While not entirely surprising, the delayed timing for the transmission of power from Sarawak to Peninsula Malaysia is a slight negative for Tenaga who is depending on cheaper hydropower sources from Sarawak to diversify its generation mix away from gas and coal options.
The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) has attracted many investors with 20 direct negotiations held with potential investors so far. “As of now, SCORE has received RM30bn investments and many more are expected to come,” Sarawak Second Planning and Resource Management Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said. (Bernama)
SP Setia has bought a piece of land in Melbourne, Australia, for A$30m (RM90m). The company acquired the 4,340sq m land and plans to develop a high-density inner city integrated residential and commercial project on the land. "Barring unforeseen circumstances and subject to Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board approval, the proposed acquisition is expected to be completed in Oct-FY10," said SP Setia. The group targets to launch the project within 18-24 months of the date of acquisition.
- The land is strategically located in the central spine of Melbourne's central business district, between A'Beckett Street and Franklin Street and between Elizabeth and Queen Streets. "The site is a short walk to Melbourne's central shopping centre and railway station, and is close to the Queen Victoria Market. (BT)
Unilever says it will not cancel palm oil supply contracts with IOI Corp and that it is confident the planter will address concerns over logging forests raised by a green group. IOI earlier dismissed the report by Friends of the Earth that it cleared rainforests on Borneo island to expand, saying the allegations were inaccurate. "We believe IOI is a very responsible supplier and are confident that if there is truth in the current allegations, IOI will address them," Unilever head of sustainability Jan-Kees Vis said. Unilever, the world's top palm oil buyer, has so far blacklisted two Indonesian suppliers after verifying reports of the firms felling forests and clearing peatlands to expand - practices that release global warming emissions. (Reuters)
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will, through regional banking group CIMB Group Holdings, provide US$300m (RM984m) in long-term financing to small- to mid-sized businesses in Southeast Asia. The two parties formalised the arrangement, said to be the largest the Japanese government-run JBIC has ever provided to a commercial institution.
- The funds are meant to support firms in the region that have Japanese links. Loans will be channelled through CIMB Bank in Malaysia, CIMB Niaga in Indonesia and CIMB Thai. "This is particularly for small- to medium-sized enterprises which continue to face difficulty obtaining long-term financing," JBIC's resident executive officer for Asia and Oceania, Ryuichi Kaga, said.
- Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, CIMB group chief executive said that the largest loan size for a company is expected to be up to US$25m (RM82m). Nazir believes that two-thirds of the funds may flow into Indonesia given the current favourable rates and the country's strong growth outlook. (BT)
- The Malaysian-listed lender, which owns CIMB Thai Bank, has also been eyeing a listing in Thailand and this may happen by mid-June this year, Nazir said. "The process under the FRS139 accounting standard requires us to announce our first quarter earnings before the submission. That is why the timing is such," he added. CIMB Thai will remain listed even after the group's dual listing, its CEO Subhak Siwaraksa said.
- Nazir also noted that CIMB Group has a strong capital base and would be "comfortable" supplying capital to CIMB Thai and Indonesian banking unit CIMB Niaga if the need arose. Both units are also capable of funding their growth via bonds, he said.
- CIMB Niaga president director Arwin Rasyid said the Indonesian lender planned to sell sub-debt of US$300m by June to boost capital and pay debt. CIMB Niaga has US$100m (RM328m) of sub-debt maturing this year and US$200m (RM656m) next year. The bank is also considering a rights offer, Arwin was reported to have said.
- This follows hot on the heels of CIMB Thai's move last week in announcing plans to raise about 9bn baht (RM910m) via rights and bonds issues.
- Meanwhile, Arwin said that he expected CIMB Niaga's loans to expand in the range of 20% or higher this year on the back of strong economic growth in Indonesia. Loans grew 12% last year. CIMB Niaga is Indonesia's fifth largest lender with 5% market share of loans. (BT)
Market talk had it that Proton Holdings had firmed up some sort of collaboration deal with Volkswagen AG (VW) of Germany. Details were scarce but according to auto sources, the deal hinged around Proton undertaking contract assembly of certain VW models for the German auto giant, but this remains unsubstantiated. (Financial Daily)
Edaran Otomobil Nasional shareholders approved of its biggest shareholder DRBHICOM Bhd taking private the company. While many minority shareholders voted against the corporate move, EON's second biggest shareholder Kualapura S/B voted for the privatisation at RM1.55/share via a selective capital reduction (SCR). EON's privatisation is expected to be completed by the third week of August, said chairman Tan Sri Marzuki Mohd Noor. "The meeting ended well. More than 90% of the shareholders were present and voted in favour of the resolution," said Marzuki. (BT)
Malaysian builders are setting their eyes on expanding into the Middle Eastern markets as infrastructure spending in the area increases, a report from Bernama said. Local contractors are currently working on 51 projects worth US$10bn in the Middle East and are eyeing for more amid a projected upswing in construction demand. The majority of projects are in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Yemen. The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) noted the Middle East contributed the highest share (42%) among the 614 overseas projects worth US$24bn local contractors have worked on from 1997 to 2009. (Building Materials Week)
The new board of directors of Ho Hup Construction Co will meet with Malton today to renegotiate the JDA concerning the former’s only remaining landbank and its jewel, a 60- acre parcel in Bukit Jalil. Ho Hup will also try to negotiate for a construction job on the JDA as it was the company’s core business. (Financial Daily)
ExxonMobil is said to be ready to privatise its downstream asset Esso Malaysia. It is prepared to make a GO for the remaining 35% of Esso shares it does not own, without revealing the offer price. (Malaysian Reserve)
Two directors with links to the Shapadu Group, Rosthman Ibrahim and Mohamad Hasif Mohd Nahar, have been appointed to the board of beleaguered oil & gas outfit Vastalux. Mohamad Hasif has acquired an 11.6% stake in Vastalux, buying over the block from Mohamad Nor Abdul Rashid who ceased to be a substantial shareholder. Vastalux's Petronas license was suspended in Jan. (Edge Daily)
Lityan CEO Nor Badli Munawir is slated to helm Ramunia as Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) plans to play a more prominent role in the company. LTH has a 25.2% stake in Ramunia and owns 65% of Lityan. Ramunia has been without an MD since Mar 09. (Edge Daily)
KFC Holdings plans to invest RM40m to open 40 new KFC outlets in Malaysia, bringing the total number of outlets to 518. The new outlets will include some drive-through ones, combining KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, with each drive-through outlet costing RM5m. (Star)