procurement, fabrication, transportation, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of all offshore facilities, several wellhead platforms and 189 km of subsea pipelines, to be completed in about 30 months. Sapura Energy president and group CEO Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin said the company is committed to deliver the project with ...
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Opportune time to own a home, says PropertyGuru
ASKING prices for properties in Malaysia have declined as a result of the recent overnight policy rate (OPR) cut and Budget 2020’s emphasis on rent-to-own (RTO) schemes. These factors serve to make the property market a buyers’ market in the near term.  According to PropertyGuru Malaysia Property Market Index (PMI) 1Q 2020 report, the overall PMI for the country dropped by 1.04 index points from 89.94 in 3Q 2019 to 88.90 in 4Q 2019, representative of a longer-term decline. “Asking prices have been on the downtrend since 4Q 2016, bringing the costs of home ownership down with them.  “In addition, overnight ...
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Ringgit hits 4.1520, weakest in  more than two months
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit fell by 0.29% to close at 4.1520 versus the US dollar today - its lowest since Dec 12, 2019 due to the lingering Covid-19 jitters. At 6 pm, the local unit depreciated to 4.1520/1560 against the greenback, compared with yesterday's close of 4.1400/1450. The ringgit closed at 4.1580/1610 versus the US dollar on Dec 12. AxiCorp's chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the local currency’s performance was weighed by Malaysia's strong trade ties with China. "With signs of burgeoning supply chain disruption in China (due to the virus outbreak), the ringgit had no place to go ...
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Dining in the wild
/ Gourmet, Lifestyle
Behold a dinner experience that redefines luxury through sight, sound and taste. Here’s a delicious collaboration like no other. The wild child of champagne Maison Perrier-Jouët and “fun” dining restaurant Babe is hosting a dinner series aptly named “Art of the Wild” from Oct 26 to Nov 11. This is also to celebrate the appointment of 1-Michelin Star Chef Jeff Ramsey as PerrierJouët’s chef ambassador for Malaysia. The partnership between Perrier-Jouët and Ramsey is described as an exhilarating journey that celebrates the finer things in life, in both champagne and in food. The series of game-changing, art nouveau-themed dinner series ...
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PKA: SOPs on alternative schemes to be effective on March 1
PORT Klang Authority (PKA) announced that the long-standing issue of deposit collection for import containers in Port Klang and other Malaysian ports is now resolved with the adoption of non-deposit schemes.  In a statement on Feb 18, the port authority said it will issue a circular on the details of adopted schemes outlining the standard operating procedures (SOPs) which will come into effect on March 1, 2020. PKA said the adoption of the non-deposit schemes was announced by the Minister of Transport at PKA’s CNY open house on Feb 13.  “In urging all parties to take advantage by subscribing to these ...
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Singapore aims to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040
/ diesel, electric vehicles, Featured, Others, petrol, Singapore
SINGAPORE: Singapore aims to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, making a bigger bet on electric cars as part of its efforts to cut greenhouse gases and fight climate change, the finance minister said on Tuesday. The wealthy city-state of 5.7 million, which is hiking investment in flood defences, joins Norway, Britain and others in setting a target to cut the use of vehicles with combustion engines. "Our vision is to phase out ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles and have all vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040," Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his budget speech ...
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MIER: Borneo highway to have 15-20 years of spillover effects
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: The Trans-Borneo Highway, which is expected to be completed in the next 10 years, is likely to create spillover effects over a 15-20 year period for industries in Sabah and Sarawak, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) said. Executive director Emeritus Professor Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid saw the transportation network project as the backbone of the area, creating diverse spillover effects ranging from industries like logistics, tourism, wholesale and retail trade to new township development. "When we look at the alignment of the highways, it is very comprehensive, as it covers the whole length of the coastal ...
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FBM KLCI ends the day almost flat, broader market lower in choppy trading
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI ended almost flat today in choppy trading but the broader market was lower as profit-takers triumphed over bargain-hunters amidst weak sentiment due to the bearish performance of regional markets. At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 0.04 point to 1,537.08 from Monday's close of 1,537.12. After opening 0.61 point weaker at 1,536.51 this morning, the local index moved between 1,532.89 and 1,537.87 throughout the day. Market breadth was negative with losers overwhelming gainers 598 to 254, while 384 counters were unchanged, 737 untraded and 22 others suspended. Turnover decreased to 2.78 ...
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Exim Bank ties up with DFIs to promote Malaysia-Thailand SME growth
EXPORT-IMPORT Bank of Malaysia Bhd (Exim Bank) has entered into a multi-party collaboration among Thai and Malaysian institutions to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in both countries to enhance their economic growth. The MoU was inked between four DFIs – Exim Bank, SME Bank Malaysia, Export-Import Bank of Thailand, and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand on Feb 16 in Narathiwat, Thailand.  The MoU reaffirms the commitment by all participating institutions, particularly in their effort to integrate collaboration on trade, investment and SMEs of both countries, ranging from tourism to halal food, garments, jewellery, including those involved ...
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CTOS goes into the dark web to detect data breaches
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: CTOS says the newly-included dark web monitoring service in its CTOS SecureID identity protection solution is the first of its kind to be launched by a credit reporting agency in Southeast Asia. The dark web is a part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines and is a hotbed of criminal activity. SecureID is aimed at combating the growing problem of identity theft, fraud and scams, as well as helping to monitor a consumer’s credit health. In a statement today, the credit reporting agency said consumers who subscribe to the service, which was unveiled today, will ...
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Mustapa: Improve land crossings with Thailand to enhance cross-border trade
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: The cross-border land infrastructure between Malaysia and Thailand needs a major upgrade to facilitate trade and investment flows, says newly-appointed Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Noting that a number of challenges need to be addressed to facilitate cross-border connectivity under the 12th Malaysia Plan, he said: "One of the issues is income level. People in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia, especially Kelantan and southern Thailand, are poor. “To bridge the income gaps within Malaysia and Thailand, the two governments need to demonstrate their commitment to enhance the socio-economic status of people at ...
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The political dimensions of AirAsia
ON May 7, 2018, then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak flew from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur on an AirAsia A330-300 jet.  This was no ordinary AirAsia aircraft. This had a special livery featuring Barisan Nasional’s (BN) slogan “Hebatkan Negaraku” (Make my country greater); the plane’s cabin crew also donned blue uniforms to match the BN’s iconic colours.  The move garnered public outcry. AirAsia founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was slammed on social media. Critics charged that he sold out as this happened just two days before the 14th general election on May 9, 2018.  And, to many of ...
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Singapore unveils US$4.5 bil package to tackle virus outbreak
/ Others, Singapore
SINGAPORE: Singapore on Tuesday announced financial packages worth around US$4.5 bil (RM18.7 bil) to help contain the coronavirus outbreak in the city-state and weather its economic impact. Delivering his annual budget speech, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat also said a planned hike in goods and services tax would not take place in 2021 given the current state of the economy which recorded its lowest growth in a decade last year. Singapore has already cut its 2020 growth forecasts due to an expected economic blow from the new coronavirus outbreak and flagged the chance of a recession this year. "Just as ...
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Moody's adds to the Asia-Pacific's gloomy immediate economic future
/ Featured, Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: Woe upon woe is how Moody's Investors Service describes the onslaught of Covid-19 on growth in the Asia Pacific, with the impact felt primarily through trade and tourism, and for some sectors also through supply-chain disruptions. The credit rating firm, in a report today, said the shock comes on the back of a marked slowdown in 2019 as decelerating global trade hit the region. "Our baseline assumption is that the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak will continue for a number of weeks before tailing off and allowing normal economic activity to resume. "We have lowered our China ...
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HSBC to shed US$100 bil in assets, slash 35,000 jobs over 3 years
/ HSBC, Others
HONG KONG/LONDON: HSBC Holdings said on Tuesday it would shed US$100 bil (RM415 bil) in assets, slashing the size of its investment bank and revamping its US and European businesses - in a drastic overhaul that will mean 35,000 jobs cut over three years. The bank, which has long underperformed rivals, is seeking to become leaner and more competitive as it tries to grapple with a swathe of challenges: slowing growth in its major markets, the coronavirus epidemic, Britain's withdrawal from the European Union as well as lower central bank interest rates. "The totality of this programme is that our ...
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Easy payment scheme for solar panels for homes, businesses launched
/ Mainstream
PETALING JAYA: OpenSys (M) Bhd's subsidiary, OpenSys Technologies Sdn Bhd, is targeting 500 household users a month to apply for solar photovoltaic (PV) installation via the newly-launched solar online marketplace, buySolar. Chief operating officer Luke Sebastian said today buySolar is Malaysia's first one-stop solar online marketplace to give consumers and business customers the freedom to choose solar products with the best financing options. "The buySolar platform provides end-to-end solar installation services, which include online status of application, cost estimation, solar installer selection, standardised quotation, financing, online monitoring maintenance and after-sales services. "Upon choosing the solar supplier, customers can request for ...
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China to grant tariff exemptions on additional US goods
/ China, exemptions, Others, tariff
BEIJING: China said on Tuesday it would accept applications for new tariff exemptions for 696 products imported from the United States including key agricultural and energy products such as pork, beef, soybeans, liquefied natural gas and crude oil. The exemptions, the third and the most substantial set to be granted to date by China since the start of the trade dispute with the United States, come a month after the signing of a Phase 1 trade deal between Washington and Beijing. China has committed to boosting its purchases of goods and services from the United States by US$200 bil (RM830 ...
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Four TH hotels to remain open for business under government entity
/ Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: The operations of four of the six Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) hotels which have been transferred to the Finance Ministry's special purpose vehicle Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd (UJ) will continue under the new management without any downsizing, TH and UJ said in a joint statement today. The entire management and staff of the four hotels, previously managed by the TH Hotel and Residence Sdn Bhd (THHR), will be taken over by UJ Property Management Sdn Bhd (UJPM), UJ’s wholly-owned subsidiary, on April 1. The four hotels - TH Hotel Kota Kinabalu, TH Hotel Bayan Lepas, TH Hotel and ...
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Recession risk forces BOJ to row back on inflation goal
/ Japan, Others, recession
TOKYO: The widening economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak and soft consumption are forcing the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to send a stronger message that it is no longer inclined to chase its elusive 2% inflation target, sources familiar with its thinking say. After years of trying to vanquish deflation by setting an ambitious price goal, Japan's waning recovery prospects and a dwindling policy tool-kit have made the BOJ more open to conceding that the best it can do is to keep the economy afloat, the sources said. The need to protect the world's third-largest economy from a sharp downturn ...
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E&O's results turn from red to black
/ Featured, Mainstream
KUALA LUMPUR: Eastern and Oriental Bhd (E&O) posted a net profit of RM18.76 mil for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2019, from a net loss of RM8.76 mil in the same period the previous year. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, E&O said this was despite revenue falling to RM119.2 mil from RM256.9 mil, attributing this mainly to the property segment. “With the property market remaining subdued, we are expecting slower property sales in the near term from both the local and foreign markets. “Our Eastern & Oriental Hotel now has more diverse and complete offerings with the ...
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Nissan CEO says he is ready to be sacked if no turnaround
/ Makoto Uchida, Nissan, Others
YOKOHAMA: Nissan's new chief executive said on Tuesday he would accept being fired if he fails to turn around Japan's second biggest automaker which is grappling with plunging sales in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn. Makoto Uchida, who took over the top job in December, put his job on the line at a raucous shareholders' meeting, where he faced demands ranging from cutting executive pay to offering a bounty to bring Ghosn back to Japan after he fled to Lebanon. Nissan's worsening performance has heaped pressure on the 53-year-old Uchida, formerly Nissan's China chief who became ...
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KLK’s 1QFY20 earnings narrowly miss street expectations
PLANTATION group Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd’s (KLK) normalised earnings increased by 14.8% to RM178.8 mil despite revenue declining by 0.2% for 1QFY20 (Y/E Sept 20). According to MIDF Research, the higher earnings were propelled by better crude palm oil (CPO) prices which rose by 19.9% during the quarter to RM2,207/mt. “All in, the group’s 1QFY20 financial performance came in within ours but slightly below consensus expectations, accounting for 20.2% and 19.9% of full-year FY20 earnings estimates respectively,” said MIDF. KLK’s manufacturing segment’s profit contracted by 8.4% yoy to RM80.0 mil. This was in tandem with the decline in revenue to RM1.9 ...
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Analysts mixed on Luxchem given the soft domestic economy
AMINVESTMENT Bank Research has maintained its hold rating on Luxchem Corp Bhd and raised its FY20 net profit forecast by 6% and fair value (FV) by 6% to 56 sen from 53 sen based on 13x revised fully diluted (FD) FY20 earnings per share (EPS).  “Luxchem’s FY19 results met our forecast and consensus estimates. The earnings upgrade is to reflect higher demand for chemicals used in the manufacture of gloves on the back of the Covid-19 outbreak.  “Typically, glove-related sales make up less than 35% of Luxchem’s total turnover,” the research house said in a note on Feb 18. Luxchem ...
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HSBC 2019 profit falls 33%, sets new cost cutting and profit targets
/ HSBC, Others
HONG KONG/LONDON: HSBC Holdings Plc on Tuesday unveiled plans to cut costs and simplify its structure to boost earnings, after its 2019 profit dropped 33% hit by one-time write-offs linked to its investment banking and commercial banking businesses in Europe. The wider strategy overhaul comes amid slowing economic growth in HSBC's major markets, an outbreak of a fast-spreading coronavirus, Britain's protracted withdrawal from the European Union, and lower central bank interest rates. While the London-headquartered bank has benefited from billions of dollars of investment in Asia over the last few years - mainly in China - sluggish performance in Europe ...
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Brand makes a beautiful debut
A skincare routine may sound high maintenance but not so for MUCA, a new skincare brand formulated in Korea that is affordable yet effective. The MUCA Vita Brightening complete consist of foam cleanser, ampoule, toner, day cream with SPF30 and night cream. “I have used tons of skincare brands and I’m a beauty junkie. If you put me in front of a skincare counter I will probably buy all of the products,” said MUCA brand director Datin Elaine Daly. “For me, MUCA is a special product because is lightweight, easy to use and effective.” The star product of the brand ...
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Stocks fall after Apple warns on coronavirus impact
/ Apple Inc, Others, Stock Market, Wall Street
TOKYO: Asian shares fell and Wall Street retreated from record highs on Tuesday after Apple Inc said it will not meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter as the coronavirus outbreak slowed production and weakened demand in China. The warning from the most valuable company in the United States sobered investor optimism that economic stimulus by Beijing and other countries would protect the global economy from the effects of the epidemic. S&P500 e-mini futures dipped as much as 0.3% in Asian trade. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.65% while Tokyo's Nikkei slid 1%. Shanghai shares ...
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Randstad: About 71% expect Malaysian economy to improve this year
/ economy, Featured, HR, Jaya Dass, Mainstream, Randstad, Salary, workforce
KUALA LUMPUR; About 71% of Malaysia-based respondents in a survey expect the local economic situation to improve in this year, says human resources company Randstad. In its Workmonitor fourth quarter 2019 report, it said that 82% of the respondents expect their employers to perform better financially in 2020 compared to 2019. Randstad Singapore and Malaysia managing director Jaya Dass said many local businesses are hoping to see the diversion from the global trade war and increase in consumer confidence to continue through to 2020. "In addition, many government initiatives to improve infrastructure and develop cities around Kuala Lumpur are also expected to be set in motion this ...
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Amazon's Bezos pledges US$10 bil to fight climate change
/ Amazon, climate change, Featured, Jeff Bezos, Others
NEW YORK: Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos will commit US$10 bil (RM41.5 bil) to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change, he said on Monday. Cutting emissions will be challenging for Amazon. The e-commerce company delivers 10 billion items a year, has a massive transportation and data centre footprint, and has faced criticism from within its own workforce. Bezos, the world's richest man, is among a growing list of billionaires to dedicate substantial funds to battling the impact of global warming. "Climate change is the biggest threat ...
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Short-term rates to remain stable on BNM's operations
KUALA LUMPUR: Short-term rates are expected to remain stable today (Feb 18) on Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) operations to absorb surplus liquidity from the financial system. Today's liquidity is estimated at RM21.29 bil in the conventional system and RM13.51 bil in Islamic funds. The central bank will conduct two RM500 mil conventional market tenders for seven and 14 days respectively. It will also conduct two Qard tenders worth RM1 bil for seven days and one RM1.3 bil for 14 days. At 4pm, the BNM will conduct up to RM20.3 bil for a conventional overnight tender and RM11.2 bil for a Murabahah overnight tender. - Feb 18, 2020, Bernama ...
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XOX, ATC to launch new satellite smartphones
/ 4G/5G, ATC, Featured, Mainstream, satellite, smartphones, Steve Tan, XOX, XPLORE
KUALA LUMPUR: XOX Mobile Sdn Bhd is collaborating with Advance Tech Communication Sdn Bhd (ATC) to launch a range of innovative 4G and 5G smartphones over the next nine months. Called XPLORE, the mobile devices are aimed for the everyday user with the additional advantage of satellite communication capabilities. In a statement today (Feb 18), XOX executive director Steve Tan said the company intended to distribute the new offerings across Southeast Asia through its existing partnerships in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by the second quarter of 2020. "Our vision is to provide a unified network plan by integrating XOX’s prepaid plans and messaging platform with ...
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Apple unlikely to meet revenue guidance due to coronavirus impact
APPLE INC said on Monday (Feb 17) it would not meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter because of the coronavirus outbreak slowing iPhone production and weakening demand in China. Apple’s manufacturing facilities in China have begun to reopen, but they are ramping up more slowly than expected, the technology company said in a statement to its investors. Global supplies of Apple’s iPhones will be limited as the sites work toward operating at full capacity, the company said. “These iPhone supply shortages will temporarily affect revenues worldwide,” the company said. In January, Apple forecast US$63 bil to US$67 bil ...
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FTSE climbs after recording weekly loss
LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 recovered from two sessions of losses on Monday, as China’s moves to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic soothed some of the nerves which have dominated the past fortnight’s trading. The FTSE 100 climbed 0.4%, with all but one sector in positive territory, while the midcap index rose 0.2%. NMC Health, which has been the target of a Muddy Waters’ short-selling attack since December, erased earlier losses to end 3% higher after the hospital operator said its founder BR Shetty has resigned as non-executive chairman. The number of reported new cases of coronavirus in China’s Hubei ...
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EU industry chief tells Facebook to adapt to EU, not other way round
BRUSSELS: EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton said on Monday (Feb17) it was for Facebook to adapt to Europe’s standards, not the other way round, as he criticised the US social media giant’s proposed internet rules as insufficient. The blunt comments came after a short meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and two days before Breton is due to present the first of a raft of rules to rein in US tech giants and state-aided Chinese companies. “It’s not for us to adapt to this company, it’s for this company to adapt to us,” Breton, a former CEO at French telecoms ...
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Chinese support measures buoy world stocks
LONDON: Global shares were buoyant on Monday (Feb 17) as the promise of further policy stimulus from China to counteract the economic hit from a coronavirus outbreak calmed nervous investors. Trading was light, with US stocks and bond markets shut for a public holiday. Both the pan-European 600 index and Germany’s DAX reached record highs before paring some gains. The MSCI All-Country C, which tracks shares across 47 countries, was flat on the day. In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.14% to near last week’s peak of 558.30, its highest since late January. The gains ...
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Why is a PDP for RM46 bil PTMP OK?
RECENTLY, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that he had saved RM3.1 bil by terminating the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project delivery partner (PDP) agreement. The project was to have cost RM21.9 bil. That immediately raises the question of whether a lot of money can be saved from the termination of the PDP for the RM46 bil Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) – perhaps more than double the RM3.1 bil to over RM6 bil given the cost of the project is more than twice that of the Pan Borneo project. Lim was the moving force behind the PTMP project when he ...
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Gobind: Malaysia to choose 5G partners based on own security standards
/ Featured, Mainstream, Top
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s own security standards will dictate which companies take part in its planned 5G rollout this year, its communications minister said on Monday, as the United States pushes countries to exclude China’s Huawei. Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, has been at the centre of a US-led campaign to clamp down on the use of Chinese technology in the development of the next-generation telecommunications platform because of concerns the equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. The United States placed Huawei on a trade blacklist in May, and in February US prosecutors accused it of stealing ...
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Oil prices steady as coronavirus-related concerns weigh
/ Others
LONDON: Oil prices were little changed on Monday as concerns over the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China were offset by hopes that potential output cuts from major producers could tighten crude supply. Brent crude was at US$57.18 a barrel, down 14 cents, by 1306 GMT after rising 5.2% last week, its biggest weekly gain since September 2019. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1 cent to US$52.04 a barrel, after a 3.4% gain last week. “Nothing goes down forever, as they say, and oil appears to have finally shaken off its bearish malaise,” said Stephen Brennock of ...
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WTO gives sombre goods trade outlook, sees virus threat
/ Others
BRUSSELS: Growth of global trade in goods is likely to remain weak in early 2020, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Monday, adding that the below-trend performance could become even worse due to the new coronavirus outbreak. The Geneva-based trade body said its goods trade indicator fell to 95.5 from the 96.6 reading reported in November. Readings of less than 100 indicate trade growth below medium-term trends. The WTO said the new figure did not take into account the most recent developments, such as the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which could dampen trade prospects further. Global merchandise trade ...
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'Go digital' drive for SMEs kicks off with RM500 mil in matching grants
/ Mainstream
CYBERJAYA: The digitalisation of Malaysia’s economy would not be possible without the digitalisation of SMEs that make up 98.5% of the country’s businesses, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. He said many SMEs, however, are not yet ready to be part of this digital landscape. “I urge everyone, especially SMEs, to equip themselves with the digital technology skills to enable them to expand and compete in today’s business sector,” he said at the launch of a RM500 mil matching grant scheme for the digitalisation of SMEs here today. Under this grant scheme, the government will finance 50% of the cost ...
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Southeast Asia stocks - Philippines rises; most others subdued amid China stimulus
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PHILIPPINE shares ended higher on Monday, helped by last-minute buying in large caps after a sharp decline last week, while most other Southeast Asian markets were subdued as China's stimulus measures countered weak economic data from the region. The Philippine benchmark closed 0.6% higher and led gains in the region, having lost 3% last week. Gains were dominated by index heavyweights such as Ayala Corp and SM Investments, which gained 0.7% and 2.3%, respectively. In a move to cushion the economic fallout from the epidemic, China's central bank lowered the interest rate on its medium-term loans, paving the way for ...
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