Barefoot Investor: June 2011

Japanese stocks rose for a third day after Greece passed austerity measures needed to secure aid from the European Union, and as utilities advanced on expectations they’ll be allowed to restart nuclear plants.

Sony Corp. (6758), which sells 20 percent of its PlayStation game consoles and other products in Europe, gained 3 percent.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.2 percent to 9,816.09 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo. The broader Topix index added 0.6 percent to 849.22 with three stocks rising for each that fell. For the month, both the Nikkei and the Topix rose 1.3 percent, their biggest monthly gains since February.

The value of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section totaled 1.32 trillion yen ($16.4 billion), 9.6 percent less than this year’s average of 1.46 trillion yen.

The Topix slid 8.8 percent since March 10, the day before a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s northeast coast, triggering the worst nuclear accident in 25 years and leaving more than 23,000 people dead or missing.

Japanese shares had also weakened on signs the U.S. economic recovery is slowing and amid the Greek debt crisis, which the International Monetary Fund said might “spill over,” hurting banks that hold the country’s bonds. (Bloomberg)

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U.S. stock futures rose, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will rally a fourth straight day, amid optimism Greece will avoid a debt default.

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) each added 0.3 percent as people familiar with the matter said Germany’s biggest banks and insurers and the government agreed on a draft proposal to roll over Greek debt holdings. EBay Inc. (EBAY), the largest online marketplace, gained 4.7 percent after Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. recommended buying the shares.

S&P 500 futures expiring in September added 0.2 percent to 1,307.20 at 8:50 a.m. in New York. The benchmark gauge had risen 3.1 percent over the last three days. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 29 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,247.

“The big driver behind the rally has certainly been Greece,” said Peter Jankovskis, who helps manage about $2.7 billion at Oakbrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois. “The implementation of an austerity plan is certainly an important step. That should be less of an overhang for the market in July.”

The Dow average has fallen 2.5 percent in June through yesterday amid concern about Europe’s debt crisis and weaker- than-expected economic data. Over the last century, the 30-stock gauge had an average gain of 1.4 percent in July, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group. On average, the Dow has returned 0.9 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, over the last 50 years and 20 years, the data showed.
Greek Aid Package

Global stocks rose today on expectations that Greece will avoid defaulting on its debt. The firms will commit to providing financing for a Greek aid package, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The draft, which may change during the meeting between Germany Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and industry executives, left open how much debt would be rolled over and under what conditions, they said.

Stock-futures maintained gains before the open of regular trading after a report showed that more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, indicating little progress in the labor market.

Jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 428,000 in the week ended June 25, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a drop to 420,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments declined.

Wells Fargo gained 0.3 percent to $28.15. JPMorgan rose 0.3 percent to $40.57.

EBay climbed 4.7 percent to $32.30. The owner of e-commerce sites and the PayPal online payment service was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Bank of America. Citigroup also lifted its recommendation for EBay, raising it to “buy” from “hold.” (Bloomberg)

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PLUS privatization on track
The privatization of the country’s largest toll road operator, PLUS Expressways, is set to be concluded by this Sept, and minority shareholders will receive full cash payment. They will receive and advance payment of 15 sen, in the form of an interim dividend to be paid on 29 July 2011, and RM4.45 when the transaction is completed for a total of RM4.60 per share. (Financial Daily)


MRCB enters into MoU with Korean union
Malaysian Resources Corp (MRCB) has signed a strategic alliance memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Korean Teachers Credit Union (KTCU) to collaborate on potential future property projects. The KTCU is a Korean government guaranteed welfare agency, with the aim of protecting the welfare and livelihood of teachers and employees in the country’s education system. The KTCU currently invests in two real estate funds for two projects in MRCB’s KL Sentral development, namely Tower 2 Lot G and Q Sentral, with a total investment value of RM660m. (Financial Daily)


Bank Muamalat, Pos Malaysia in talks to widen network
Bank Muamalat Malaysia is in talks with Pos Malaysia to explore potential avenues to strengthen the bank’s presence by leveraging on the national postal company’s national network. Bank Muamalat CEO Datuk Redza Shah Abdul Wahid said Pos Malaysia would offer a natural extension to the bank’s operations with its extensive postal network in the country. (Financial Daily)


Eversendai bags RM139m job in Qatar
Construction and structural steel firm Eversendai Corp’s unit has clinched a RM139m contract from Qatar Petroleum to construct superstructures for Phase 4A of the Nakilat Shipyard in Qatar. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Eversendai said its subsidiary, Eversendai Engineering Qatar WLL (EV Qatar), will be involved in constructing the building’s superstructures. These include an energy centre building, a main super yacht finishing hall and the hall’s annexing paint shop and workshop. (Financial Daily)


Press Metal offers Sumitomo stake in second smelter
Press Metal (PMB) has offered Japan's Sumitomo Corp a stake in its second aluminum smelter in Samalaju, Sarawak, to help fund the project. Other parties have expressed interest in the second plant but PMB is giving Sumitomo the first option because it is already partnering the Japanese firm in its first smelter. Last Sept, Sumitomo took a 20% stake in PMB's subsidiary, Press Metal Sarawak SB (PMS), which is building a 120k tonnes per year plant in Mukah with a total investment of RM60.4m. (BT)


GAB to cut back exports to cope with rising costs
Guinness Anchor (GAB) says rising material cost is forcing it to significantly scale down exports of selected brands but it is not likely to hike prices as a result. MD Charles Ireland said the company will begin cutting down certain export stock-keeping units or SKU next month. About 20-30% of GAB's 150 SKUs is for the export and duty-free market but contributions from these segments have been flat. It is learnt that GAB's export and duty-free segment contribute just over 10% to the group. (BT)

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US stocks rise amid Greek bailout expectations as Nike jumps
US stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its highest level in three weeks, amid optimism European nations will take action to prevent a Greek default and after Nike Inc’s earnings beat estimates. Nike rallied 10% as higher North American sales helped the world’s largest sporting-goods company top profit projections. Caterpillar Inc, Exxon Mobil Corp and Alcoa Inc added at least 2.1%, pacing gains in companies most-tied to economic growth. Home Depot Inc climbed 2.4% after the largest US home-improvement retailer said that it is targeting about USD3.5bn in share repurchases for 2011. The S&P 500 advanced 1.3% to 1,296.67 at 4 pm in New York, rising to the highest closing level since 3 June 2011. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 145.13 points, or 1.2%, to 12,188.69 yesterday. More than 6.1bn shares changed hands on US exchanges at 5.12pm, 14% less than the three-month average through yesterday. (Bloomberg)

Green Packet unit in 4G tie-up with China Mobile
Packet One Networks (M) SB (P1), a subsidiary of Green Packet has sealed a technology cooperation agreement with China Mobile Ltd to spearhead the time division-long term evolution (TD-LTE) technology in Malaysia and South-East Asia. P1 CEO Michael Lai said both parties would be sharing expertise, with P1 in 4G WiMAX and China Mobile in TD-LTE technology deployment. (StarBiz)

No extra capex for SEB monorail project in Brazil
Scomi Engineering (SEB) will not require additional capital expenditure or investments for its portion of the RM2.6bn contract for the Line 17 monorail project in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In an e-mail yesterday, SEB chairman Datuk Zainun Aishah Ahmad said: “No further capital expenditure investment is required by SEB for this project; only funding for project financing and operational expenditure. (StarBiz)

E&O to develop iconic wellness township in Iskandar Malaysia
Eastern & Oriental (E&O) is embarking on developing an iconic wellness township in the flagship zone of Iskandar Malaysia in the southern part of the peninsula. In an exchange filing yesterday, E&O said its subsidiary Galaxy Prestige SB has signed a shareholders’ agreement with Pulau Indah Ventures SB to form a 50:50 joint-venture (JV) company called Nuri Merdu SB to develop the township in the Heritage Cluster in Medini Central in Nusajaya. (Malaysian Reserve)

Muhibbah sees full APH payment
Muhibbah Engineering managing director Mac Ngan Boon has assured investors that the construction outfit need not write down some RM371m due from its client, Asia Petroleum Hub (APH), which is reportedly facing funding woes. Mac said Muhibbah had obtained a corporate guarantee from APH assuring Muhibbah of the payment which could be slightly delayed, as APH attempts to find an investor to inject additional funds for the development of its oild terminal in Johor. (Financial Daily)

Genting gets Birmingham casino licence
Genting UK plc, a unit of Genting Malaysia, has been granted a large casino premises licence in Birmingham, according to online media reports. According to BBC News online report, Solihull Council said it had granted a large casino premises licence to Genting UK. (Financial Daily)

Formis buys 20.59% of Ho Hup from Extreme System
Information technology services outfit Formis Resources’s unit yesterday unveiled its plans to diversify into construction and property development by taking up a substantial 20.59% stake in construction firm Ho Hup Construction Co. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Formis said its wholly-owned unit Formis Holdings yesterday acquired the stake from Extreme System SB. Formis purchased the 21m shares for a total consideration of RM16.8m in cash or 80 sen per share. The purchase price is to be funded entirely by bank borrowings to be fully paid up by 1 July 2011, Formis added. (Financial Daily)

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US stocks gain as banks get new rules, technology shares rise
US stocks advanced, breaking a three-day losing streak for the S&P 500 Index, as regulators issued capital rules to safeguard the global financial system and technology companies rallied. The S&P 500 gained 0.9% to 1,280.10 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 108.98 pts, or 0.9%, to 12,043.56. Global regulators said banks deemed too big to fail must hold as much as 2.5-ppt in additional capital as part of efforts to prevent another financial crisis. Also, spending on information technology by companies and governments in the US will grow 5.6% in 2011, according to a survey by International Data Corp. (Bloomberg)

UEM Land to oversee Singapore jobs
Malaysia and Singapore’s plans to cooperate on land development in both countries have taken off with the establishment of two joint-venture companies, and the appointment of UEM Land and two units of Temasek to oversee the development and marketing of the Singapore projects. Khazanah and Temasek have incorporated a company called M+S Pte Ltd to undertake the development of four land parcels in Singapore’s Marina South and two in Ophir-Rochor. Khazanah will hold 60% equity interest while Temasek will hold the remaining 40%. The Singapore projects have a permitted gross floor area of up to 501,020 sq m with an estimated GDV of SGD11bn. Meanwhile, Khazanah and Temasek also established a 50:50 JV company called Pulau Indah Ventures SB to undertake two developments in Iskandar with a permitted gross floor area of up to 1,365,675 sq m and estimated GDV of RM3bn. (Financial Daily) Please see accompanying report.

Gadang set to win RM200m Vale deal
Gadang Holdings is poised to win a contract worth as much as RM200m to carry out earthworks for a project in Perak, sources said. The contract is part of a USD2.5bn (RM7.45bn) infrastructure development by Brazil's Vale International. This will be Vale's maiden award for the project. It is understood that an official announcement will be made by as early as this week. It is firmly believed that Gadang is favoured because it had submitted the lowest bid and the company is committed to finishing the job within the time frame given. The first phase will focus on earth works and flattening of land in Teluk Rubiah, Manjung. The land will be used to build a distribution hub and a pelletising plant, which will be able to convert raw iron ore into pellets that are used in steel production. (BT)

RM351m job to deepen Penang port channel back on course
The RM351m project to deepen the north channel of the Penang Port is back on track, Penang Port SB managing director Ahmad Ibnihajar said. Ahmad said dredging works are scheduled for completion within the next 18 months and once finished, the channel will be 14.5 metres deep compared with its present depth of 11 metres. Last month, Ahmad announced that Penang Port stood to lose RM100m in revenue if work to deepen the north channel of the port does not begin soon. The dredging project was scheduled to have taken off at the end of last year. (BT)

Bumi Armada set to raise RM2.8bn from IPO
Bumi Armada has set a price range of RM2.80 and RM3.15 per share for its IPO next month, raising as much as RM2.8bn, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters. (StarBiz)

MAS not ruling out possible privatisation
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has not ruled out the possibility of being privatised. Chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Abdul Majid said the possibility has been presented during yesterday's shareholders meeting but he stopped short of confirming if it was accepted by the shareholders. "At the meeting, I had stated in a very general term that no options are off the table so far as strategic possibilities. We address this strategic future for the company," he said after the company's AGM yesterday. (BT)

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Genting HK to raise RM600m bonds
Genting Hong Kong, is raising bonds worth about RMB1.3bn (RM600.2m) for general corporate purposes, said a source in its associate company. The bonds are three-year bonds with a yield of 3.95%. It was reported that Genting Hong Kong had hired CIMB Group Holdings, HSBC Holdings Plc, Malayan Banking and UBS AG to help with the sale of three-year, yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong. Genting Malaysia owns an 18% stake in Genting Hong Kong. Apart from owning Star Cruises, Genting Hong Kong is a co-owner of Resorts World Manila and also has a 50% stake in Norwegian Cruise Lines. (Starbiz)

Talam to sell land to associate
Talam Corp has proposed to dispose of two pieces of land totalling 10.35ha in Daerah Petaling, Selangor, to Trident Treasures SB for RM39.5m. Talam announced that the proposed disposal would enable it to improve its current liquidity position and reduce its borrowings. Trident Treasure, which is a 40% associate of Talam, plans to undertake the development of semi-detached houses, dwelling houses or equivalent on the land. “The net carrying value of the land as at 31 Jan is RM76.6m,” said Talam. (Starbiz)

IJM shortlisted for India highway project
IJM Corp is one of the 11 companies shortlisted for a mega inter-state highway project estimated to cost about RM4bn, according to local media reports. The 555km highway stretches from Kishangarh, near Jaipur, in Rajasthan to Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, via Udaipur. The public-private partnership project, involving six lanes, is tipped to be one of India’s landmark highway project. The successful bidder is expected to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the highway. India plans to construct 35,000km of highways under the National Highway Development Program over five years. (Starbiz)

Muhibbah gets RM338m job
Muhibbah Engineering has been awarded a RM338m contract by Northport for the development of a multi-purpose wharf and other facilities at Container Terminal 4. Muhibbah Engineering said the contract, due to commence in July this year and be completed in Mar 2014, is expected to contribute positively to the earnings and net assets of the group. (Starbiz)

Perisai gets nod to buy Intan Offshore
Perisai Petroleum Teknologi obtained shareholders’ approval to acquire 51% of Singapore-based Intan Offshore SB for RM45.2m. “It is a good acquisition because we already have a long-term contract with the company. The risk is also minimum and the acquisition price is reasonable,” managing director Izzet Ishak mentioned last Friday. Izzet also said Perisai would conclude the purchase a 100% stake in Garuda Energy (L) Ltd for RM212mil by the end of next month. (Starbiz)

SPNB sets RM2.8bn target by 2016
Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB), a wholly owned unit of the Minister of Finance, aims to achieve a total development value of RM2.8bn by 2016, if all the affordable housing units it plans to build are completed on schedule. MD Datuk Kamarul Rashdan Salleh said SPNB would be able to complete 36,095 affordable houses by 2013, of which 16,423 units have been sold. (Starbiz)

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Bursa Malaysia is likely to see rangebound trading next week due to uncertainty conditions in the global front.

A dealer said with no near term catalysts in sight, the market would continue in lacklustre trade and poised for more weakness.

However, losses could be limited amid portfolio adjustments by fund managers and institutions to prop up their mid-year performance, he added.

He said there could also be buying opportunities especially among the mid-caps and lower liners following their recent corrections.

"Investors could be interested in beaten-down stocks which offer attractive valuations now after the recent corrections," the dealer said.

Affin Investment Bank's head of retail research, Dr Nazri Khan, said there could be little change to the doldrums sentiment with the benchmark FBM KLCI remaining trapped in a 1,540-1,570 sideway range over the last four weeks.

Domestically, he said that fundamentals and earnings remained intact with the key index showing resilient price performance with a mere 0.8 percent slide against bigger Dow Jones (six percent) and Nikkei (11 percent)losses for this year.

"Of course, while we agree there are many short term headwinds, we think the bad news are not new and may have already been priced into stocks," he said.

Nazri said the proposed listing of MSM Malaysia on June 28 would give some positive impacts on Bursa Malaysia to offset some battered sentiment following the failed merger plan of RHB Capital.

For the week just ended, the benchmark index stayed firm at its crucial 1,560 level and traded rangebound before closing the week higher on buying support from selected heavyweights, especially Maybank and CIMB.

This was due to the decision by the two largest banks to call off talks with RHB Capital on a possible merger as it was a relief for investors as the possible deal was believed to be expensive.

The benchmark index ended the week 1.20 points higher at 1,564.66.

The Finance Index fell 131.5 points to 14,615.53, Plantation Index slipped 23.8 points to 7,863.83 while Industrial Index gained 26.90 points to 2,800.76.

The FBM Emas Index rose 3.10 points to 10,742.61, FBM Mid 70 Index was up 1.20 points to 11,685.66 while FBM Ace Index declined 13.10 points to 4,230.68.

The weekly volume increased to 4.6 billion shares worth RM7,64 billion from 4.12 billion shares worth RM7.81 billion last week.

The Main Market turnover climbed to 3.48 billion units worth RM7.44 billion from 2.96 billion units worth RM7.59 billion.

Volume on the Ace Market rose to 890.96 million shares valued at RM160.69 million from 869.11 million units valued at RM169.26 million previously.

However, warrants declined to 201.29 million units worth RM25.52 million from 232.48 million units worth RM33.84 million - BERNAMA

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CRUDE palm oil (CPO)futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives are likely to see continued to bearish sentiment.

Jim Teh, Interband Group of Companies' senior trader, said technical correction could drive the market with CPO prices hovering between RM2,800 and RM3,000 per tonne.

"Buyers will not actively enter the market next week due to the current high prices," he told bernama.

Another dealer said Monday's data from cargo surveyors Intertek Testing Services and Societe Generale de Surveillance would affect the market.
He said an upside potential for CPO prices was impossible due to the high stockpile of the commodity in Malaysia and Indonesia.


On the futures market this week, July 2011 fell RM94 to RM3,131 per tonne, August 2011 dropped RM89 to RM3,116, September 2011 eased RM81 to RM3,117 and October 2011 lost RM85 to RM3,109 - BERNAMA

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* Greece news may only have temporary effect -analyst

* Nikkei unlikely to break 9,800 in next few weeks-analysts

* Some signs of investors' appetite in large-cap shares


TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) - The Nikkei average rose to a
three-week closing high on Friday, helped by news that Greece
has agreed to a five-year austerity plan and as a fall in oil
prices eased worries about a slowdown in the U.S. economy.

There was buying in large-cap shares, market players said,
adding that it could be a sign of new long positions although
some doubt the Nikkei can break above 9,800 in the near future,
as gains have been capped around that level since early May.

"There's a feeling that the impact of negative factors which
have hurt global shares is petering out. It may take a little
while before U.S. data shows improvement but I think the market
has put the worst behind it," said Hisashi Kuroda, general
manager of equity investments at Meiji Yasuda Asset Management.

European Union leaders promised more money to help
Greece stave off looming bankruptcy, and although Athens still
faces many hurdles, including a parliamentary vote on the
austerity measures next week, the news did ease investor
nervousness.

"The market is riding a rebound in global shares after the
Greece news. There appears to be fresh buying from investors
too. Some shares such as Sony have fallen enough to
lure bargain-hunting," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst
at Monex Securities.

The benchmark Nikkei rose 0.9 percent to
9,678.71, its highest close since June 1. Strong resistance is
seen at its 200-day moving average of 9,850.

The broader Topix index also gained 0.9 percent, to
833.20.

The Nikkei's gains were slightly smaller than its peers in
Asia, with the MSCI ex-Japan Asia-Pacific index
rising 1.1 percent. But since the beginning of June, the Nikkei
is down 0.2 percent, compared to a fall of 4.7 percent in the
ex-Japan index.

A fall in oil prices to four-month lows after a release of
emergency oil reserves by major economies is expected to help
the U.S. economy as high gasoline prices have been hurting
consumers.

That slide in oil prices boosted shares of shipping firms
with Mitsui O.S.K. rising 3.2 percent to 417 yen.

Sony Corp gained 2.4 percent, snapping six weeks of
losses for a weekly gain of 4.5 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan
Stanley Securities raised its rating to "outperform" from
"neutral", citing its efforts to cut procurement costs.

Electronics conglomerate Toshiba jumped 4.9 percent
after a similar upgrade to "outperform" from "neutral" by
Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley analyst Masahiko Ishino.

Mass production of 19-nanometre NAND flash memory, new chip
capacity expansion, and nuclear power and thermal power
operations will drive its earnings, he said.

Trade volume was 1.76 billion shares, in line with the
recent daily average. Advancers outnumbered decliners by 1,144
to 406. (Reuters)

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CIMB, Maybank drop merger talks
The country's two largest banks, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, have each aborted plans to pursue a takeover of RHB Capital Bhd (RHBCap), a move sources said was due to concerns about pricing. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank's (ADCB) move last Friday in selling its 25% stake in RHBCap to sister company Aabar Investments at a hefty RM10.80 a share had set the valuation bar too high. At RM10.80, or 2.25 times RHBCap's book value, it was an almost 11% premium over its share price of RM9.75 last Friday. CIMB and Maybank, which had separately been looking to do a deal involving share swaps, had each indicated that they would not overpay for RHBCap as it was not vital for their growth plans.(BT)

Lion seeks foreign partner for steel ops
The Lion group is expected to consolidate its steel business soon, in order to pave the way for the entry of a foreign strategic partner to help grow its steel operations, sources said. It is learnt that the Lion group has started meeting steel players from various countries, including China’s Baosteel Group, which have shown interest in its steel operations. “The talks are still in the preliminary stage, no decision has been made yet. The foreign partner will eventually participate in the entire steel business,” the source told The Edge Financial Daily yesterday. “It is not that they (the Lion group) want to sell out of the steel business.” Bloomberg, meanwhile, reported that Baosteel Group, the world’s third largest steel producer by output, is in talks with Lion group to acquire a stake in Amsteel Mills SB. The report, quoting two people familiar with the matter, indicated that the size of the Amsteel stake to be acquired by Baosteel has yet to be finalised. (Financial Daily)

AirAsia places firm order for 200 A320 Airbus aircraft
Airasia Bhd placed a firm order with Airbus for 200 A320 Neo aircraft, which is the largest order for the aircraft manufacturer. Altogether, AirAsia has now placed firm orders for 375 A320 family aircraft, with 89 already in service on the carrier's fast-growing pan-Asian network. In addition, the carrier's long haul affiliate AirAsia X is also an all-Airbus customer having placed orders for 38 widebody aircraft. The order for the 200 aircraft makes AirAsia the biggest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line worldwide. Its A320 Neo aircraft will be powered by CFM International’s new LEAP-X engines. AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said on Thursday, 23 June with this historic deal, AirAsia had secured its future with the ability to meet the huge growth potential offered by the Asian market. (Financial Daily)


Masteel to invest RM100m on new rolling mill
Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd (Masteel) plans to invest RM100m in a new rolling mill to tap into the expected rise in demand for steel products in the country. Its managing director Datuk Seri Tai Hean Leng said the new rolling mill will have an annual production capacity of 180,000 tonnes. The plant will be adjoining the group's existing melt shop at Bukit Raja, Klang, Selangor, making it a fully-integrated steel milling facility. Masteel currently has a meltshop with an annual capacity of 550,000 tonnes at Bukit Raja producing upstream billets, and a rolling mill at Petaling Jaya that produces 350,000 tonnes of downstream steel bars. (BT)

UMW's O&G division’s earnings have to stabilise first before listing
UMW Holdings Bhd will list its oil and gas (O&G) division only when the division's earnings are stable enough to make it attractive to investors, said president and group chief executive officer Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir. He said the O&G unit, which had already obtained approval to be listed from the Securities Commission (SC), would return to the black this financial year ending 31 Dec, 2011. The group had delayed the listing of its O&G unit a few times since it received the SC's approval in 2008. Previous news reports said the company was waiting for the right time and value before listing the division. (StarBiz)

Eversendai fixes prices for IPO
Eversendai Corp Bhd has fixed its retail price under its initial public offering (IPO) exercise at RM1.62 per share and institutional price at RM1.70 per share. The prices were fixed following the completion of its bookbuilding exercise for the institutional portion. It is to be listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on 1 July. The IPO involves 232.19m shares, of which there will be a public issue of 160.7m new shares and an offer for sale of 71.49m existing shares, it told Bursa Malaysia yesterday. (StarBiz)

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Making investments may be able to help you eradicate debt. How? If you invest your money in a financial market like stock, you may be able to earn good returns from it and then you can use that money to pay off your debts. You can even use that money to handle the costs of living, thereby lowering usage of credit cards and thus maintaining low debt levels.

Investing in stocks and handling debts
In order to make money through stock trading or investment, it is important for you to know the details of stock trading. First of all it is important for you to create and plan an investment plan and then work on it. This helps you to set a goal and reach it with time. It is also important for you to determine on your affordability before you start trading stocks.
Benefits of investing in stocks
A stock market is the place where you can both buy and sell stocks or shares and bonds of companies. If you buy stocks, you become the holder of stocks of a company. Now, when the company generates profit you too are able to earn decent money from that. Thus, investing in stock can act as one of your debt solutions. The different benefits of stock investment are:


1.Long term growth – You may be able to be the real gainer if you invest your money in the stock market as it has some great long term growth options. The stock market is best of the places where you can invest your money and then let it grow over a long period of time, till you are able to generate decent income from it. From this, you can have the benefits like receiving money through compound interest.


2.Extra cash – If you get regularly involved in stock trading, you may be able to create a source of extra cash flow every month. This extra income will help you to make payments against the unpaid debts. And if you have no debts, you can rather save the extra money for future use and for emergency purposes and so on.

3.Outperforms other investments – The returns on stock market investments are much higher than the returns you can get on any other kind of investments. With time, you may be able to see your money grow in the stock market. The historical average of the stock market investments is said to be about 8% per year.

However, before buying or may be selling stocks, you will have to keep in mind that the price of stock market fluctuates on the basis of economic condition of the country. For example, recently European and US stocks fell, because of increased concerns over Greece's deepening debt crisis. But Asian stock markets are performing much better than its European counterpart. So, it is important for you to be aware of the economic scenario of your country and also other countries before you actually start investing money in the stock market.

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(Updates to close)

* Premier Wen Jiabao comments on taming inflation boost sentiment

* Hang Seng snaps three-week losing streak, ends up 1.9 pct

* Shanghai up 2.2 pct, its biggest intra-day gain in four months

* Chinese banks see biggest jump on HK and Shanghai bourses

HONG KONG, June 24 (Reuters) - China shares jumped on Friday, posting their biggest two-day gain in six months and boosting the market in Hong Kong, as comments from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao fueled hopes that Beijing's policy tightening was nearing an end.

Wen wrote in an opinion piece in the Financial Times that he was confident that price rises would be kept firmly under control this year, giving some market players a reason to cover short positions in Hong Kong.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.2 percent on the day to finish at 2,746.2 points in sharply increased volume, ending the week up 3.9 percent, its biggest weekly rise since early November.

Banks were among the day's strongest performers as buyers piled in, drawn by attractive valuations after heavy selling in recent sessions.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was also boosted by bargain hunting in financial plays, ending up 1.9 percent on the day and 2.2 percent on the week at 22,171.95 points, its first weekly gain in a month. Both Shanghai and the Hang Seng had hit nine-month lows on Monday.

The valuation argument has grown compelling. China Construction Bank Corp , which rose 3.5 percent on Friday, now trades at a 43.3 percent discount to median forward 12-month multiple, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine and at 7.1 times is at the lowest since the depths of the financial crisis in late 2008.

Retail investors plunged back into the Shanghai market, pushing A-share turnover to its highest since mid-April, after a slew of bullish forecasts by local media and brokerages for a market rebound in the second half of this year, traders said.

"Most investors believe the market hit a bottom when it touched 2,610 (on the Shanghai Composite) on Monday," said a trader at a major Chinese brokerage in Shanghai.

"The rally may not be sustainable for now...but with so many people believing it has hit a bottom, its downside is virtually sealed off as well."

The two-day surge in Shanghai has formed a bullish outside weekly reversal on the charts, suggesting the market may have formed a bottom in its slide since April.

The move up on Friday in A-share turnover hitting its highest since mid-April, also suggests that China's avid retail investors are becoming more willing to start shovelling funds back into the market.

Shanghai has been one of the worst performers in Asia this year and last, weighing on sentiment in Hong Kong, as Beijing repeatedly tightened policy to contain inflation.

Wen's comments raised hopes that Chinese policymakers were finished with interest rate hikes and increases in banks' reserve requirements for now, and may even be considering relaxing their policy stance later in the year in the face of a slowing global economy.

But economists said it was too early for China to declare victory against inflation, and warned investors against thinking Wen was signalling an imminent policy change.

"Readers should read the article with some grain of salt," Ting Lu, an economist at Merrill Lynch-Bank of America, he said. "Despite these positive messages from Wen, it could be wrong to expect the Chinese government to change its policy stance soon."

Lu said he still expects China to raise interest rates once more this year. That is roughly in line with market forecasts for a 25-basis-point rise in benchmark lending rates, and a 50-basis-point increase in deposit rates.

CHINESE BANKS LIFTS HANG SENG'S BLUES

The gains in Hong Kong on Friday helped the Hang Seng reclaim the 22,123 level that had been previous support and the previous low of the year, while also filling a gap on the charts.

But unlike in Shanghai, the weaker turnover in the bounce pointed to lower conviction that a rebound would be sustained, and traders said there may be another test of the lows before a bottom is put in place.

The "Big Four" Chinese banks, often seen as a proxy for the mainland economy, jumped on expectations that a peak in inflation would ignite a rally in the sector that has faltered twice this year.

Much of the jump on Friday was supported by banking shares, the biggest weights on the Hong Kong and Shanghai benchmark indexes. They have borne the brunt of the bearishness on Chinese equities over the past two months, pushing their shares to deep discounts versus historical valuations.(Reuters)

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Support Line:
Cepatwawasan Group

CEPATWAWASAN Group shares climbed to a five-month high of RM1.48 yesterday. Based on the daily bar chart, prices are making a strong attempt to challenge the previous rally peak of RM1.65 in the near-term, of which a decisive breakthrough will signal a rally continuation, targeting the RM1.83 barrier. Support is pegged at the RM1.40-RM1.42 band. (Star Biz)





Genting Malaysia

GENTING Malaysia continued to fluctuate within a band amid extended consolidation, ending up two sen to RM3.58 yesterday. Technically, this stock is likely to be trapped in the short-term until a clearer picture emerges. Any violation of the lower horizontal line of RM3.50 may drag prices to the RM3.40 level. A breach of the RM3.67 line may propel the shares to the RM3.84 mark .(Star Biz)




Sarawak Cable

SARAWAK Cable reversed early gains to close three sen down to RM1.39 owing to an apparent profit-taking activity yesterday. Technically, prices are poised to correct, with the 14-day relative strength index curving down from the overbought area. Initial support is resting at the RM1.30 level. A break above the RM1.50 level would send the bulls to the unknown territory.(Star Biz)

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Baosteel said in talks to buy stake in Lion’s Amsteel Mills
Baosteel Group, China’s second-biggest steelmaker, is in talks to buy a stake in a steel unit of Malaysia’s Lion Group for about USD1bn (RM3.03bn), said two people with knowledge of the matter. The size of the holding in Amsteel Mills to be sold has yet to be determined, one of the people said, declining to be identified because the negotiations are private. Chinese steel mills, the world’s biggest producers, need to target foreign markets to boosts sales because of domestic oversupply. Malaysia’s economy may expand 5%-6% this year after growing 7.2% in 2010, its central bank estimates.

BCorp not selling Inter-Pac to Kim Eng
Berjaya Corp is not selling its stock-broking arm Inter-Pac Securities to Kim Eng Holdings, which is now a subsidiary of Malayan Banking. An announcement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday stated that both BCorp and Kim Eng could not agree on the terms of the proposed disposal/acquisition of the entire stake in Inter-Pac. Hence the negotiations between both parties have discontinued. (Financial Daily)

Petronas forgoes RM133bn to keep gas prices low
Petronas should have saved almost RM133bn between 1997 and end-March 2011 if the Government had not fixed gas prices to the power and non-power generation industry. Gas prices have been capped at RM6.40 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtU) for almost 10 years since 1997 as an interim measure. The decision to cap prices had to be extended beyond the original schedule as the region faced the Asian Financial Crisis. (Financial Daily)

OldTown to raise RM79m from IPO
CafĂ© chain operator OldTown, which plans to list on Bursa Malaysia’s Main Market next month, intends to raise RM79.2m from its IPO. The fresh capital will be used for capital expenditure to open new stores and purchase manufacturing equipment. Group MD Lee Siew Heng said the company is looking to open 27 new stores by the end of the year, the bulk of which will be in Malaysia, followed by Singapore and Indonesia. (Financial Daily)

Dijaya Corp to unveil projects worth RM762m
Property developer Dijaya Corp plans to launch three new projects this financial year ending 31 Dec with a GDV of RM762m. MD Datuk Tong Kien Onn said the total GDV for the three projects was more than RM1bn but as the group planned to launch them in phases the GDV was RM762m. (StarBiz)

K-Star orders up 57%, set to expand
The China-based shoemaker raked in orders of approximately RM148.6m at the recently concluded Winter 2011 Sales Fair, representing a 57% growth compared to the same event held last year. With the positive book order earned through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fujian Jinjiang Dixing Shoes Plastics, K-Star is set to enhance and expand its production facilities as well as retail outlets, said its executive chairman and CEO Ding Jian Ping yesterday. (Financial Daily)

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LONDON: Britain will try to encourage equity investors to take a longer term view of their shareholdings and break away from a "quick buck mentality", Business Secretary Vince Cable said on Wednesday, June 22.

He said equity investment needed to be "recalibrated" to support the long-term interest of companies and underlying beneficiaries such as pension fund members, according to extracts of a speech to the Association of British Insurers in London released in advance.

Economic commentator John Kay would lead a review into investment in Britain's stock markets and examine the role of pension funds, pension advisers and fund managers, Cable said.

The review, which will report its findings in 2012, will examine "how best to ensure that the time scales over which companies and fund managers operate match the interest of clients and beneficiaries", a briefing paper released by Cable's department said.

It follows an examination of corporate governance launched by Cable last October in response to the controversial 2010 takeover of British confectioner Cadbury by U.S. rival Kraft Foods .

"The growing demand for early returns has serious implications for investment in longer-term projects, such as improvements to infrastructure networks or the development of new technologies, which by their very nature only produce a return over a period of many years," Cable said.

"Such projects may not fit with the quick-buck mentality that appears to be gaining in popularity, but they are essential in facilitating the UK's long-term growth. So, too, is a rational focus on long-term value rather than short-term profits."

Britain's Takeover Panel is also considering tougher merger rules in the wake of the $18 billion Cadbury deal, which critics said was driven by investors seeking a quick return and was not in the long-term interests of Britain's economy. - Reuters

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A Bloomberg news report said Baosteel was keen to buy a stake in Amsteel Mills Bhd from Lion Group for US$1 billion. Lion Industries share price jumped 24 sen to RM1.87 and Lion Corp added 5 sen to 30 sen.

Other companies which could see trading interest are UNITED MALAYAN LAND BHD [] (UMLand) KBB RESOURCES BHD [], Grand-Flo Bhd, YSP Southeast Asia Holding Bhd and Berjaya Corp Bhd.

UM Land plans to launch more new projects with a total gross development value (GDV) of nearly RM500 million in the financial year ending Dec 31, 2011.

Meanwhile, as for the KBB still in the midst of finalising the debt restructuring agreement but is also open to new corporate proposals. It added there were indications the financial position was being regularized.
The company referred to its May 31 announcement that the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC) received approval exceeding 75% of each class of creditors for the proposed debt revamp.

As for the tracking solution firm "Grand-Flo" has secured two networking jobs in Thailand worth RM90 million.
Both jobs are awarded by the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT). The first job, worth RM50 million, is in the province of Nakhonratsima while the other, in the province of Chiang Mai is valued at RM40 million.

Lastly, is BERJAYA CORPORATION BHD .and Kim Eng Holdings Ltd have terminated their discussions over BCorp’s proposed sale of Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd’s stockbroking business.

BCorp said the agreement for the sale of 100% of the stockbroking business “was mutually terminated today.(theedgemalaysia.com)

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Iskandar Malaysia enters second phase of development
The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is seeking higher allocation of funds from the Government in the upcoming Budget 2012, compared with 2011. For 2011, the Government had allocated RM945m to the economic growth corridor in Johor. IRDA CEO Ismail Ibrahim said the allocation of funds for 2012 is presently being discussed with the Government’s Economic Planning Unit.(Starbiz)

Sarawak Plantation to expand planted land
Sarawak Plantation (SP) is in advanced negotiations to acquire a 3,000ha matured oil palm plantation from a private company in northern Sarawak. Group MD Datuk Hamden Ahmad said SP was now carrying out a survey on the land, particularly on the conditions of the oil palm trees, which were between seven and eight years old. (StarBiz)

ADCB sells RHB shares at RM10.80 each
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC (ADCB) has signed an agreement with its sister company Aabar Investments PJS to sell its 24.9% stake in RHB Capital to the latter for RM10.80 per share. ADCB CEO Ala'a Eraiqat said the sale was expected to enhance the company's first-half year profitability and would result in the release of capital. Upon completion of the transaction, ADCB's tier-1 ratio would increase to 14.43% from 12.39% while capital-adequacy ratio would rise to 21.11% from 17.03%. Ala'a said while ADCB had benefited tremendously from its ownership in RHB Cap, the management and board were now clearly focused on executing its strategy of being a UAE-centric bank. (Starbiz)

EPF in SGD3.2bn Singapore project
The Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) has entered into a joint-venture agreement with Singapore's GuocoLand group to develop a piece of land for mixed-used development above Singapore's Tanjong Pagar MRT station.A statement from GuocoLand Ltd said the agreement was for the development of a piece of land at Peck Seah Street and Chon Guan site, known as the Tanjong Pagar White Site. The EPF purchase and 20% joint-venture involvement in the upcoming SGD3.2bn mixed-use development marks another milestone for the pension fund, which has been on an acquisition trail since unveiling its interest in acquiring property assets since August 2010. (Starbiz)

No capital outlay from Naim
Naim Holdings (Naim) will not have to come up with any capital outlay in implementing the RM2.5bn Sabah oil and gas terminal project. MD Datuk Hasmi Hasnan said the project, a JV between South Korea's Samsung Engineering and Naim, was implemented under an alliance concept whereby the JV partners were not allowed to carry out any construction works. (StarBiz)

Vehicle sales down in May
Total vehicle sales fell 9.5% in May to 46,045 units from 50,883 a year earlier due to a shortfall in production for the month of April. This was a result of insufficient supply to cater to deliveries stemming from the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March. The drop in sales marked the biggest decline of the year since February when local vehicle sales fell to 40,387 units from 40,654 in January. However, for the five-month period ended May 2011, cumulative sales were still higher at 255,413 units from 247,110 in the previous corresponding period, said the Malaysian Automotive Association. (StarBiz)

Talam reprimanded for rules breach
Talam Corp has been reprimanded by Bursa Malaysia for a breach of the Main Market listing requirements. The regulator said due mainly to Talam's oversight and errors, there was a difference of RM1.2m (or a 17.2% deviation) in profit after taxation and minority interest between the unaudited and audited results of the company for FYE 31 Jan 2010. (StarBiz)

Sunway terminates deal in Sri Lanka
SunwayMas SB and textile and garment manufacturer Dasa Tourist Complex Ltd, based in Sri Lanka, have mutually terminated a joint-venture agreement. Property developer SunwayMas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sunway Holdings. The termination was due to both companies being unable to fulfill their obligations in accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement, said Sunway Holdings. (StarBiz)

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Asian share markets ended mostly lower Friday, with Europe's debt troubles and uncertainty on the progress of the U.S. economic recovery. This certainly not a good sign for the asian markets especially the investors were more sensitive towards market sentiment.

As we read the news from the trade journal from various investment firms.
The Hang Seng Index lost 1.2%—extending a 1.8% fall Thursday—to finish at 21695.26, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.8% to 2642.82.

The Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.6% lower at 9351.40, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.7% to 2031.93 and India's Sensex lost 0.6% to 17870.53. However, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index managed to end the session up 0.1% at 4484.90.

The sentiment is still quite weak because of the European debt issues and market caution about the global economic slowdown. And the investors will get a look at Japanese trade data for May, as well as a preview of Chinese manufacturing. They'll also see three sets of consumer price index data, from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, and the Hong Kong stock-market debut of Prada.

Well, equities suffered heavy losses in the Asia-Pacific region on Thursday, amid rioting and political turmoil in Greece and some disappointing data on U.S economy, though the U.S. market bounced last night Friday, the overall Asian markets were still have some selling pressure...

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NEW YORK - Shares in Research in Motion plunged on Wall Street Friday after the BlackBerry maker lowered its outlook for the year and said it would be cutting jobs.

Shares in the Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM sank 21.45 percent, or $7.58, to close at $27.75. RIM shares have lost around 50 percent of their value since the beginning of the year.

Friday's drop came a day after RIM said it expected earnings per share for fiscal 2012 to be between $5.25 and $6.00, sharply less than the $7.50 forecast previously.

RIM, which is facing increased competition from Apple's iPhone and mobile phones running Google's Android software, also announced Thursday it would be cutting jobs this quarter as part of a plan to "streamline operations."

It did not say how many jobs would be eliminated.

The Canadian handset maker posted a net profit of $695 million, or $1.33 per share, in the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year, compared with $769 million, or $1.38 per share, a year ago.

Revenue grew 16 percent to $4.9 billion, short of the $5.1 billion expected by Wall Street analysts.

RIM said it shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry smartphones during the quarter, down from 14.9 million last quarter, and 500,000 of its new BlackBerry Playbook tablet computers, RIM's answer to Apple's iPad.

"Fiscal 2012 has gotten off to a challenging start," RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie said in a statement.

"The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into the second quarter, and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter." (AFP)

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Rich Dad Fundamentals: CASHFLOW Quadrant: "<p>If you’re struggling in this downturn, I encourage you to begin changing your mindset. Start making plans and taking action to move from the left side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant to the right side. Invest in your financial education, begin a side business, or start investing for cash flow.

Start small and move onto bigger things, but have a goal to become a B or I. It won’t happen overnight, and it will be hard work. But if you’re diligent, plan well, and execute your plan, you’ll be much better off in the future whether the markets are up or down.

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Jim Rogers : The Indian central bank is doing the right thing

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Concern over Greece' debt crisis


The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of shares fell after an emergency session of European finance ministers failed to agree to a German-led push for bondholders to shoulder part of the cost of a new Greek aid package in Brussels late yesterday. The European Central Bank, backed by France, warned the move might constitute the euro area’s first sovereign default. Currencies climbed earlier after data showed Chinese factory output rose and U.S. retail sales were better than economists had expected.

Indonesia’s rupiah weakened 0.1 percent to 8,546 per dollar as of 3:35 p.m. in Jakarta, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Thailand’s baht, the Philippine peso and Malaysia’s ringgit declined 0.1 percent to 30.48, 43.39 and 3.0325, respectively.

Global funds sold $2 billion more South Korean, Taiwanese and Thai shares than they bought this month through yesterday, exchange data show.

Thai Political Risk
The baht traded near a three-month low as concern elections slated for July 3 will spark unrest prompted overseas investors to pull funds from the nation’s assets. Latest polls show Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Democrat party is trailing the Pheu Thai party, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

South Korea’s won rose by as much as 0.2 percent earlier after China reported industrial production rose 13.3 percent last month, compared with the 13.1 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. South Korea’s jobless rate dropped to a six- month low of 3.3 percent in May, a report today showed. The won was little changed at 1,083 per dollar. (Source:bloomberg)

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Based on the comment mentioned by the Head of retail research of Affin Investment Bank. It is likely to see that the shares on Bursa Malaysia are expected to experience a mild rally next week with investors bound to grab the cheaper stocks after recent losses.

I personally doesn't know how accurate it was, however it is something that we should look unto it. A cheaper shares by be the best alternative when buying a shares especially in a unpredictable market. But then, how cheaper it should be? A 10 cents per share or half cent?

I don't dare to provide recommendation about which shares to focus as I'm not the expert like Warren Buffet, but then buying a cheaper shares might be a good idea if want to minimize loss.

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The euro fell, erasing earlier gains, after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet’s 2012 inflation forecast prompted traders to scale back bets for the pace of interest-rate increases.

The shared European currency slid against the dollar after climbing as much as 0.5 percent, even after Trichet said at a press conference in Frankfurt that “strong vigilance” is needed to contain inflation.

New Zealand’s currency climbed to a record after the nation’s central bank said borrowing costs will need to rise in the next two years.

“The euro sold off as the inflation forecasts and the lowering of the bottom-end of the GDP forecast may provide a headwind to further tightening,” said Jeremy Stretch, executive director of foreign-exchange strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in London. “He has repeated what was basically already priced into the market.”

The euro fell 0.2 percent to 116.26 yen as of 2:17 p.m. in London, and declined 0.5 percent to $1.4509. It reached $1.4697 on June 7, the strongest level since May 5.

Euribor futures rose, pushing the implied yield on the March 2012 contract down seven basis points to 1.96 percent, as traders reduced bets policy makers will boost rates.

The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six U.S. trading partners, advanced 0.4 percent to 74.186. The pound traded at $1.6368, from $1.6404 yesterday. Sterling was at 88.60 pence per euro, from 88.90 yesterday, when it reached 89.76, the weakest since May 5. (BLOOMBERG)

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The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a patent-infringement verdict that may cost Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $300 million and already has forced changes in its Word software.

The justices today unanimously rejected calls from Microsoft and its allies, including Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG), to make some patents more vulnerable to legal challenge.

The ruling is a victory for closely held I4i LP, which claimed in its 2007 lawsuit that its patented technology had been incorporated into Word, the word processing program used by 500 million people. Microsoft, which had $5.2 billion in profit in the first quarter of 2011, hasn’t yet paid i4I any damages.

The award is the largest ever upheld by an appeals court in a patent case.

The case is Microsoft v. I4i Limited Partnership, 10-290. (BLOOMBERG)

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MAS confident of continuing to rise despite escalating fuel price

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) recorded an 18% higher international pre-load this year compared with 2010. Overall,, when combined with the domestic sector, its pre-load factor was up 10% compared with last year, said senior general manager (sales and marketing) Datuk Bernard Francis. He was confident the pre-load factor would continue to rise despite escalating fuel prices, which are affecting travellers in terms of fuel surcharges. Load factor for 3Q (July to September 2010) was 79% - its highest seat factor in 15 years, and for the last quarter of 2010 it was 77.4%. For 2010 it was 76.2% and the airline added 4% new capacity. For 1Q of 2011, load factor was at 76% and new capacity added during the period was 11% from a year ago. (StarBiz)


Privasia to focus on merger & acquisitions

Information and communications technology company Privasia Technology Bhd plans to focus more on merger and acquisition-based expansion instead of looking for new projects in 2011 following its strong orderbook value to date. Its chief executive officer Puvanesan Subenthiran said Privasia’s balance sheet continued to improve with financial flexibility to gear up for M&A - based expansion plans.(Malaysian Reserve)


SP Setia plans RM2.8bn projects

SP Setia will redevelop the Sri Johor, Sri Pulau Pinang and Sri Melaka low-cost apartments and the Taman Ikan Emas low cost homes in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras at a total development value of RM2.8bn. Its deputy president and CEO Datuk Voon Tin Yow said the first phase of the project would take off next month. Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik said the first phase of the project would involve the development of affordable, quality homes totalling 1,255 units. These would be completed in three years. He said SP Setia would also undertake an apartment housing project in the area for young executives, with each unit to cost not more than RM300,000 and with a built-up areas of at least 800 sq ft. (StarBiz)


Scomi and partners bag RM2.6bn Brazilian monorail deal

Scomi Engineering and its consortium partners have clinched a RM2.6bn contract to build a monorail line in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Sao Paulo Metropolitan Co in Brazil awarded the design, manufacture, supply and implementation job of the 18-km monorail Line 17 - Gold Metro of Sao Paulo to Consortium Monotrilho Integracao last Thursday, following an international competitive tender process. The consortium consists of Scomi Engineering, Andrade Gutierrez S.A., CR Almeida S.A. Engenharia de Obras and Montagens e Projetos Especiais SA. The contract will include the supply of 24 car train sets comprising three cars each. The monorail will be able to carry some 252,000 passengers per day. It will run through 18 stations from Jabaquara to Sao Paulo-Morumbi. The project will kick off next month and should be completed in three-and-a half years. (StarBiz)


Celcom signs broadband deal with TM

Axiata Group said its wholly-owned unit Celcom Axiata has entered into a HSBB services agreement with Telekom Malaysia (TM). The deal is for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of access services related to HSBB for Celcom Mobile's utilisation. The company said that the agreement came following a memorandum of understanding between Celcom and TM on strategic collaboration in providing fixed and mobile solutions earlier this year. Under the agreement, Celcom Mobile will also grant TM its mobile virtual network operator services. (StarBiz) Please see accompanying report


Mudajaya unit gets letter of intent for RM720m sub - con job at Manjung plant

Mudajaya Group Bhd’s unit Mudajaya Corporation has been given a letter of intent to design and build a component of the Manjung power plant for a sub-contract valued at RM720m. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia Securities on Friday, Mudajaya said Mudajaya Corp was the given the letter on 2 June by CMC Machipex SB to build the balance of plant component of Manjung No. 4 Power Plant Project. It said Mudajaya Corp was authorised to start mobilisation on 6 June to undertake the advanced sub-contract works as well. Mudajaya said the execution of the sub-contract would be subject to the conclusion of the terms and conditions of the contract and the approval from the parent company of CMC. (Financial Daily)


Century Software gets RM22.53m job from Ministry of Finance

Century Software Holdings Bhd’s unit Century Software (M) SB has been awarded a RM22.53m contract by the Ministry of Finance to implement an online budget system. In a statement last Friday, Century Software said the contract was for a period of ten months from June 2011. It said the contract was expected to contribute positively to its earnings for the financial year ending 31 Dec 2011. “This prestigious contract is a pioneering and first of its kind project in Malaysia to be implemented by 24 government Ministries. “This significant contract would propel Century Software as a leading provider of world-class financial system services within the Asean region,” it said. (Financial Daily) Please see accompanying report


Eversendai will use the RM270m from its IPO for capital expenditure

The flotation of Eversendai Corp Bhd on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on 1 July will raise RM270m for the company. Its founder Datuk A.K. Nathan will realise a gain of RM130m for selling 30% of the company he pioneered 27 years ago. Nathan said in an interview with Starbiz that the company would use the proceeds of RM270m from its share sale as capital expenditure. " We will be using the proceeds to build a new plant in Trichy in India and expand our plant facilities in Rawang. We would also be using the funds to build staff accommodation in the Middle East, '' he said. He added that the choice of Trichy over other locations in India was made because it was easier to get skilled manpower for the plant there. Eversendai has four plants that provided all the fabrication works for its projects that span from Malaysia to India and the Middle East. The plants are located in Rawang, Dubai, Sharjah and Qatar. The new plant in India will have a 30,000-tonne - a - year fabrication capacity. (StarBiz)

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Contract to Malakoff to build 1,000MW power plant expected soon
Malakoff Corp Bhd, owned by MMC Corp Bhd, is expected to be awarded a contract to build a 1,000MW coal-fired power plant soon, said sources. According to sources, the plant will have a 15-year concession to sell the power at a rate of 25 sen per kwh to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB). “MMC has yet to receive the award letter but the decision has been made already, based on tender submissions,” said one source. In August, the Energy Commission had awarded a concession to TNB to develop a 1,000MW coal-fired power plant on its existing power plant site in Manjung Perak. (StarBiz)

MSM Malaysia IPO set to raise RM800m
MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd's (MSM) initial public offering (IPO) is poised to raise around RM800m for the sugar producer and its holding company. MSM's listing on Bursa Malaysia's Main Market, slated for 28 June, involves offering up to 234.56m shares to retail and institutional investors. Some RM370m of the RM800m proceeds will go to MSM parent Felda Global Ventures Holdings SB (FGVH), while another RM422m will go directly to MSM's coffers. FGVH, which now has a 48.68% stake in MSM, is selling off 15.6% of its MSM shares for some RM370m. The RM422m, meanwhile, will arise from MSM's existing shares. MSM will also sell a portion of its shares to institutional investors at between RM3.30 and RM3.50 per share. The final retail price, after completion of the institutional book building, will be at a slight discount from the initial RM3.38 retail price or 97% of the institutional price. (BT)

PAAB buys Selangor water bonds for RM5.8bn
The government's water asset management company, Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB), has bought 99.6% of Selangor's water debts for RM5.8bn. The offer, which was made on 20 May, confirms a Business Times report that the federal government was poised to make an offer to buy over Selangor water debts on the said date. The acquisition of the bonds brings PAAB one step closer to taking over Selangor water assets, a deal that has dragged on for two years now. The takeover offer was made via special purpose vehicle, Acqua SPV Bhd. It was to resolve the bond woes of five water concessionaires in Selangor. They are Syarikat Bekalan Air Sungai Selangor SB, Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor SB, Puncak Niaga SB, Titisan Modal SB and Viable Chip SB. (BT)

Petronas buys Canadian shale gas assets worth RM3.32bn
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), via its wholly-owned subsidiary Petronas International Corp Ltd (PICL), has signed an agreement with Canada-based Progress Energy Resources Corp to acquire 50% of the latter's interest in shale gas assets worth CAD1.07bn (RM3.32bn). In a statement yesterday, Petronas said the agreement was signed to develop the Altares, Lily and Kahta shale gas assets in north-eastern British Columbia.
“The assets included in the transaction cover approximately 150,000 gross working-interest acres of land with an estimated contingent gas resource of more than 15trn cu ft. The assets will be operated by Progress,” said Petronas. It said the proposed acquisition would mark Petronas' maiden entry into Canada and would allow for accelerated upstream growth that could potentially advance a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export value proposition in that country. (StarBiz)

Kretam to buy up stakes of three companies for RM512m
Kretam Holdings Bhd is acquiring three companies for RM511.5m to expand its oil palm cultivation business and venture further downstream. It has proposed to buy the entire equity interests in Abedon SB, Green Edible Oil SB (GEO) and Palm Products International Alliance SB (PPIA) in a move that will see its plantation landbank increase to 23867ha from 17793ha. The proposed acquisition is “synergistic” to Kretam’s existing oil palm cultivation activities and would provide an alternative source of income, it said in an exchange filing yesterday. (Malaysian Reserve)

Petra Energy, Labuan Shipyard sign MoU
Petra Energy Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Petra Resources SB has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Labuan Shipyard & Engineering SB (LSE) to use the latter’s shipyard facilities at Victoria Harbour in Labuan for Petra Resources’ fabrications activities. Under the MoU, both parties may explore areas for cooperation on the leasing of fabrication yards, fabrication works and storage facilities as well as commercial ventures in oil and gas sector, it said in a statement. (BT)

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