Summary of business news June 7 to 13 – The Star Online

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EPF, Moody’s outlook on economy, KL Kepong and IJM Plantations, Creador and Tealive among top read stories

Economy

Q1 high for EPF

  • The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) posted its highest quarterly gross investment income of RM19.29bil for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 amid the uncertainties from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The stellar performance came mainly from equities, which accounted for RM14.28bil or 74% of the gross investment income while fixed income instruments contributed a stable income of RM3.92bil.
  • After the cost write-down on listed equities, which is a prudent measure practised by the EPF to ensure that its long-term investment portfolio remains healthy, the fund recorded a net investment income of RM19.24bil.

Malaysia’s fundamentals still solid

  • Moody’s Investors Service said the country has a diversified, competitive and moderately large economy, ample natural resources and strong medium-term growth prospects.
  • The country enjoys the presence of strong institutional investors such as the Employers Provident Fund, the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP), large insurance companies and asset management companies, according to Mohd Afzanizam.
  • MIDF Research economist Abdul Mui’zz Morhalim said Malaysia’s growth fundamentals would remain intact, especially after the current health crisis is brought under control.

Zafrul: All payments for Govt services to be made on cashless basis by 2022

  • The Ministry of Finance (MoF), under the recently launched MyDigital, will ensure that payments for all government services will be made on cashless basis by 2022, its Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said.
  • He said this will lead to higher transactional security, better coordination, enhanced communication on anti-corruption initiatives, and greater ease of sharing information.
  • Tengku Zafrul said the government has worked continuously to ensure good governance, more efficient and effective public service delivery, as well as curbing leakages, fraud and corruption.

Corporate news

Austria’s AT&S picks Malaysia for PCB, IC plant, total investment RM8.5b

  • Austria-headquartered AT&S, which manufactures high-end printed circuit boards and substrates for semiconductors will set up a production plant in Malaysia, its first in Southeast Asia.
  • AT&S’ new facility in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah will produce high-end PCBs and IC substrates and it will involves a proposed total investment of RM8.5bil (EUR1.7bil) and will create 5, 000 high-tech and high impact jobs.
  • Azmin also said this project is among the investments attracted by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) under the National Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan’s (PENJANA) investment scheme, launched on June 5, 2020.

Why IJM is hiving off its plantation arm

  • Kuala Lumpur Kepong made an official offer to buy IJM Corp’s 56.2% stake in IJM Plantations for RM3.10 apiece or a total of RM1.53bil.
  • As far back as 2018, reports had already surfaced that IJMP had become a takeover target of the big boys of the plantation industry, such as IOI Corp Bhd, Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd and KLK.
  • However, the weakness in crude palm oil (CPO) prices and IJMP’s young tree profile of 6.8 years at that time had made it difficult for IJM Corp to get a desirable valuation, some reports had suggested.

PE fund Creador takes up 30% stake in Loob Holdings

  • Private equity fund Creador is taking a 30% stake in Loob Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is the owner of top regional lifestyle tea brand Tealive, for an undisclosed amount due to its impressive revenue and net income.
  • Both companies said they were confident the strategic partnership would take Loob to the next level, especially given Creador’s track record in aiding its investee companies with regional growth.
  • Creador founder and CEO Brahmal Vasudevan said the firm chose Loob to be its first investment in the fast-growing food and beverage sector as Tealive has grown to be the regional leader with over 650 stores in less than five years.

Automotive

Toyota Malaysia suspends operations during lockdown

  • UMW Toyota Motor has temporarily suspended its sales and manufacturing operations since the nationwide enforcement of the Full Movement Control Order on June 1.
  • UMW Toyota Motor president Ravindran Kurusamy said Toyota and Lexus stand in solidarity with the nation to fight against the pandemic by temporarily shutting down its non-essential services.
  • UMW Toyota Motor deputy chairman Akio Takeyama said the company is grateful to the government for safeguarding Malaysians from the threat of the pandemic and introducing financial and industrial policies to ensure economic growth.

Telco

Maxis to continue delivering best, uninterrupted connectivity during MCO

  • Maxis Bhd remains committed to deliver the best, uninterrupted connectivity for customers throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) periods.
  • It said with the recent implementation of the MCO 3.0, it ensured its services remain accessible to all customers via its physical and online stores, and that its networks are uninterrupted for continued connectivity.
  • Maxis is determined to support the nation and continue to play its role in prioritising the needs of our employees and customers so that they can go about their daily lives and work uninterrupted and safely.

Property

Merdeka 118 tower safely tops out

  • PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd (PMVSB) marked a major milestone in the construction of its highly-anticipated Merdeka 118 development.
  • The topping out signifies the completion of the final roof slab, safely reaching its peak at Level 118, becoming the tallest building in Malaysia, said PMVSB, which is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd.
  • “Upon completion in 2022, the tower will reach its full height of at least 644 metres and is set to be the tallest building in Southeast Asia, ” it said in a statement.

Aviation

<a href="http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2021/06/09/AirAsias-teleport-expands-capacity-with-freighter-converted-planes» target=»_blank»>AirAsia’s Teleport expands capacity with freighter, converted planes

  • AirAsia Digital’s logistic venture, Teleport, is expanding its capacity by operating its first air freighter, a Boeing 737-800F, and the conversion of two AirAsia’s Airbus A320 passenger aircraft with seats removed for increased capacity.
  • AirAsia said the freighter would begin operations across Asia beginning from the third quarter of 2021 from the Teleport hub in Bangkok.
  • Teleport chief operating officer Adrian Loretz said the expansion is part of its strategy to build the capacity and connectivity to offer 24 hours door-to-door delivery across Southeast Asia.

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