Monday, February 28, 2011

20110228 1837 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3472, changed : -43 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller taking profit.
Support : 3470, 3450, 3420, 3350 level.
Resistance : 3500, 3550, 3620 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded loss with decreasing volume transacted as export data for the month of Feb 2011 released recorded decline while soy oil traded lower after last Friday closed recovered significant higher.
Daily chart formed wide range down bar candle with small upper and lower shadow closed near lower Bollinger band level after market opened gap up tested higher resistance level and dive lower tested lower support level and recover upward slightly as seller profit taking still taking place.
Reading wise suggesting a correction range bound downside biased market development testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110228 1747 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1491 changed : -1.5 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : getting lower, seller taking exposure.
Support : 1480, 1470, 1458, 1445 level.
Resistance : 1485, 1500, 1515 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded small loss with lower volume changed hand while regional market closed mostly higher where else Mar 2011 contract ended 1 tick lower doing nearly 9 points discount compare to cash market .
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle with long lower shadow after market opened gap down tested lower level and recovered to close near lower Bollinger band level.
Reading wise suggesting a downside biased movement market development potentially testing lower lower support level else market will be trading correction range bound.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110228 1213 Global Economic Related News.

China: Lowers growth target as Wen calls for sustainability
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the nation set a lower growth target for the period from 2011 through 2015 than in previous five years as part of efforts to create a more sustainable economy. The government set an economic growth target of 7% for the so called 12th five-year plan period, which covers 2011 through 2015, Wen announced. (Bloomberg)

India: Predicts 9.25% growth next year, signals lower budget gap
India’s finance ministry said economic growth may accelerate to as much as 9.25% in the next financial year, the fastest pace since 2008, and signaled a cut in the budget deficit to help slow inflation. Mukherjee is due to unveil the budget on 28 Feb for the year starting 1 April. (Bloomberg)

US: Economy grew 2.8% in fourth quarter, revised From 3.2%
The US economy grew at a 2.8% annual rate in the fourth quarter, slower than previously calculated and less than forecast as state and local governments made deeper cuts in spending. The revised increase in gross domestic product compares with a 3.2% estimate issued last month and a 2.6% gain in the third quarter, figures from the Commerce Department showed. The economy, excluding inventories, grew at a 6.7% pace, the most since 1998. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer sentiment climbs to three-year high
Confidence among US consumers increased in February to the highest level in three years as a drop in unemployment helped overcome concern over rising food and fuel costs. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment climbed to 77.5, exceeding the median forecast of 74.2 in January, a report showed. The Commerce Department said the economy grew less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as state and local governments cut back on spending. (Bloomberg)

US: Payrolls probably accelerated in February
Payroll gains in the US probably accelerated in February, buoyed by more seasonable temperatures and a pickup in manufacturing, economists said before reports this week. Employment increased by 190,000 workers this month, the most since May 2010, after a 36,000 gain in January, when winter storms depressed the count, according to the median forecast of 59 economists surveyed ahead of Labor Department data on 4 March. The report may also show the jobless rate increased to 9.1% from 9%. (Bloomberg)

U.K: February consumer confidence stayed close to the lowest since March 2009, a report by GfK NOP Ltd. showed. The index of sentiment rose to minus 28 from minus 29 January, when it plunged the most since 1994. Gauges of consumers perception of the economy in the past 12 months and over the next year both declined. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Economy shrank more than initially estimated in 4Q10. GDP fell 0.6% QoQ from the previous three months, compared with an initial estimate for a 0.5% QoQ drop, the Office for National Statistics said in London. The statistics office said its "best estimate" for the impact of cold weather on the data remains 0.5% QoQ. The slump was led by construction and investment. (Source: Bloomberg)

S. Korea: Current account surplus narrowed to an 11-month low in January as imports surged amid an economic recovery and rising energy demand. The surplus was USD 229m, compared with USD 2.11b in December. The current account is the broadest measure of trade, tracking goods, services and investment income. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: January consumer price drop eases as oil, food costs gain. Consumer prices excluding fresh food declined 0.2% YoY. Price drops eased for a fourth consecutive month. (Source: Bloomberg)

Singapore: Industrial production growth unexpectedly accelerated in January as electronics manufacturers increased output, offsetting a decline in pharmaceuticals. Manufacturing, which accounts for about a quarter of the economy, climbed 10.5% YoY in January after a 9% YoY increase in December, the Economic Development Board said in a statement. (Source: Bloomberg)

Vietnam: Trade deficit widened in February from the previous month even as the government strives to curb the gap with a weaker currency that may boost inflation. The deficit totaled USD 950m, up from a revised USD 877m in January, according to preliminary figures released. The deficit for the first two months of the year is USD 1.83b, the report said. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110228 1212 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

AFG: Langkah Bahagia looking to exit AFG. Langkah Bahagia Sdn Bhd, an investment vehicle believed to be linked to former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, is looking at selling its stake in Alliance Financial Group Bhd (AFG). Langkah Bahagia owns 14.8% in AFG via Vertical Theme Sdn Bhd. Langkah Bahagia is said to be offering to dispose of the stake to parties related to Temasek Holdings Ltd, which indirectly holds 49% in Vertical Theme. (Source: The Edge Financial Weekly)

Bina Puri: Eyes RM250m revenue from property, secures RM1.1b projects in Brunei. Bina Puri Holdings Bhd is projecting a total of RM250m sales revenue from its property division or 20% of the group's overall ongoing projects this year. The contribution marked the construction group's effort to shift away from its core business activities to property development. Separately, Bina Puri has secured a total of RM1.1b worth of projects in Brunei. The company had an unbilled portion totalling RM265m until 2013 and plans to secure another RM600m worth of projects in the Sultanate this year. (Source: The Star)

Uzma: Poised to clinch Petronas contract. Uzma Bhd, which specializes in upstream oil engineering works, stands a good chance of getting a slice of the oil recovery enhancement contracts in domestic brown field and idle oil fields as its probably the only local firm that has the technology and equipment to conduct EOR in the oil fields. The total value of the contracts could be worth up to RM500m. (Source: The Edge Financial Weekly) 

RHB in final leg of acquisition
The RHB banking group, the country's fourth largest by assets, expects to conclude its purchase of Indonesian lender Bank Mestika Dharma in April this year after several delays, its chief said. The group's listed entity, RHB Capital Bhd, had first announced plans to buy 80% of Bank Mestika for some RM1.16 bn in October 2009. Those plans, however, ran into delays because of queries from the Indonesian central bank relating to "structure and disclosure", group chief executive officer Datuk Tajuddin Atan said as early as May last year. Tajuddin told Business Times last week that some changes in structure had since been made, with RHB Bank – RHB Capital's commercial bank - now being proposed as the entity to undertake the purchase. This new proposal, which was submitted on 20 Dec last year, got the green light from Bank Negara Malaysia on 31 Jan this year. It is currently pending approval from Bank Indonesia. (BT)

Hunza ready to launch RM800m property projects
Hunza Properties will launch property worth RM800m in gross development value (GDV) over the next 18 months as its Gurney Paragon mixed development project in Penang nears completion. The three projects identified for launch are the Alila II high-rise residences at Tanjung Bungah and the Bandar Putra Bertam residential project in Penang with a combined GDV of RM500m, and a high-rise residential project in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, with a GDV of RM300m. (Malaysian Reserve)

DRB-Hicom inks new concession for Puspakom
DRB-Hicom Bhd’s wholly-owned unit Puspakon SB has signed a new 15-year concession agreement with the government to continue carrying out vehicle inspection. Under the latest concession, Puspakom will pay a “predetermined concession fee” at an undisclosed rate to the government beginning September 2009 to August 2024 and will be allowed to collect fees for each inspection, according to a filing by DRB-Hicom to Bursa Malaysia last Friday. “The concession allows Puspakom to continue motor vehicles inspection and testing activities which will further strengthen the services sector of DRB-Hicom,” the company said in the filing. (Malaysian Reserve)

Nissan may raise car prices to counter strong yen
Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd (ETCM), the sole distributor and assembler of Nissan vehicles in Malaysia, is considering raising prices of its vehicles to offset the yen’s appreciation against the ringgit. Its executive director Datuk Dr Ang Bon Beng said, however, the company would try to avoid raising prices and instead look to reduce other costs to offset the impact of the strong yen on its bottomline. “We are trying to maintain current car prices, even though the prevailing strong yen hurts us,” he told SunBiz at ETCM’s Chinese New Year media lunch last week. The ringgit’s rate against 100 yen was 3.7282/7337 last Friday. Meanwhile, Ang expects double-digit growth in net profit and car sales this year, as ETCM launches seven new completely knocked-down (CKD) and completely built-up (CBU) models as well as introduce cosmetic changes to its existing model line-up. He said the new models include single- and twin-cab trucks and the Nissan Livina X-Gear 1.6-litre engine passenger car. (Sun2Surf)

AirAsia may raise RM1.2bn in Thai, Indonesian units IPOs
AirAsia Bhd, South-East Asia’s biggest budget carrier, may raise as much as USD400m (RM1.2bn) from separate listings of its Indonesian and units to help pay for the expansion. The company expects to raise USD150m to USD200m in each offering, both of which will likely to happen in the fourth-quarter, chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandez said in a Bloomberg TV interview last Friday. Bankers for the Indonesian share sale may be announced soon, he said. The airline jumped the most in three months in Kuala Lumpur trading after last Thursday reporting a ninefold jump in profit and saying it may begin paying dividends. The company, based in Selangor, Malaysia, plans to sell shares in overseas units as it seeks new planes, possibly including 175 of Airbus SAS’s planned A320neo. (Malaysian Reserve)

Tajuddin Atan to be appointed CEO Of Bursa Malaysia
Bursa Malaysia has appointed Datuk Tajuddin Atan as its CEO, effective 1 April, 2011. He will take over from Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff who will remain in office until 31 March, 2011. He is currently the MD of RHB Bank and Group MD of RHB Capital since May 2009 and July 2009, respectively. (Bernama)

20110228 0938 Global Market Related News.

Oil rises above $114 as supply woes persist after Libya cuts
SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Brent crude rose more than $2 a barrel to a high of $114.50 as concern persisted about security of supply from the Middle East and North Africa even after top exporter Saudi Arabia boosted supply to meet the shortfall caused by a cut in exports from Libya.
"There is the continued threat that conflicts will spread in the region that produces a large amount of oil in the world," said Ben Westmore, a commodities economist at the National Australia Bank. 

Wheat up half pct on strong consumer demand, soy dips
SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose around half a percent, extending gains as growing demand from top buyers in the Middle East continued to underpin the market amid concerns over supplies this year.
"The downside on wheat is going to be limited as governments across the world are going to ensure that there are adequate stocks, give the unrest," said Abah Ofon, an agricultural commodities analyst at Standard Chartered Bank.

Sime eyes $2.5 bln oil palm expansion deal in Cameroon-FT
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Sime Darby  is considering a $2.5 billion plantation expansion deal in Cameroon, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, signalling the global grab for land is well underway as food prices soar.
The Financial Times quoted Sime Darby Chief Executive Mohd Bakke Salleh as saying the project in the West African state will involve 300,000 hectares (741,300 acres) of oil palm estates although discussions have so far led to "nothing conclusive."

Argentine crops lifted by scattered showers-gov't
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Scattered showers in Argentine soy-growing regions further improved the condition of oilseed crops hit by severe dryness earlier this year, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday in its weekly report.
Argentina is the world's No.3 exporter of soybeans and the top supplier of soyoil and meal, and dryness caused by the La Nina weather phenomena earlier this year led analysts to lower their forecasts for soy output in the South American country.

Gold headed for best month since August on Libya unrest
SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Spot gold inched up on Monday, heading for its best month since last August, boosted by fears over the deteriorating situation in Libya and spreading violence in the region, supported by rising oil prices.
"The sentiment is still generally bullish," said a Singapore-based dealer, "If oil keeps going up, people will continue to bet on gold, as a hedge against inflation and against risks caused by the unrest in the Middle East."

Shares dip; emerging Asia outflows may persist
SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Asian shares on Monday slipped back toward a three-month low hit last week, with emerging Asian equities seen likely to keep lagging developed markets as investors fret about risks from inflation.
"There are strong concerns about inflation based on excessive liquidity and emerging markets have been hurt more by this," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management in Tokyo.

OIL: Crude jumps nearly $2 towards $100 on Libya
TOKYO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures jumped by nearly $2 towards $100 a barrel on Monday as the worsening situation in Libya fed worries that unrest in the Middle East would spread and that oil flows in the region would be disrupted.
Concern about supply disruption from OPEC-member Libya, where revolt against its long-serving president has significantly cut down on exports, on Thursday drove Brent to a 2-&#189   year-high of nearly $120 a barrel and U.S. crude to more than $103.

COMMODITIES: Oil, copper and cocoa up on political unrest
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Crude gained with Brent oil holding above $112 a barrel on Friday as unrest in the Middle East, including a bloody political standoff in OPEC producer Libya, overshadowed news that Saudi Arabia has boosted oil output in recent days.
"I don't think many traders are comfortable being short over the weekend," said Tom Bentz, an energy broker at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures in New York.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Oil rises, Asian shares dip on Libya worries
SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - London crude prices rose by more than $1 and Asian shares edged lower on Monday, as the worsening situation in Libya stirred renewed concern about  disruptions to oil production.
"With rising commodity prices, the ECB will likely continue its tough talk on inflation, increasing the probability of early ECB tightening," BNP Paribas analysts wrote in a note.

Rising oil prices could stall US states' recoveries
WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Rising oil prices could trample prospects for economic recovery in many U.S. states, three governors warned on Sunday, as a leading economist said they also threaten the country's economic comeback.
"Oil prices -- I hope don't go any higher," said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. "But everywhere now one hears there's more than a minor risk they're going to go a lot higher."

Fed officials play down oil price risks
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve would react to higher oil prices only if the increases spilled over into broader areas, officials of the U.S. central bank said on Friday, with one policy maker calling the risks "manageable."
In a similar vein, an official of the European Central Bank said policy makers should be wary of responding too soon to the recent jump in oil prices as it may be fleeting.

Fed's Bullard says it's time to debate completing QE2
BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Feb 24 (Reuters) - A senior U.S. Federal Reserve official said on Thursday he thinks it is time to consider tapering off or scaling back a $600 billion bond-buying program because of an improved economic outlook.
"The natural debate now is whether to complete the program or to taper off to a somewhat lower level of assets," St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast held at Western Kentucky University.

U.S. jobless claims fall, durable orders mixed
WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - New U.S. claims for jobless aid fell last week, indicating healing in the labor market, but declines in new home sales and orders for a range of factory goods in January showed the recovery remains uneven.
The recovery has been slow by historical standards and the unemployment rate remains at a painfully high 9 percent. But analysts see the economy making headway and saw the jobless claims data as evidence of better days ahead.

PRECIOUS-Gold near $1,400/oz, supported by Mideast unrest
LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Gold held near $1,400 an ounce in Europe on Friday, supported by interest in the metal as a haven from risk as violence flared in Libya, but struggled to maintain traction as some investors cashed in this week's hefty gains.
The U.N. Security Council is to meet later to discuss a draft proposal for sanctions against Libyan leaders, who are battling for survival against a popular uprising in which French estimates say some 2,000 people may have died.

FOREX-Dollar edges up as oil prices ease; U.S. GDP due
LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The dollar edged up on Friday, helped as oil prices retreated from their recent highs on easing concerns about the turmoil in Libya and as investors squared positions ahead of the weekend.
However, the euro still hovered near 2011 highs against the U.S. currency, helped by inflation-fighting rhetoric from euro zone policymakers which has added to expectations euro zone rates will rise while U.S. policy remains loose.

Oil resumes surge, keeps stocks under check
LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Oil resumed its surge as political tension in North Africa showed little signs of abating and stock prices were checked on fears that runaway oil prices will constrain global growth.
"The Libyan crisis really brought back the geopolitical risks at the forefront of investors' minds," said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading, at Global Equities in Paris. "That being said, this week's pull-back (in stock prices) has been serious and we're getting close to a floor here."

20110228 0937 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

ITS CPO export down 10.4% to 1,110,672 tonnes for the period of 1~28 Feb 2011.
SGS CPO export down 9.1% to 1,092,620 tonnes for the period of 1~28 Feb 2011.

Soy-product futures rebound, with soyoil briefly rallying to its exchange-imposed daily trading limit. Strong international demand for vegoil and optimistic outlooks for increased soyoil usage for biodiesel provided support to rekindle speculative buying interest, analysts said. Soymeal recouped prior declines in unison with the rest of the soy complex. CBOT May soyoil ended 4.2% higher at 57.58c/pound and May soymeal rose 2.8% at $364.70/short ton. (Source: CME)

Veg oils set to reignite after crude surge: Maguire
CHICAGO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The prices of edible oils look set to strengthen in the days ahead after crude oil burst to its highest levels in more than two years on the back of supply concerns sparked by unrest in major oil exporter Libya.
Crude is a well-established leader of edible oil prices, as biodiesel demand typically firms in response to higher fossil fuel prices. But within the edible oil arena, Malaysian palm oil looks set to outperform soybean oil and canola (rapeseed oil) on the back of tight palm inventories as well as the prospect for higher soy and rapeseed output this coming year.

Palm oil bounces on bargain hunting after sharp declines
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose as much as 2.5 percent after sharp sell-off the previous day as investors snapped up bargains although concerns lingered over Middle East unrest slowing economic growth.
"After the sell-off investors are quite uncertain about the market tread. It is likely to content between 3,400 to 3,500 ringgit a tonne," said a trader with foreign brokerage.

Argentine exchange ups soy outlook to 48.8 mln T
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2010/11 soy production is seen rising to 48.8 million tonnes, up from the previous forecast for 47.0 million tonnes, due to improved weather, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.
The exchange said the crop's prospects had improved since mid-January due to much-needed rain after the La Nina weather phenomenon created dry conditions late last year.

Indonesian palm output to slip this yr, grow slowly-IPOC
JAKARTA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Palm oil output from top producer Indonesia will slip nearly 4 percent this year to 21 million tonnes because of heavy rains, and then grow 3 percent each year until 2015 assuming current weather patterns continue, an industry official said on Friday.
Weather forecasters predict a wet 2011 after unusually heavy rains in recent months have wreaked havoc on plantation crops in Indonesia, and lower palm supply would support the regional market  along with higher oil prices.

India's vegoil imports shrink on bigger domestic supply
NEW DELHI/KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Reuters) - India will process 12 percent more domestic oilseed crops into cooking oil this year, trimming imports of edible oil by up to 5 percent in the first such slowing in five years, easing global prices and blunting food-driven inflation.  
India, the world's top buyer of vegetable oils, appears to be following China in using cheaper oilseeds and cutting imports of Southeast Asian palm oil and Latin American soyoil to feed its population of more than a billion.

Friday, February 25, 2011

20110225 0954 Global Economic Related News.

India: Mukherjee cutting debt sales drives flatter curve
For the first time in seven years India’s government may be preparing to reduce debt sales, spurring a rally in longer-dated bonds. Yields on 10-year bonds fell to within 27 basis points of two-year debt on 23 Feb, the least since December 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Eight of 12 economists in a Bloomberg News survey predict policy makers will cut borrowings in the year starting April. (Bloomberg)

EU: Europe economic confidence rises more than economists forecast
European confidence in the economic outlook improved more than economists forecast to the highest in 3 1/2 years in February, led by surging optimism in Germany. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the euro region advanced to 107.8 from 106.8 in January 2011, the European Commission said. That’s the highest since August 2007. Economists had forecast a February reading of 106.8, the median of 28 estimates in a Bloomberg survey showed. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer comfort rises to highest level since ‘08
Consumer confidence climbed to the highest level since April 2008 as Americans grew less pessimistic about their finances. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, formerly the ABC News US Weekly Consumer Comfort Index, was minus 39.2 in the period to 20 Feb, compared with minus 43.4 the prior week, a report showed. (Bloomberg)

US: Jobless claims fall
Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims to collect jobless benefits last week, indicating companies are reducing the pace of firings as they grow more confident in the economic outlook. Applications for unemployment insurance decreased 22,000 to 391,000 in the week ended 19 Feb, the Labor Department said. Claims have fallen in three of the past four weeks, pushing down the monthly average to the lowest level since July 2008. (Bloomberg)

US: Sales of new US homes fell more than forecast in January
Purchases of new houses in the US fell more than forecast in January, reflecting declines in the West and South that indicate a California tax credit and bad weather may have played a role. Sales declined 13% to a 284,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a decrease to a 305,000 rate. Demand dropped 37% in the West and 13% in the South. (Bloomberg)

U.S: Orders for durable goods increase in January on surge in aircraft. Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years rose 2.7% MoM after a 0.4% MoM drop in December. Orders excluding transportation equipment unexpectedly dropped, reflecting a recurring pattern of declines in capital goods in the first month of a quarter. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Retail-sales gauge in February declines to eight-month low and stores expect no growth next month as Britons curtail spending, the Confederation of British Industry said. Retailers saying sales volumes increased from a year ago outnumbered those reporting declines by 6 percentage points, compared with 37 percentage points in January. An expectations gauge for March was at zero. A separate quarterly index showed selling prices are rising at the fastest pace in almost two decades. (Source: Bloomberg)

Indonesia: Investment grade rating looms as Fitch raises outlook. Indonesia moved closer to attaining an investment grade rating, its first since the Asian financial crisis more than a decade ago, after Fitch Ratings raised its outlook on the sovereign to positive from stable. The company affirmed its BB+ grade on Indonesia's local and foreign-currency debt, one step below investment grade, it said in a statement. An upgrade will put Indonesia on par with India and Brazil. (Source: Bloomberg)

Vietnam: Will restrain lending growth and narrow the budget deficit as Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung seeks to curb inflation and revive investor confidence in an economy that has devalued its currency four times in 15 months. Dung cut the credit-growth target to below 20% from 23% for 2011, according to a resolution approved by the prime minister, which was presented by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung to government and central bank officials at a meeting in Hanoi. He told ministries to narrow the budget deficit to less than 5% of GDP this year and ordered a "cautious and tight" monetary policy. (Source: Bloomberg)

Australia: 4Q10 business investment climbed to a record as a mining investment boom driven by Chinese and Indian demand for natural resources capped a year of unprecedented job growth. Capital spending advanced 1.3% QoQ to AUD29.7b (USD29.8b), the highest on record. Investment in new plant and equipment, a contributor to GDP, gained 6.1% QoQ last quarter, the biggest advance in a year. (Source: Bloomberg)

N. Zealand: May cut rate as quake damage estimate up to NZD 12 b. Investors bet there is an 88% chance RBNZ Governor Alan Bollard will reduce the official cash rate by 25 basis points at the March 10 policy meeting. A central bank spokesman declined to comment on speculation the RBNZ may hold an unscheduled meeting to consider a policy change. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110225 0953 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

MAHB: Moody's Investors Service has assigned an A3 with a stable outlook. "MAHB's fundamental credit strengths are mainly underpinned by its position as a close-to-monopoly airport operator in Malaysia, where there is a track record of strong passenger traffic growth," says Elizabeth Allen, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer. "The cumulative average passenger growth rate of the last 10 years was 5.8% and in 2010 it was 12.7%. This is driven by a strong domestic economy, an attractive tourism sector and the expansion of the low-cost carriers (LCCs), whose presence in Kuala Lumpur in particular has stimulated demand," says Allen. (Source: The EdgeDaily)

Plantations: Palm oil exports to be better this year. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said palm oil exports rose 23.9% to RM62.8b last year compared to RM50.73b in 2009. I think this is an increasing trend. This year will be better because the high prices of palm oil will come towards the end of the year. (Source: Malaysia Reserve)

Rubber: RM500m sought to plant more rubber trees. Malaysia's rubber sector is seeing renewed interest from investors as the current run-up in SMR20 rubber prices to an all time high of RM16.58 is fuelled by raging demand from manufacturers of tyres and healthcare products."We need to replant 40,000ha of rubber trees and carry out new plantings of 13,000ha a year to meet the global shortage for rubber, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said adding he was seeking RM500 from the government to plant more rubber trees. (Source: Business Times)

Petrol: Government to maintain RON95 and diesel prices. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will maintain the price for RON95 at RM1.90 and diesel at RM1.80 despite the escalating global oil price. (Source: Malaysia Reserve)         

Lor resigns as group CEO of EON Bank
EON Capital Bhd (EON Cap) yesterday announced that group CEO Datuk Michael Lor of wholly owned EON Bank has resigned with immediate effect, and the resignation has been accepted by the bank. This resignation comes in the midst of EON Cap still caught in the middle of a court case involving the takeover of the bank by Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB). HLB has proposed to acquire the assets and liabilities of EON Cap at RM5.06bn or RM7.30 per share.(StarBiz)

Motor insurance to cost more?
Vehicle owners may have to pay more for their motor insurance premiums from next year as the Government plans to remove motor insurance tariffs in 2016. Bank Negara Malaysia, tasked to prepare the new motor insurance framework, informed this at a recent meeting with various stakeholders involved in the new scheme recently. A source who attended the meeting said that “Under the new motor insurance framework, the Government plans to gradually increase insurance premiums from 2012 onwards”.(BT)

Tanjung Offshore wins job extension
Tanjung Offshore has won a RM33.5m contract extension to provide three off-shore support vessels to Petronas Carigali. The extension is for one year, starting from March and July this year, it said in a statement to Bursa. The contract may be renewed further, depending on Petronas’ needs.(BT)

Proton, Perodua roadmaps sought
National car companies Proton and Perodua have been asked to prepare their roadmaps on how they plan to be competitive once the auto industry undergoes wide-ranging liberalization from 2015. Those plans are essential as import duties and approved permits are to be cut and removed from 2015 until the industry is fully liberalized in 2020. “At the end of the day, we want our automotive industry to remain and be competitive,” said Malaysia Automotive Institute chairman Datuk Kamaruddin Ismail.(StarBiz)

Second coal-fired power plant award out in June
The Government is likely to decide on the concessionaire for the second 1,000 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in June, said Energy commission chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali. He said the commission has issued the request for proposals on the plant from MMC Corp’s unit, Malakoff Corp and Jimah Energy Ventures SB. The plant would be sited either at Tanjung Bin in Johor, owned by MMC or Jimah in Negeri Sembilan, owned by Jimah Energy. (Financial Daily)

20110225 0949 Global Market Related News.

OIL: Oil falls from near $120 on Saudi, Gaddafi rumor
NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Oil sank from 2-1/2-year highs near $120 a barrel on Thursday in strong, late-day profit-taking following an unsubstantiated rumor Muammar Gaddafi had been shot and Saudi Arabia's assurances it can counter Libyan supply disruptions.
"After three days of moving to the upside, the market was prone to profit-taking and then we heard the rumor that Gaddafi was dead," said Peter Beutel, president of Cameron Hanover in New Canaan, Connecticut.

COMMODITIES: Oil gains unravel, roiling other markets
LONDON/NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Oil prices surged more than $8 on Thursday, then collapsed, roiling other commodities, as Saudi Arabia prepared to boost crude exports and oil traders spread a rumor that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been shot.
"The market cannot accommodate another disruption, in our view, with the problems in Libya potentially absorbing half of OPEC's spare capacity," Goldman analyst Jeffrey Currie said in a research note.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Oil steadies after volatile trade, stocks edgy
HONG KONG, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Oil stabilised on Friday after a sharp reversal from a 2-1/2 year peak overnight, calming concerns that a surge in prices would hurt economic recovery.
"But with many economic indicators out next week from the U.S. and ahead of the weekend, which will probably bring more clues about the Libyan situation, investors won't take too many risks," Takahashi said.

USDA to update projection of large US plantings
WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Sky-high grain prices will bring the biggest surge in U.S. plantings in 14 years, the Agriculture Department says in projections that it will update at its annual Outlook Forum opening on Thursday.
Traders generally agree with USDA's projections of larger corn and soybean plantings this spring. But they expect a record 5 billion bushels of corn will be used to make fuel ethanol in the new marketing year -- 165 million bushels, or 3 percent more than USDA foresees.

US Food-Price Inflation Expected At 3% To 4% This Year (Source: CME)
U.S. consumers are about to be whipsawed by retail food prices. Food prices, which rose in 2010 by the mildest rate since 1962, will jump between 3% and 4% this year, according to a forecast released Thursday by the U.S. Agriculture Department at its annual outlook conference in Washington D.C. Rising grain, livestock and energy costs are putting intense pressure on food manufacturers, restaurants and supermarkets to pass along their higher costs even though post-recession consumers are still leery about paying more for anything, even food. The USDA raised its 2011 food-inflation forecast Thursday from its previous 2011 forecast for a 2% to 3% rise in the government's Consumer Price Index for all food. The all-food CPI rose just 0.8% in 2010. (This story and related background material will be available on The Wall Street Journal website, WSJ.com.)
A combination of strong foreign demand for U.S. commodities, plus tight U.S. supplies, have pushed prices of many food categories sharply higher in recent months. The USDA said retail prices of ground beef and steak in January were higher by 9.9% and 9.8%, respectively, than a year earlier. Retail pork prices, meanwhile, were 9.9% higher in January from a year earlier. The USDA said it expects to see retail prices of cereal and bakery products to climb between 3.5% and 4.5% in 2011 compared to 2010.

Europe mulls higher higher rates; Fed seen on hold
LONDON/WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - European central banks appear to be edging closer to interest rate increases as inflation runs above targets, although fears of stifling fledgling recoveries may yet give policy makers pause.
Two hawkish Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday expressed some sympathy for concerns about higher prices, though the consensus at the U.S. central bank still appears to favor a continuation of its highly stimulative monetary policy.

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies, inflation fears offer support
LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Gold steadied near seven-week highs on Thursday, as investor fears over inflation stemming from the spike in crude oil were partially offset by pockets of profit-taking after the market's 6 percent rise this month.
As many as 1,000 people may have been killed in the unrest in Libya, where on Wednesday, thousands celebrated as the east broke free of the control of Mummar Gaddafi, who has vowed to crush the revolt.

FOREX-Swiss franc hits record high, dollar falls broadly
LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The Swiss franc hit a record high against the dollar on Thursday, boosted by safe-haven demand due to ongoing political turmoil in Libya, while the resulting surge in oil prices stung the U.S. currency across the board.
Brent crude oil  leapt to its highest since August 2008 on concern that unrest that has cut more than a quarter of OPEC-member Libya's output could spread to other producers including top exporter Saudi Arabia.

U.S. wheat rises for 2nd day, strong demand supports
SINGAPORE, Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat gained around half a percent in its second successive daily rise, driven by strong demand and tenders issued by importers in Africa and the Middle East.
"I think buyers who had been waiting for a correction certainly seem to be jumping on this opportunity which is providing support to the market," said Adam Davis, a senior grains trader at Melbourne-based Merricks Capital.

India eyes grain, sugar exports as global prices gain
NEW DELHI, Feb 23 (Reuters) - India's farm minister called on Wednesday for limited exports of wheat, rice and sugar to resume, in an effort to benefit from high global prices of the commodities.
Sharad Pawar's call for exports came as at least 100,000 trade unionists marched through the Indian capital on Wednesday in a protest against high food prices and unemployment.
India, the world's second-largest producer of wheat and rice, has kept a tight control over grain exports since 2007, allowing only limited sales in diplomatic deals, while the nation's stocks swelled after three straight years of bumper harvests.

Brent oil near $120 on Libya; stocks, copper fall
LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Oil prices hit 29-month highs to near $120 a barrel on growing fears that the unrest in Libya could spread to other oil producing countries including top exporter Saudi Arabia, threatening to derail global growth.
"The market cannot accommodate another disruption, in our view, with the problems in Libya potentially absorbing half of OPEC's spare capacity," Goldman Sachs' Jeffrey Currie said in a research note.

20110225 0948 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

ITS CPO export down 8.2% to 973,441 tonnes for the period of 1~25 Feb 2011.
SGS CPO export down 6% to 957,224 tonnes for the period of 1~25 Feb 2011.

Soy-product futures ended lower, backpedaling in unison with soybean futures. The markets were pressured by investors reducing risk exposure, but futures did stabilize from prior declines as tight projected soy stocks and solid demand continue to underpin prices, analysts said. CBOT May soyoil ended 0.8% lower at 55.28c/pound and May soymeal fell $1.20 to $354.90/short ton. (Source: CME)

Palm off 3-mth low; other markets limit loss on $100 crude oil
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Palm oil ended off three-month lows with other vegetable oil markets limiting losses on surging crude oil although concerns lingered over Libyan unrest spreading and slowing economic growth.
"Palm oil trading is too volatile for these two days, it's difficult to predict its direction," said a trader in Kuala Lumpur, adding that palm oil exports data due on Friday could set market direction.

China March soy imports seen low at 3.16 mln T -Mofcom
BEIJING, Feb 24 (Reuters) - China's commerce ministry said it expected soy imports in March to remain low at 3.16 million tonnes, the lowest level in a year.
The March import forecast is about the same as the projection for February, which the ministry revised up slightly on Thursday to 3.17 million tonnes, the lowest since March 2010, due to poor crushing margins late 2010 and seasonal low demand for soymeal.

Brazil soy harvest gets break from rains--Somar
SAO PAULO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The rain has let up over Brazil's top soybean producing states of Mato Grosso, Parana and Goias where the harvest is picking up the pace.
But heavy rains have drenched No. 3 soy state Rio Grande do Sul, making it still weeks away from reaping, local forecaster Somar said Wednesday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

20110224 1850 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3457, changed : -57 points, volume : higher(historical high).
Bollinger band reading : downside biased with possible pullback correction.
MACD Histrogram : getting lower, seller in rules.
Support : 3450, 3420, 3350, 3300 level.
Resistance : 3470, 3500, 3550, 3620 level.
Comment :
Historical high volume FCPO closed recorded loss with ultra higher volume participation ahead of tomorrow export data as market anticipating a weaker export and improved weather lead to higher palm oil production while soy oil price continue to trade weaker after overnight rebound.
Market opened gap up tested higher resistance level and dive deep once recorded down 5%(356 points) followed by seller profit taking activities pushed price up to recovered two third of the losses to closed recorded less significant loss.
Daily chart formed an down doji bar candle with long lower shadow closed below lower Bollinger band level with the reading suggesting a downside biased development with possible temporary pullback correction.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110224 1828 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1483.5 changed : -31 points,  volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : revesed lower, seller adding position.
Support : 1480, 1470, 1458, 1445 level.
Resistance : 1485, 1500, 1515 level.
Comment :
Heavy selling pressure FKLI closed recorded severe losses with ultra high lower volume changed hand doing 6 points discount compare to cash market while regional market closed mostly in negative zone.
Daily chart formed a huge down bar candle continue downward movement after market opened gap down tested higher fall severely to closed near the low off the day below lower Bollinger band support level.
Reading wise suggesting a further downside biased movement market development testing lower support level with possible temporary pullback correction.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110224 1023 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysian: Inflation quickens, adding pressure on Central Bank
Malaysia’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since mid-2009, an increase that may add pressure on the central bank to tighten monetary policy. Consumer prices rose 2.4% in January from a year earlier, according to a report by the Putrajaya, Malaysia-based statistics department. That matches the median in a Bloomberg News survey of 17 economists. Nations from Indonesia to China have boosted interest rates this year, and the International Monetary Fund says the region may need to raise borrowing costs further to limit the risk of overheating. (Bloomberg)

Economic: BNM reserves at RM338b. Bank Negera Malaysia's (BNM) international reserves amounted to RM338b (USD109.6b) as at Feb 14. The reserves position was sufficient to finance 8.1 months of retained imports and was 4.3 times the short-term external debt. (Source: Bernama)

Hong Kong: Targets inflation as Tsang says growth may hit 5%
Hong Kong targeted inflation as the main threat to an economy forecast to grow as much as 5% this year, with Financial Secretary John Tsang pledging to do more to curb property-bubble risks. GDP rose 6.2% in the 4Q from a year earlier, Tsang said. That was more than the 5.5% median estimate of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Growth was 6.7% in the 3Q. Rising commodity costs and capital inflows triggered by the strength of Asia’s recovery and monetary easing in developed economies threaten to fuel price gains across the region. (Bloomberg)

China: Consumer confidence down in Q4
A Chinese consumer confidence index fell in the 4Q to the lowest since 2009, indicating that concern about inflation may restrain spending in the world’s fastest-growing major economy. The measure was at 100 compared with 104 in the previous 3 months, Nielson Co and the Chinese statistics bureau’s Economic Monitoring and Analysis Centre said in a statement in Beijing. (StarBiz)

Japan: BoJ upbeat on economy, exports show seasonal dip
Bank of Japan deputy governor Hirohide Yamaguchi said the country’s economy will soon pull out of its torpor, despite a near-stalling of export growth in January, but warned risks from rising commodity prices remained. Annual export growth slowed to its weakest pace in more than a year in January as shipments to China lost steam before the Lunar New Year, but economists said the central bank’s forecast of an export-led recovery remained intact as underlying demand overseas remained strong. (Financial Daily)

EU: Industrial orders unexpectedly rise on capital goods
European industrial orders unexpectedly rose in December 2010 as surging demand for capital goods such as factory machinery helped offset a slump in Germany. Orders in the euro area increased 2.1% from November, when they gained a revised 2.2%, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said. Economists had forecast a drop of 1%, the median of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. From a year earlier, December orders jumped 19%. (Bloomberg)

US: Existing home sales climb to eight-month high Sales of US previously owned homes unexpectedly climbed in January to the highest level in eight months as investors used all-cash transactions to snap up distressed properties. Purchases increased 2.7% to a USD5.36m annual rate, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed. The share represented by foreclosures and short sales rose to a 12-month high, pushing the median price to the lowest level in almost nine years. (Bloomberg)

World: Economy can survive oil price surge for now, IMF says. The world economy can withstand the surge in oil prices sparked by unrest in the Middle East and North Africa so long as the increase proves short-lived, said the International Monetary Fund's No. 2 official, echoing Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Futures for April delivery climbed to within USD 2 of USD 100/bbl in New York and London-traded Brent rose to USD 108.57/bbl, close to the highest since September 2008, as escalating violence in Libya stoked concern supplies from the region will be disrupted. Oil in New York has gained almost 6% since Jan. 24, the day before the first anti-government protests erupted in Egypt. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Posts biggest budget surplus in January since July 2008 on taxes. Revenue exceeded spending by GBP 3.74b (USD 6b), compared with a deficit of GBP 1.27b a year earlier. The surplus including government support for banks was GBP 5.25b. (Source: Bloomberg)

H.K: Inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in 29 months in January. Consumer prices gained 3.6% YoY after rising 3.1% YoY in December, the government said on its website. (Source: Bloomberg)

Vietnam: Raises second interest rate in a week to tame inflation. Vietnam's central bank raised its reverse repurchase rate, the second increase in borrowing costs in less than a week, as Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung prepares to order tighter monetary and fiscal policies to tame inflation. The State Bank of Vietnam raised the rate it charges commercial banks in daily open-market operations to 12% from 11% for the seven-day term. Dung will sign a resolution directing the central bank and ministries to curb inflation by tightening policy, said Le Xuan Nghia, an adviser to the premier. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Mortgage demand rose from two-year low last week on falling rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association's index of loan applications increased 13% WoW in the week ended Feb. 18 after dropping the prior week to the lowest point since November 2008. The group's refinancing measure jumped 18% WoW and the purchase gauge rose 5.1% WoW. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Export increased less than expected in January and the nation swung to a trade deficit, as a Lunar New Year holiday in the nation's largest Asian markets disrupted demand. Overseas shipments rose 1.4% YoY in January from December's 12.9% YoY gain, the Finance Ministry said. (Source: Bloomberg)

Taiwan: Industrial production rose for a 17th straight month in January. Output advanced 17.19% YoY after gaining a revised 18.93% YoY in December, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in Taipei. (Source: Bloomberg)

Singapore: Inflation rate rose to the highest level since December 2008, adding pressure on the central bank to damp price gains by allowing greater currency appreciation. The consumer price index increased 5.5% YoY in January after climbing 4.6% YoY in December. Prices rose 1.6% MoM from December, without adjusting for seasonal factors. (Source: Bloomberg)

Australia: Wages grew at a faster pace in 4Q10 as employers increased hiring in an economy the central bank predicts will accelerate this year. The wage price index, which measures hourly pay rates excluding bonuses, advanced 1% QoQ from 3Q10, when it rose 1.1% QoQ, the statistics bureau said. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110224 1021 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

MRCB-Ekovest: Bags KL river project. Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) and its joint-venture (JV) partner Ekovest Bhd have been appointed as the project delivery partner for the River of Life project. Ekovest Bhd-MRCB JV has received a letter of intent from the government via the KL mayor. (Source: The Star)

Sime Darby: On lookout for land. Sime Darby the world's biggest listed palm oil firm, is on the lookout for more land, in a move sure to fuel the global grab for arable land as food prices remain high. (Source: Business Times)

Auto: Total vehicle sales up 8% in January. Total vehicle sales in January increased 8% to 54,696 units from 50,622 units recorded a year ago, as car makers ramped up production by about 20% to meet the Chinese New Year deleveries. Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said sales volume for February is expected to be lower than that of January 2011. (Source: The Edge Daily)

Petra Perdana: Banks on deep-water finds. Petra Perdana Bhd could be a major beneficiary of jobs stemming from Petronas recent deep-water finds at Sarawak's NC3 and Spaoh-1 deep-water wells. Petra Perdana has a mixed fleet of 25 vessels, of which 14 are larger vessels above 9,000bhp which are ideal for deep-water. (Source: The Edge Daily)

PLUS accepts UEM-EPF offer
PLUS has accepted the UEM-EPF takeover offer after an EGM yesterday that was marred by a walkout of minority shareholders. Resolutions for both the RM23bn offer and capital repayment plan were adopted at the conclusion of the meeting. The resolutions were overwhelmingly approved with 99% of the 1.1bn votes present opting for the deal, which will see shareholders paid RM4.60 per share. Only 69% of the 1.6bn total eligible votes were cast with the remainder being absent from proceedings. (The Malaysian Insider)

Tradewinds plans new set of 'jewels'
Tradewinds plans to demolish two of its prized assets in Kuala Lumpur to make way for a "multi-billion-ringgit" mixed commercial development. This means that the Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel and Kompleks Antarabangsa, both located on Jalan Sultan Ismail, will make way for a new property project. Chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said the plan is in the advanced concept stage and could take more than a year to start. (BT)

SP Setia shareholders approve share placement proposal
SP Setia shareholders approved a proposal for the placement of up to 15% of its issued and paid-up share capital. The placement would involve the issuance of up to 152.5m new shares with part of the proceeds to be used for the group's existing development projects like the KL Eco City in Kuala Lumpur, Setia City in Setia Alam, Selangor and the Fulton Lane project in Melbourne, Australia. (Bernama)

Selangor government appoints new KPS CEO
The Selangor state government has named Melewar Industrial Group MD and CEO Suhaimi Kamaralzaman as the new CEO of the state-owned Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor (KPS). It is understood that Suhaimi has officially accepted the offer and he is scheduled to assume duties at KPS in June. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Transmile faces suspension and delisting
Transmile faces suspension and delisting from 3 March and 7 March respectively for failing to submit a regularization plan to the Securities Commission or Bursa Malaysia for approval by 22 Feb. It had until 2 March to submit an appeal to Bursa. (StarBiz)

Legoland Malaysia to open by end-2012
Asia’s first Legoland theme park is on track to open its doors to its first visitors by the fourth quarter of 2012. Construction for the RM720m Legoland Malaysia on 76 acres of land will begin next month while contracts for construction will be awarded by end of this month. About RM200m worth of contracts have already been awarded for earthworks, primary infrastructure, service and administrative buildings, purchase of rights of the theme park and Lego models and consultancy costs. (Financial Daily)

MRCB, Ekovest clinch River of Life project
MRCB together with its joint venture partner Ekovest has clinched the River of Life from project from the government via the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur. MRCB said both firms have received a letter of intent from the government on Tuesday indicating the intention of the government to obtain their services as the project delivery partner. (BT)

20110224 0914 Renewable Energy Related News.

POWER UTILITY BC HYDRO PLANS C$800 MLN DAM UPGRADE
VANCOUVER, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Provincial power utility BC Hydro unveiled plans on Tuesday for an C$800 million ($808 million) upgrade of an 80-year-old hydroelectric dam and generating plant in southern British Columbia.
The utility said it had applied this week to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, which regulates BC Hydro, to modernize the Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse.

ISRAEL'S ZENITHSOLAR IN DEAL FOR CHINA SOLAR PLANTSBY TOVA COHEN
TEL AVIV, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Israel-based ZenithSolar Ltd said it signed an agreement with the Chinese government to provide two combined heat and power solar systems in Gansu province, marking its first project in China.
Under the memorandum of understanding, ZenithSolar will provide the technology for the installation of two 10 megawatt cogeneration plants, CEO Roy Segev told Reuters on Tuesday.

AUSTRALIA GREEN CAR SPENDING SEEN AT $4.4 BLN BY 2020
HONG KONG, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Australia is expected to be a major market for electric vehicles (EVs), with private spending in the sector likely to exceed A$4.3 billion ($4.36 billion) by 2020, a top executive at a market research and consulting firm said.
Electric cars would replace more than 100,000 petrol-driven cars a decade from now, and key beneficiaries would include top Australian power retailers Origin Energy Ltd  and AGL Energy Ltd , said Ezra Beeman, managing director at Sydney-based consulting firm Energeia.

GERMAN POWER CAPACITY TO RISE 2.6 PCT IN WEEK
FRANKFURT, Feb 18 (Reuters) - German power plant availability reported by producers and transmission firms to energy exchange EEX is set to rise 2.6 percent to 64,256 megawatts (MW) in the seven days to Feb. 25, data from the bourse showed on Friday.
The EEX on its website issues transparency data from German generators, grid operators and small plants below 100 MW, as well as live production forecasts on an aggregated basis.

ATS SAYS PRODUCTIVITY HITS FRENCH SOLAR UNIT OUTPUT
OTTAWA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc  said on Thursday January production at its French solar unit reached only 55 percent of planned output because of low productivity at a plant where the company may cut jobs.
ATS, which makes factory automation systems and solar energy equipment, said it may cut 95 full-time jobs and about 136 temporary jobs at its Photowatt International plant in Bourgoin-Jallieu, France.

BELGIUM, DUTCH INTRADAY POWER MARKET KICKS OFF
AMSTERDAM, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Anglo-Dutch energy exchange APX ENDEX said on Thursday it had launched a cross-border intraday market for trading Dutch and Belgian power in a move to help integrate electricity markets in Europe.
The European Commission aims to integrate power markets through the sharing of cross-border transmission capacity to maximise participants' surpluses, allowing a single price to emerge.

ITALY GSE SEES 2,800 MW ADDED SOLAR CAPACITY IN 2011
MILAN, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Italy energy services agency GSE expects about 2,800 Megawatts of additional solar capacity in Italy in 2011, its chairman Emilio Cremona told Reuters on Thursday.
"In my opinion in 2011 I would expect about 2,800 MW of added solar capacity on top of what we have already declared in previous announcements," he said.

CHINA TOP GRID FIRM TO ADVANCE POWER LINK TO TIBET
BEIJING, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The State Grid Corp of China (SGCC) aims to link the isolated power grid in Tibet to its main networks before the end of this year, The State Grid News, a company newspaper, reported on Thursday.
The latest plan would be one year faster than its earlier plans.

CHINA'S JIANGSU SEES 10 GW SUMMER POWER SHORTAGE-PAPER
BEIJING, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Eastern China's Jiangsu province could face power shortages of more than 10 gigawatts (GW) in peak hours during the summer, or nearly 15 percent of the expected maximum load on its main grid, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.
The monthly power deficit could range from 2 GW to 10 GW, in part due to insufficient power transmission capacity, the Yangtze Evening News reported, citing forecasts made at a government power conference on Wednesday.

BOSNIA EPBIH TO LAUNCH SMALL HYDRO-POWER PLANTS
SARAJEVO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Bosnia's top power company Elektroprivreda BiH  will launch this year the construction of four small hydro-power plants in southern Bosnia with 43.5 gigawatts-hours annual output, it said on Wednesday.
The four plants are part of a broader project to build 15 small hydro-power plants on the river Neretvica, and will account for 42 percent of the project's total output, EPBiH said in a statement.

20110224 0913 Biofuels Related News.

KINGSMAN: 55 PCT C/S BRAZIL CANE FOR ETHANOL
DUBAI, Feb 22 (Reuters) - A Kingsman SA analyst said 55 percent of the centre/south Brazilian crop in 2011/12 was projected to be used for ethanol production and 45 percent for sugar.
This compared with an estimate of 55.3 percent for ethanol and 44.7 percent for sugar in 2010/11," Patricia Luis-Manso told Reuters on the sidelines of the Feb. 19-22 Kingsman Dubai sugar conference.

U.S. ETHANOL INVESTMENTS SLOW, FACE UNCERTAINTY
PHOENIX, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Investment dollars for new U.S. ethanol plants are coming, but slowly, and uncertainty over U.S. government policy complicates efforts to jump-start broad industry growth, particularly for newer cellulosics, industry experts said this week.
A round of new loan guarantees from the federal government are helpful, but is not enough to substantially boost lender and investor confidence. And moves in recent days by Washington lawmakers to block federal funding of ethanol expansion only adds to investor nervousness.

BRAZIL ETHANOL CONSUMPTION TO FALL IN 2011-DATAGRO
SAO PAULO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Ethanol consumption in Brazil should fall in the 2011/12 season as high sugar prices buoy prices of the fuel, making it less competitive than gasoline at filling stations, Datagro analysts said on Monday.
Demand for the cane-based fuel has soared since 2003 when automakers launched their first flex-fuel cars which can run on any mixture of gasoline and hydrous ethanol, according to Datagro. They now account for nearly all sales of new cars.

ETHANOL EXECS FEAR U.S. BUDGET CUTS TO HURT GROWTH
PHOENIX, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Budget cuts by Congress and fresh fears about food security are among many obstacles threatening growth of U.S. ethanol, according to industry leaders.
Investments into expanded ethanol production remain stymied by uncertainty about how U.S. tax and energy policy will impact the industry, and access to markets is limited in part by state regulatory barriers to the use of higher level ethanol blends, industry experts said on Monday.

ITALY 2010 BIODIESEL OUTPUT DOWN TO 731,844 T
MILAN, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Biodiesel output in Italy, a major European Union producer, fell 8 percent in 2010 as some firms halted or sharply reduced production while imports jumped 38 percent, data from the industry body and companies showed.
Italian biodiesel makers, who use mostly imported raw materials including palm oil and rapeseed, were hit hard in 2010 by cheap imported fuel, which sometimes costs less than their raw materials, industry experts have said.

20110224 0912 Global Market Related News.

Oil hits 2-1/2 yr high as Libya unrest cuts supply
SINGAPORE, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Oil prices hit a fresh 2-1/2 year peak on concern the bloody unrest that has cut over a quarter of OPEC-member Libya's crude output could spread to other major producers including top exporter Saudi Arabia.
"I see more upside on Brent for the moment with prices likely to hit $120 by the end of March," said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity derivatives manager at Newedge brokerage in Tokyo. 

Gold steady below 7-week high; Libya crisis aids
SINGAPORE, Feb 24(Reuters) - Spot gold prices held steady just below a seven-week high, as violence in Libya continued to buoy safe-haven demand in bullion and high oil prices, triggering inflation fears, also lent support.
"People don't have much confidence that the Libya crisis will be settled any time soon, so a lot of them are betting on gold," said a dealer in Singapore, "Gold will be the king." 

OIL: U.S. oil April crude contract up $1/bbl on Libya supply worries
SINGAPORE, Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose more than $1 on Thursday, on mounting fears that growing unrest in Libya could spread to other oil producers in the Middle East and North Africa.
Escalating violence in Libya has already disrupted oil production, boosting oil prices as the front-month contract touched $100 a barrel briefly in the previous session, its highest since October 2008.

COMMODITIES: Oil surges on Libya; base metals hit
NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Oil prices surged to 28-month highs on Wednesday as unrest in Libya and the Middle East raised supply concerns, while base metals lost ground on worry that rising crude prices would dent economic growth.
"This is different from what happened in Egypt as there is an actual disruption of supplies and the market does not know what will happen next due to the intransigence of Muammar Gaddafi," said oil analyst Jim Ritterbusch, president at Ritterbusch & Associates in Galena, Illinois.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Oil holds near $100 a barrel; stocks sag
SYDNEY, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Unrest in Libya and the threat of contagion to other oil producers in the region kept U.S. crude near $100 a barrel in Asia on Thursday, fuelling fears that global growth may suffer and keeping stocks under pressure.
"As Japanese stocks have tumbled for the past two sessions (losing 2.6 percent), today's losses may not be   sharp," said Masumi Yamamoto, a market analyst at Daiwa   Securities Capital Markets.

US crude likely up, Cushing stocks eyed
BANGALORE/NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories rose for the sixth straight time last week, with imports likely having increased, an expanded Reuters poll showed Wednesday.
On average, crude stockpiles were forecast up 1.2 million barrels in the week to Feb. 18, a Reuters poll of 12 analysts showed, ahead of weekly industry and government inventory reports.

US oil soars as high as $100 on Libya unrest
NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude jumped to a 28-month high of $100 a barrel on Wednesday, as investors weighed the risk of Middle East unrest spreading from Libya to bigger exporters including Saudi Arabia.
U.S. crude for April delivery  rose 2.8 percent to settle at $98.10 per barrel after soaring as high as $100.
Brent , which has posted the biggest three-day gain since October 2009, rose 5.3 percent to settle at $111.25, its highest close since before the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Revolt in Libya likely to scar its oil sector
NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Regardless of what comes next in Libya's lethal political standoff, the OPEC country's oil sector is nearly certain to suffer, bringing long-lasting supply disruptions or even permanent damage.
None of several potential outcomes is benign for Libya's oil industry -- the lifeblood of its economy -- or for oil prices. The scenarios run the gamut from all-out civil war and attacks on energy infrastructure to low-level neglect and reservoir damage, as foreign expertise flees the country.

US consumer confidence at 3-year high
NEW YORK, Feb 22 (Reuters) - American consumers are more confident than at any time in the last three years thanks to better prospects for the economy and jobs, even as separate data on Tuesday showed house prices were still falling.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to 70.4 in February from a revised 64.8 in January.

PRECIOUS-Gold edges above $1,400/oz as Libya tensions simmer
LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Gold rose above $1,400 an ounce in Europe on Wednesday as simmering tensions in Libya lifted interest in the metal as a haven from risk, but gains were limited by concerns its sharp run higher may have been overdone.
Spot gold  was bid at $1,401.50 an ounce at 0933 GMT, against $1,399.20 late in New York on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures for April delivery  eased 30 cents an ounce to $1,400.80.

FOREX-Euro, sterling rise on rate hike prospects
LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The euro and sterling rose versus the dollar on Wednesday as comments by European Central Bank officials and Bank of England minutes were seen increasing the chances of euro zone and UK interest rate rises.
Interest rate speculation took centre stage, pushing aside concerns about political tensions in North Africa and the Middle East for now, though analysts said the dollar could see renewed safe-haven demand if unrest in the region spreads further and oil prices continue to spike.

Stocks fall further on oil, inflation concerns
LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - World stocks fell further from a recent 30-month high while the euro rose as unrest in Libya drove oil higher and fanned concerns about inflation that could hamper a global economic recovery.
"There is very little reason for people to be adding to risk at the moment. The Middle East is going to cast a pall over the markets until they can see any proper direction," said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.

20110224 0911 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soy product futures stage a recovery in unison with soybeans. Soyoil futures led the advances, hitched to the rally in energies, particularly with margins for biodiesel turning profitable, says AgResources' Dan Basse. Crude oil influences soyoil due to its use in making renewable fuels. CBOT May soyoil ended 2% higher at 55.70c/pound and May soymeal rose 1.5% at $356.10/short ton. (Source: CME)

KL Kepong CEO Sees Palm Oil Prices Easing (Source: CME)
Malaysian palm oil producer Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd. expects crude palm oil futures to extend a recent downward correction, falling as much as 6% from current levels as output gradually rises in Malaysia and Indonesia, the company's chief executive said. "While palm oil's fundamentals are still good, the market has risen too high," Lee Oi Hian told Dow Jones Newswires. "The rally may be running out of steam." He said prices may ease to between MYR3,300 and MYR3,500 a metric ton in the next few months. Crude palm oil futures on Malaysia's derivatives exchange rose to a 35-month high of MYR3,967/ton earlier this month amid concerns about tight global vegetable oil supply. Lee said the company's output may rise in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, as some plantations are bearing more fruit and weather conditions are improving.
He didn't provide specific numbers, but said output "will show a single digit rise" from last year. He said the company will carry out new planting on 8,000 hectares of land in the current fiscal year. KLK, Malaysia's third-largest listed plantation company by land bank size, produced 3.18 million tons of oil palm fruit last year.

Slide as risk aversion grows over Libyan unrest
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Vegetable oil markets tumbled as spreading Libyan unrest spurred investors to flee agriculture assets to the safe haven plays, although traders said the sell-off was a knee-jerk reaction and prices will recover.  "The palm oil market will have to go up as February is a much shorter month and production will be much lower," said a Malaysian trader with a foreign commodities brokerage.

China changes edible oil import quarantine rules to boost import
BEIJING, Feb 23 (Reuters) - China adjusted the quarantine rules for imported edible oils to increase imports, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said on Wednesday.
The country scrapped the quarantine certificate for refined edible oil packed for retail from Jan 1 this year, the administration said in a statement published on its website.

Palm to go into a discount to soyoil as output recovers
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil will reverse its current premium to competing soyoil and trade at a discount as output recovers in the second half of this year, a leading analyst said on Wednesday.
Palm olein currently trades at a $70 premium to a tonne of Argentine soyoil, triggering fears that demand will slow and weigh on benchmark palm oil futures  that is set to post its worst monthly loss in February in more than a year.

Malaysia's Sime hunts for land as palm price rises
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Sime Darby , the world's biggest listed palm oil firm, is on the lookout for more land, its chief executive said on Tuesday, in a move sure to fuel the global grab for arable land as food prices remain high. During the 2007-2008 food price surge, resource companies from Saudi Arabia to South Korea scoured the world for agricultural land to increase supplies and profit from growing food demand. 

Nestle to buy slightly less palm oil in 2011
JAKARTA, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Nestle  will buy slightly less palm oil in 2011 due to changes in its products, and is confident of hitting its year-end target of buying 50 percent of supplies from sustainable producers, the the world's biggest food maker said on Tuesday.
"It's mostly because of the way our receipes are evolving. It is not the result of a strategy," Jose Lopez, chief operating officer, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday, adding it was also because of changes in demand for the firm's product mix.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

20110223 0920 Global Economic Related News.

China: Wages undermine bond investors as inflation accelerates
China, the biggest brake on global inflation for two decades, is embracing wage increases that threaten to erode retailers’ margins and demand for bonds. Premier Wen Jiabao convenes the annual National People’s Congress March 5, where delegates will approve a five-year plan designed to elevate the role of domestic demand. Part of that strategy is endorsing higher pay, with all 31 Chinese provinces and regions likely to boost their minimum wages in 2011 for the second consecutive year, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.(Bloomberg)

Japan: Moody’s ignored as local investors snap up bonds
Japanese investors ignored another warning by a ratings company about the nation’s ballooning debt, buying bonds and sending yields back toward the level before the nation’s credit ranking was cut just a month ago. Government bond futures climbed the most in two months even after Moody’s Investors Service cut its outlook on the country’s credit rating, while costs increased to insure Japanese bonds against default. The divergence in market moves highlights a gap in perceptions between locals, who own about 95% of outstanding government notes, and overseas investors.(Bloomberg)

EU: Merkel says EU weighing extension of Greek aid program
German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled that European Union leaders may be ready to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s bailout as part of a broader package to shore up confidence in the euro. The comments by Merkel, the leader of Europe’s biggest economy, are the first indication the EU may respond to calls to ease bailout conditions for indebted countries.(Bloomberg)

US: Confidence increases to three-year high
Confidence among US consumers rose in February to a three-year high exceeding forecasts as more Americans predicted the economy and their incomes will grow. The Conference Board’s sentiment index increased to 70.4, the highest level since February 2008, from 64.8 the prior month, according to figures today from the New York-based private research group. Another report showed home values dropped by the most in a year.(Bloomberg)

US: Home prices in 20 cities fall 2.4% from year earlier
Residential real-estate prices dropped in the 12 months to December by the most in a year, a sign the US housing market is struggling even as the rest of the economy recovers. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home values in 20 cities fell 2.4%, the biggest year-over-year decrease since December 2009, the group said today in New York. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 2.3% decrease.(Bloomberg)

20110223 0919 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Moammar Gaddafi clings to power in Libya, protests continue
Moammar Gaddafi on Tuesday defiantly rejected opposition demands that he give up power, vowing that he would never leave the North African nation he has ruled for more than four decades and would die a "martyr". He spoke after leaders of a popular revolt seized control in some areas of Libya and top officials resigned to protest attacks by security forces that have killed more than 230 civilians. (The Washington Post)

Global unrest puts US stock market in a dive
The US stock market plummeted Tuesday in its biggest drop of the year as escalating tensions in the Middle East and North Africa sent oil prices soaring. The Dow tumbled 178.46 points, or 1.4%, to 12212.79. The S&P index fell 27.57, or 2.1%, to 1315.44. (The Wall Street Journal)

TM & Celcom Axiata collaborate on fixed and mobile convergence solutions
TM signed a MoU with Celcom Axiata for collaboration in providing complete fixed and mobile solutions to Malaysian consumers. TM group CEO Datuk Seri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said the MoU encompasses several areas of collaboration, specifically High Speed Broadband (HSBB) services, which comprise HSBB Access and HSBB Transmission. (Bernama) Please see accompanying report Total vehicle sales up 8.0% in January Total vehicle sales in January increased 8.0% to 54,696 units from 50,622 units recorded last year, said the Malaysian Automotive Association. Of the total, passenger vehicle sales rose 7.9% to 49,589 units, amid the rush delivery for Chinese New Year compared with 45,973 units sold in the same month last year. (Bernama)

Malaysia's first solar power plant
TNB has completed the pre-qualification tender process for Malaysia's first solar power plant to be located in Putrajaya. The utility will “very soon” call for tenders for the project that is estimated to cost some RM60m, according to TNB president and CEO Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh. (StarBiz)

MAHB a step closer to venturing into China
MAHB has reached another milestone in its quest to enter China with the signing of a joint cooperation agreement (JCA) with Nagamas Enterprise Hong Kong Ltd. The JCA will allow MAHB to help Nagamas Enterprise, a unit of Malaysia's Nagamas International, develop and expand a small airport in Yongzhou City in Hunan province. (BT)

2010 tourist arrivals hit record 24.6m
Tourist arrivals to Malaysia reached a new high of 24.6m last year, or 3.9% more, the highest ever for the sixth straight year. Tourism receipts rose by 5.8% to stand at RM56.5bn for 2010. In 2009, arrivals were recorded at 23.6m. (BT)

20110223 0914 Global Market Related News.

ECB policymakers ratchet up inflation warnings
HONG KONG/FRANKFURT, Feb 21 (Reuters) - ECB policymakers sent a fresh round of inflation warnings on Monday, as euro-zone data showed the region's economic recovery remained robust and likely to keep upward pressure on prices.
ECB policymakers have sounded increasingly aggressive on inflation this year since it topped the bank's target of just under two percent.

Yuan convertibility may quicken - PBOC official
HONG KONG, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The pace of the yuan's convertibility may accelerate as global demand grows for trade settlement in the Chinese currency, a Chinese central bank official said.
"If you look at the history and the progress of international use of our renminbi (yuan), you find that sometimes demand grows very quickly," said Xing Yujing, deputy director general of the monetary policy department of the People's Bank of China.

PRECIOUS-Gold eases from 7-wk peak, Middle East in focus
LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Tuesday following six days of gains, as a rising dollar outweighed safe-haven demand arising from violence in the Middle East, and silver was set for its largest slide in a month.
Deadly protests in Libya pushed oil prices to 2-1/2 year highs, fanning fears of inflation and undermining investor confidence in the global economic outlook.

FOREX-Euro down, 'safe-haven' FX rallies on Libya
LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The euro fell on Tuesday while the dollar rallied broadly after escalating political tension in Libya prompted selling in higher-yielding assets for the safety of the U.S. currency and also the Swiss franc.
The New Zealand dollar hit a near two-month low against its U.S. counterpart on speculation that the economic damage caused by an earthquake which rocked the country's second biggest city may increase the chance of an interest rate cut.

Oil surge prompts stock sell-off, dollar rally
LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - World stocks fell nearly 1 percent as revolt in Libya drove oil prices sharply higher, prompting fears of disruption to global economic growth.
"Investors are scaling down on exposure across the board," said Richard Falkenhall, currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm. "Libya is the first major oil exporting country to be affected ... if this spreads to other oil exporting countries, it will not be a good sign."

20110223 0913 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

CBOT soybean products end sharply lower, tracking limit-down soybeans, on worries about Mideast unrest and global commodity demand. Soybeans and other commodities tumbled amid growing violence in the region, which propelled crude futures and fueled worries about commodity demand. March CBOT soyoil down 4.4% to 53.99c/pound while March soymeal slid 4.3% to $346.50/short ton. Both contracts fell to their lowest level in two months. (Source: CME)

Palm up on bullish commodity markets, but slow demand weighs
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil rose 0.4 percent with traders taking positions on Libyan unrest that boosted most commodity markets, but the upside was capped by concerns of slower demand.
"Investors are fed up with the high palm oil prices, which are now a $60 premium over soyoil. It could slow down overseas demand, especially if riots in the Middle East continue," said a trader in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia to keep Feb export tax for palm, cocoa steady
JAKARTA, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Indonesia may keep its palm oil and cocoa bean export tax for March unchanged from February at 25 percent and 10 percent respectively, a source at the industry ministry said on Tuesday.
The base export price for crude palm oil (CPO), which is used to calculate export tax, may be set at $1,222 a tonne, up from $1,194 a tonne in February, the source said.

Patchy rain shores up Argentine soy-weather expert
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Scattered rains in Argentina have helped shore up the country's 2010/11 soy outlook, despite earlier dryness caused by the La Nina weather phenomenon, a specialist in crop weather said on Monday.
Argentina is the world's No. 1 exporter of soyoil and soymeal and its No. 3 soybean supplier.

Brazil soy harvest to get break from rain
SAO PAULO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Rains that have been blanketing Brazil's grain belt are breaking up over the main harvesting regions in the south and center-west this week, local forecaster Somar said on Monday.
Brazil's is heading for a bumper soy harvest that is beginning to spread and should peak in March and April. Analysts have been raising forecasts and are seeing the current crop surpassing the record 69 million tonne crop of 2009/10.

Pakistan unlikely to cut vegoil import duties, flat demand seen
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Pakistan, the world's No.4 vegetable oil buyer, will not cut import duties on palm oil and soyoil despite escalating food costs as the government needs to grow revenues, a key industry official said on Tuesday.
Higher prices of vegetable oils and the government's reluctance to lower tariffs will keep 2011 imports flat at 1.93 million tonnes from a year ago said Ikram Chaudhary, Secretary of the Pakistan Edible Oil Refiners Association.

Palm oil output to jump nearly 25 pct in 2011 -Bakrie Sumatera
JAKARTA, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Palm oil output at Bakrie Sumatera  will jump by nearly 25 percent this year, while its plantation estates will expand by an additional 5,000 hectares, the company said on Tuesday.
The strong production rise is due to some plantations coming into peak yield, Ambono Janurianto, president director at the planter, told Reuters on Tuesday, while acreage will increase from the company's own landbank.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

20110222 1814 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3669, changed : +13 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : little downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : getting lower, seller in control.
Support : 3650, 3620, 3550 level.
Resistance : 3700, 3720, 3750 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded small gain with better volume changed hand while soy oil reopen and traded severely higher following world major commodities higher price development. News wise, Reuters reported that Indonesia may keep Mar 2010 palm oil export tax unchanged.
Daily chart formed an down doji bar candle traded range bound through out the day testing support and resistance level to closed little higher with the reading suggesting a little downside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110222 1801 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1506 changed : -16 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller still having small exposure.
Support : 1500, 1485, 1470 level.
Resistance : 1515, 1530, 1540 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded severe loss with lower volume transacted doing 7.5 points discount compare to cash market as middle east Libya political condition getting worst while all regional market closed negatively.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle resume downward movement after tested middle Bollinger band resistant level recently with the reading suggesting a side way range range bound little downside biased development potentially testing lower support level near lower Bollinger band.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110222 0941 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- South Korea's financial watchdog has pledged to supply liquidity and buy back bad property loans to try and calm the market after six savings banks had their operations suspended in recent days.

Spain: 'Cajas' have EUR 100b of 'problematic' assets. The total exposure of Spanish savings banks to real estate and building amounts to EUR 217b (USD 297b), of which EUR 100b is classed as "potentially problematic," the Bank of Spain said. The banks, known as Cajas, had covered 100 percent of actual losses connected to the industry with provisions and of the "potentially problematic" assets, 38 percent is covered, Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said in Madrid. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Raised its assessment of the economy for a second straight month as exports and industrial production spur growth in a nation coming out of a contraction in the fourth quarter. The economy is "emerging from a recent pause in activity," the Cabinet Office said in a monthly report in Tokyo. The recovery will continue as overseas nations expand, the statement said. (Source: Bloomberg)

India: Bonds are rebounding with the second-best performance in Asia so far this month as the government signals it will raise taxes and narrow the budget deficit in the coming year. Investors in rupee notes earned 0.6%, the biggest gain after rupiah debt, while Philippine securities lost 1.2%, the most in the region, indexes compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc show. The yield on India's benchmark bonds has dropped 13 basis points from an eight-month high of 8.23% on Jan. 17. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the prime minister's top economic adviser, said this week India will withdraw the fiscal stimulus injected during the global financial crisis as the economy expands. (Source: Bloomberg)

Vietnam: To raise power prices, risking faster inflation. Vietnam will increase average electricity prices by 15.3% starting March 1, putting pressure on inflation to accelerate from a 23-month high. The tariffs will rise to VND 1,242 (6 cents) per kilowatt-hour from VND1,077, Hoang Quoc Vuong, deputy minister of trade and industry, confirmed in a mobile-phone text message to Bloomberg News. (Source: Bloomberg)  

Malaysia: Bank Negara expects GDP to grow 5% to 6%
Malaysia is expected to meet its target GDP growth of 5% to 6% this year, following a 7.2% growth in 2010. Bank Negara had forecasted a 4.5% to 5.5% growth for 2010. Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz gave no indication if interest rates will be raised in the near future. She said that an important part of the economic recovery is the strong recovery in private investment as capacity utilization increases and as the dynamic nature of Malaysia’s economy presents new investment opportunities in new growth areas. (Financial Daily)

Thailand: Economy grew 1.2% last quarter
Thailand’s economy strengthened in the fourth quarter on exports and consumer spending, capping the fastest annual expansion in 15 years. GDP rose 1.2% q-o-q, compared with a revised 0.3% decline in the third quarter, which reflected a mid-2010 slump stemming from political unrest and flooding. Economists expected a 0.9% gain. The expansion slowed to 3.8% y-o-y from a revised 6.6% y-o-y advance in the third quarter. Private consumption rose 3.8% y-o-y, manufacturing expanded 4.8% and total investment advanced 6.4%. Exports climbed 22.3% in January y-o-y. For the full year, the economy grew 7.8% in 2010. (Bloomberg)

Hong Kong: Unemployment rate falls to 3.8%
Hong Kong’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than two years, helping bolster spending and economic growth in the city. The jobless rate for the three months through January was 3.8%, lower than the forecasted 4% and the lowest level since November 2008. Hong Kong’s GDP expanded at an annual pace of 6.8% pace in the third quarter and officials estimate 2010 full-year growth may be 6.5%. (Bloomberg)

Middle East: Bahrain, Libya gets debt rating cut
Bahrain and Libya’s sovereign credit ratings were cut as the two Arab countries struggle to contain antigovernment protests. Bahrain’s long-term rating was reduced by one level to A- and the short-term rating lowered to A-2 at S&P’s Ratings. Libya’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default rating was cut to BBB from BBB+ at Fitch Ratings. S&P expects demonstrations in Manama, Bahrain to persist and placed the country’s debt on “creditwatch with negative implications,” meaning it may be lowered again.(Bloomberg)

EU: German business confidence unexpected rises
German business confidence unexpectedly rose to a fresh record high in February as booming exports spurred hiring and consumer spending. The business climate index increased to 111.2 from 110.3 in January. That’s the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991. The German government expects Europe’s largest economy to expand 2.3% this year after record growth of 3.6% in 2010. (Bloomberg)

EU: Services, manufacturing expand most in four years
Growth in Europe’s services and manufacturing industries accelerated to the fastest pace in more than four years in February, led by stronger output in Germany. A composite index based on a survey of euro-area purchasing managers rose to 58.4 in February from 57 in January, above the median forecast of 56.9. The euro area’s manufacturing gauge rose to 59 in February from 57.3 while the services indicator increased to 57.2 from 55.9. Germany’s manufacturing index increased to 62.6 from 60.5 while its services gauge slipped to 59.5 from 60.3. (Bloomberg)

G-20: China fights against West's economic formula. China led resistance to making bulging foreign-exchange reserves a measure of economic imbalances as Group of 20 finance officials struggled for consensus on realigning the skewed world economy. Sparring over early warning indicators reflected the split among fast-growing emerging countries and debt-laden advanced economies over how to prevent a repeat of the harshest recession since World War II. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: House approves Republicans' USD 61b in spending cuts, setting up a budget confrontation with Democrats that threatens a government shutdown. Members adopted changes that will make agreement with the Senate difficult, including a ban on funds for President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul and for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions. The measure would block regulations on greenhouse-gas emissions, for-profit colleges and the Federal Communications Commission's "net neutrality" Internet rules. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Retail sales rose almost four times as much as forecast in January as consumer spending rebounded after the coldest December in a century. Sales gained 1.9% MoM, when they fell a revised 1.4% MoM as snow and freezing temperatures kept Britons from shopping, the Office for National Statistics said. From a year earlier, sales increased 5.3% YoY.(Source: Bloomberg)

China: Leading economic indicator in December fell for the first time since 2008, highlighting the risk that monetary tightening may trigger a slowdown in the fastest- growing major economy. The index slid 0.5% to 154.3 in December from November, The Conference Board, a New York-based research organization, said on its website, citing preliminary data. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Tells Banks to set aside bigger reserves to cool inflation. China's central bank ordered lenders to set aside more money as reserves for the second time this year, draining cash from the financial system to restrain inflation and limit the risk of asset bubbles. Reserve ratios will climb half a percentage point effective Feb. 24, the People's Bank of China said in an announcement made 10 days after an interest-rate increase. (Source: Bloomberg)

Singapore: To spend SGD 6.6b as elections loom. The government will hand cash to all adult citizens as a "dividend" from record growth, upgrade homes and invest in improving productivity, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in the city state's budget speech. Companies will be required to increase contributions into employees' pension funds and pay more to hire foreign workers, he said. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110222 0940 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Parkson: To accelerate expansion in China. MD Alfred Cheng said the company will open 8 to 9 stores a year through 2013, after opening 5 last year and spend up to RMB500m this year on new stores and remodeling existing outlets. (Source: Malaysian Reserve)

MAS: Offering up to 85% discount for all destinations. Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is offering up to 85% discount to all destinations in conjunction with the 8th edition of the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF'11) from Feb 21 to Feb 28. The travel period for the fares is from March 21 to Dec 31. MAS is also offering up to 50% discount for business class seats for all of its destinations for the first time. (Source: Malaysian Reserve)

Healthcare: Medical records online by 2015. At least 20 government hospitals nationwide will be able to serve patients faster by 2015 when medical records are accessible online. However, having a common database for medical records has raised concerns on privacy and confidentiality. (Source: New Straits Times)  

Maybank mulling ways to trim stake in BII
Malayan Banking (Maybank) is evaluating proposals on how best to reduce its stake in Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) to 80% by June this year, its chief said. The Indonesian market regulator has given it until June to meet a 20% free float requirement for BII. Maybank, which held about 97.5% of BII, has already managed to sell less than 1% in the market and is also looking at undertaking private placements, president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said. (BT)

Amway lines up 7 new products, 4 more shops
Amway (Malaysia) Holdings plans to maintain its sales growth momentum of past years through the launch of seven new products, and the opening of between three and four more Amway shops this year. The seven new products will be for the beauty and food supplement categories. Amway Malaysia managing director Low Han Kee said besides its on going efforts to grow its energetic distributor network, globally Amway will be spending a lot of time and resources in developing its information technology (IT) capabilities. Some half a billion dollars (RM1.5tn) have been allocated for its IT initiative. (BT)

Ekuinas to buy stake in education group
Ekuiti Nasional (Ekuinas), a Government-linked private equity fund management company, will acquire a 51% stake in the APIIT/UCTI Education Group for RM102m. A share sale agreement between Ekuinas and Sapura Resources for the controlling stake was completed effective 18 Feb, the former said in a statement yesterday. “This acquisition completes Ekuinas’ fourth investment for 2010 and Ekuinas looks forward to working together with the management in accelerating the growth of the education group with the view to further strengthen its position as a high quality provider of educational excellence among Malaysian students and those from abroad,” it said. (StarBiz)

Berjaya Food plans to open more outlets
Berjaya Food (BFood) sees the current trend of healthy food consumption as an opportunity for its business to expand in the country through its chain of Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurants. BFood has a 100% stake in Berjaya Roasters (M) SB, which operates the chain of Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurants in Malaysia. Chief executive officer Datuk Francis Lee says the group plans to open eight to ten new outlets throughout Malaysia this financial year (ended 30 April 2011), promoting its healthy menus to society. BFood is en route for a listing on Bursa Malaysia's Main Market, scheduled for March, offering 35.84 million shares of 50 sen each, or 25.35% stake in BFood, via the initial public offering (IPO). (StarBiz)

Mizuho gets commercial banking licence
Mizuho Corporate Bank (M) has received the Finance Minister’s approval for its commercial banking licence. The banking group said in a statement yesterday that the licence would enable it to provide a full range of financial services to multinational companies seeking to establish and expand its broad manufacturing base. Mizuho, which received approval from Bank Negara in June 2010, said this was important, in view of the increasing business between Malaysia and other countries, including Japan. “Mizuho is a global financial institution and a leading provider of financial solutions to multinational corporations. We believe our extensive network and presence in more than 30 countries will help to facilitate international trade linkages and investment flows between Malaysia and other parts of the world,” it said. (StarBiz)

Notion VTec targets RM45m net profit for FY11
Hard disk drive component maker Notion VTec forecasts its revenue and net profit to be RM280m and RM45m respectively for the current fiscal year as the company reorganises its production portfolio. The company is also aiming in reducing its exposure to US dollar-denominated sales to 70% from about 90%, a move deemed pivotal to safe guard the exporter’s top line. (FinancialDaily)

Oriented Media in reverse takeover
Beleaguered Oriented Media Group (OMedia) may find a white knight in construction outfit Bina Puri Holdings. It was reported in The Busy Weekly that Bina Puri will be injecting its polyol manufacturing business and power assets in Indonesia into OMedia in exchange for new shares, making Bina Puri the largest shareholder in OMedia, after the reverse takeover (RTO) is concluded. (FinancialDaily)

UMW: Toyota targets 90,000 units sales. Automobile giant UMW Toyota Motor is anticipating nationwide sales to exceed 90,000 units this year to maintain its market share at 15% this year. UMW Toyota's strategy was to launch a series of new models this year, such as the new Lexus CT200h hatchback next week. (Source: The Star)

Ramunia: In talks with Coral Alliance. Ramunia Holdings Bhd is in talks with oil and gas outfit Coral Alliance Sdn Bhd-believed to be linked to Tengku Datuk Ibrahim Petra and Robert Lee, former directors of Petra Energy Bhd- for a possible synergistic tie-up or even an acquisition of the latter. In any case, a joint venture or an acquisition of Coral Alliance by Ramunia will benefit the latter as Coral Alliance is said to be the frontrunner for a hook-up and topside maintenance contract from Petronas. (Source: The Edge Financial Weekly)

Ivory: Secures major tenants for Penang Times Square. Penang-based Ivory Properties Group Bhd has signed up several tenants that will take up sizeable areas in Times Square, along Jalan Datuk Keramat. The shopping centres total tenancy will increase from about 50% now to about 80% by April or May. The new tenants are reputable restaurateurs such as Tao, Ming Garden and Coffee Island. (Source: The Edge Financial Weekly)

Manufacturing: Solutia to invest RM305m on sulfur factory. US-based Solutia Inc is set to invest RM305m to build a new high-tech facility to manufacture insoluble sulfur, a vulcanising agent for critical application in tire industry. It is part of an expansion plan to the current plant operating in Gebeng industrial area here and by doing so, Solutia will double the capacity, making it the worlds largest manufacturing site for insoluble sulfur. (Source: The Star)

EPF: Declares 5.8% dividend for 2010. The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) announced a 5.8% dividend for the year ended Dec 31, 2010, slightly higher than the 5.65% given out in 2009. The RM21.6b dividend payout is the highest in the history and a 11.55% increase compared with the RM19.37b paid out in 2009. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)