Tuesday, October 12, 2010

20101012 1253 Breaking News.

Excessive lending by China's leading banks in September prompted the central bank to increase their required reserve ratio (RRR), an official newspaper said on Tuesday.China Securities Journal confirmed a Reuters report on Monday that six banks had been hit with a 50 basis point increase in their reserve requirements, the fourth hike this year. China's four biggest state-owned banks and the country's nine joint-stock lenders extended more than 300 billion yuan ($45 billion) in combined new loans in September, the paper reported.

20101012 1239 Local & Global Market News.

Malaysia: August Industrial Production Index rose 4%
Malaysia’s manufacturing sector further signaled moderating external demand growth as y-o-y growth on the Industrial Production Index (IPI) remains at the low single-digit. August IPI was up 4% y-o-y to 107.4, compared with July’s 3.4% rise. The IPI grew mainly due to increases in the manufacturing and electricity indices. YTD, the IPI has increased 9.1% y-o-y. Economists, however, do not expect this to derail the country’s economic growth significantly. (Financial Daily)

China: Trade surplus poised to cap biggest quarter since crisis.
China may tomorrow report a USD17.8bn trade surplus for September that would cap the biggest quarterly excess since the financial crisis in 2008, adding fuel to US calls for import protection. The median estimate of 24 compares with an August surplus of USD20bn. That would take the third-quarter total to USD66.5bn, the largest since the fourth quarter of 2008. (Bloomberg)

EU: French August industrial output unexpectedly stalls
French industrial production unexpectedly stalled in August, suggesting a recovery in the euro region’s secondlargest economy is losing momentum. The increase in output in July was revised lower to 0.8% from the 0.9% originally reported. Economists had forecast a 0.3% increase in August. Output climbed 3.2% from a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

EU: Italian industrial output rises most in seven months
Italian industrial production rose the most in seven months in August as gains in exports more than offset weak domestic demand. Output climbed 1.6% from July, when it increased a revised 0.3%. Economists had forecast a 0.1% in August. Output jumped 9.5% from a year earlier. The Finance Ministry said on 29 September that gross domestic product will expand 1.2% in 2010, up from 1% predicted on May 6. (Bloomberg)

Australia: Home-loan approvals climbed 1% in August
Australian home-loan approvals climbed in August for a second straight month, adding to the case for the central bank to resume raising interest rates. The number of loans granted to build or buy houses and apartments matched economists’ estimates and gained 1% to 47,540 from a month earlier, when they rose a revised 1.8%. A rebound in demand for home loans, which tumbled for seven straight months through April as the central bank embarked on the most aggressive round of interest-rate increases by a Group of 20 members, may bolster economic growth in the second half of the year. (Bloomberg)

US: Economists cut US growth forecast through 2011
The US economy will expand less than previously estimated as a lack of jobs restrains consumer spending through 2011. GDP will increase 2.6% this year and next, according to the median of 46 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics. A May poll projected growth of 3.2% for both years. Economists also cut estimates for personal spending, employment and consumer prices. Consumer spending adjusted for inflation will expand 1.5% in 2010 and 2.3% in 2011, according to the NABE survey. Median projections in May for this year and next were 2.6% and 2.8%, respectively. (Bloomberg)

20101012 1238 Malaysia Corporate News.

GBP300m capex for 5 Lotus models
Explaining the economics of the Lotus project yesterday, Proton’s managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Tahir said it would cost Proton over GBP300m (RM1.48bn) to develop the five new models which will be scheduled for production between 2013 – 2015. The project would be feasible with fewer than 10,000 units in annual production volume. With the right formula management guided that it could generate revenue of RM3.5- 4.5bn. In terms of financing for the Lotus project, Syed Zainal said the over GBP300m capex would be 80% funded by borrowings from banks. (FinancialDaily)

5 bids to buy over UEM
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday revealed that there were in fact five proposals made to buy over the government's stake in UEM Group. The market had hitherto known of only two: one submitted by MMC Corp and the other by privately-owned Asas Serba SB, which proposed several months ago to buy over UEM listed unit PLUS Expressways. Najib, who made the disclosure in Putrajaya, said the government was studying all five proposals. The Prime Minister did not elaborate on the proposals, but hinted that he would mention something about them in his budget speech on Friday. (BT)

YTL wireless hybrid TV launch next year
YTL Communications will roll out a wireless hybrid television service that will bring together traditional TV, ondemand movies and Internet content to homes and mobile devices by the end of next year. This initiative is made possible through the signing of a License and Services Agreement with next-generation TV innovator Sezmi Corp in Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. Sezmi, a four-year-old Silicon Valley start-up based in California, is now the leading global provider of complete hybrid television solutions. The agreement gives YTL Comms the rights to deploy the hybrid TV service not only in Malaysia, but also throughout the Asia Pacific region - an arrangement which effectively turns Malaysia into an operational hub for the service in the region. (BT)

Gek Seng surfaces in MCM Technologies
British Virgin Islands-based Gek Seng Assets Ltd emerged as a substantial shareholder in ACE market MCM Technologies after the offshore firm acquired 18.09m shares or 5.66% last Thursday. The share acquisition has raised quite a few eyebrows as MCM is in the midst of being privatized by its controlling shareholder, Tan Sri Azman Hashim of the AmCorp Group which made an offer of 13 sen a share for the 37.5% he does not own. At press time, it is not know who the owner of Gek Seng and the rational behind the purchase. (FinancialDaily)

AirAsia X Seeks To Add New Routes to Jeddah And Sydney
Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X is looking at a possibility of adding new routes to Jeddah and Sydney following demand from consumers, chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said Monday. These routes are popular and it is costing the country a lot of money right now because consumers now do not have enough choices for places like Istanbul and Osaka, he said. "There is a lot of places where we're losing out in terms of the opportunity cost and people have to pay more than RM3,000 to go to Jeddah or Sydney," he told reporters. (Bernama)

PJD to launch projects worth RM2b next year
PJ Development Holdings is set to unveil three new projects worth over RM2bn next year as it is bullish that the market will perform better on pent-up demand for high-end properties. Managing director Wong Ah Chiew said he is confident that the new projects, located in hot spots like Sri Hartamas, Cheras and Kuantan, Pahang, will do well. (BT)

20101012 1003 Global Market News.

OIL: Crude falls as Saudis signal steady supplies
SINGAPORE, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Oil fell for a second day on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia signalled OPEC would maintain current production levels at the group's meeting later this week, letting the market focus on a stronger dollar.
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he was happy with today's oil market as he arrived in Vienna on Monday for the first meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in seven months, to be held on Thursday.

COMMODITY MARKETS: Corn rallies to 2-year high; copper, gold rise too
NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures surged on Monday, hitting two-year peaks and leading other agricultural commodities higher on the second session of strong gains after the U.S. government slashed its crop outlook, sparking worries of higher prices for food and biofuels.
"For sure, with higher feed grain prices there is potential for upward price pressure particularly on pork, poultry and beef," said Luke Mathews, commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

GLOBAL MARKETS: World stocks up on Fed easing bets, dlr bounces
NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - World stocks drifted slightly higher on Monday as investors bet on further asset buying by the U.S. Federal Reserve and a continuation of global currency flows toward emerging markets.
"It is increasingly being seen as the trade for all seasons," said David Shairp, global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Saudi's oil minister happy with oil market
VIENNA, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he was happy with today's oil market, comfortable with economic growth and he stood by earlier comment the ideal price was between $70-$80 a barrel.
The remarks reinforce an already widely-held view Thursday's OPEC meeting in Vienna will leave the group's output policy unchanged.  

US payrolls fall and investors bet on Fed move soon
WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy shed jobs for a fourth straight month in September, hit by government layoffs and slower private hiring, hardening expectations of more stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
The dollar tumbled to a 15-year low against the yen as investors concluded that Friday's weak jobs data meant the U.S. central bank at its Nov. 2-3 meeting was almost certain to pump hundreds of billions of new dollars into the economy.

China Q3 GDP to rise about 9.5 pct y/y -report
BEIJING, Oct 11 (Reuters) - China's gross domestic product is estimated to have risen about 9.5 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace of growth in a year, state media said on Monday.
The consumer price index in the year to September probably rose about 3.5 percent, the official China Securities Journal said in an editorial. It described the numbers as preliminary estimates and did not cite any sources.

PRECIOUS-Gold firm, silver at 30-yr high on stimulus bet
SINGAPORE, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Spot silver reached a new 30-year high and gold was firm on Monday, after disappointing U.S. payrolls data underpinned hopes of more stimulus from the Federal Reserve and spurred interest in precious metals.
The U.S. economy shed jobs for a fourth straight month in September, hit by government layoffs and slower private hiring.

FOREX-Dollar slips on Fed easing view, but risks a rebound
HONG KONG, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar slipped on Monday on expectations the Federal Reserve will have to print money to support the economy and discord in international currency policies, though risks of a short-term bounce grew.
The dollar fell to a 15-year low of 81.40 yen but later gained back ground. But the prospect remained that Japan could come into the market to cap the yen's rise, though some dollar bids in thin trading conditions put a floor under the pair for now.

Stocks up, dollar down; emerging flows intact
LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - World stocks rose and the dollar slipped as investors bet on further asset buying by the U.S. Federal Reserve and a continuation of global currency flows towards emerging markets.
"It is increasingly being seen as the trade for all seasons," said David Shairp, global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

20101012 1002 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

China to resume soyoil imports from Argentina -traders
BEIJING, Oct 12 (Reuters) - China will resume soyoil imports from Argentina, the world's largest supplier, after a six-month de facto ban, traders told Reuters on Tuesday.
The lifting of the ban was seen by traders as a political gesture and large imports may not come in immediately because of unattractive prices and less supplies available from the South American supplier.

Soy product futures ended mixed, with soymeal climbing versus soyoil on spreads. Soymeal was buoyed by the need to price meal higher with corn, as tighter feed supplies as a result of reduced U.S. inventories make other feed grains like soymeal increase in value, analysts said. Soyoil futures were pressured by profit taking pressure after prices soared to 2-year highs on strong demand outlooks, analysts said. December soyoil settled 0.27 cents or 0.6% lower at 46.35 cents per pound. December soymeal ended $10.90 or 3.4% higher at $327.10 per short ton. (Source: CME)

Brazil Farmers Plant 3% Of Soy Area As Of October 8 - Celeres (Source: CME)
Brazil's farmers have planted only 3% of the expected total soy area as of Oct. 8 due to a lack of rain in many regions, local agricultural consultancy Celeres said. The area planted with soybeans in Brazil -- the world's No.2 soy producer after the U.S. -- compared to 7% at the same time last year and 1% the week before, Celeres said in a weekly report. Although farmers in Mato Grosso are typically the first to begin planting in Brazil, they have been forced this season to postpone seeding in many regions due the La Nina weather phenomena which caused drier than usual weather.
Farmers in Mato Grosso -- the country's No.1 soy growing state -- have therefore planted only 3% of their soy area compared to 12% a year ago, Celeres said. Farmers in Parana, Brazil's No. 2 soy producing state, have seen more favourable rainfall. Farmers had planted 9% of the Parana soy area as of Oct.8 versus 10% a year ago, Celeres said. Celeres said that Brazil's soybean sales remained slow as of Oct. 8 with only 20% of the new 2010-11 crop sold compared to 19% the week before.

U.S. corn jumps by daily limit to hit 2-year high
SINGAPORE, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Chicago corn jumped 8.5 percent to its highest in more than two years, marking its sharpest gain since 1973, after the U.S. government forecast supplies in the world's top exporter to shrink to their lowest in 14 years.
"Any period of time where you get two consecutive limit-up days, it's likely to spur a little bit of panic buying as some people try to get in before they perceive it being a little too late," said Luke Matthews, commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Indonesia corn imports seen tripling in 2010
JAKARTA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Indonesian corn imports are expected to triple to as much as 1.5 million tonnes this year as unseasonally long monsoon rains have depressed output, an official said.
"We're experiencing difficulties to buy local corn because the supplies are dwindling," said Anton J. Supit, head of the national corn council, adding that feed manufacturers may seek cheaper supplies from South America.

At multi-yr highs as supply concerns grow after USDA
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Global vegetable oil prices hit multi-year highs as Asian traders scrambled for cover over a bullish crop forecast by the U.S. government and the faltering dollar.
"I believe the prices will go above 9,000 yuan per tonne on speculative buying," said an oil analyst with a Shanghai-based brokerage.

Argentine farmers start 2010/11 soy seeding - gov't
BUENOS AIRES, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Argentine farmers began to plant soy this week for the 2010/11 season, the Agriculture Ministry said in its latest weekly report on Friday.
Argentina is the No. 3 global exporter of soybeans and the top supplier of soymeal and soyoil.