Dott. Giulio Perrotta
Dott. Giulio Perrotta

          Dal "2 Maggio 2012"!

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LA "RASSEGNA STAMPA QUOTIDIANA INTERNAZIONALE" (II PARTE)

Tutte le notizie dal "The Sun Daily" (Regno Unito)

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Business

CPO futures to trade on downside bias next week on rising stockpile concerns (Sat, 01 Oct 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: Crude palm oil (CPO) futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives is expected to trade on downside bias next week as caution gripped traders over possible rising stock. Palm oil trader David Ng said the rising production due to higher seasonal would pressure the CPO market performance next week. “Even the weaker ringgit unlikely to push the CPO higher due to the increasing stockpiles,” he told Bernama. Meanwhile, Singapore-based Palm Oil Analytics’ owner and co-founder Sathia Varqa said the trading would be focused on September production data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Association and estimates ahead of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board data due on October 11. On a Friday-to-Friday basis, CPO futures contracts for spot month October 2022 fell RM346 to RM3,327 a tonne, November 2022 declined RM326 to RM3,384 a tonne, December 2022 dropped RM320 to RM3,416 a tonne and January 2023 decreased RM300 to RM3,460 a tonne. February 2023 slipped RM304 to RM3,503 a tonne and March 2023 was RM301 weaker at RM3,544 a tonne. Total weekly volume was down to 366,702 lots from 1,008,219 lots in the previous week while open interest narrowed to 254,209 contracts from 203,306 at the end of last week. Physical CPO price for September South dipped RM400 to RM3,400 a tonne. -- Bernama
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Malaysian companies invest US$7 billion in India as bilateral relations continue to flourish: charge d'affaires (Sat, 01 Oct 2022)
NEW DELHI: Investments by Malaysian companies in India amounted to US$7 billion (US$1=RM4.63) as bilateral relations continued to flourish in different sectors, Malaysia’s charge d’affaires in New Delhi Amizal Fadzli Rajali said. Malaysian companies in India operate in areas such as automotive, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), infrastructure, healthcare, oil and gas and renewable energy. “To date, Malaysia’s FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows into India amount to US$7 billion,” he said at the Malaysian National Day reception here on Friday. On the other hand, he said 150 Indian companies have invested US$3 billion in Malaysia in sectors such as biotechnology, chemicals, financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and the textile industry. He said Indian companies are encouraged to expand their operations in Malaysia by taking advantage of the country’s hub position in the Southeast Asian region. Meanwhile, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, who was the chief guest on the occasion, hailed the growing bilateral relationship and called Malaysia one of India’s major partners in the region. Singh said the two countries enjoy a “thriving friendship” and their cooperation is growing in various fields. Those attending the Malaysian National Day reception included ASEAN envoys, diplomats from various missions, Indian government officials, business people and members of the Malaysian and local communities. -- Bernama
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Tengku Zafrul: International monetary cooperation mechanism establishment should be considered (Sat, 01 Oct 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia believed that the establishment of an international monetary cooperation mechanism should be considered to ensure a more effective, equitable financial system that is able to balance the needs of universal development. Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said such cooperation is not a new thing since there has been cooperation at the global level held to deal with the uncertainty of international currency market before. “One of the examples is the Plaza Accord in 1985, which aims to depreciate the value of the US dollar against the Japanese yen and the German mark through intervention in the international currency market. “This was followed by the Louvre Accord in 1987, which aimed to stabilise the international currency market and stop the continuous decline of the US dollar following the Plaza Accord,” he said in a statement today. Besides that, he said other collaborations that have been implemented at the world level are during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, where central banks in developed countries worked together to prevent the financial crisis from spreading around the world. Tengku Zafrul said multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Bank for International Settlement (BIS) and International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) also need to be more proactive in helping developing countries such as Malaysia and others in this region. “The global powerhouses need to bear the responsibility of their policy decisions,” he said. Tengku Zafrul said he would voice the matter at the IMF and World Bank’s autumn meeting, which would convene in mid-October.-- Bernama
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Ringgit likely to trade higher between 4.59 and 4.62 next week (Sat, 01 Oct 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is likely to trend higher next week, trading between 4.59 and 4.62 against the US dollar, on improved market sentiments, an analyst said. UOB Kay Hian Wealth Advisors Sdn Bhd head of wealth research and advisor Mohd Sedek Jantan said forex volatility remained at year highs in the third quarter and might rise further. He said this is due to the continued tightening of monetary policy by central bankers around the world in an effort to keep current high levels of inflation from becoming pervasive in their economies. “However, ringgit volatility is much lower in comparison to other currencies in the region. Currency volatility, ringgit stood at 6.7 per cent, Singapore dollar (7.2 per cent), Indonesia rupiah (10.1 per cent) and Thai baht (10.3 per cent),” he told Bernama. He said less volatile currency benefitted the business and could also attract foreign businesses to do business in Malaysia. Mohd Sedek said Budget 2023 is also scheduled to be tabled on October 7 and historical data showed that ringgit tend to close lower during budget week. “However, we believe that for the time being, US dollar strength has peaked and ringgit against the US dollar is expected to consolidate and trade between 4.60 and 4.64. “British pound weakness appears to have peaked for now. The rapidly improving upward momentum suggests that pound could continue to rise and ringgit is expected to trade between 5.19 and 5.23 versus pound next week,“ he added. For the week just ended, the local currency traded mostly lower against the US dollar on weak sentiments dragged down by uncertainties such as global recession fears and an energy crisis in Europe. On Friday, the ringgit fell against the greenback to 4.6360/6390 compared with 4.5775/5800 a week earlier. On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the local note also traded easier versus a basket of major currencies. It depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.2343/2368 from 3.2130/2152 previously and declined vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.2103/2126 from 3.2091/2113. The ringgit also weakened versus the British pound to 5.1728/1762 against 5.0957/0985 last week and fell against the euro to 4.5428/5458 from 4.4686/4710 a week earlier.-Bernama
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Cautious sentiment set to continue next week on Bursa Malaysia (Sat, 01 Oct 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia is expected to trade in cautious mode next week as uncertainties in the global economy continue to weigh on sentiment. Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the benchmark index is likely to trend in the 1,390-1,410 range next week, and that bargain hunting may prevail as the FBM KLCI remained in an oversold position. “Nonetheless, the pressure on local and regional stocks is expected to continue as interest rates and bond yields race higher. From the technical point of view, immediate support will be seen at 1,380 and resistance at 1,410,“ he told Bernama. For the week just ended, Bursa Malaysia headed south, in line with regional markets, mainly tracking Wall Street’s performance. The FBM KLCI dipped below the 1,400-mark on Thursday amid a lack of buying support. On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI fell 30.35 points to 1,394.63 from 1,424.98, amid growing concerns of a global recession. The FBM Emas Index was down by 220.52 points to 9,976.86, the FBMT 100 Index lost 204.92 points to 9,728.70, the FBM Emas Shariah Index dropped 230.17 points to 10,008.03, the FBM ACE was 108.76 points lower at 4,657.87 and the FBM 70 dipped 229.98 points to 12,201.81. Sector-wise, the Plantation Index decreased 190.95 points to 6,473.76, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 2.33 points to 169.87, the Financial Services Index shaved 346.12 points to 15,922.45 and the Energy Index slid 42.46 points to 670.18. Weekly turnover rose to 10.90 billion units worth RM9.60 billion compared to 10.66 billion units worth RM8.32 billion in the previous week. The Main Market volume was lower at 6.72 billion shares valued at RM8.17 billion against 7.02 billion shares valued at RM7.06 billion in the previous week. Warrants volume expanded to 1.33 billion units worth RM221.78 million from 1.13 billion units worth RM158.78 million last week. The ACE Market volume went up to 2.84 billion shares valued at RM1.31 billion from 2.52 billion shares valued at RM1.10 billion the week before.-Bernama
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The Selangor Aviation Show 2022 fly high post pandemic (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor Aviation Show 2022 (SAS2022) which was held from 8th to 10th of September soared beyond expectations, surpassed the 8,000 visitors target over the three-day event. The three-day show, held across 28,458 sqm saw a crowd of 10,563. SAS also successfully recorded RM 1.06 billions of potential of transaction value during the 3 days event. This inaugural event managed to assemble a total of 62 exhibitors from 5 countries representing the world’s best of aerospace and aviation industries, displaying their exhibits either on the tarmac or in the exhibition booth at the venue. The total number of static aircraft displayed was 30, almost double from last year’s SAS 2021. Among the prominent static aircraft exhibits were the FALCON 8X – DASSAULT, B CESSNA CAR V - HM/PA, P.180 AVANTI - KRIS SAKTI and others. 13 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on various aerospace industry sub-sector collaborations were signed during SAS2022. These were between: - 1. Menteri Besar Selangor (Incorporated) and + 10 Aerospace Companies (Aerodyne Group, Asia AeroTechnic Sdn. Bhd, GE Engine Services Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, HICOM-Teck See Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd, Sapura Industrial Berhad, Smartlink Engineering Sdn. Bhd, Spirit AeroSystems Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, T7 AeroTech Sdn. Bhd, UMW Aerospace Sdn. Bhd,UPECA AeroTech Sdn. Bhd) 2. SELATI & Volar Air Mobility (China & Hong Kong) 3. Systematic Aviation Services Sdn Bhd & Oriental Sky 4. Systematic Aviation Services Sdn Bhd & GIAAN Group Sdn Bhd 5. MSAF & Davinci Gliders Ptd Ltd. ( South Korea) 6. Global Component Asia Sdn Bhd & Black Arrow Space Technologies Ltd (Blast) (UK) 7. Pen Aviation & IT Sky Solutions Ltd. (Nigeria) 8. MSAF & GIAAN ACADEMY 9. Delta Aerospace and Aeronautique Design & Service Bureau SA (Switzerland) 10. SELATI & SKY-FUTURES (UK) 11. AEROVIONE & Czech Aviation Training Center (Czech Republic) 12. MSAF & Seniman Malaysia 13. MSAF & Kelab Rakan Udara Malaysia 14. MSAF & Aerospace Solutions Sdn Bhd The agreements signed cover various collaborations such as research and development for the aerospace industry, dual license & Air Transport Pilot training, one-stop MRO centre for drones and maintenance of ‘amphibious’ aircraft. Green aviation technology company Volar Air Mobility Ltd, which inked the biggest memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the Selangor Aviation Show 2022 (SAS) worth RM675.1 million (USD150 million), aims to introduce the first green air taxi service in Malaysia within two years. Volar collaborate with Selangor Aviation & Technology Innovation (Selati) to promote green aviation in Malaysia. The MoU entails potential aircraft manufacturing; maintenance, repair and overhaul; air taxi service training; and research and development for a five-year period. As a joint undertaking, Volar and Selati will establish the Institute for the Development of Electric Aviation Malaysia, a think tank to promote and support the development of green aviation. Meanwhile, the strategic collaboration signed between Delta Aerospace Sdn Bhd (Delta) and Aeronautique Design & Service Bureau SA (ADSB) concluded the investment deal valued at RM166.7 million (EUR 37.5 million) for the Joint-Venture, which will result in ADSB having an equity in Delta Aerospace Sdn Bhd. ADSB will transfer all available design documentation and technological equipment used for the production, type certificate for LA 8, all of its sales dealers and existing contracts in relation to sales and spare parts to Delta Industrial. Other highlight throughout the SAS2022 include the Meet & Greet session with Air Force The Movie Cast and Crew: Selagi Bernyawa which stars Aiman Hakim Redza, Dato’ Adi Putra, Nas-T, Luqman Hafidz, Johan As’ari, and Pablo Amirul, Carmen Soo and Iman Corrine to furthering public interest in the aviation and aerospace industry. For Selangor investment enquiries, please visit www.investselangor.my About Invest Selangor Berhad: Invest Selangor Berhad has been a beacon for investors from all across the world who wished to invest, and prosper, in Selangor. Invest Selangor Berhad is a one-stop agency that provides information, advisory services, as well as start-up or expansion assistance to potential and existing investors. Since our inception, we have attracted 6,231 (1999-2021) manufacturing projects in Selangor. Thus we have been indirectly responsible for the creation of 461,221 (1999-2021) jobs and attracting more than RM206.1 billion (1999-2021) worth of manufacturing investments to the state. Invest Selangor will continually strive to create a conducive investment-friendly environment through the creation of new networks, services and competitive incentives provided by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) – and continually showcase to the world the dynamic, golden state of Selangor. SOURCE : Invest Selangor Berhad (for Selangor Aviation Show (SAS) – Bernama
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Headline inflation rises to 4.7% in August 2022: BNM (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: Headline inflation has increased to 4.7 per cent in August 2022 from 4.4 per cent in July, in line with market expectations, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). The central bank said core inflation increased to 3.8 per cent during the month versus 3.4 per cent in the previous month. “The increase largely reflected higher prices for rental and food away from home. Notwithstanding the higher annual inflation, 10 of the 12 main Consumer Price Index (CPI) categories registered moderating month-on-month increases,” BNM said in a statement today. On net financing, the central bank said net financing grew by 6.1 per cent as at end-August compared with 5.3 per cent in July, driven by higher growth in both outstanding loans (August: 6.8 per cent; July: 5.9 per cent) and corporate bonds (August: 4.3 per cent; July: 3.7 per cent). Outstanding household loans grew by 6.5 per cent (July: 6.1 per cent) amid steady growth across most purposes. “Notably, growth in loan disbursements reflected sustained growth in loan applications, particularly for the purchase of houses and cars,” it said. For businesses, growth in outstanding loans rose to 6.7 per cent (July: 5.9 per cent), mainly driven by the wholesale trade, manufacturing and the utilities sectors. Credit flows to small and medium enterprises remained particularly forthcoming, with outstanding loan growth higher at 7.5 per cent (July: 6.6 per cent). The central bank highlighted that the global financial conditions had tightened after the United States (US) Federal Reserve reaffirmed its commitment to bring the US inflation down despite lower growth expectations. “However, domestic financial market adjustments remained orderly amid low foreign exchange volatility and sufficient trading volume. “The 10-year Malaysia Government Bonds yield increased by 10 basis points (bps), alongside the higher 10-year US Treasury bond yield (45.4 bps),” it said. On the ringgit, BNM said the local currency has depreciated by 0.8 per cent amid continued strong US dollar environment, while the FBM KLCI rose by 1.3 per cent, supported by foreign inflows and stronger- than-expected second quarter Malaysia gross domestic product growth. “Banks’ capital position remained strong to withstand potential stress and continue supporting credit flows to the economy. “This enabled some banks to sustain dividend payouts during the month. As at end-August, the banking system recorded excess capital buffers of RM126.7 billion,” it said. BNM said the resilience of banks continued to be underpinned by sound asset quality, and overall gross and net impaired loans ratios remained broadly stable at 1.84 per cent (July: 1.85 per cent) and 1.1 per cent (July: 1.2 per cent), respectively. Loan loss coverage ratio (including regulatory reserves) remained at a prudent level of 113.7 per cent of impaired loans, with total provisions accounting for 1.8 per cent of total loans. - Bernama
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Most markets drop again but sterling edges up after recovery (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
HONG KONG: Most markets sank Friday after another tough day on US trading floors, with inflation continuing to soar and central bankers getting increasingly hawkish in their attempts to bring prices under control. Sterling, however, managed to extend gains after clawing back more of the huge losses suffered at the start of the week owing to a tax-cutting mini-budget that analysts warned could cause even more pain to the already fragile UK economy. The pound's bounce -- from a record low of $1.0350 Monday to briefly go above $1.12 Friday -- came after the Bank of England pledged $71 billion of support to shattered financial markets, fearing that several pension funds could go under. Britain's beleaguered currency was given an extra boost by news Thursday that the budget watchdog will provide costings of new Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng's fiscal plan on October 7, two weeks earlier than initially announced. “This has helped alleviate some fears within markets given the initial optics of an uncosted large fiscal package,“ said National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland. Markets remain concerned about the UK economy and the impact that borrowing tens of billions of dollars will have on interest rates, with observers warning that the Bank of England could announce a 1.5 percentage point hike at its next meeting in November. Sean Callow, at Westpac Banking Corp, said the pound’s gains this week were “a reminder that currencies are driven by a myriad of factors -- it’s clearly not due to any improvement in the outlook for the UK”. The bank's cash injection meant it had to put on hold its plan to tighten monetary policy as part of a global effort to fight decades-high inflation. But David Forrester, at Credit Agricole CIB, warned: “The pound is not out of the woods yet. “While the BoE has restored some credibility to the currency, the government’s finances are another part that needs to be fixed for the pound’s rally to last.” Still, there was some good news for new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, as official figures showed Britain's economy grew in the second quarter, instead of shrinking as previously estimated. - Russia worries - In a sign of the long road ahead for finance chiefs -- and the dour outlook for stocks -- data out of several countries including Germany and Belgium this week showed that prices are still rising about 10 percent year-on-year. In the United States, Federal Reserve officials again reiterated their intention to ramp up rates until they have tamed inflation, even if that means plunging the world's top economy into recession. And the case for a fourth successive 0.75 percentage point lift was strengthened by news that first-time unemployment benefit claims fell below 200,000 for the first time since May. All three main indexes on Wall Street finished deep in the red, with the S&P 500 ending at its lowest level since November 2020. And Asia picked up the baton. Shanghai dropped as data showed China's manufacturing and services sectors struggled again in September from Covid lockdowns in parts of the country that have battered the world's number-two economy. There was also little reaction to news that Beijing would allow some cities to reduce mortgage rates for first-home purchases as it tries to support the property market. Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Wellington, Manila and Jakarta were also off. However, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Bangkok rose. London, Paris and Frankfurt opened higher as they bounced back from Thursday's losses. “Risky assets don’t stand a chance of a meaningful rally if the economy continues to show resilience while inflation continues to be significantly above the Fed’s Funds rate,“ said OANDA’s Edward Moya. Market sentiment was also being eroded by rising fears about developments in the Ukraine war, as Russia prepares to annex four occupied regions of its neighbour Friday, with President Vladimir Putin threatening to use nuclear weapons to defend the territories. - Key figures around 0720 GMT - Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.8 percent at 25,937.21 (close) Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.3 percent at 17,210.99 Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,024.39 (close) London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 6,899.98 Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1141 from $1.1116 on Thursday Euro/dollar: DOWN at $0.9804 from $0.9818 Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.99 pence from 88.28 pence Dollar/yen: DOWN at 144.40 yen from 144.42 yen West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.2 percent at $81.35 per barrel Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.1 percent at $88.44 per barrel New York - Dow: DOWN 1.5 percent at 29,225.61 (close) dan/aha NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK -AFP
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Malaysia’s real GDP to grow 5.1% in 2022: DoSM (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is anticipated to grow by 5.1 per cent year-on-year in 2022, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said. In its latest Malaysian Economic Statistics Review, DoSM said July 2022 leading index (LI) showed optimistic economic performance in the coming months. ‘’The LI sustained its positive annual growth at 4.1 per cent in July 2022, albeit it is lower than the 5.3 per cent recorded in June 2022,’’ it said. As for the external sector, DoSM said August 2022 exports surged 48.2 per cent to RM141.3 billion, while imports soared 67.6 per cent to RM124.4 billion. The number of employed persons grew 4.5 per cent to 15.98 million in July 2022, while the unemployment rate stood at 3.7 per cent. July 2022 Industrial Production Index was up 12.5 per cent year-on-year, with sales volume from the manufacturing sector at RM148.4 billion, a 23.8 per cent jump versus a year ago. Wholesale and retail trade sector sales saw a strong 41 per cent rise year-on-year to RM130.7 billion in July 2022. Meanwhile, in commodities, the production of fresh fruit bunches increased 3.8 per cent to 8.87 million tonnes in August 2022, while natural rubber production declined by 21.8 per cent to 38,006 tonnes in July 2022. The Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index for August 2022 recorded a rise of 4.7 per cent and 6.8 per cent, respectively, against the same month a year ago. - Bernama
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GM Klang remains as top choice for traders, wholesalers (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
KLANG: GM Klang Wholesale City continues to be the top choice among local entrepreneurs and wholesalers, being an integrated wholesale centre that is able to boost their business growth despite the challenging economic environment. Oh Siew Wen, co-owner of ToyMate, a toyshop for children and infants, said the company has been operating in GM Klang for the past eight years and currently operates three stores at the wholesale centre. “We have just opened a third store, right in time for the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery, which can be seen as the number of visitors to GM Klang has also increased,” she told Bernama. She said during the pandemic, ToyMate had focused on online sales to ensure its business continuity, and once the store resumed its operations, the customers had returned to shop for games for their children. Meanwhile, Ayden Gold Klang director, Nur Alya Amni Nazaruddin said although the jewellery shop had only been operating at GM Klang for eight months, sales have been encouraging, partly due to GM Klang’s promotional efforts through various platforms. “This is our second gold store and we chose to open in GM Klang because of its strategic location,“ she said. She added that during the Movement Control Order (MCO), Ayden Gold made a lot of sales online through live broadcasts on Facebook, and the company decided to open another branch because it understood that its customers preferred to try on the accessories themselves. GM Klang currently has more than 1,000 tenants, and it also has a special exhibition area which is managed by GM International Exhibition (M) Sdn Bhd. Located on level five, Block B, the exhibition area provides the space for manufacturers from various countries to display their products and engage directly with local traders. Marketing director, T.C Oh said the exhibition space will enable local traders to get their supplies directly from the manufacturers, thus reducing the risk of being cheated by parties trying to take advantage of local entrepreneurs looking for products from a certain country. “Here, traders who are registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia can come to the exhibition area to view the products exhibited by the manufacturing companies and place their orders, and we will help them to manage it,” he added. — Bernama
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Malaysia’s official reserve assets at US$108.24b: BNM (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s official reserve assets amounted to US$108.24 billion (US$1=RM4.635) as at end-August 2022, in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (IMF SDDS) format. In an explanatory note released today, called “Detailed Disclosure of International Reserves as at end-August 2022”, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said other foreign currency assets stood at US$5.3 million. The central bank said the detailed breakdown of international reserves provides forward-looking information on the size, composition and usability of reserves and other foreign currency assets, and the expected and potential future inflows and outflows of foreign exchange of the Federal government and BNM over the next 12-month period. “For the next 12 months, the pre-determined short-term outflows of foreign currency loans, securities and deposits, which include, among others, scheduled repayment of external borrowings by the government and the maturity of foreign currency Bank Negara Interbank Bills, amounted to US$9.40 billion. “The short forward positions amounted to US$15.08 billion as at end-August, reflecting the management of ringgit liquidity in the money market,” it said. BNM said in line with the practice adopted since April 2006, the data excludes projected foreign currency inflows arising from interest income and the drawdown of project loans. Projected foreign currency inflows amount to US$2.04 billion in the next 12 months. BNM said the only contingent short-term net drain on foreign currency assets are government guarantees of foreign currency debt due within one year, amounting to US$399.5 million. “There are no foreign currency loans with embedded options, no undrawn, unconditional credit lines provided by or to other central banks, international organisations, banks and other financial institutions. “BNM also does not engage in foreign currency options vis-à-vis ringgit,” it added. Overall, the detailed breakdown of international reserves under the IMF SDDS format indicates that as at end-August 2022, Malaysia’s international reserves remain usable. - Bernama
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Micron warns of tougher times, plans to cut investments by 30% (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
BOISE, Idaho: Micron Technology, the first major chipmaker to sound an alarm about falling demand for personal computers (PC) and smartphones earlier this year, on Thursday (Sept 29) warned of even tougher times ahead and said it was cutting its investments. “We made significant reductions to capex and now expect fiscal 2023 capex to be around US$8 billion (RM37 billion), down more than 30% year over year,” chief executive Sanjay Mehrotra said on an earnings call. Still, Micron forecast strong revenue growth in the second half of fiscal 2023 as demand starts to recover early next year. Shares of the Boise, Idaho-based company, which have slumped about 45% so far this year, fell 1.5% in extended trading. Red-hot inflation, rising interest rates, geopolitical tensions and Covid-19 lockdowns in China have led businesses and consumers to rein in expenses, hitting the PC and smartphone market. Micron said it would reduce wafer fabrication equipment investments by 50% in the new fiscal year. Chip equipment maker Applied Materials Inc’s shares dropped 2% on the news in after-hours trading. “Net times are really bad now, but traditionally production cuts and capex reductions are a sign that memory markets are approaching trough fundamentals,” said Matt Bryson, analyst at Wedbush Securities. Citing a possible turnaround in a few quarters, Kinngai Chan, Summit Insights Group analyst upgraded Micron’s stock to a “buy” recommendation. Micron forecast first-quarter revenue of US$4.25 billion, plus or minus US$250 million, below Wall Street estimates of US$5.62 billion, according Refinitiv data. Adjusted revenue for the quarter ended Sept 1 was US$6.64 billion versus analysts’ expectations of US$6.68 billion. Profit outlooks were also grim at 4 cents per share, plus or minus 10 cents, falling below the consensus estimate of 64 cents per share. Fourth-quarter earnings of US$1.45 per share beat estimates of US$1.30. Micron called the current market challenges “unprecedented” but was confident its scale back would help it navigate the market. Phone brands including Apple Inc have driven down their production volume targets, which “compounded” the challenges for Micron, said Richard Barnett, chief marketing officer of Supplyframe, a supply chain solutions provider. “What has been surprising is the extent of the sharp decline,” said Sumit Sadana, Micron’s chief business officer, in an interview. Micron has further adjusted down its sales outlook for PC and smartphones by several percentage points in the last few months, Sadana said. PC sales in calendar 2022 will drop by a high teen percentage range from last year and smartphone sales will be down by a high single-digit percentage range, he said. – Reuters
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Maersk to slow pace of ships to save fuel as demand loses steam (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
COPENHAGEN: Maersk will begin to slow the pace of its container ships to lower fuel costs after sailing at full speed to keep up with demand during the pandemic, its chief executive said on Thursday (Sept 29). Copenhagen-based Maersk, a barometer for global trade, expects ocean freight volumes to be flat or lower this year, its CEO Soren Skou said in a Reuters Newsmaker interview, pointing to US consumers buying less and confidence dented by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As one of the world’s biggest shipping companies, Maersk benefited from soaring freight rates following a surge in consumer demand during the pandemic which led to jams at ports. Skou said freight rates have this year started falling though congestion persists in ports and global supply chains. “We still see areas where we have ships waiting outside ports, lack of labour, and strike action, in particular in Europe. So the situation is not normalised yet, but it’s clearly getting better,” Skou said. The company, which operates some 730 container ships, handles shipping and logistics for retailers and consumer companies such as Walmart, Nike and Unilever. “Our ships have been going all out on speed in order to catch up as many delays as possible,” Skou said. “But as things normalise, we should expect ships to come down to normal cruise speeds. This is really important for our fuel efficiency,” he said, referring to soaring fuel costs. He expects a “modest” pick-up in trade for the upcoming holidays this year amid concerns about the slowing global economy and consumer demand, although volumes headed into the Christmas season were lower than in a normal year. Freight rates remain well above pre-pandemic levels. Maersk has raised its 2022 profit guidance twice this year as they persisted longer than expected. – Reuters
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Singapore tightens property curbs to combat rising rates, demand (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
SINGAPORE: Singapore unveiled a package of measures for the property market, including tightening the maximum loan quantum limits for housing loans in response to a rise in interest rates, and new steps to moderate demand. The tightening of maximum loan quantum limits would ensure “prudent borrowing” and “avoid future difficulties” in servicing home loans, Singapore’s central bank, the Ministry of National Development and the Housing & Development Board said in a joint statement late on Thursday (Sept 29). The measures come into effect today (Sept 30). Many central banks across the world have increased interest rates recently to fight inflation. Singapore's monthly inflation rate has remained elevated in recent months, and economists widely expect the central bank to tighten policy at its scheduled review next month. “Market interest rates have risen significantly. They are likely to increase further in future, which will affect borrowing costs for home purchases,” the authorities said in Thursday’s statement. “We urge households to exercise prudence before taking up any new loans, and be sure of their debt-servicing ability before making long-term financial commitments.” Prices of private and public housing apartments in Singapore, where real estate is viewed as a safe-haven investment, have been rising as Covid-related construction delays created a shortage of new units. Singapore said it will also introduce measures to moderate its property market, including a 15-month wait-out period for current and ex-private residential property owners to buy a non-subsidised resale flat from the country’s Housing Board. The wait-out period will not apply to citizens over 55 who are moving from their private property to a four-room or smaller resale flat from the Housing Board. The Southeast Asian city-state's public housing system – which sells government-built apartment units directly to citizens on a 99-year lease - has led to over 80% of Singaporeans owning their homes, one of the world's highest rates. – Reuters
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Ringgit opens higher vs US dollar for second consecutive day (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened marginally higher versus the greenback for the second consecutive day amid tepid market sentiment, a dealer said. At 9 am, the local currency improved to 4.6350/6395 against the greenback from yesterday’s closing of 4.6380/6425. ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said that investors continued to flee from risky assets such as stocks and other currencies and sought refuge in the safe haven US dollar and United States (US) government bonds. He noted that the foreign exchange market’s performance was heavily influenced by the release of the US employment data and fast-rising inflation in Germany. “In the US, the lower-than-expected Initial Jobless Claims showed that the labour market is strong, as it is running at levels similar to those seen before the pandemic. “A solid job market leaves room for the US Federal Reserve for further financial tightening through interest rate hikes,” he said in a note. Diniz added that the inflation rate in Germany is at its highest level in more than 50 years, stoking concerns about the European Union’s economy. Meanwhile, the ringgit traded easier against a basket of major currencies. It fell vis-a-vis the euro to 4.5544/5588 from Thursday’s 4.4951/4995, slipped against the British pound to 5.1736/1786 from 5.0392/0441 yesterday and declined versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2358/2394 from 3.2228/2264. However, the local note inched up against the Japanese yen at 3.2034/2067 from 3.2050/2084 at yesterday’s closing. - Bernama
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Nike shares tumble as it reports lower earnings (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
NEW YORK: Nike reported lower quarterly profits on Thursday (Sept 29) on increased logistics spending and a hit from product markdowns, as it pivots in a fast-changing consumer market challenged by inflation. The sports giant topped analyst estimates for both earnings per share and revenues, but shares fell sharply as it faced questions over excess inventory in North America and signalled the strengthening dollar would dent results. Nike expects a US$4 billion (RM18.6 billion) hit from the stronger dollar in its current fiscal year, said chief financial officer Matthew Friend on a conference call over its fiscal 2023 first quarter results. Profit for the quarter ending Aug 31 was US$1.5 billion, down 22% but translating into earnings per share that exceeded expectations. Revenues rose 4% to US$12.7 billion. While sales once again fell in Greater China, a market hard hit by Covid-19 restrictions, Nike notched higher sales in its other three regions, including North America, where revenues jumped 13%. But the company is facing a much more promotional environment in its home market, where other retailers are offering deals as consumers respond to costlier gasoline, groceries and other household items. At the same time, Nike has seen a 65% jump in inventories in North America, an increase that reflects an uptick in early orders from retailers concerned about supply chain delays, as well as improving delivery times. Friend said Nike has continued to see strong consumer demand for choice products, but that it is working to offload a glut of older items that have generated less interest. “We’re focused on trying to clear through that late-season apparel inventory,” he told analysts on a conference call. Nike expects full-year gross margins to decline between 200 and 250 basis points, anticipating the greatest fall in the second quarter. Demand for Nike's brands including Jordan and Converse has slowed, analysts have said, as sneakerheads lose enthusiasm for discretionary products due to the cost-of-living crisis. Neil Saunders, managing director of consultancy GlobalData, said Nike’s results were “relatively strong”, but warned it was not immune to macro challenges. “At present, consumer sentiment and spending are holding up relatively well and we believe this bodes well for the upcoming quarter. However, as we move into 2023 and beyond the demand picture could soften,” he said. “Nike is in a better position than most brands, but it may find it harder to punch out such good numbers as it moves into the back end of its fiscal year.” Shares fell 10.1% to US$85.68 in after-hours trading. – AFP, Reuters Nike expects a US$4 billion hit from the stronger dollar in its current fiscal year. – Reuterspix
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Truss vows to get borrowing 'back on track' after market turmoil (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
LONDON: UK Prime Minister Liz Truss (pix) on Thursday (Sept 29) defended her tax-slashing plans but vowed to “get borrowing back on track”, after nearly a week of silence when markets tanked and the Bank of England (BoE) was forced into an emergency intervention. “We had to take urgent action to get our economy growing, get Britain moving, and also deal with inflation,” she said in an initial round of local BBC radio interviews. “And of course, that means taking controversial and difficult decisions, but I’m prepared to do that as prime minister,” she added, in her first comments to UK media since the crisis sparked by Friday’s “mini-budget”. “It’s important the United Kingdom’s on the front foot, that we are pulling all the levers we can to drive economic growth. That is what we are pushing ahead with.” In a series of further BBC regional television interviews, Truss – in power for less than a month – said some aspects of her growth plan “will take time” while insisting “we will get borrowing back on track”. The under-fire leader is facing severe pressure after the markets reacted to her government's contentious plans for extra borrowing to fund uncosted tax cuts by sending the pound to an all-time low against the dollar. UK markets remain highly volatile, with the central bank intervening on Wednesday to buy government bonds in order to prevent a “material risk” to stability. The Bank of England announced a two-week programme to buy long-term UK bonds, capped initially at £65 billion (RM326 billion), as UK pension funds scrambled to sell investments in order to remain solvent. After sterling hit its dollar low early Monday, the bank said it would “not hesitate to change interest rates by as much as needed” to curb high inflation. But it also signalled that it would wait until its next policy meeting on Nov 3 before fully assessing the impact of the government's contentious plans. Parliament's Treasury Committee on Thursday called on Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng directly to publish a fully costed economic forecast by the end of October to help the bank rather than on Nov 23 as planned. Opposition leaders have demanded that Truss cancel her Conservative party's annual conference starting on Sunday and recall parliament over the crisis. Markets are concerned that Britain cannot fund its huge spending commitments, having announced a massive fuel subsidy package alongside the tax cuts. Truss defended her fiscal policy, which includes a cut to the top rate of income tax, arguing the UK currently had its highest tax burden in 70 years. “We’ve reduced those taxes across the board. And of course people who are better off tend to pay more taxes,” she said. The pound rebounded somewhat during Thursday, rising 1% against the dollar and reaching US$1.09, reversing losses the previous day following the BoE's emergency move. But former BoE chief Mark Carney said the government had “undercut” financial institutions with its actions. “Unfortunately having a partial budget, in these circumstances – tough global economy, tough financial market position, working at cross-purposes with the bank – has led to quite dramatic moves in financial markets,” he told the BBC. But Truss insisted she was working “very closely” with the central bank. Truss and Kwarteng will meet the head of the country's independent fiscal watchdog today (Sept 30). They will meet Richard Hughes, chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), to discuss the budget forecast process and economic and fiscal developments since March, the UK's Treasury said on Thursday. – AFP, Reuters
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US stocks back in the red as Apple leads tech slump (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks suffered another ugly rout on Thursday (Sept 29) as US bond yields resumed their upward climb on a bruising day for shares of Apple and other tech giants. Thursday's economic reports included data showing a drop in weekly US jobless claims that point to a strong labor market likely to keep the Federal Reserve focused on its current policy of countering inflation. “Risky assets don’t stand a chance of a meaningful rally if the economy continues to show resilience while inflation continues to be significantly above the Fed’s funds rate,” said Oanda’s Edward Moya. The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 2.1% to 3,640.47, its lowest close since November 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.5% to 29,225.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 2.8% to 10,737.51. FHN Financial's Chris Low said investors were also unnerved by market volatility in Britain after Prime Minister Liz Truss doubled down on a controversial tax cut policy that has rattled markets. Investors fear a “contagion” beyond Britain in response to the policy proposal, Low said, noting the Truss plan contradicts the efforts of central banks to counter inflation and has been criticized by the International Monetary Fund. Shares of large technology companies were under pressure after a downgrade of Apple by Bank of America based on expectations of slower growth. Apple dropped nearly 5% and Facebook parent Meta lost 3.7%, while Tesla sank 6.8%. A sell-off in U.S. Treasuries resumed as Fed officials gave no indication the U.S. central bank would moderate or change its plans to aggressively raise interest rates to bring down high inflation. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said she does not see distress in U.S. financial markets that would alter the central bank's campaign to lower inflation through rate hikes that have taken the Fed funds rate to a range of 3.0% to 3.25%. Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a five-month low last week as the labor market remains resilient despite the Fed's aggressive interest rate hikes. “Good news is bad news in that today’s job number again reiterates that the Fed has a long way to go,“ said Phil Blancato, head of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management in New York. “The fear in the marketplace is that the Fed is going to push us into a very deep recession, which will cause an earnings recession, which is why the market is selling off.” The most traded stock in the S&P 500 was Tesla Inc, with $20.8 billion worth of shares exchanged during the session. The shares declined 6.8%. The yields on many Treasuries, which are considered virtually risk-free if held to maturity, now dwarf the S&P 500's dividend yield, which recently stood at about 1.8%, according to Refinitiv Datastream. Volume on U.S. exchanges was relatively heavy, with 11.6 billion shares traded, compared with an average of 11.4 billion shares over the previous 20 sessions. All 11 S&P 500 sector indexes declined, led lower by utilities, down 4.06%, followed by a 3.37% loss in consumer discretionary. Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones within the S&P 500 by an 11.6-to-1 ratio. Meta Platforms ended down 3.7% after Bloomberg reported the Facebook owner froze hiring and warned employees of more downsizing to come. CarMax Inc slumped nearly 25% after the used-car retailer missed expectations for second-quarter results, hurt by consumers cutting spending amid inflation, rising interest rates and higher car prices. General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co fell more than 5% each. Airline carriers and cruise operators fell on canceled or delayed trips after Hurricane Ian hit Florida's Gulf Coast with catastrophic force. American Airlines, United Airlines Holdings and Delta Air Lines each lost more than 2%. Cruise ship operators Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd dropped 5.3% and Carnival Corp fell 6.8%. The S&P 500 posted no new highs and 106 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 518 new lows. - Reuters
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Oil prices settle lower after hitting US$90 a barrel (Fri, 30 Sep 2022)
NEW YORK: Oil prices settled lower on Thursday (Sept 29) in choppy trading, rising above US$90 per barrel and then retreating as traders weighed a worsening economic outlook against potential Opec+ output cuts next week. Brent crude futures settled down 83 cents at US$88.49 per barrel, after rising as high as US$90.12 during the session. US crude futures for November settled 92 cents lower at US$81.23 a barrel. Leading members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as Opec+, have begun discussions about an oil output cut at their next meeting on Oct 5, three sources told Reuters. One Opec source told Reuters a cut was “likely”, while two other, sources said key members had spoken about the topic. Reuters reported this week that Russia is likely to propose that Opec+ reduce oil output by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd). “Right now, the oil market is teetering between the Fed-induced demand destruction and tight oil supplies,” said Ryan Dusek, a director in the Commodity Risk Advisory Group at Opportune LLP. “Amid so much uncertainty, seesaw trade may be common over the next week, unless we get more clarity from Opec+ sources on the likely size of any adjustment and what it means for previous missed quotas,” said Craig Erlam, senior markets analyst at Oanda. The market also eased as the threat of Hurricane Ian receded with US oil production expected to return in coming days after about 158,000 bpd was shut in the Gulf of Mexico as of Wednesday, according to federal data. In China, the world’s biggest crude oil importer, travel during the forthcoming week-long national holiday is set to hit its lowest level in years as Beijing’s zero-Covid rules keep people at home while economic woes curb spending. Crude benchmarks remain on pace to notch weekly gains after a four-week losing streak. Early this week they rebounded from nine-month lows, buoyed by a dip in the US dollar index and a larger than expected US fuel inventory drawdown. The dollar index dropped again on Thursday, easing off 20-year highs, indicating some more risk appetite from investors. Further support for oil prices could come from the United States announcing new sanctions against companies that facilitated Iranian oil sales. “I think traders have almost given up on a nuclear deal being agreed and this announcement from the US appears to be a make or break move,” said Erlam. – Reuters
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Strong inclination for fiscal prudence in Budget 2023: CGS-CIMB (Thu, 29 Sep 2022)
KUALA LUMPUR: There is a strong inclination for fiscal prudence in Budget 2023, which was scheduled to be tabled on Oct 7, against improved domestic economic conditions and the need to rebuild fiscal resilience, CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd said. However, the brokerage firm said the likely upcoming general election and the impending sense of a global slowdown could make a budget with a positive fiscal impulse. “Against these dual objectives, we believe the government could target a fiscal deficit of 4.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) next year versus 5.5% this year,” it said in a research note today. Meanwhile, it said the debt position is projected to remain stable with debt-to-GDP ratio being well within the statutory limit of 65%. “Overall, the big ‘IF’ with the proposed budget is whether we will see any programmes carried out in full considering the pending general election, which will supposedly be held post the budget announcement. “Major changes to the government post-election are the biggest downside risks to our projections,” it said. On goods and services tax (GST), CGS-CIMB said public discussion gained traction this year as the government has indicated its openness to the idea. It said although seen as a regressive tax as the negative impact is disproportionately larger for the lower income group, the government is in need of a more diversified source of revenue away from oil and gas, which accounted for almost a quarter of revenues over the past 10 years. “When the shift from sales and services tax (SST) to GST occurred in 2015, extra collections amounted to roughly RM20 billion (9.1% share of revenue), which allowed the government to raise spending on social protection to mitigate the impact to the lower income group. “Alternatively, there is an option to broaden the SST tax base to cover more items,” it said. CGS-CIMB said the government had earlier indicated that the current SST arrangement only covered 38% of the Consumer Price Index basket of goods as compared to 60% by the GST. It added that if inflation is a concern, the government could also consider adopting the GST at a more neutral rate of three to four per cent from six per cent earlier, allowing GST collection to be somewhat akin to the current SST and hopefully limit the impact on inflation. – Bernama
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