FGV’s posts stellar earnings in 2017


Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) earnings jumped 356 per cent to RM143.73 million in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 (FY17) compared to RM31.46 million in the previous year.

The Star reported that the strong results were underpinned by its improved performance from the plantation as well as logistics and other (LO) sectors.

The world’s largest producer of crude palm oil (CPO) said its pre-tax profit increased by 60 per cent to RM417 million from RM260 million previously.

“The plantation sector registered a significant improvement with a profit of RM554mil from RM234mil in the previous year,” group president and chief executive officer Datuk Zakaria Arshad said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

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Alibaba signs deal to offer Disney shows on video platforms

alibaba disney signs deal

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s entertainment arm has signed a licensing agreement with Walt Disney Co in a deal that will provide the Chinese group’s Youku video streaming platform with the largest Disney animation collection in China.

Alibaba said in a press release on Monday that the multi-year licensing agreement signed between Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group and Disney subsidiary Buena Vista International Inc will see more than 1,000 Disney episodes released on Alibaba platforms which include set-top boxes.

The deal comes as Disney has faced obstacles in getting digital television content into China. In 2016, its DisneyLife online content venture, which it launched with Alibaba, was shut down by Chinese regulators less than five months after operations began. The reason for the shutdown was “The addition of Disney content greatly enriches the library of quality international content on Alibaba’s media and entertainment ecosystem, giving us a leading edge in foreign content distribution in China,” said Yang Weidong, president of Youku at Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group.

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Takata, injured drivers reach deal to end U.S. bankruptcy and sell viable operations


Takata Corp’s U.S. unit  has reached a settlement with its creditors, lawyers for victims injured by its deadly air bags and automakers that paves the way to end its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell its viable operations, according to court papers.

The Japanese company’s air bags can explode with too much force and have been linked to at least 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries, prompting the largest recall in automotive history and forcing Takata and its U.S. unit, TK Holdings Inc, into bankruptcy.

The U.S. unit was gearing up for a court fight starting on Tuesday to get approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy over the opposition of a committee for injured drivers and a separate committee of unsecured creditors.

But those two committees, automakers and Key Safety Systems, which is acquiring the viable business lines of Takata, reached a deal that resolves the biggest objections to the plan, according to court documents sighted  on Saturday.

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Malaysia steps up the gas on hydropower

Malaysia steps up the gas on hydropower

Speculation as to Malaysia’s future economic priorities have frequently focused on the country’s oil and gas reserves, palm oil production, high-tech manufacturing, real estate and, of course, tourism.

While its potential strengths in the hydropower sector have remained largely overlooked, two high-profile dam projects may be about to change all that, with Sarawak’s long-mooted Corridor of Renewable Energy now set to become a reality.

Last month, Sarawak Energy Berhad, the power generation company owned and operated by the state government of Sarawak, completed its purchase of the 2,400 mW Bakun Dam from Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance.

The company paid RM2.5 billion in cash, with a further RM6 billion in loan facilities, to take possession of one of Southeast Asia’s most significant – and controversial – power projects. Work on the dam was originally completed in 2010, but the site didn’t come fully online until July 2014.

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Slower export growth pace in 2018

export growth

Malaysia’s export growth pace in 2018 may throttle down on the back of the stronger ringgit and a slowing global electronics cycle, following a record of high performance last year, The Star reported.

In fact, the slowdown in the exports momentum was already seen in December 2017, as total exports edged up well below market expectations.

According to The Star, Malaysia’s export growth in 2018 could decelerate also due to the result of the technical high base effect, which was caused by the surge in the country’s exports last year.

Moving forward, despite the projected moderation in overall trade, analysts continue to be optimistic on the country’s exports performance.

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Two more JVs from YTL and Naza to oversee KL-Singapore HSR

Two more joint ventures (JVs) involving YTL Group and Naza Group have joined the fray to bid for the job of project delivery partner (PDP) to run the civil works portion of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project.

The Star reported that according to sources, the YTL group has teamed up with the SIPP group to bid for the job of PDP, while another JV is between Naza Group and China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC).

Concurrently, there are two JV companies comprising established names in the construction industry that are already bidding for the PDP job of the HSR.

The current JVs are Gamuda Bhd-Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) and a four-party consortium comprising IJM Corp Bhd-Sunway Construction Group Bhd (SunCon)-Jalinan Rejang Sdn Bhd-Maltimur Resources Sdn Bhd.

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Malaysian market is expected to remain volatile in 2018


Investment analysts and equity strategists do not think Bursa Malaysia is in calmer waters now on the back of when the local stock market regained some lost ground recently after the two-day fall.

According to Maybank Kim Eng head of research and global investment strategist Sadiq Currimbhoy, volatility could be the norm this year.

The Edge reported that Currimbhoy expects the bond yield is going to climb further due to concerns about inflation particularly in the US.

“I think that is going to create market volatility for equities… at least for the first part of the year,” he told the press on the sidelines of the Fifth World Capital Markets Symposium 2018 on Feb 7.
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Genting gives ex-Jewish leisure escapade Borscht Belt hotel in upstate New York high-end gambling makeover

empire resorts genting catskills casinoEmpire Resorts Inc., controlled by Lim Kok Thay, chairman of Genting Bhd. is gambling big: He is opening the Resorts World Catskills, a $1.2 billion casino, hotel and entertainment complex at the site of the old tourist destination for tens of thousands of New Yorkers, primarily Jews.

From the 1920s to the late 1960s, the New Yorkers seeking an from the clatter and chaos of city life would find solace in the area popularly known as the “Borscht Belt,” for the sunbathing, swimming, dining, dancing and more.

But by the 1970s, the vacationers who had packed the bungalows and hotels abandoned the Borscht Belt. The place fell in ruins.

But on Feb 8, the Catskill Mountains will get its own gambling den.

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HSR bidding down to two-horse race: where are the others?


hsr kuala lumpur

China and Japan are the only two countries left in the race to win the bidding for the massive high-speed rail transportation project that will link Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, said the klhighspeedrail.com portal.

However, the question we may ask is whether the other competitors seem to have simply accepted the fact that they are out of the race?

While most sources are pointing to Japan as the leading party in the bidding.

The Today Online portal in Singapore said Japan Rail, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and NEC Japan are the companies that are leading the bidding from Japan.

It also said it had been previously reported that Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation was also interested in partnering with China Railway Corporation to bid for a contract.

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Yellen stops short of saying markets are in a bubble

janet yellen

Outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said U.S. stocks and commercial real estate charges are on the high side but stopped short of saying the markets are in a bubble.

“Well, I don’t want to say too high. But I do want to say high,” Yellen said on CBS’s “Sunday Morning” in an interview recorded Friday as she prepared to leave the central bank. “Price-earnings ratios are near the high end of their historical ranges.”

Commercial real estate prices are now “quite high relative to rents,” Yellen said. “Now, is that a bubble or is it too high? And there it’s very hard to tell. But it is a source of some concern that asset valuations are so high.”

Yellen, 71, stepped down as Fed leader on Saturday after one term after President Donald Trump opted to replace her with Republican Jerome Powell, who’s been a Fed governor since 2012.

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