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Published by Mrs.Lola, 2021-09-09 01:30:17

TheEdge 090921

TheEdge 090921


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 w w w. t h e e d g e m a r k e t s. c o m

ISSUE 246/2021

HOME: Khazanah to place out 100 million CIMB shares raising up to RM494m — report p5
Tabung Haji first half net profit eases to RM1.22 billion on slower property market p5
Malaysia-based AEI CapForce II plans US$100m IPO in the US p6
WORLD: US job openings rose to a record 10.9 million in July p19

Short-lived interest in Malaysian equities, why?

Report on Page 4.


Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and
Putrajaya to move to Phase
Two of National Recovery

Plan from Friday — PM

Report on Page 3.

thursday september 9, 2021 2 TheEdge CEO morning brief

the edge ceo morning brief published by publisher + ceo . Ho Kay Tat
editor-in-chief . Azam Aris
Read from desktop or mobile device. (266980-X) chief commercial officer . Sharon Teh
You can print in A4 to read. Set print chief operating officer . Lim Shiew Yuin
mode to fit or shrink oversize page. tel . 603-77218000 editors . Kathy Fong . Jenny Ng . Joyce Goh
Level 3, Menara KLK, 1 Jalan PJU 7/6, Tan Choe Choe . Lam Jian Wyn
to get on emailing list Mutiara Damansara, 47810, Petaling Jaya, to contact editors: [email protected]
to advertise: [email protected]
[email protected] Selangor, Malaysia


KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): A total of Covid-19: Active (Category 2). Of these, 12,483 or 64.7%
19,733 new Covid-19 infections were report- cases continue were the unvaccinated (8,203) and partial-
ed in Malaysia today, up 6.4% from 18,547 to drop despite ly vaccinated (4,280), while 6,821 patients
yesterday. The latest cases were detected climb in daily or 35.3% were those fully vaccinated.
from 158,501 people tested nationwide in cases to 19,733;
the past 24 hours, representing a positivity 361 more deaths The remaining 429 cases were in Cat-
rate of 12.45%. egory 3 (patients with pneumonia), Cate-
reported gory 4 (patients with pneumonia requiring
However, active cases (those that carry oxygen therapy) and Category 5 (critical
high transmission risks) dropped for the by Syafiqah Salim patients requiring assisted ventilation). Of
eighth consecutive day to 248,673 — down the patients in these serious categories, the
6.3% from the 265,274 recorded on Sept unvaccinated (224) and partially vaccinat-
1 — as daily Covid-19 recoveries of 22,701 The ministry also recorded 361 ed (107) made up 77.2%, while 22.8%
exceeded fresh infections. Total recoveries Covid-19-related fatalities — including (98) were fully vaccinated.
now stood at 1.63 million, or 85.8% of the 102 brought-in dead cases — raising 35 clusters detected with 1,308 total
1.9 million cumulative infections detected. the country’s coronavirus death toll to infections
19,163. This is the third highest daily The ministry also detected the emergence
Sarawak remained the state with the most death figure reported, after 391 on Aug of 35 new clusters today, with 1,308 total
daily cases at 3,100, while Selangor record- 26 and 362 on Sept 4. infections among them.The 35 clusters in-
ed 2,989 cases and Penang had 2,474 cas- cluded 20 workplace clusters, 11 commu-
es, Health director-generalTan Sri Dr Noor There are now 904 patients under in- nity clusters, two high risk group clusters
Hisham Abdullah said in a statement. Oth- tensive care, of whom 430 require breath- and two education clusters.
er states with four digit cases were: Sabah ing assistance.
(2,067); Johor (1,867); Kedah (1,564); To date, the country has reported
Kelantan (1,471), and Perak (1,319). Kuala 429 serious cases, 77.2% 4,995 Covid-19 clusters. Of these, 3,536
Lumpur had 537 cases. unvaccinated or partially vaccinated have ended, leaving 1,459 active clusters.
A total of 19,304 or 97.8% of new cases re- 97.8% of Klang Valley adults fully
Daily Covid-19 figures: ported today have had no symptoms (Cat- inoculated as of Sept 7
egory 1 patients) or only mild symptoms Malaysia has doled out a total 37.07 mil-
As at Sept 7, 2021: lion vaccine doses as of Tuesday (Sept 7),
after daily shots given rose to 326,476
Vaccine doses administered 326,476 from 313,751 on Monday (Sept 6).

% of population fully vaccinated 49.9 The shots were given to 20.81 million
people or 63.7% of the nation’s population
% of population with at least 63.7 who had received at least one jab, includ-
one dose ing 16.3 million individuals or 49.9% of
the population who were fully vaccinated.
As at Sept 8, 2021:
In the Klang Valley — comprising
Number of new cases 19,733 Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya
— 6.03 million people or 97.8% of the
Number of individuals tested 158,501 adult population had completed their
two-dose regimen.
Positivity rate (%) 12.45 Malaysia’s Covid-19 infection
curve dips Read also:
Category 1 (no symptoms) 19,304 (64.7% Walk-in vaccinations in Klang Valley
and 25000 Daily new cases 19,733 to end after Sept 15 — Adham Baba
Category 2 (mild symptoms) unvaccinated 20000 7-day moving average 19,350 Click here
& partially vaccinated) 15000
Category 3 (with pneumonia), EMCO at four localities in Pahang, two
Category 4 (with pneumonia, 429 (77.2% in Sabah from tomorrow Click here
requiring oxygen therapy)
and unvaccinated
Category 5 (critical & requiring & partially vaccinated)
assisted ventilation)

Number of patients in ICU 904 5000

ICU capacity utilisation (%) 57.58 0 Sept 8, 2021
Jan 1, 2021
Number of deaths 361

Updated as at 7:30pm, Sept 8, 2021
Sources: CITF, MoH

thursday september 9, 2021 3 TheEdge CEO morning brief


KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Selangor, Selangor, travelling was allowed while there would
Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya will tran- Kuala Lumpur and be no more roadblocks.
sition to Phase Two of the National Re- Putrajaya to move
covery Plan (PPN) effective Friday (Sept He said that for States in Phase Two
10), said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail to PhaseTwo of and Phase Three, additional relaxations
Sabri Yaakob. National Recovery for barber, hairdresser and beauty salon
Plan from Friday activities were permitted.
He said the decision was made at the
Covid-19 Pandemic Management Special — PM Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the
Committee meeting today. committee also agreed to the relaxation of
Bernama the standard operating procedure (SOP)
According to him, the relaxation was for sports, leisure and recreational activi-
the same as that for States that had transi- ties in Phase One States.
tioned to PhaseTwo previously, including
allowing cross-district travel for fully-vac- “Commercial indoor sports and recrea-
cinated individuals. tional facilities are allowed to operate only
for customers who have been fully vacci-
“Long-distance married couples who nated and the use of the facilities must be
have been fully vaccinated are allowed to done through appointment, in addition to
cross States, while parents who have received SOP compliance,” he said.
both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine jabs are
permitted to cross States to meet their chil- Ismail Sabri said the decisions were
dren aged below 18,” he said in a statement. made based on the current risk assessment
by the Ministry of Health and National
Ismail Sabri said that dine-in at eateries for Security Council (MKN) and would be
fully-vaccinated customers was also allowed, effective this Friday.
while tourism activities were only allowed in
the same State involving hotel and homestay For the trade and distribution sector, he
accommodation for individuals who have said businesses involving florists or nurs-
completed both doses of the vaccine jab. eries, outdoor equipment shops and hous-
ing galleries would be allowed to operate
Ismail Sabri said the committee also from Sept 10 for States under Phase One.
decided that Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and
Putrajaya would be merged as one Cov- He said the latest SOP information
id-19 infection area and, as such, interstate would be updated by the MKN and rele-
vant Ministries.

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8):The rate of Covid-19: ICU bed vaccination, including 16.3 million people
occupancy for government hospital beds in occupancy rate or 69.6% who have received both doses.
intensive care units (ICUs) had increased in govt hospitals
to 84% as of Sept 7, compared with 68% rose to 84% as As for non-ICU Covid-19 beds, the na-
previously. of Sept 7 tionwide occupancy rate as of yesterday
was at 77% (out of 17,855 beds), up from
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr by syafiqah salim 72% in the previous day.
Noor Hisham Abdullah tweeted that out
of 1,570 ICU beds throughout the coun- The Health Ministry started to release
try, 84% are currently occupied. Bloomberg the numbers of daily Covid-19 ICU and
non-ICU beds last Thursday (Sept 2).
He said Kedah is already operating ter the KlangValley (97.8%) — is the only
above 100% of its ICU capacity, with a state or federal territory that has no pa- A total of 19,733 new Covid-19 infec-
122% occupancy rate for its 104 ICU beds. tients in the ICU. tions were reported in Malaysia today, the
third consecutive day with less than 20,000
The states or federal territories with To date, a total of 20.81 million people, new cases.
more than 90% utilisation rate are Perak or 88.9% of the nation’s adult population,
(96% of 112 beds), Kelantan (95% of 85 have at least received their first dose of In all, the country has registered 1.9
beds), Selangor (94% of 317 beds), Penang million confirmed Covid-19 cases.
(93% of 73 beds), Johor (91% of 110 beds) Read also:
and Perlis (91% of 11 beds). Adolescents in Labuan, Klang Valley to
receive Covid-19 vaccine shortly after
They are followed by Sabah (88% of Sarawak, says Khairy Click here
143 beds), Pahang (79% of 66 beds), Sar- MoH working on ventilation guidelines
awak (78% of 120 beds), Melaka (78% of for reopening of gyms, says Khairy
90 beds), Terengganu (72% of 39 beds), Click here
Kuala Lumpur (68% of 174 beds), Putra- MoH, MOSTI to develop more
jaya (60% of 20 beds) and Negeri Sembi- medical technologies in preparation
lan (31% of 88 beds). for endemic phase of Covid-19, says
Khairy Click here
Six states have vaccination rates of be-
low 60%, namely Johor (55.7% of adult
population fully inoculated), Pahang
(54.9%), Perak (51.7%), Kedah (50.2%),
Kelantan (49.9%), and Sabah (46.1%).

Interestingly, Labuan where 95.6% of
the population has been fully inoculated
— the second highest vaccination rate af-



Short-lived interest in Malaysian equities, why?

BY ADAM AZIZ It came and went
Trading activities in Bursa Malaysia back to pre-Covid levels
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9): Remember
how the Malaysian equity market was one 30000 Volume (mil shares) Value (RM mi) 30000
of the world’s hottest, when it outperformed
global peers with daily trading volume bal- 20000 20000
looning to new records?
10000 10000
No, this was not about the go-go years 3,355 5,914
that the baby boomers and Gen-X had in 3,239
the 1990s before the onset of the Asian Fi- 1,856 0
nancial Crisis. 0

The record high trading volume and turn- Jan 2, 2020 Sept 8, 2021
over happened just slightly more than a year
ago when retail investors, of whom many were Source: Blomberg
young first timers,flocked to the stock market.
Group Bhd’s digital arm, to the online used stocks given the shrinking pool of investors.
The vibrant trading activities then car platform Carsome who just recently “We are still among the best in the world
sparked hope of a rejuvenation of Bursa fetched a valuation of US$1.75 billion and
Malaysia which had seen subdued participa- is now seeking to list in the US. when it comes to plantation stocks, but the
tion, especially retail interest, in the past two inherent ESG issues, such as labour prac-
decades. Rubber glove mania, semiconduc- It is worth noting that the largest IPO on tices and sustainable planting, continue to
tor boom and the penny stock fever drove Bursa in four years is a traditional bricks- hinder institutional investor participation,”
investors to pouring money into equities. and-mortar business of home improvement concurred the fund manager.
retailer, MR DIY Group (M) Bhd.
Unfortunately the wave of investor in- “On top of that we have political uncer-
terest moved past us as quickly as it came. Prior to that, petrochemical group Lotte tainties.That’s a big thing,” he said.
Chemical Titan Holding Bhd was another
Having surged nine-fold past 27 billion mega public offering. Its journey to be listed In the O&G sector, despite the steady re-
shares in August last year, daily trading vol- on Bursa was rather bumpy. covery of the crude oil prices this year, the
ume in Bursa Malaysia retreated to below Bursa Malaysia Energy index remains among
five billion shares, not far off pre-Covid levels A fund manager with an international the worst performers across sectors. Investors
of around three billion shares. firm pointed to higher liquidity and clearer shun O&G counters as they are largely still
policies overseas at this point in time. dependent on national oil firm Petroliam Na-
The FBM KLCI traded largely sideways sional Bhd, which itself is managing its costs
in 2021, trailing behind regional peers that “If you have a multinational corporation, in the face of energy policy headwinds and ris-
are enjoying the rally amid the vaccine-in- why would you want to be listed in Malaysia? ing demand for dividends to the government.
duced economic recovery. Might as well go overseas where there is bet-
ter market access and policy certainty, and On top of that, fossil fuel-based busi-
Foreign investors are also en route for their where more foreigners are also investing.” nesses are at the risk of falling out of favour.
fourth consecutive year of outflow from lo-
cal equities, with net selling of RM5 billion “It’s about fetching the right valuation,” Whereas in the construction sector, “ex-
to-date. said HLIB Research head of retail research citing growth stories like the mega contracts
Ng Jun Sheng.“The policy uncertainties are of old are limited nowadays”, the fund man-
It begs the question why the Malaysian eq- also glaring as evidenced in the slowdown of ager said.This is given our new fiscal position
uity market is unable to retain investor inter- our foreign inflow in recent years.” and the prudence we must now exercise to
ests? Are there any deeper structural issues get things in order including the sovereign
underneath the obvious problems, such as the Notably,Malaysia’s weightage in the MSCI ratings, he said.
current headwinds of the health crisis that have Emerging Market Index of 1.36% is now low-
resulted in economic uncertainties, and the er than the 1.73% fetched by our neighbour Meanwhile, HLIB’s Ng suggested that an-
evolving political landscape, on the surface? Thailand, and way off 11.66% for India. other reason investors are not too excited about
the local market is that the average earnings
Lack of exciting companies? Headwinds for Bursa’s unique sectors? per share of Malaysian-listed companies have
Where other regional markets from Indonesia In the past, investors have explored the Malay- been dropping over the years, while corporate
to India and South Korea are experiencing a sian market for exposure in sectors like planta- earnings in other markets have been growing.
surge in big initial public offerings (IPOs) as tion and oil and gas (O&G), as not many stock
there is ample liquidity chasing for investments exchanges had these types of companies listed. There is nothing wrong with having a large
in high-growth companies in the digital econo- number of mature bricks-and-mortar business-
my, it is apparent that Malaysia is missing out. But the circumstances have changed. De- es listed on Bursa as most of their products
spite posting impressive earnings growth on remain in demand in the current digital era.
Even after including the upcoming IGB the back of strong edible oil prices this year,
commercial REIT listing, Malaysia’s total Malaysian plantation counters have failed Nonetheless, it is undeniable that there
IPOs in the Main Market and ACE Mar- to whet investors’ appetite. should be offerings from companies that are
ket to raise RM2.67 billion (about US$640 in the high growth era to keep the market
million) in January to September 2021 are Fund managers, who have strict com- vibrant. To achieve this, it will need more
dwarfed by the US$8.8 billion raised in In- pliance with environmental, social and gov- than just the stock exchange.
dia’s IPO in January to August. ernance (ESG) mandates, will not look at Read also: Fewer compelling buying op-
plantation stocks and O&G companies. As portunities for market players to follow,
Companies with roots in Malaysia them- a result, this will also affect those who do says Inter-Pacific Click here
selves are looking outwards, from AirAsia not need to comply with ESG as they would
not pay a hefty premium for this breed of



KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Khazanah Khazanah to CIMB Group Holdings Bhd
Nasional Bhd is disposing of 100 mil- place out 100
lion shares representing just under 1% million CIMB RM
in CIMB Group Holdings Bhd in an ac- shares raising up 5 RM4.94
celerated placement, Bloomberg reported. to RM494m
The price range is set between — report RM3.17
RM4.79 and RM4.94 per share, ac- 3
cording to its term sheet sighted by the BY ADAM AZIZ
news agency. 2 Sept 8, 2021
Sept 1, 2020
This represents a discount of up to Suisse and CIMB are joint bookrunners
3.04% to CIMB’s current share price. for the corporate exercise, Bloomberg re- Source: Bloomberg
The counter settled up three sen or
0.61% to RM4.94 on Wednesday, giving Khazanah is the largest shareholder of
it a market capitalisation of RM49.47 bil- CIMB, with control over 2.7 billion shares
lion.Year-to-date, its share price has appre- representing 27.01% in the ASEAN bank-
ciated by 14.88%, although still trending ing group currently.
below its pre-Covid level of above RM5.
As at end-July, other substantial share-
Within Khazanah’s portfolio, CIMB is holders in CIMB included Employees
parked in Khazanah’s commercial basket, Provident Fund (15.5%), Permodalan
comprising investments which the latter Nasional Bhd (12%), and Kumpulan
may monetise whenever the right value Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (6.3%),
exists. CIMB’s website showed.

With the sale, Khazanah will raise
anywhere between RM479 million and
RM494 million.The terms also includes
an option for the Malaysian sovereign
wealth fund to increase the size of the
deal by 38.4 million shares.

Post-transaction, Khazanah will be sub-
ject to a 60-day lock-up on its stake. Credit

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Lemba- Tabung Haji first However, TH said its financial posi-
ga Tabung Haji (TH) reported a slight half net profit tion remained strong with assets totalling
drop of 2.2% in net profit to RM1.22 RM85.92 billion, exceeding liabilities of
billion after accounting for expenses and eases to RM1.22 RM83.73 billion as of June 30, 2021.
zakat for the six-month period to June billion on slower
30, 2021, against RM1.25 billion for the property market “Operating expenses were flat compared
same period in 2020. against the same period last year, mainly due
Bernama to prudent cost management amid challeng-
In a statement today,TH said the lower ing economic conditions.TH is also taking
profit was partly affected by property invest- continuous measures to optimise expendi-
ments as the property market was significant- ture to ensure its cost is managed efficiently.
ly affected by the global pandemic.
“As of June 30,2021,total deposit amount-
“Total income for the first six months ed to RM81.14 billion, its highest level since
ended June 30, 2021 reduced slightly to TH was established 58 years ago.TH had 8.3
RM1.52 billion (before zakat deduction) million depositors as of June 30, 2021,” it said.
compared with RM1.55 billion for the same
period in 2020, a minimal 1% reduction that The resilience of TH’s financial results
reflected its resilience during difficult eco- reflects a cautious and opportunistic in-
nomic and business conditions,” it said. vestment approach with robust liquidity
management, steered by its strategic asset
TH said the bulk of its income was de- allocation (SAA) to minimise the impact
rived from its fixed income investments of short-term fluctuations in the market.
that contributed RM942.6 million for the
first half period, accounting for 62% of its “The SAA underscores TH’s mandate
total income. of managing savings for hajj, which is a
long-term commitment by the depositors.
“Investments in equities contributed More than half, or 58% of TH assets, are
RM219.9 million for the period under earmarked for fixed income investments
review, an improvement from RM184.2 like sukuk, which provides stable and se-
million in the same period in 2020. Equi- cure returns over the long term.
ty investments accounted for 14% of total
income. “TH’s equity investments also outper-
formed the benchmark Bursa Malaysia Hi-
“Property investments provided an in- jrah Shariah Index which fell 7.45% in the
come of RM174.7 million, followed by first half period. It focused on stocks with
money market investments with an income good fundamentals, with defensive quali-
of RM161.8 million,” it said. ties and good dividend track record,” it said.



KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Kuala Lum- Malaysia-based sector,” said Renaissance Capital.
pur-based special purpose acquisition AEI CapForce II While little is known about the compa-
company AEI CapForce II Investment plans US$100m
plans to raise US$100 million (RM416 ny, Green Packet Bhd’s CEO and manag-
million) through an initial public offering IPO in the US ing director Puan Chan Cheong is among
(IPO) in the United States, according to one of its strategic advisory board mem-
an investment bank. BY SULHI KHALID bers, according to the preliminary pro- spectus filed with the US Securities and
The company, which plans to list on the Exchange Commission yesterday.
Nasdaq market, will offer 10 million units
at US$10 each, with each unit consisting Other strategic advisory board members
of one share of common stock and one- include the co-founder of Lazada Group,
half of a warrant, exercisable at US$11.50, Hans-Peter Ressel.
said Renaissance Capital.
“While we may acquire a business in any
At the proposed deal size, AEI Cap- industry, we intend to focus on mid-mar-
Force II Investment would command a ket companies considered disruptors and
market value of US$129 million, the in- innovators within the greater technology
vestment bank said in an announcement and consumer sectors in Southeast Asia
published on its website. and China.

“The company is led by CEO and chair- “More specifically, within Southeast
man JohnTan, whose current roles include Asia and China, we believe that the finan-
serving as CEO of AEI Capital Group, cial technology, e-commerce, O2O, green
where he leads the APAC-focused private energy, healthcare, education, and relat-
equity investment group. ed consumer sectors represent attractive
target markets given their size and growth
“The company plans to target business- profile.
es in Greater China or Southeast Asia in
the ‘new economy’, focusing on the finan- “The products and services related to
cial technology and the financial services these industries are positioned to bene-
and technology industries that offer a dif- fit from shifting consumer demand meg-
ferentiated technology platform or product atrends coupled with the demographics of
for interfacing with the financial services the region,” AEI CapForce II Investment
said in the preliminary prospectus.

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Malaysia is Malaysia on track owned enterprises (SOEs) and addition-
currently on track in ratifying the Com- to ratify CPTPP al disciplines on intellectual property (IP)
prehensive and Progressive Agreement for rights as well as technical barriers to trade.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), pend- — MITI
ing a detailed and clear mandate from the According to Arimuthu, Malaysia re-
Cabinet, said the Ministry of International Bernama mains a signatory country along with Bru-
Trade and Industry (MITI). nei and Chile, and does not enjoy prefer-
ratify the CPTPP, a ratification instrument ential tariff rates offered in the agreement
MITI senior director of strategic negoti- will be submitted to the CPTPP deposi- and cannot block any consensus made by
ations division Arividya Arimuthu said the tory, which is New Zealand, to inform its all the parties involved.
current administration had made it clear members that Malaysia is now ready to
that the government will continue with implement the agreement. “The UK has started a formal accession
trade and business-friendly policies and process to the CPTPP, and as a signato-
is open to mutually beneficial free trade “Once done, the CPTPP will come into ry, Malaysia will not be able to block any
agreements (FTAs). force 60 days after the ratification instru- decision made by the countries that have
ment submission,” she said. ratified the CPTPP.
“Our ambitious timeline is to get the
Cabinet’s directive on where we are head- The CPTPP is said to be a gold stand- “Of course it is not in the nature of Ma-
ing with regard to the CPTPP by the end ard FTA — a high-quality trade agreement laysian negotiators to be blocking the de-
of this year, but otherwise, we are looking that confers preferential treatment to its cisions; we will be welcoming the UK into
at the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22). members — and 11 countries have signed the fold, but there will be an impact for us
the agreement, including Malaysia. and limitations in terms of the role that Ma-
“A lot of things have to come together laysia will assume when it comes to market
before we can go to the Cabinet; there is However, to date, only seven countries, access negotiations with the UK,” she added.
a cost-and-benefit analysis that has been namely Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexi-
commissioned that should help us to un- co, New Zealand, Singapore andVietnam, Arimuthu noted that the CPTPP is an
derstand the costs and benefits associated have ratified the CPTPP. agreement that goes beyond just reducing
with the CPTPP. tariffs as it involves an integrated market of
Meanwhile, the agreement will come 500 million people, with a combined output
“We are also undertaking stakehold- into force in Peru on Sept 19 as the coun- of US$10 trillion (US$1=RM4.15) that
er consultations and we have ministries try only submitted its instrument of rati- represents 13.5% of the world’s economy.
working on amending the relevant laws fication in July.
under their purview,” she said in a webinar “All of this will grow once the UK en-
organised by the Institute for Democra- The CPTPP covers virtually all aspects ters into the CPTPP and it will provide
cy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) today. of trade, including e-commerce, state- market access opportunities to not just 11
countries, but a growing number of coun-
According to Arimuthu, once the Cab- tries, and it is something that Malaysia
inet has given its approval for Malaysia to needs to recognise,” she said.



AirAsia says transformation into digital
travel and lifestyle group complete

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): AirAsia BY SHAZNI ONG “Airline staff costs were down 48%
Group Bhd’s transformation into a digi- y-o-y and another 19% q-o-q due to
tal travel and lifestyle group has been com- headcount rationalisation and attrition.
pleted, its chief executive officer Tan Sri “Positive discussions for raising addi- We reported zero fuel hedging losses,
Tony Fernandes said today. tional new capital for airlines, Asia Digital which will remain nil in the upcoming
Engineering and our digital businesses are quarters as it has been fully restructured,”
“Our transformation is over and AirA- ongoing.Through all of our strategic fund- he added.
sia is now an investment holding company raising exercises, we expect to have sufficient
with a portfolio of synergistic travel and liquidity for the second half of the year and Lingam said AirAsiaThailand resumed
lifestyle businesses that leverage data and throughout 2022,” said Fernandes. 11 domestic routes in early September fol-
technology to deliver the best value at the lowing the relaxation of travel restrictions
lowest cost, supported by strong data and AirAsia President (Airlines) Bo Lingam by the authorities, operating under strict
one of Asia’s leading brands that remains said in the same statement that the group SOPs and with enhanced hygiene meas-
committed to serving the underserved,” posted a healthy load factor of 68% in ures in place.
Fernandes said in a statement in conjunc- 2QFY21, up nine percentage points from
tion with the release of its financial results a year earlier, on active capacity manage- Meanwhile, AirAsia Indonesia has re-
for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021 ment to match demand. mained in hibernation mode since July
(2QFY21). 2021, adhering to strict containment ef-
“This is led by AirAsia Philippines with forts enforced by the government due to
“Innovation has always been in our 78% load factor during the quarter.AirAsia the rising number of infection cases as well
DNA and we will continue to develop Malaysia, AirAsia Indonesia and AirAsia as significantly subdued demand for travel.
and expand our products and services to Thailand experienced subdued momentum
meet consumer demand in all of our key quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) due to rising “AirAsia Indonesia was recovering well
markets,” he added. Covid-19 cases in their respective domestic prior to the hibernation, achieving as high
markets. Nonetheless, passenger numbers as 70% of pre-Covid domestic capacity
Fernandes said AirAsia continues to improved year-on-year (y-o-y) with AirAsia levels in May 2021,” said Lingam.
evaluate funding, potential monetisation Malaysia reporting a 64% increase y-o-y
and other corporate exercises to ensure while AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Philip- On a positive note, he said AirAsia
sufficient liquidity for the group. pines and AirAsiaThailand each increased Malaysia welcomes the government’s an-
by more than 100% y-o-y,” he said. nouncement of the Langkawi travel bubble
He noted that by the end of 3QFY21, opening in mid-September.
the group will have completed two batches Lingam noted AirAsia continued to see
of lease restructuring and expects to com- positive outcomes from its stringent cost “We expect all our airline entities to see
plete the full exercise by the end of 2021. containment measures. a gradual pick up in domestic operations
in the fourth quarter, following the eas-
Meanwhile, in August, BigPay secured “Our 2QFY21 fixed costs reduced 15% ing of travel restrictions in line with the
up to US$100 million in financing led by despite coming off a low base. increase in vaccination rates in all of our
SK Group. On a q-o-q basis, fixed costs key markets,” he said.
were flat after a consistent
AirAsia also proposed a re- q-o-q downtrend since Noting that many countries are al-
nounceable rights issue of up to the first Covid wave in ready allowing vaccinated travellers in,
RM1 billion which it expects late 1QFY20. Lingam said: “With the accelerated vac-
to be finalised by the end of cine rollouts across Asean, we expect to
this year. see more vaccinated travel lanes and vac-
cine bubbles forming which will boost a
V shaped resumption of air travel in the
near future.”

He stressed that AirAsia has unwaver-
ing confidence that its robust short haul
business model, lean operations, contact-
less procedures, combined with pent-up
demand, vaccines and travel bubble for-
mations, will ensure a quick recovery upon
the relaxation of travel restrictions in the
near future.

“People are craving to travel again and
we expect to see a strong resurgence in
the visiting friends and relatives (VFR) as
well as the leisure and spontaneous travel
markets first,” he said.

Read also: AirAsia 2Q net loss narrows
to RM580m as revenue jumps 161%
Click here

thursday september 9, 2021 8 TheEdge CEO morning brief


KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8):YTL Corp YTL Corp es divisions as well as wider losses for its
Bhd closed its fourth quarter ended June sees better property investment division.
30, 2021 (4QFY21) with a swing to profit performance
before tax (PBT) of RM110.16 million, in 4Q, declares This was despite full-year revenue de-
from a loss before tax of RM135.52 mil- 2.5 sen dividend clining 9.5% to RM17.36 billion, from
lion a year earlier. RM19.18 billion previously, on weaker
by adam aziz hotels and property investment divisions’
This was thanks to better performance contributions.
across all segments, except management
services, with the improvement led by At the PBT level, YTL Corp saw a Notably, net cash from operating activities
the group’s utilities armYTL Power In- 52.29% increase to RM638.52 million remained stable at RM2.84 billion, down
ternational Bhd and cement divisions from RM419.29 million in FY20, as im- just 6.7% from RM3.04 billion in FY20.
Malayan Cement Bhd, the group said provements in utilities, cement and con-
in a bourse filing. struction divisions more than offset a swing YTL Corp executive chairmanTan Sri
to loss for hotels and management servic- FrancisYeoh Sock Ping said in a statement:
YTL Corp declared a dividend of 2.5 “The group continued to see good results,
sen per share for the quarter, after a rare with our utilities division in particular be-
occasion of missing a payout for FY20. Its ing bolstered by the ongoing turnaround
sister companyYTL Power also declared of the merchant multi-utilities business in
a dividend of two sen per share for the Singapore (YTL PowerSeraya Pte Ltd).”
quarter, bringing its full-year payout to
4.5 sen per share. “Our cement division also turned in a
strong performance on the back of dispos-
The better pre-tax performance forYTL al of cement operations in China, coupled
Corp came concurrently with a 23.45% im- with the increase in selling prices and vol-
provement in quarterly revenue to RM4.37 umes, and lower finance costs,”Yeoh said.
billion, from RM3.54 billion in 4QFY20,
as all segments posted a better top line. “The group’s EBITDA (earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisa-
However, a huge RM595 million de- tion) remained robust at RM4.08 billion
ferred tax booked in the quarter resulted for the financial year, approximating last
in a wider net loss of RM408.51 million year’s results, underscoring the fundamen-
from RM251.59 million in 4QFY20. tal financial strength of our operating units
despite challenges faced from the ongoing
The same deferred tax led to YTL Covid-19 pandemic.
Corp’s full-year net loss for FY21 widen-
ing to RM368.69 million or 3.47 sen per “We are optimistic that the solid perfor-
share, from RM189.22 million or 1.78 sen mance from our key operating subsidiaries
per share in FY20. for the 12 months under review bodes well
for the year ahead,” he added.

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Malay- UOB: Foreigners was unchanged at 20.2% of market capi-
sia’s overall foreign portfolio flow rose by turned net talisation,” they said.
RM7.7 billion in August, which more than
offset declines in two preceding months, buyers of bonds Meanwhile, Bank Negara Malaysia’s
thus marking the highest monthly net in- and equities in (BNM) foreign reserves rose by US$5.2
flow since June 2020, according to UOB August, first time billion on a monthly basis to US$116.3
Global Economics & Markets Research. since June 2019 billion as at end-August, marking the high-
est level of reserves in nearly seven years.
Foreigners turned net buyers of domes- by syafiqah salim
tic debt securities of RM6.6 billion and eq- According to the economists, the higher
uities of RM1.1 billion last month, marking reserves reflect an additional allocation of
the first month of net buying of equities Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to Malay-
since June 2019, said its economists Julia sia by the International Monetary Fund
Goh and Loke Siew Ting in a note today. (IMF).

“For bonds, flows were concentrated in “The latest reserves position is suffi-
Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) cient to finance 8.3 months of retained
and Government Investment Issues (GII) imports and is 1.3 times total short-term
worth RM3.1 billion and RM3.2 billion external debt.
“Higher foreign flows into Malaysia last
“Year to date (YTD), foreign holdings of month follows abating domestic political
Malaysian government bonds (MGS and risk after the appointment of [a] new prime
GII) rose by RM23.9 billion to RM226.1 minister, and further progression in vacci-
billion as at end-August, which was equiv- nation rates that paves the way for further
alent to 25.2% of total outstanding. economic recovery.

“For MGS, foreign investors held “MYR [ringgit] gained momentum
RM191.7 billion or 40.3% of total MGS against USD [US dollar] to 4.15 at time of
outstanding as at end-August while foreign writing. Next key event to watch is BNM’s
holdings of GII accumulated to RM34.4 monetary policy decision tomorrow (Sept
billion or 8.6% of total GII outstanding. 9). Bloomberg consensus (including us) ex-
Foreign ownership of Malaysian equities pect BNM to keep the Overnight Policy
Rate (OPR) on hold at 1.75%,” they added.

thursday september 9, 2021 9 TheEdge CEO morning brief


Eleven Malaysian Asia’s 200 best under a billion
outfits make it
to Forbes Asia’s Name Country/ Sales Net income Market Value
200 best under Territory (US $mil) (US $mil) (US $mil)
a billion list Comfort Gloves
D&O Green Technologies Malaysia 225 67 252
by Surin Murugiah Dancomech Holdings Dufu Technology Malaysia 137 12 1,425
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Eleven Ma- Frontken Malaysia 28 4 38
laysian outfits have made it to the Forbes Revenue Group
Asia’s 2021 Best Under A Billion list, Scientex Malaysia 71 12 558
which recognises 200 top-performing pub- Thong Guan Industries
licly listed small and midsized companies UG Healthcare Malaysia 12 4 110
in the Asia-Pacific region with sales under ViTrox
US$1 billion. Malaysia 88 20 1,273
Source: Forbes
The Malaysian companies in the list are Malaysia 18 2 208
Comfort Gloves Bhd, D&O Green Tech-
nologies Bhd, Dancomech Holdings Bhd, Malaysia 834 92 1,524
Dufu Technology Corp Bhd, FoundPac
Group Bhd, Frontken Corp Bhd, Revenue Malaysia 229 18 220
Group Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Thong Guan
Industries Bhd, UG Healthcare Corp Ltd Malaysia 104 10 259
and ViTrox Corp Bhd.
Malaysia 112 25 2,113
Forbes Asia said despite the global
spread of Covid-19, this year’s annual region with sales under US$1 billion. It said the companies on this list, which
Best Under A Billion list highlighted the It said their sound financial figures is unranked, were selected based on a com-
resilience of 200 publicly listed small and posite score that incorporated their over-
midsized companies in the Asia-Pacific reflect how well these companies coped all track record in measures such as debt,
in the midst of a global pandemic, with sales and earnings-per-share (EPS) growth
healthcare and pharmaceutical-related over both the most recent fiscal one- and
companies being standouts, while tech three-year periods, and the strongest one-
and logistics firms linked to the global and five-year average returns on equity
e-commerce boom also benefited. (ROEs).

On its methodology, Forbes Asia said Aside from quantitative criteria, qual-
the list is meant to identify companies with itative screens were used as well, such as
long-term sustainable performance across excluding companies with serious govern-
a variety of metrics. ance issues, questionable accounting, en-
vironmental concerns, management issues
It explained that from a universe of or legal troubles.
20,000 publicly traded companies in the
Asia-Pacific region with annual revenue State-controlled and subsidiaries of
of above US$10 million and below US$1 larger companies were also excluded.
billion, only 200 companies were selected.

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Duophar- Duopharma Duopharma added that applications for
ma Biotech Bhd has denied appointing denies appointing registration of pharmaceutical products with
any party including Bintai Kinden Corp Bintai Healthcare, the Drug ControlAuthority as well as sales and
Bhd’s unit Bintai Healthcare Sdn Bhd as distribution of pharmaceutical products are in
a distributor of the Sinopharm Covid-19 other parties the ordinary course of the group’s business.
vaccine in Malaysia. as distributor
of Sinopharm’s To recap, Duopharma was granted con-
In a bourse filing, the pharmaceutical Covid-19 vaccine ditional registration approval by the Drug
company said it was referring to a report Control Authority on July 16 for Sinop-
concerning Bintai Healthcare partnering by Justin Lim harm’s COVILO Covid-19 vaccine.
with the company to distribute the vaccine
in the country. Yesterday, Bintai Kinden said in a state-
ment that its unit Bintai Healthcare had
“We wish to inform that as at to date, inked a deal with NGT Solutions (M) Sdn
neither the company, Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd, which it claimed was an appointed
Bhd, nor any of the company’s subsidiaries healthcare organiser of Duopharma, to
has appointed ‘Bintai Healthcare’ or any jointly distribute Sinopharm’s Covid-19
other party as distributor for the distribu- vaccine to the private sector in Malaysia.
tion of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine
in Malaysia. Bintai Kinden executive director Noor
Azri Noor Azerai said the company aimed
“As part of the Duopharma Biotech to achieve a sales forecast of vaccination
group’s continuing commitment to good for 5,000 persons in the first three months
corporate governance and compliance with once the vaccine was made available to the
the laws of Malaysia, we also wish to advise private sector.
that the Duopharma Biotech group will ad-
here to any applicable standard operating Duopharma’s share price closed down
procedures as may be issued by the govern- nine sen or 4.59% to RM1.87, for a market
ment of Malaysia in relation to supply of the capitalisation of RM1.76 billion.
Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine to the private
sector,” said Duopharma. Bintai Kinden shares fell 0.5 sen or
0.98% to settle at 50.5 sen, valuing it at
RM193 million.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 10 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Proton Proton targets As production at both of its plants has
Holdings Bhd aims for a recovery in sales sales recovery in been restored, the company is able to re-
in the final four months of 2021, amid a re- final four months sume export activities, noting that Pakistan
sumption in production, sales, and export of 2021, Jan-Aug will be receiving 108 units of the Proton
activities, which it expects to contribute sales volume up X70 in September, along with CKD packs
towards increased sales volume starting of the Proton Saga ahead of its rollout, now
in September. 1.6% y-o-y expected at end-October.

In a statement, the national carmaker by Ahmad Naqib Idris Proton said the success of its Pub-
said it managed to achieve total volume of lic-Private Partnership Industrial Cov-
5,354 units from June to August this year, id-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS)
comprising a mix of online registrations vaccination plan was the key to resuming
and exports amid limited production at operations at its factories and outlets, with
its plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak, after it 93% of Proton staff being fully vaccinat-
was classified as a Phase 2 state on July 5, ed, as well as over 75% of its employees
due to a shortage of parts from vendors at vendors and dealers.
in Selangor.
“Aside from Malaysian market cus-
Up to the end of August, total sales tomers, Proton’s export markets have also
volume increased 1.6% year-on-year to benefited from the resumption of produc-
62,637 units, Proton said. tion activities. It’s still too early to tell how
quickly we can fulfil our outstanding or-
“Our total sales volume up to August ders, but we are closing the gap every day.
reflects Proton’s strong performance over
the first five months of the year. “Additionally, the success of our vac-
cination programme will be vital to our
“2021 has been challenging for the performance for the rest of the year. By
automotive industry as lockdowns, chip having a fully vaccinated workforce, we
shortages and a number of other issues can reassure the market that Proton has
have stunted sales growth, but we are confi- taken every conceivable step to make it
dent of an industry-wide surge in numbers safe for fully vaccinated customers to vis-
over the final four months of the year,” it our showrooms and service centres,”
said Proton Edar chief executive officer Roslan said.
Roslan Abdullah.

privatisation bid
at RM2 per share
deemed ‘not fair,
but reasonable’

by Adam Aziz

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8):The proposed “Save for the proposed SCR, MMC has In total, STJSB would be spending
selective capital reduction (SCR) and priva- not received any other offer for MMC shares RM2.94 billion for the privatisation bid.
tisation of MMC Corp Bhd by tycoon Tan or to acquire the assets and liabilities of the MMC’s latest issued share capital stood at
Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary are deemed not MMC Group as at the last practicable date 3.05 billion shares.
fair, but reasonable, said independent adviser (LPD) [June 3],” the adviser added.
Alliance Investment Bank Bhd. At RM2 per share, the SCR values MMC
“As at the LPD, the offeror held the ma- Corp at RM6.08 billion. Alliance’s estimat-
In the company’s circular on the exercise jority equity stake/voting rights of approxi- ed value of MMC shares puts the company
today, Alliance said the SCR is “not fair” as mately 51.76% in MMC.As such, any other at a value of between RM10.1 billion and
the offer price of RM2 per share is lower offer from a third party to acquire MMC RM10.37 billion.
than the estimated value of between RM3.32 shares will require the support of the offeror
and RM3.41. to be successful,” it added. The company will call for an extraordi-
nary general meeting in the coming months
However,the adviser is of view that the pro- Syed Mokhtar is extending the offer to obtain shareholders’ approval for the pro-
posal is “reasonable” on grounds that MMC through his investment vehicle SeaportTer- posal.The other substantial shareholder in
shares had not traded above the offer price for minal (Johore) Sdn Bhd (STJSB), for the MMC is Permodalan Nasional Bhd, with a
three years before the proposal was announced 1.47 billion shares or 48.24% stake it does 20.97% stake in the port operator.
on June 3.The highest open market price in not own in MMC, which operates sea ports
the period was RM1.55 in July 2018, while in Johor, Port Klang, Penang, and Melaka Shares of MMC setted up two sen or
the lowest was 46.5 sen in March this year. as well as in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 1.09% to RM1.86 today, valuing the group
at RM5.66 billion.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 11 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


Taiwanese firms focusing on Asean see
Malaysia as a promising market for expansion

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Taiwanese by Justin Lim Standard Chartered Malaysia manag-
companies focusing on Asean have identi- ing director and CEO Abrar A Anwar said
fied Malaysia as among the top three most Taiwan is a significant investor in Malay-
promising markets for further expansion The top three identified risks are the sia, mainly focusing on manufacturing in-
in the next 12 months, according to a sur- Covid-19 pandemic or other health crises dustries such as electrical and electronics
vey commissioned by Standard Chartered. (75%), geopolitical uncertainty and trade (E&E), biotechnology and high-technology
conflicts (66%), and the slow revival of the related sectors.
The survey amongTaiwanese senior ex- economy and drop in consumer spending
ecutives showed that Singapore, the Phil- (61%). “We believe more Taiwanese businesses
ippines and Malaysia offer the best expan- will find Malaysia to be a highly attractive
sion opportunities for sales and production Furthermore, respondents acknowl- proposition, particularly for our growing ca-
among the major Asean economies. edged that understanding regional reg- pacity in major industries and segments such
ulations, payment methods and infra- as chemical, high tech medical devices and
A majority ofTaiwanese companies are structure (70%), building relationships biopharmaceuticals, and renewable energy
expecting business growth in the region with suppliers and adapting supply chain — coupled with our key location as the man-
over the next 12 months, Standard Char- logistics (59%) and adapting their busi- ufacturing centre of Southeast Asia,” he said.
tered said in a statement. ness model to industry practices and con-
ditions within Asean (50%) are the most Kingshuk Ghoshal, the bank’s head of
A whopping 98% of respondents expect significant challenges in the next six to global subsidiaries in Singapore and Asean
an increase in revenue while 93% antici- 12 months. (corporate, commercial and institutional
pate growth in production, it said. banking), said Taiwanese companies are
To drive resilient and rebalanced growth active investors in various markets across
The respondents ranked access to the in Asean and to mitigate these risks and Asean and will continue to be a key player
large and growing Asean consumer market challenges, a majority of the respondents in the region’s established and emerging
(66%), presence of a mature and reliable consider driving sustainability and environ- sectors.
supplier base (55%) and access to a global mental, social and governance (ESG) ini-
market enabled by a network of free trade tiatives (70%), entering new partnerships/ “Standard Chartered has been in Asean
agreements (52%) as the most important joint ventures to increase market presence for more than 160 years. We are the only
drivers for expansion into the region. (59%) and strengthening cybersecurity and international bank with a presence in all
data protection (50%) as the most impor- 10 Asean markets with extensive local in-
“In addition, the ratification of the Re- tant focus areas for their companies. sights. Our unique global footprint and
gional Comprehensive Economic Partner- full suite of financing and advisory ser-
ship (RCEP) is also expected to attract “To support their growth, these com- vices make Standard Chartered the ideal
more investments into the region, with panies say they are seeking banking part- banking partner to support these business-
more than 90% of respondents planning ners with extensive trade financing ser- es’ cross-border financing and expansion
to increase investments by at least 25% vices (68%), strong cash management needs,” he said.
over the next three to five years (91%),” capabilities (48%) and foreign exchange
the statement said. hedging and comprehensive multi-cur- The survey was commissioned in April,
rency settlement services (45%),” added targeting senior executives at 44 compa-
While optimistic about opportunities in Standard Chartered. nies based in Taiwan and focusing on the
Asean, Standard Chartered said the com- Taiwan-Asean corridor.
panies surveyed understand that there are
risks that will need to be managed.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 12 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


Banking sector has favourable risk-reward
profile, 2022 average dividend yield at
‘commendable’ 5.3% — analysts

by Shazni Ong

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Banking The banks are expected to book a net modification loss in 3Q21 arising from the recent increase
stocks could see better days ahead as the in targeted assistance from 14% to 27%.
sector’s risk-reward profile is still skewed
favourably to the upside with analysts be- der slight pressure, premised on brewing de- economic reopening and cyclical recovery
lieving most negatives have been priced in posit rivalry and a limited scope for further theme. RHB Bank Bhd (TP: RM6.35), on
by the market. current account savings account (CASA) the other hand, is the firm’s second sec-
expansion. tor pick given its attractive dividend yield,
Analysts also viewed that sector sen- high common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio
timent will remain positive well into the “That said, loan growth is seen to chug and high beta.
fourth quarter of the year (4Q21) even along given the gradual economic reopening
though credit cost is expected to rise in the under the National Recovery Plan. Sepa- “ As the recovery theme gains traction,
second half of the year (2H21), supported rately, the gross impaired loan (GIL) ratio our top picks have skewed to the higher beta
by economic reopening on high vaccination is likely to creep up but we are not overly banking names with strong earnings recov-
rates, potential positive dividend surprises worried as banks made heavy pre-emptive ery growth potential,”Wee said.
and attractive valuations. provisioning in financial year 2020 (FY20)
and we reckon credit risk has been ade- Meanwhile, as for the big boys, Chan
UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd analyst Keith quately priced in by the market, looking at prefers Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank)
Wee said taking a longer-term investment the high net credit charge (NCC) assump- with aTP of RM9.40 for its strong dividend
horizon, the average dividend yield for the tion applied for FY21 by both us and the yield, and Public Bank Bhd (TP: RM4.50)
sector in 2022 is now hovering at a com- consensus (above the normalised run rate for its resilient asset quality.
mendable 5.3% versus its historical aver- but below FY20’s level),” he said in a sec-
age of 4.5%. tor report today. For midsized banks, RHB Bank Bhd
(TP: RM6.85) is favoured for its high CET1
“Meanwhile, the current implied 2021 On forecasts, Chan is now projecting a ratio and large fair value through other com-
yield of 4% is broadly in line with historical three-year aggregate earnings compound an- prehensive income (FVTOCI) reserves to
levels despite earnings being impacted by nual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.2% (calen- buffer from potential yield curve volatility.
still-elevated provisions. Our 2021 dividend dar year 2020 [CY20]-CY23) for the sector
payout ratio assumption remains conserv- versus the research firm’s previous estimate For small-sized banks, BIMB Hold-
ative at 40% (2019: 48%),” he said in a of 14.9% after a couple of profit revisions ings Bhd (TP: RM4.80) and Affin Bank
sector report today. this reporting season. Bhd (TP: RM2.15) are preferred. HLIB
likes the former for its positive long-term
Wee added that the banks are expected Still ‘overweight’ on banks structural growth drivers and better asset
to book a net modification loss in 3Q21, BothWee and Chan concurred that the local quality, while the latter has value-unlock-
arising from the recent increase in targeted banks reported a fairly commendable set of ing potential.
assistance from 14% to 27%. 2Q21 earnings, with the two maintaining
their “overweight” call on the banking sector. “In our view, Covid-19 woes will like-
“However, the impact is going to be sig- ly fizzle out in 2022, while the state of the
nificantly less than the RM1.7 billion (8% of As for top picks,Wee said CIMB Group economy and the banking sector will only
sector earnings) that the sector experienced Holdings Bhd (target price [TP]: RM5.50) get better in time. Also, valuations are un-
in 2020.This is because the increase in the remains the firm’s top sector pick, under- demanding and there is ample liquidity in
targeted assistance take-up rate of rough- pinned by its strongest earnings recovery the market,” Chan added.
ly 15ppts (percentage points) this round is and attractive valuations, coupled with its Read also: RHB maintains ‘overweight’ call
much lower than the 85% take-up rate in liquid and high beta nature, which should on power sector; expects more solar EPCC
2020 given the opt-in nature of the current bode well for the bank under the current contract flow Click here
targeted assistance.

“In addition, customers who choose to
extend their loan tenure to reduce their
monthly loan repayment will end up hav-
ing to pay higher cumulative interest and
this would essentially help to partially offset
the loan modification losses. All in all, we
estimate a potential sector-wide net loan
modification loss impact of only 1% to 1.5%
of our 2021 sector earnings [forecast] versus
the 8% impact in 2020,” he said.

Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB)
analyst Chan Jit Hoong, meanwhile, expects
the net interest margin (NIM) to come un-

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 13 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


news In brief

EPF cuts IOI Corp stake as planter tops Unisem temporarily shuts Ipoh adversely impacted in the coming
RM4 for first time in over two months plants for seven days on MoH orders months due to headcount limitation
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): The Employees until such time the pandemic subsides
Provident Fund (EPF) trimmed its stake in KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Unisem (M) significantly,” it noted. — by Justin Lim/
IOI Corp Bhd to 13.213% on Sept 2 — from Bhd said its plants in Ipoh have been
13.283% on Aug 25 — after the fund sold ordered to shut down for seven days from
shares in the oil palm planter in several Sept 8 to 15 by the Ministry of Health. The
tranches as the latter’s share price topped semiconductor assembly and test services
RM4 for the first time in over two months. provider did not mention the reason for
According to IOI Corp’s Bursa Malaysia the temporary stoppage of its Ipoh plants.
filings, the EPF on Sept 2 trimmed its stake In a bourse filing today, Unisem said the
in the company to 13.213% after disposing loss in production arising from the closure
of 1,800 shares. Following the disposal, the is estimated to be approximately 2% of
EPF’s 13.213% stake in IOI Corp comprised the group’s total annual production. “We
823.57 million shares, according to the oil anticipate that the sales and production
palm planter’s filing yesterday. In an earlier at our Ipoh plants will continue to be
Aug 30 filing, IOI Corp said the EPF sold
942,800 shares on Aug 25, leaving it with CIMB Thai Bank’s enlarged MTN Top Glove says it has no links to
13.283% stake in IOI Corp, comprising programme will not result in flagged illegal investment scheme
827.94 million shares. IOI Corp’s share price downgrade, says Fitch Ratings Top Gloves Investment
closed higher at RM4 on Aug 25 for the first
time in over two months since June 11, when KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Fitch Ratings KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): KUALA
the stock also ended at RM4. The company (Thailand) has confirmed that the proposed LUMPUR (Sept 8): Top Glove Corp
did not specify at what price and to whom amendments to CIMB Thai Bank PCL’s Bhd said it does not have any links or
the EPF sold the shares between Aug 25 and ‘AA-(tha)/negative)’ senior unsecured relationship with Top Gloves Investment,
Sept 2. — by Justin Lim/ medium-term note (MTN) programme will which was previously flagged as a possible
not result in a downgrade or withdrawal clone of the glove manufacturing group by
Awang Daud forced to sell another of the programme’s ratings. According to the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).
1.8 mil Serba Dinamik shares Fitch, the issuer has proposed to increase In a notice on its website, the group said it
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Serba Dinamik the programme to 15 billion baht from five does not have any link to any investment
Holdings Bhd co-founder and non- billion baht. The programme’s other key programme or trading platform for
independent director Datuk Awang Daud terms and conditions remain unchanged. investments. “Top Glove Sdn Bhd wishes
Awang Putera was forced to sell 1.8 million “The notes under the programme can to inform of an illegitimate entity, Top
shares today, a bourse filing showed. be denominated in Thai baht or foreign Gloves Investment, that is operating an
Following the share sale, his stake in Serba currencies, and proceeds will be used illegal investment scheme,” it said. On
Dinamik stands at 23.63 million shares or for CIMB Thai’s general working capital Sept 4, the SC issued a statement to warn
0.637%. The last time Awang Daud was requirements. The programme’s national investors of Top Gloves Investment, which
forced to sell his shares was around end-June long-term rating of ‘AA-(tha)’ and national it said was “carrying on regulated activity
when he had to dispose of 22.7 million shares short-term rating of ‘F1+(tha)’ are at of fund management without a licence”,
on June 28 and 4.25 million shares on June the same level as the issuer’s national and that the latter misrepresented and
30. To date, he has been forced to dispose of ratings and apply only to senior unsecured misused the SC’s name. Top Gloves
28.75 million shares or 0.78% of the group’s issues under the programme. There is no Investment claimed on its website
outstanding shares. Besides Awang Daud, assurance that notes issued in the future that it operates under Top Glove Sdn
Serba Dinamik group managing director will be assigned a rating,” it said in a note. Bhd, which is seen as a possible clone
Datuk Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah had also CIMB Thai Bank PCL is a 94.8%-owned of Top Glove’s operating unit with the
been forced to sell his shares in July. The subsidiary of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. same name. — by Ahmad Naqib Idris/
latest forced selling by Mohd Abdul Karim — by Shazni Ong/
was announced on July 5, totalling 32.18
million shares. Serba Dinamik fell 0.5 sen or Green Packet partners FETCi to run Malaysia’s first Multi Lane Free Flow
1.3% to close at 39.5 sen, giving it a market tolling system Proof of Concept
capitalisation of RM1.47 billion. — by Ahmad
Naqib Idris/ KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Green Packet Bhd and FETC International Co (FETCi) will
run the country’s first ever multi lane free flow (MLFF) tolling system Proof of Concept
(POC) on Malaysian highways. In a statement today, the group said the MLFF POC will
be installed at Besraya KM5.5 (North Bound) and is scheduled for data collection for
three months starting early 2022. The MLFF POC is critical to achieve a congestion-free
highway state, as stipulated in the Ministry of Works’ Malaysian Intelligent Transport
System (ITS) blueprint, it said. Green Packet will be providing the funding, local insights
and expertise in fintech payments, while FETCi will provide the front-end equipment
and expertise in MLFF implementation. Data collected from the POC during the three
months will be shared with relevant authorities and stakeholders to prove and validate
the feasibility of using MLFF. — by Sulhi Khalid/

T H U R S D A Y S E P T E M B E R 9 , 2 0 2 1 14 T H E E D G E C E O M O R N I N G B R I E F




Vaccinations reduce infections and save lives*
Get yourself vaccinated

Get your family, friends and colleagues
to register for vaccination

Join the race to build herd immunity

*Covid-19 Vaccines Advice

– World Health Organization

*Benefits of Getting Covid-19 Vaccines

– US Centre For Disease Control & Prevention


t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 15 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


PUTRAJAYA (Sept 8):The Court of Appeal Najib fails in appeal The former attorney-general claimed
has upheld the High Court decision to dis- to disqualify Sri that Sri Ram’s view was jaundiced and he
miss Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to chal- was “horrified” to learn that the ex-judge
lenge the appointment of Datuk Seri Gopal Ram from leading was appointed a senior DPP under Section
Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in the former prosecution in 376(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code,
prime minister’s 1Malaysia Development which he said was a misnomer as he thinks
Bhd (1MDB)-linked cases. 1MDB audit report a DPP must come from the legal and judi-
tampering trial cial service.
In a unanimous decision, the three-mem-
ber bench led by Justice DatukYaacob Md by Timothy Achariam In his affidavit, Apandi further said he
Sam said there was no appealable error in the communicated with Sri Ram viaWhatsApp
High Court’s decision on Feb 15 to dismiss after the change of government on May 9,
Najib’s bid to disqualify Sri Ram as a senior Mohamad Shahril Basri/The Edge 2018 and asked the latter whether his job as
deputy public prosecutor (DPP) in the cases. the attorney-general was on the line as Sri
Najib (pic) and Arul Kanda are on trial over 1MDB Ram was advising Dr Mahathir. In response,
Najib and former 1MDB CEOArul Kan- audit report tampering charges. Apandi said Sri Ram said he wished Apandi
da Kandasamy are on trial over 1MDB audit had followed his advice and charged Najib.
report tampering charges.
Shafee referred to excerpts of the conver-
Sri Ram appeared for the prosecution to- sation between Sri Ram and Apandi during
day with Najib’s lawyerTan Sri Muhammad his argument today.
Shafee Abdullah in the hearing via Zoom.
Sri Ram, on his part, argued that his let-
Part of Shafee’s contention this morn- ter of appointment as a prosecutor did not
ing was that Sri Ram should be recused state that he would be involved in the in-
because the former judge had shown bias vestigations. He said that while Shafee had
against Najib even before he was appointed contended that the ex-judge was involved in
as a prosecutor. 1MDB investigations, he had not brought
evidence to support his claim.
Shafee also contended that Sri Ram had
also been involved in 1MDB investigations “There is nothing put forward by the ap-
before the trial, which brings up a conflict plicant (Najib) to suggest that I was involved
of interest. in the investigations. Nowhere has Shafee
been able to craft any proof of this because
The lawyer previously cited a Facebook it is unassailable,” he said.
posting by former attorney-generalTan Sri
Mohamed Apandi Ali, who alleged that Sri After brief deliberations, JusticeYaacob
Ram was sent to see him in January 2018 delivered the court ruling stating that the
byTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to persuade High Court was proper in dismissing Najib’s
him to arrest Najib. initial application.

Apandi also asserted in an affidavit of The other judges on the bench were Da-
support for Sri Ram’s recusal that the former tuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Che Mohd
judge had a “clear mission of bias” against Ruzima Ghazali.

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8):The hearing Guan Eng’s Penang Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge
for the corruption trial of former Penang undersea tunnel
chief minister Lim Guan Eng involving the project corruption Lim Guan Eng as seen at the Kuala Lumpur
Penang undersea tunnel project, which was trial postponed Court Complex on Aug 19.
supposed to resume today till Friday (Sept due to Covid-19
10), has been postponed. quarantine

Lim’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who by Emir Zainul
is also Puchong MP and fellow DAP com-
rade, told the court today that his client
had been in close contact with a Covid-19 from the project from Consortium Zenith
positive patient and as such, is under a 10- BUCG’s managing director Datuk Zarul
day quarantine order from Sept 1 to 10. Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, of seeking RM3.3
million in kickbacks to appoint Zarul’s
“Therefore, we humbly request that the company to undertake the project, and
date of the trial for Sept 8, 9 and 10 shall another two charges of dishonestly mis-
be vacated,” Gobind said in a letter to the appropriating RM208.7 million worth of
court, sighted by The Edge. state land to two companies.

It is understood that there was no objec-
tion by deputy public prosecutorWan Sha-
harudinWan Ladin against the application.

The trial before Sessions Court judge
Azura Alwi will resume on Sept 22.

In this trial, Lim, who is also a former
finance minister, is facing four charges in
relation to the undersea tunnel project. He
is accused of soliciting a 10% cut in profits

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 16 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


Zahid’s lawyer questions his former
secretary’s credibility, denies making

her scapegoat

Suhaimi Yusuf/The Edge


KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8):The prosecu- Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
tion was wrong in making the presumption
that former deputy prime minister, Datuk Hamidi also submitted that his client for a payment that was allowed byYayas-
Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, was deter- was a very busy man, and he left his former an Akalbudi’s company constitution, oth-
mined to use his former executive secre- executive secretary (Mazlina) to handle his erwise known as the Memorandum and
tary, Mejar Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly, as financial affairs. Articles of Association (M&A).
a scapegoat for his mess, the High Court
heard today. Touching on Ahmad Zahid’s criminal “Our response, other than the fact it was
breach of trust (CBT) charge amounting to a donation which was allowed by the M&A,
Defence counsel, Hamidi Mohd Noh, RM10 million given to Armada Holdings there was no criminal breach of trust be-
said that there was indeed evidence that Sdn Bhd, the lawyer contended that the cause the trustees themselves knew about
the mess was created by Mazlina, who is company had returned the money (RM10 the donation to the Bola Sepak PDRM,
the 90th prosecution witness (SP90), as million) together with interest in the sum of and they knew and never raised any ob-
reflected in the cross-examination dur- RM69,722.65 toYayasan Akalbudi, owned jections,” he said.
ing Ahmad Zahid’s trial involving Yayas- by Ahmad Zahid.
an Akalbudi funds. Justice Sequerah then said that the over-
Thus, he said the allegation of CBT all intention of the donation had to be to
“Should this court take one step further against the accused could not stand. “eradicate poverty”, which was the main
in determining her credibility as a witness, objective ofYayasan Akalbudi.
the defence submits that Mazlina is not a On the CBT charge of utilisingYayasan
credible witness, due to her inconsistent Akalbudi’s funds to make a “donation” Hamidi replied that it was indeed pov-
representations of facts, her frailty in rec- worth RM1.3 million to the Royal Ma- erty as they were talking about a group
ollecting and describing events of the past laysia Police (PDRM) football associa- of football players who had not received
and her demeanour during the cross-ex- tion, the lawyer said that based on the their salaries for some time, thus, eradi-
amination. evidence of SP19 (Datuk Zul Hisham cating poverty, which was poverty of foot-
Zainal) the intention behind the issuance ball players.
“Due to ample evidence of Mazlina be- of the cheque was solely for the purpose
ing incompetent, the defence urges this of a donation for the PDRM football as- Ahmad Zahid, 68, is facing 47 charg-
court to scrutinise her evidence with great sociation, essentially to pay the wages of es — 12 of CBT, eight of corruption, and
care and suspicion, to sieve through the the football players who were in need of 27 of money laundering — involving tens
evidence and to ascertain which part of the financial help. of millions of ringgit belonging toYayasan
evidence incriminating the accused could Akalbudi.
be accepted. “There will be no criminal breach of
trust if all the other trustees knew of the The defence will continue with its sub-
“It was not our intention to make her a donation, and did not raise objections to missions tomorrow.
scapegoat.We also knew from the prosecu- said payment to the Bola Sepak PDRM,” Read also: Judge warns public against
tion that she was the cause of this,” he said he said. making social media comments on
in his submission at the end of the pros- Zahid’s ongoing trial Click here
ecution’s case before Judge Datuk Collin Hamidi argued that the RM1.3 million
Lawrence Sequerah. cheque signed off by Ahmad Zahid was

Hamidi said that the defence submit-
ted that the challenge on Mazlina’s com-
petency was made on the basis that it was
her duty to manage financial matters of
both Yayasan Akalbudi and the accused

“Mazlina should be able to consistently
account for her course of duties.Therefore,
her ignorance to act fitting to her roles,
should not reflect in her favour.The pros-
ecution disregarded the fact that Mazlina
admitted that she knew the stamp signature
should only be used to sign bulk certificates
and festival wishing cards. In spite of know-
ing that, Mazlina carelessly used the stamp
signature for cheques,” said the lawyer, add-
ing that the prosecution seemed to have ig-
nored evidence adduced during the trial.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 17 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


Raub durian farmers allowed to have merits
of their eviction challenge be heard in court

PUTRAJAYA (Sept 8): Some 200 Raub by hafiz yatim notice issued by a land administrator was
Musang King durian farmers have to- not something that could be reviewed in
day obtained leave from court to have the court, and that the court found the farm-
merits of their judicial review application by Chin Yoon. In both their applications, ers had trespassed on the land.
against the Pahang government to quash the farmers name the Pahang State Agri-
its eviction order against them be heard. culture Development Corp, the director of “As trespassers, they do not have locus
the Forestry Department, the Raub Land standi to file this application for judicial
This follows the unanimous decision by District office, Royal Pahang Durian Re- review,” the Kuantan court ruled and or-
a three-member Court of Appeal bench led sources PKPP Sdn Bhd and the Pahang dered the planters to pay RM10,000 to
by Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Md government as respondents. the AGC.
Diah, to allow the appeal by the durian
farmers, who were alleged to have illegally The farmers filed the judicial review to The farmers, however, obtained a stay
occupied the land since the 1960s, against obtain leave (permission) to initiate the full of the eviction from the Court of Appeal
the decision by the Kuantan High Court hearing of the review against the Pahang earlier this year. The appellate court’s
on Dec 23 last year that dismissed their government’s order for them to vacate the bench at the time, which was led by Da-
judicial review application. land in Raub, which measures 2,167ha. tuk Yaacob Md Sam, with the two other
The eviction notice was issued on Dec 21 members being Justice Nantha Balan and
The other two members of the bench last year, and the famers were ordered to Datuk M Gunalan, allowed the stay until
were Datuk S Nantha Balan and Datuk vacate the land by Jan 4. the disposal of the judicial review.
Daryl Goon Siew Chye.
Apart from reviewing the order to va- Brendan, who appeared with Siew
Justice Zabidin said it is without doubt cate the land made under the National Choon Jern then, argued in court then
that a notice had been issued by the first re- Land Code 1965 and the National For- that the farmers should not be considered
spondent — the Raub District Land Office estry Act 1984, the applicants also want as trespassers following the many times
— to the farmers to vacate the land under to obtain a judicial review on an alleged they had applied to have a licence to op-
Section 32 of the National Land Code. decision by the state government to grant erate on the land.
lease and farmland use rights for the same
“If it is implemented, it will cause the plot of land to Royal Pahang Durian Re- According to him, the case was not
applicants to vacate and lose their liveli- sources PKPP. only about their eviction but also the Pa-
hood in durian farming.They have applied hang government’s decision to form Royal
for a licence from the state of Pahang since The applicants also want a review on the Pahang Durian Resources to lease these
or around 1961, but there has not been state government’s decision to sublease the lands, and allegedly try to force the farm-
any response. land involved to them, and the mandatory ers to be there for 30 years. “The farmers
requirement imposed to sell durians to a are challenging the decision to have them
“There is no rebuttal to this (licence single entity nominated by Royal Pahang go with Royal Pahang Durian Resources
application). The state authorities said Durian Resources PKPP. with regard to selling their durians and also
the applicants are considered to be squat- to be on the land further. We say there is
ters or trespassers on the affected land. On Dec 23, Kuantan High Court judge an arguable case and it is not a vexatious
In any event, the respondents’ allegations Justice Zainal Azman Ab Aziz dismissed matter,” he said at the time.
are questionable and should be decided the planters’ judicial review application
substantively in the judicial review appli- on grounds that they should not have ap- Senior federal counsel Noor Fadzilla
cation. It (the application) cannot be said plied for a judicial review as the eviction Ishak and Farahah Mohd Nazari from the
to be vexatious,” he said. Attorney General Chambers, however, re-
sponded that the fact that the farmers did
As such, Justice Zabidin further said this not have the ownership of the land showed
appellate court was allowing the appeal, that they did not have the locus standi (le-
adding the stay order against the author- gal standing) to initiate the judicial review.
ities that was made by this court last Jan-
uary would be in force until the disposal And as they did not have legal standing
of the case. to be heard as they were considered tres-
passers, then the farmers did not have an
The judge also directed that the case arguable case, they said. “The state had
be mentioned at the Kuantan High Court given them 30 days to vacate their land
on Sept 22.The respondents were also or- but they refused,” they added.
dered to pay a total cost of RM20,000 to
the applicants. However, all three judges who heard
the appeal today asked why there was no
The durian farmers’ counsel Brendan affidavit in response to the farmers’ claim
Navin Siva applied to the court for the that they did apply for a licence but did
case to be heard by another High Court not get any response. In the end, the bench
judge, but Justice Zabidin told the lawyer allowed the appeal.
to take it up at the High Court.
“The Musang King durian is now fa-
Their application mous, (and) suddenly there is this action,”
The farmers are divided into two groups, a member of the bench remarked, referring
one with 94 people led byYoung Kah Kiat, to the eviction notice issued by the state
while the other comprises 115 people led government.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 18 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge

Umno leaves it to
wisdom of PM
to steer nation,
says Zahid


KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): Umno is Zahid says for the next six to seven months until the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, the government and
leaving it to the wisdom of Prime Minister the party would complement each other and move in tandem by focusing on their respective roles.
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to make
the appropriate decisions in steering the icies that he feels are appropriate in steer- “This is the spirit and principle of democ-
country’s administration. ing the country’s administration,” he said. racy that we should nurture.The government
has a role and responsibility in meeting the
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ah- Ahmad Zahid said, however, it is the needs of the people.The party will continue
mad Zahid Hamidi in a post on his of- prime minister’s responsibility to ensure to play a role as a balancing force that always
ficial Facebook today said this included that the government could function prop- moves in unison with the people,” he said.
the formation of the Cabinet and the ap- erly and not repeat past mistakes.
pointment of former prime minister Tan The Member of Parliament (MP) for
Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the chairman of “Umno is consistent in its stand. On Bagan Datuk said for the next six to seven
the National Rehabilitation Council with behalf of the party, I will ensure that we months until the Covid-19 pandemic sub-
ministerial status. will continue to be the eyes, ears and voic- sides, the government and the party would
es of the people in touching on issues of complement each other and move in tan-
“I received many inquiries, and even their well-being and the prosperity of the dem by focusing on their respective roles.
had time to read various comments asking country.
about Umno’s stand on the formation of
the Cabinet and the appointment of the
former prime minister.

“The party has taken the stand to sup-
port of the appointment of Datuk Seri
Ismail Sabri as the prime minister. This
means the party leaves it to the prime min-
ister’s wisdom in making decisions or pol-

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8):The govern- People’s Meanwhile,Wee, who is also the MCA
ment will ensure that the people’s infra- infrastructure president, said he held a virtual discussion
structure projects, such as the East Coast projects to be with the new leadership of the Associated
Rail Link (ECRL), Johor Baru-Singapore developed fully Chinese Chambers of Commerce and In-
Rapid Transit System (RTS) and Mass to spur economy, dustry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) on numerous
Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT 3), can be matters, including Budget 2022, yesterday.
fully developed to bring more economic saysWee
benefits to the nation. He said the ACCCIM suggested that the
Bernama government not only focus on the National
Transport Minister Datuk Seri DrWee Recovery Plan (PPN) but should also im-
Ka Siong in a post on his official Facebook prove the standard operating procedures
said the government always listens to the (SOPs) to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
voices of all quarters, and strives to achieve
a balance among health, society and the “The government was also urged to be
economy through a comprehensive and more transparent and provide relevant sta-
inclusive Budget 2022. tistics, improve the country’s health system
and strengthen the nation’s capability to
He said this is in line with the Malay- face the pandemic,” he said.
sian Family spirit to bring benefits to the
country and the people. The ACCCIM, also among others, sug-
gested that the government should intro-
“I am of the opinion that society too duce various subsidies or aid as well as re-
must be prepared to live with Covid-19 duce and exempt taxes to ease the burden
in the future because the pandemic has of the people and industries.
changed our daily lives, numerous indus-
trial ecosystems and development trends. Present during the discussion were the
ACCCIM’s top leaders, including its pres-
“As such, we will continue to monitor ident-cum-National Chamber of Com-
the development of the market, implement merce And Industry Of Malaysia (NC-
foreign investor-friendly policies, and help CIM) president Datuk Low Kian Chuan
in the revival and stimulation of local in- and life honorary president of ACCCIM
dustries,” he said. Tan Sri William Cheng Heng Jem.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 19 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


US job openings
rose to a record

10.9 million
in July

by Reade Pickert

WASHINGTON (Sept 8): US job open- Looking ahead, hiring constraints should Total hires eased to 6.7 million in July,
ings rose to a fresh record high in July, illus- ebb as virus fears abate and schools reopen most notably in sectors like retail and manu-
trating the lingering staffing shortages that for in-person learning. However, the surge of facturing.The hires rate decreased to 4.5%.
are making it challenging for businesses to infections related to the Delta variant and its Lay-offs and discharges picked up slightly.
meet demand. impact on schools and Americans’ general
sense of safety in the workplace could delay The JOLTS figures trail the govern-
The number of available positions rose significant improvement in filling positions. ment’s monthly jobs data. That report,
to 10.9 million during the month from an out last week, showed payrolls rose by just
upwardly revised 10.2 million in June, the Quits rate 235,000 in August — trailing all economists’
Labor Department’s Job Openings and La- The number of vacancies exceeded hires estimates — as the spread of the Delta var-
bor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, showed by 4.3 million in July, the most since data iant paired with ongoing hiring challenges
on Wednesday. Economists in a Bloomberg dating back to 2000.The number of people weighed on job growth.
survey had called for openings to remain who voluntarily left their jobs rose to four
little changed at 10 million. million in the month, and the quits rate was Separate figures last week showed half
unchanged at a near record 2.7%. of small-business owners said they had va-
After shedding millions of workers from cant positions they could not fill in August,
payrolls last year, the rapid snapback in eco- The largest increases in openings were a record in the National Federation of In-
nomic activity has left many businesses se- in healthcare and social assistance, finance dependent Business survey. Meantime,
verely short-staffed. “Help Wanted” signs and insurance, and accommodation and the share of consumers who said jobs were
can be seen in the windows of businesses food services. “plentiful” in the Conference Board’s survey
across the US, and many restaurants have last month hovered near a two-decade high.
limited their hours of operation.

Employers have offered incentives to at-
tract applicants — like higher wages and
one-time bonuses — but the pool of avail-
able workers remains constrained by pan-
demic-related factors.

MUMBAI (Sept 8):A quantum leap in dig- ‘New economy’ chinery, pharmaceutical products, and in-
ital adoption and greater high-skilled ex- firms to be India’s formation technology services, the econo-
ports have emerged as the newest drivers mists said.
of economic growth and jobs in India, with growth engine,
the nation trying to catch up with China in says HSBC India’s success with start-ups has long
terms of e-commerce penetration, accord- lagged that of the US and China, but the
ing to economists at HSBC Holdings plc. by Anirban Nag pandemic has helped change that. Many
Bloomberg consumers have turned to online services
The two new economic engines stand to for everything from math tutoring to medi-
gain from India’s large, young labour force, bloomberg cal diagnoses and grocery deliveries, which
as well as from global changes, HSBC ana- the HSBC economists estimated can add
lysts said in a report to clients. 0.25 percentage point to the country’s gross
domestic product every year.
“The stars seem to have aligned for In-
dia’s start-ups,” HSBC researchers led by Global investors such as Fidelity Invest-
chief India economist Pranjul Bhandari ments, KKR & Co, and Singapore’s Te-
wrote. “Global liquidity, rising risk appe- masek Holdings Pte have pumped money
tite, and geopolitical changes have increased into India, while China’s crackdown on pri-
the supply of funds. A rapid rise in Indian vate enterprise has spooked financiers.The
new-age tech firms has raised the demand value of venture investment in India reached
for funding.” US$7.9 billion in July, surpassing China for
the first time on a monthly basis since 2013,
HSBC estimated that half of all foreign according to researcher Preqin Ltd.
direct investment flows into India are now Read also: Sri Lanka facing severe FX
“digital”, up from 20% a decade ago.Along crisis, Finance Minister says Click here
with the “new-age” tech firms, high-skill ex-
ports have been gaining global market share
thanks to demand for mobile phones, ma-

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 20 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f



Wall Street braces for stumble
in US stocks on relentless tear

(Sept 8): Warnings are getting louder that the by Anchalee Worrachate “We are going to have a period where data is
relentless runup in American equity prices is & Abhishek Vishnoi going to be weak in September at the time when
set to falter. Bloomberg you have a heightened risk of delta variant and
school reopening,” Morgan Stanley cross-asset
Strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, If there is a new strategist Andrew Sheets said in an interview with
Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc issued fresh negative development, Bloomberg TV Wednesday. “If the data does stay
missives on the potential for negative shocks to soft, the market valuations just haven’t adjusted
upend a streak of gains.The spreading delta vi- it could generate like other parts of the market have.”
rus strain, a flagging global growth recovery or growth shocks that lead
moves by central banks to exit pandemic-era Retail investors are seen as the key force be-
stimulus programs all pose risks. to rapid de-risking.” hind recent gains.They plowed almost US$30
billion of cash into US equities and ETFs in
“High valuations have increased market fra- — Christian Mueller- July and August, the most in a two-month peri-
gility,” Christian Mueller-Glissmann, managing Glissmann, managing od, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.They
director of portfolio strategy and asset allocation director of portfolio could also be the bedrock that could keep the
at Goldman Sachs, said in an interview. “If there strategy and asset allocation market stable, as long as easy money policies
is a new negative development, it could generate persist, according to JPMorgan.
growth shocks that lead to rapid de-risking.” at Goldman Sachs
“Retail investors have been buying stocks and
Positioning has become ultra-bullish, with equity funds at such a steady and strong pace that
longs on the S&P 500 outnumbering shorts makes an equity correction looking rather unlike-
by nearly 10 to 1. Half of those bets are likely ly,” JPMorgan global strategists including Nikolaos
to face losses on a drop in the index of as lit- Panigirtzoglou wrote in a Sept 1 note. “Whether
tle as 2.2%. the coming Fed policy change changes retail inves-
tors’ attitude towards equities remains to be seen.”
And even a small correction could be am-
plified by forced long liquidation, Citigroup Those attitudes will eventually be tested by
strategists led by Chris Montagu warned. policy makers at the Federal Reserve and Euro-
pean Central Bank who are laying the ground-
Morgan Stanley slashed US equities to un- work to scale back asset-purchase programs.
derweight and global stocks to equal-weight
on Tuesday, citing “outsized risk” to growth While traders aren’t expecting any news on
through October. a Fed taper until November at least, and rate
liftoff much further down the road, it wasn’t so
Credit Suisse Group AG, meanwhile, said it long ago that rate hikes hobbled another raging
maintains a small underweight on US equities bull market in 2018.
due to reasons such as extreme valuations and
regulatory risk. Technical signals also point to a downturn,
with momentum and volatility suggesting in-
While no one is predicting a sharp selloff, a stitutional sentiment is overheated, according
summer stock binge has left investors over-ex- to analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence.
tended and vulnerable to any hint of bad news.
After seven consecutive months of gains in the “The key point here is there is very little
S&P 500 Index — the longest since January buffer left if you get large negative surprises,”
2018 — many see equities ripe for a pullback said Mueller-Glissmann.
in the seasonally poor month of September.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 21 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


bloomberg ByteDance in one of the people said, adding that terms
talks with banks and the loan size are still subject to changes.
JPMorgan to buy to borrow over
majority stake US$3b — sources The people declined to be identified cit-
inVolkswagen’s ing confidentiality constrains. ByteDance
payment by Yingzhi Yang, Scott Murdoch declined to comment.
business & Kane Wu
Reuters Technology news website The Infor-
by Iain Withers mation reported that ByteDance and the
Reuters (Sept 8): ByteDance, the Chinese owner banks discussed raising $4 billion to $5
of short-video platformTikTok, is in talks billion to refinance debt and fund over-
LONDON (Sept 8): JPMorgan has with Wall Street banks to borrow more seas expansion.
struck a deal to buy a majority stake in than $3 billion to refinance its debt, ac-
German car giantVolkswagen’s payments cording to two people with the knowledge ByteDance had been exploring a pub-
business ahead of a planned rollout of of the matter. lic listing in the beginning of 2021, sources
in-car technology that allows drivers to have told Reuters, but in April the company
automatically pay for fuel or tolls. The company plans to take advantage of said it had no imminent plans for an initial
currently low interest rates to repay its debt, public offering.
The US bank has agreed to buy close
to 75% ofVolkswagen Payments SA for In 2019, ByteDance secured a loan of
an undisclosed sum, subject to regula- about $1.3 billion, which will mature in
tory approvals. April 2022, from a syndicate of 12 banks
including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mor-
The Luxembourg-based business was gan Stanley, UBS, Citi, Bank of China and
founded in 2017 and operates across 32 China Merchants Bank, according to data
countries. It offers car purchase and leas- provider Dealogic.
ing, in-vehicle payments, fuelling and
electric vehicle charging and subscription Toshiba bloomberg
services such as insurance and in-vehicle undecided on
entertainment. privatisation
amid talks with
JPMorgan said it plans to invest in
and rebrand the payments business and investors
expand its mobility-focused payments to
other industries. by Ville Heiskanen
“One of the fastest-growing platforms
is the connected car marketplace, where- (Sept 8): Toshiba Corp.’s board is yet to have advanced about 5% since the com-
by the car acts like a wallet for purchas- reach a decision on whether the troubled pany kicked off the review, saying that it
ing goods, services or subscriptions,” conglomerate should pursue going private, had appointed UBS as financial adviser
Shahrokh Moinian, EMEA head of as talks with investors on the company’s and that it would consider potential offers.
wholesale payments at JPMorgan, told strategic direction continue. The company deemed the CVC proposal
Reuters. insufficiently detailed to evaluate.
The board “has not yet decided on the
Non-finance companies, including car most appropriate course of action and is The search for a new chief executive
manufacturers, have stepped up expan- continuing to explore feasible strategic al- officer is progressing, with the company
sion into financial services in recent years. ternatives,” Toshiba said Wednesday. Its saying it’ll narrow down a list of candidates
panel exploring strategic alternatives has in the coming months. Its previous CEO,
Volkswagen’s financial services di- been engaged in active dialogue with po- Nobuaki Kurumatani, stepped down in
vision will retain a 25.1% stake in the tential investors, but there are “multiple April after he suffered a sharp drop in
payments business, JPMorgan said.The issues” related to a potential privatization support from employees and executives.
deal is expected to close in the first half to be resolved, the company said. In June, shareholders voted to oust Chair-
of 2022. man of the Board Osamu Nagayama in a
Toshiba started weighing options in- rare triumph for activist investors.
Volkswagen Group did not provide a cluding privatization in May after weeks
breakdown of earnings for the payments of takeover discussions sparked by private Once a storied name in Japan, Toshi-
business in its half-year results in July, equity firm CVC Capital Partners’ $21 ba has faded dramatically after years of
but said sales at its financial services arm billion acquisition bid. Investors includ- management missteps. It paid a record
were 22.6 billion euros ($26.77 billion), ing 3D Investment Partners have pres- fine in an accounting scandal and then
up 18% on the prior year. sured the Japanese energy-to-electronics lost billions on a bungled foray into nu-
conglomerate to conduct a full strategic clear power. The conglomerate invented
review and explore any serious interest in flash memory three decades ago, but was
the company to rebuild shareholder trust. forced to sell most of its prized chip busi-
ness in 2018 because of losses in its nu-
Shares of Toshiba were little changed clear-power operation.
in early afternoon trading in Tokyo.They

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 22 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


BRUSSELS/LONDON (Sept 8): Face- Facebook slams it completed before seeking approval from
book Inc has slammed the UK’s antitrust UK watchdog’s the UK or other authorities.The company
regulator over its provisional call that the call to sell Giphy is in the eye of the storm as global regula-
tech giant would have to sell all of Giphy tors crack down on big tech takeovers of
to address competition concerns, setting by Aoife White & Katharine Gemmell potential smaller rivals.
up a bitter fight over the completed deal. Bloomberg
Regulators faced a barrage of criticism
Selling off the company that Facebook bloomberg for allowing Silicon Valley to snap up po-
bought last year for US$400 million would tential rivals before they make it big. Face-
be “grossly unreasonable and dispropor- are also questions on whether a global di- book’s game-changing takeover of pho-
tionate”, Facebook argued in a response to vestment can be enforced by the British to-sharing app Instagram is often cited as a
the Competition and Markets Authority’s authority. deal that was waved through by regulators
(CMA) concerns published onWednesday. without proper scrutiny.
The SiliconValley firm has been fighting
The cases open up yet another front the CMA for more than a year over a deal The CMA did not accept an offer Face-
for the world’s biggest tech firms to fight book made in March for rivals and cus-
on. The European Union and Germany tomers to be able to access Giphy’s library
are already investigating Facebook’s use on the same terms as before the deal for
of personal data while the CMA is looking five years.The CMA did not immediately
at its Marketplace and Dating services. In respond to a request for comment.
the US antitrust officials refiled their mo-
nopoly lawsuit against Facebook that was The watchdog had taken an initial
tossed in June. view Augus that “the only effective way
to address the competition issues”, was
Facebook said regulators should care- for Facebook to sell Giphy “in its entire-
fully weigh “the intrusive step of ordering ty, to a suitable buyer”, the CMA said last
the sale of a company which does not car- month. It set an Oct 6 deadline for a deci-
ry on business in the UK” and that there sion on the inquiry to be made.

Internet giants
take fire in

Korean echo of
China crackdown

by Youkyung Lee & Shinhye Kang

(Sept 8): Kakao Corp. and Naver Corp. that’s erased more than $1 trillion in val- of subsidiaries including Kakao Games
plummeted, set for the biggest declines ue for China’s largest corporations. As in Corp. and KakaoBank Corp., while Nav-
in years, after South Korean lawmakers Beijing, regulators and politicians in Seoul er is up 32%.
warned the nation’s internet giants against have expressed concerns about the grow-
abusing their market dominance in the ing power and valuations of internet firms Korean lawmakers have in recent years
pursuit of profits. like Kakao, Naver and Coupang Inc. after targeted massive tech and industrial com-
the pandemic spurred an unprecedented plexes like Samsung Electronics Co. over
Kakao, which runs Korea’s biggest mes- surge in internet activity. monopolistic behavior and corruption
saging and social media service, plunged scandals. This week’s moves are among
more than 11%, on track for its worst drop “Regulatory issues are not just one- the strongest yet against the domestic in-
since 2012. Naver, which runs the messag- time issues,” said Sung Jonghwa, an an- ternet sector, which has grown to rival the
ing platform Line as well as a host of apps, alyst at eBEST Investment & Securities traditional conglomerates in terms of cor-
slid more than 8%, poised for its biggest Co. “When stocks are performing ex- porate power and market value.
loss in six years. tremely well, regulatory issues can take
a bigger toll.” In addition to the criticism of legisla-
Kakao should not follow the path of the tors, the sector is also facing pressure from
country’s sprawling “chaebol” conglom- Kakao and Naver were among the most financial regulators.The Financial Servic-
erates in ignoring fair competition, Song notable beneficiaries of the pandemic stay- es Commission said Tuesday that online
Young-gil, head of the ruling Democratic at-home trend in South Korea’s stock mar- platforms that advertise financial products
Party, told a forum hosted by fellow law- ket. Kakao is still up 78% in the past 12 could become subject to regulations that
makers, Yonhap reported. A separate report months, helped by the mega share floats seek to protect consumers.
from DongA Ilbo said the ruling party has
decided to focus on platform operators in
its annual assembly audit starting Oct. 1.

South Korea has been making moves to
rein in foreign and local tech firms, mir-
roring a months-long crackdown in China

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 23 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


US$10b US battle reuters BlackRock’s
for Britain’s China unit raises
US$1b in maiden
Morrisons heads mutual fund
for auction

by james davey Reuters
SHANGHAI (Sept 8): BlackRock’s
LONDON (Sept 8): The US$10 billion Morrisons said shareholder meetings to vote on China mutual fund subsidiary set up
takeover battle for British supermarket the CD&R offer will be convened for a date in or its first fund in the country after raising
group Morrisons between two US private 6.68 billion yuan ($1.03 billion) during a
equity groups looks set to be decided by a around the week starting Oct. 18. shortened subscription period, signalling
rarely used auction process. warm reception by investors.
to both of them and the Takeover Pan-
Morrisons said on Wednesday it was el, which governs M&A deals in the UK, Wednesday’s disclosure came a day
in talks with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice about “an orderly framework for the res- after billionaire investor George Soros
(CD&R), Fortress Investment Group and olution of this competitive situation” — said it was a mistake for BlackRock to
Britain’s takeover regulator about an auc- which would typically be an auction. invest in China now, and likely to lose
tion to settle its future. money for the U.S. fund giant’s clients.
Morrisons said shareholder meetings
Last month, Morrisons agreed a 7 bil- to vote on the CD&R offer would be con- BlackRock, the first foreign asset man-
lion pound (US$9.6 billion) offer from vened for around the week starting Oct 18. ager to operate a wholly-owned business
CD&R, which has formerTesco bossTer- in China’s $3.6 trillion mutual fund in-
ry Leahy as a senior adviser. However, the It said any auction would take place dustry, said its newly-launched China
rival consortium led by Softbank-owned prior to these shareholder meetings, on equity fund had raised 6.68 billion yuan
Fortress could still trump that bid. a date announced by the Takeover Panel. from more than 111,000 investors.

The fight for Britain’s fourth-largest gro- Following completion of an auction,Mor- The BlackRock China New Horizon
cer afterTesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, is the risons shareholders would vote on either a Mixed Securities Investment Fund,launched
most high-profile looming takeover amid Fortress or a CD&R offer, depending on on Aug. 30, stopped taking new subscrip-
a raft of bids and counter bids, reflecting which offer Morrisons’board recommended. tions on Sept. 3, a week earlier than planned.
private equity’s appetite for UK Plc. Click here to read the full story
“We are very proud of achieving this
Morrisons said that as neither bidder milestone for our China fund manage-
had declared its offer final, it was talking ment business, and are grateful for in-
vestors’ overwhelming support,” Rachel
PARIS (Sept 8): French drugmaker Sa- France’s Sanofi Lord, BlackRock’s chair and head of
nofi said on Wednesday it would buy to buy US Asia-Pacific, said in a statement.
U.S. biopharmaceutical company Kad-
mon Holdings for US$1.9 billion, one biopharma firm The fundraising by the world’s biggest
month after announcing the purchase of Kadmon in asset manager is being closely watched
another US biotech, Translate Bio, for as more global players prepare to enter
US$3.2 billion. US$1.9 billion deal China’s fast-growing, but highly com-
petitive mutual fund market.
Sanofi said it has offered US$9.50 per by Sudip Kar-Gupta & Benoit Van
share in cash for Kadmon, representing a Overstraeten Fidelity International is setting up its mu-
total equity value of approximately US$1.9 Reuters tual fund subsidiary in China, while Neu-
billion on a fully diluted basis, and that berger Berman, Schroders PLC andVanEck
both companies’ boards unanimously ap- “Kadmon’s pipeline includes drug can- have also applied to set up China units to
proved the transaction. didates for immune and fibrotic diseases sell retail funds. Beijing scrapped a foreign
as well as immuno-oncology therapies”, ownership cap in the sector on April 1, 2020.
Sanofi’s price tag represents a 79% pre- the companies said.
mium on Kadmon’s US$5.30 closing price Writing in the Wall Street Journal onTues-
on Tuesday. Sanofi is under pressure to revive its day, Soros had called BlackRock’s invest-
drug pipeline and is also eager to over- ment in China a tragic mistake that would
“The acquisition supports Sanofi’s come setbacks in the COVID-19 vac- damage the national security interests of the
strategy to continue to grow its general cine race. United States and other democracies.
medicines core assets and will immedi-
ately add Rezurock (belumosudil) to its Click here to read the full story OnWednesday, Chi Zhang, general man-
transplant portfolio,” the two companies ager of Shanghai-based BlackRock Fund
said in a joint statement. Management Co, said the asset manager was
committed to bringing long-term investment
Rezurock, a treatment for adult and opportunities for Chinese investors, lever-
pediatric patients 12 years and older with aging its track record in investing in China
chronic graft-versus-host disease (cG- A-shares and its expertise. BlackRock, which
VHD), was approved in July by the U.S. entered China more than 15 years ago, also
Federal Drug Administration (FDA). owns a minority-owned Chinese mutual fund
venture and recently set up a majority-owned
Chinese wealth management venture.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 24 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


India’s criticism of Infosys,
Tata worries businesses

NEW DELHI (Sept 8): A public dia- by Aditya Kalra “It needs to explain the glitches, but
tribe against two Indian business giants Reuters it doesn’t mean there is a conspiracy to
by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s of- damage the country,” he told Reuters.
ficials and his ideological allies has un- While government
nerved the business community, several or RSS criticism of A senior member of RSS, however,
industry executives told Reuters. foreign businesses like said there is nothing wrong in the way
Amazon and Monsanto the companies have been criticised, say-
Over the weekend, a magazine run by is common, local ing they must be thick-skinned and held
members of the Hindu nationalist Rash- businesses are rarely accountable.
triya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) launched caught in the crossfire.
an attack on Indian tech giant Infosys for “Why should questions not be raised,
failing to resolve glitches in the income But the latest events have raised con- have corporates become a holy cow?”
tax website it manages. cerns among business leaders about said the RSS official who declined to
whether Modi is now taking a hard-line be identified.
The group, which is the ideological approach towards domestic giants as well,
parent of Modi’s ruling party, called In- five industry sources said. Infosys and Tata did not respond to a
fosys “anti-national” for letting down the request for comment.
tax system, sending a chill through Indian One venture-capital executive said the
industry wary of falling on the wrong side criticism was akin to “harassment” of busi- India Inc largely silent
of the Modi government. nesses and risks souring investor sentiment. So far, Modi’s government has not com-
Another executive working at a global consul- mented on the backlash on social media
Just last month, the finance ministry tancy said “everyone is scared” as businesses and from politicians. None of the sources
“summoned” Infosys’ chief executive of- do not want to run foul of the government. who spoke to Reuters wanted to be iden-
ficer (CEO) over the tech issues and in an tified as they feared a reprisal from the
unusual step took to Twitter to announce “The frontal attack on iconic elements government and no Indian industry lobby
the summoning, heightening a media fren- of Indian businesses has only buttressed the groups has come out and spoken against
zy around a company that has been the need for companies to ensure they are con- government or RSS.
face of Indian IT’s prowess. forming, not just with tax issues, but with
other government initiatives,” said Dilip The Indian Express said in an editorial
And in August, the commerce minister Cherian, an image guru and co-founder of it was “time for India Inc to stand up”,
publicly lashed out at the US$106 billion leading Indian PR firm Perfect Relations. saying business leaders had maintained “a
Tata Group for criticising proposed strin- studied — and perhaps strategic — silence
gent rules for e-commerce and said local RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti about the vitriol that has been seeping into
companies should not only think about Suzuki, defended Infosys, saying it had the public discourse”.
profits. played a key role in building India’s soft-
ware reputation globally. The Infosys controversy is related to
In India, safeguarding domestic busi- the government’s new income tax filing
nesses has been Modi’s priority. While reuters website launched on June 7. But there
government or RSS criticism of foreign were many glitches which Infosys could
businesses like Amazon and Monsanto not fix, despite assurances.
is common, local businesses are rarely
caught in the crossfire. When the Infosys CEO was summoned
in August, the finance minister conveyed
“deep disappointment and concerns”, giv-
ing the company until Sept 15 to fix things.

The magazine Panchjanya said the com-
pany was making the same mistakes over and
over again, creating doubts about its motives.
“There are allegations that the management
of Infosys is deliberately trying to destabilise
the Indian economy,” it said.

After the furore over the article, Sunil
Ambekar, the joint head of the RSS pub-
licity wing, sought to distance the organi-
sation from the contents and said Infosys
had made a seminal contribution to the

But concerns remain others may be
targeted, too.

A mutual fund manager with Infosys
and Tata investments said he was wor-
ried as it indicated “the government was
not pro-business”, and there were fears
other companies can face such backlash
for lapses.

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 25 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f



Cristiano Amon

Qualcomm CEO open to working
with foundry partners in Europe

MUNICH (Sept 8): Semiconductor by Christoph Steitz Qualcomm’s commitment to the car
supplier Qualcomm is open to working Reuters sector is also reflected by a recent US$4.6
with foundries in Europe if incentive pro- billion bid for Swedish auto parts maker
grammes to boost automotive chip pro- Foundries in Veoneer Inc, which Amon said had been
duction on the continent attract the right Europe are now well received by the industry.
partners, chief executive officer (CEO) geared towards
Cristiano Amon said. mass production “We’re in the automotive industry to
of semiconductors. stay,” he said.
Foundries in Europe are now geared
towards mass production of semiconduc- Leading edge Amon, who took the helm at Qualcomm
tors,Amon told Reuters at the IAA car show Most of Qualcomm’s manufacturing is in June, said he was meeting the CEOs of
in Munich, but there is a welcome debate aimed at leading-edge technology, with the all major German carmakers this week,
under way about investing in high-end pro- majority of foundries in that area located adding Qualcomm was now working with
duction that is interesting to Qualcomm. in Taiwan, South Korea, and the United 23 of the 26 global automotive brands.
States,Amon said, adding it was in full sup-
“There is a very constructive dialogue port of the EU plans to attract foundries. “Today we have existing commercial re-
taking place, by the French government, lationship and future planned relationships
the European government. I think they “In the event that that happens with the with all the German carmakers,” Amon
have an interest in attracting foundries to leading process technology, Qualcomm is said, adding it had built up a US$10 bil-
Europe,” Amon said in an interview. definitely going to be interested in utilising lion contracted backlog in its automotive
those foundries.” business over the past four years.
To tackle a chip shortage that has hit
Europe’s carmakers and exposed its de- The California-based group, the world’s This week, Qualcomm announced a
pendence on Asia, the EU is pushing for No 1 supplier of key semiconductors in deal with France’s Renault, which followed
multibillion-dollar investments to double mobile phones, has been pushing into the an agreement with General Motors ear-
the continent’s share of global chip pro- car sector with chips that can power dash- lier this year.
duction over the next decade. boards and infotainment systems at the
same time. Qualcomm works with all major glob-
Also at the Munich car show, US chip- al foundries, or contract manufacturers,
maker Intel flagged investments of up to including Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-
€80 billion (US$95 billion) over the next facturing Co Ltd, Samsung Electronics,
decade in two major European chip plants, GlobalFoundries, and Semiconductor
with details to be announced by the end Manufacturing International.
of this year.
Amon said the company had done a lot in
Intel will also open up its semiconduc- the past 12 months to build new manufactur-
tor plant in Ireland for automakers, CEO ing facilities with its suppliers to counter the
Pat Gelsinger said in a keynote speech. global chip shortage:“We expect to enter 2022
with the majority of this problem behind us.”

t h u r s d a y s e p t e m b e r 9 , 2 0 2 1 26 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f


SEC threatens to court, Paul Grewal, the company’s chief le- bloomberg
sue Coinbase over gal officer said in a blog post. He said Coin-
base would delay the launch of its ‘Lend’ Europe gas
crypto lending product until at least October as a result. extends record
programme run with winter
Programmes that allow owners of cryp- supply crunch
Reuters tocurrencies to lend these in return for in-
terest are becoming more common around in focus
HONG KONG (Sept 8):The U.S. Securi- the world, but some regulators, particu-
ties and Exchange Commission (SEC) has larly in the United States have started to
threatened to sue Coinbase Global Inc if raise concerns, arguing that such products
the crypto exchange goes ahead with plans should comply with existing securities laws.
to launch a programme allowing users to
earn interest by lending crypto assets, The U.S. state of New Jersey ordered
Coinbase said on Wednesday. the cryptocurrency platform BlockFi Inc
in July to stop offering interest-bearing ac-
The SEC has issued Coinbase with a counts that have raised $14.7 billion from
Wells notice, an official way it tells a com- investors.
pany that it intends to sue the company in
Grewal said in his blog that the SEC’s
concerns about Coinbase’s ‘Lend’ were
related to the fact that the regulator be-
lieved the product involved a security. Gre-
wal said Coinbase felt that this was not
the case.


DUBAI (Sept 8): Bill Gates’ investment Gates’ firm buys By Verity Ratcliffe
firm will pay Saudi Arabian billionaire part of Saudi Bloomberg
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal US$2.2 bil-
lion to raise its stake in Four Seasons billionaire’s Four DUBAI (Sept 8): European natural
Holding Co. Seasons stake gas futures extended their record-set-
ting run onWednesday as lingering sup-
Cascade Investment LLC will buy a by Shaji Mathew & Adveith Nair ply concerns bolstered the prospect of a
23.75% stake in the business from King- Bloomberg fuel crunch just weeks before the winter
dom Holding Co at a US$10 billion en- heating season.
terprise value, taking its total shareholding Kingdom Holding expects a gain of 5.9
to 71.25%. The deal is expected to close billion riyals (US$1.57 billion) from the Maintenance work at production and
in January 2022. Four Seasons deal and will use the pro- transportation facilities that supply the fuel
ceeds for investments and to repay some to Europe, coupled with abnormally low vol-
The relationship between Bill Gates outstanding loans. umes in storage, have boosted gas prices al-
and Prince Alwaleed stretches back dec- most three-fold this year.Lower deliveries from
ades. Gates described him as an “impor- Cascade first invested in the compa- Norway continue to keep European markets
tant partner” in their charitable work to- ny in 1997 when it was publicly traded. tight, analysts at consultant Engie EnergyScan
gether in November 2017.The Microsoft Four Seasons chairman, Isadore Sharp, will said in a note.
founder and philanthropist was one of a retain his 5% stake. Four Seasons share-
few Western executives who voiced sup- holders took the company private in 2007. On top of that, there is still uncertainty
port for the prince while he was detained about the start date of the Nord Stream 2
at Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel and accused It now manages 121 hotels and resorts as link from Russia, and the continent’s largest
of corruption by Crown Prince Moham- well as 46 residential properties in 47 countries. supplier has been limiting exports via its other
med Bin Salman. pipeline routes.Asia continues to attract global
Read also: Bezos pledges additional supplies of liquefied natural gas as demand is
Alwaleed has made a series of deals US$203.7 million in grants for Earth even higher there.
since he reached a “confirmed under- Fund Click here
standing” to secure his release from de- European gas prices are likely to stay high
tention in 2018. Shortly after, he invested through the winter, according toWood Mac-
about US$270 million in music stream- kenzie. “UK producers will be keen to bring
ing service Deezer. He sold a stake in production back quickly in order to capitalise
his Rotana Music label to Warner Music on the record price levels,” the consultant’s
Group Corp in February. analysts wrote in a note.

The cost of emitting carbon also climbed
to a fresh record onWednesday, adding to de-
mand for gas as it burns more cleanly than
alternative fossil fuels. Carbon permits under
the European Union’s emissions-trading sys-
tem rose as much as 2.2% to €63.35 per ton.

T H U R S D A Y S E P T E M B E R 9 , 2 0 2 1 27 T H E E D G E C E O M O R N I N G B R I E F


CPO RM 4,478.0088.00 OIL US$ 72.670.98 RM/USD 4.1512 RM/SGD 3.0889 RM/AUD 3.0589 RM/GBP 5.7215 RM/EUR 4.9040

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KNM GROUP BHD 803.5 -0.050 0.265 29.27 879.7

PUC BHD 305.9 0.010 0.175 9.38 218.8

FINTEC GLOBAL BHD 280.6 0.005 0.025 -68.75 111.9

BORNEO OIL BHD 242.8 0.000 0.030 -25.00 216.4

METRONIC GLOBAL BHD 142.1 0.000 0.035 -65.00 72.8

AE MULTI HOLDINGS BHD 97.0 0.000 0.045 -63.15 97.4

JAKS RESOURCES BHD 88 -0.005 0.51 -26.62 1041.6

SAPURA ENERGY BHD 79.8 -0.005 0.125 0 1997.4

SERBA DINAMIK HOLDINGS BHD 60.1 -0.005 0.395 -77.56 1465.3 World equity indices

AT SYSTEMATIZATION BHD 56.6 0 0.055 -70.27 254.5


TA WIN HOLDINGS BHD 53.3 -0.005 0.145 93.33 495 (%) (%)
DOW JONES 35,100.00 -269.09 -0.76 INDONESIA 6,026.02 -86.38 -1.41
FOCUS DYNAMICS GROUP BHD 48.3 0 0.055 -91.54 350.5

JOE HOLDING BHD 46.25 0.005 0.05 -54.55 153 S&P 500 4,520.03 -15.40 -0.34 JAPAN 30,181.21 265.07 0.89

SERSOL BHD 45.6 -0.05 0.455 133.33 107 NASDAQ 100 15,675.76 22.90 0.15 KOREA 3,162.99 -24.43 -0.77

GIIB HOLDINGS BHD 44.9 0.005 0.205 -65.22 76.2 FTSE 100 7,116.15 -33.22 -0.46 PHILIPPINES 6,949.39 36.68 0.53

DESTINI BHD 43.4 -0.005 0.27 0 449.2 AUSTRALIA 7,512.01 -18.33 -0.24 SINGAPORE 3,068.94 -39.59 -1.27

SCOPE INDUSTRIES BHD 38.3 -0.01 0.33 10.98 380.7 CHINA 3,675.19 -1.40 -0.04 TAIWAN 17,270.49 -158.38 -0.91

TOP GLOVE CORP BHD 37.3 -0.09 3.58 -40.81 28664.9 HONG KONG 26,320.93 -32.70 -0.12 THAILAND 1,640.45 4.00 0.24

DAGANG NEXCHANGE BHD 37.1 -0.01 0.735 226.67 2271.7 INDIA 58,250.26 -29.22 -0.05 VIETNAM 1,333.61 -8.29 -0.62

Data as compiled on Sep 8, 2021 Source: Bloomberg Data as compiled on Sep 8, 2021 Source: Bloomberg

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(%) (RM MIL) (%) (RM MIL)

EDUSPEC HOLDINGS BHD 0.020 33.330 5001.0 0.00 50.0 VSOLAR GROUP BHD 0.01 -33.33 5813.5 -75 45.7

PASUKHAS GROUP BHD 0.110 29.410 32401.2 -69.52 127.3 PRICEWORTH INTERNATIONAL BHD 0.110 -18.52 9234.6 -63.33 55.0

PERAK CORP BHD 0.380 26.670 60.4 11.76 38.0 NEXGRAM HOLDINGS BHD 0.025 -16.67 17313.6 -44.44 108.9

FINTEC GLOBAL BHD 0.025 25.000 280610.3 -68.75 111.9 KNM GROUP BHD 0.265 -15.87 803538.2 29.27 879.7

SUNGEI BAGAN RUBBER CO MALAYA 3.71 15.94 246.8 19.68 246.1 STRAITS ENERGY RESOURCES BHD 0.175 -10.26 36115.0 -5.41 136.6

TRIVE PROPERTY GROUP BHD 0.075 15.380 12228.5 -44.70 79.0 ORION IXL BHD 0.045 -10 11776.5 -43.75 38.5

BRITE-TECH BHD 0.485 12.790 544.5 -4.90 122.2 SERSOL BHD 0.455 -9.90 45572.0 133.33 107.0

KLUANG RUBBER CO MALAYA BHD 4.500 12.220 193.3 32.35 281.8 ONLY WORLD GROUP HOLDINGS 0.480 -9.43 8566.5 37.14 191.6

NEXTGREEN GLOBAL BHD 0.805 11.810 12851.9 101.25 578.7 YKGI HOLDINGS BHD 0.205 -8.89 10757.3 -6.82 88.7

IQZAN HOLDING BHD 0.1 11.11 2401 -13.04 22.2 KHEE SAN BHD 0.160 -8.57 411.7 -40.74 18.3

JOE HOLDINGS BHD 0.05 11.11 46.25 -54.55 153 MAGNA PRIMA BHD 0.485 -8.49 66.0 -44.89 161.3

ASDION BHD 0.230 9.520 22605.7 12.20 29.4 BINA PURI HOLDINGS BHD 0.055 -8.33 2821.1 -50.00 80.9

JADI IMAGING HOLDINGS BHD 0.115 9.520 20934.3 9.52 121.0 CHINA OUHUA WINERY HOLDINGS 0.055 -8.33 200.0 -8.33 36.7

KANGER INTERNATIONAL BHD 0.060 9.090 32291.3 -58.62 167.8 EA TECHNIQUE M BHD 0.115 -8.00 11265.5 -61.02 61.0

WESTPORTS HOLDINGS BHD 4.740 8.970 839.4 10.23 16163.4 LAMBO GROUP BHD 0.125 -7.41 8203.2 -81.67 31.0

YBS INTERNATIONAL BHD 0.430 8.860 24637.6 132.43 106.2 KIM HIN INDUSTRY BHD 0.88 -7.37 7.2 8.64 123.4

KUCHAI DEVELOPMENT BHD 1.870 8.720 2238.6 24.67 231.4 MUDAJAYA GROUP BHD 0.195 -7.14 2988.8 -40.00 126.5

BP PLASTICS HOLDING BHD 2.430 8.480 2582.2 68.67 456.0 PJBUMI BHD 0.4 -6.98 1366.8 42.86 32.8

JASA KITA BHD 0.130 8.330 86.7 23.81 58.4 SC ESTATE BUILDER BHD 0.07 -6.67 535.6 16.67 75.2

KYM HOLDINGS BHD 0.575 7.48 9245.7 64.29 86.2 IVORY PROPERTIES GROUP BHD 0.14 -6.67 382.1 -28.21 68.6

Data as compiled on Sep 8, 2021 Source: Bloomberg Data as compiled on Sep 8, 2021 Source: Bloomberg

Top gainers (ranked by RM) Top losers (ranked by RM)

(RM) (‘000) CHANGE CAP (RM) (‘000) CHANGE CAP
(%) (RM MIL) (%) (RM MIL)

SUNGEI BAGAN RUBBER CO MALAYA 3.71 0.51 246.8 19.68 246.1 MALAYSIAN PACIFIC INDUSTRIES 46.300 -0.380 167.3 78.35 9208.9

KUALA LUMPUR KEPONG BHD 21.5 0.5 670.6 -9.21 23174.6 PANASONIC MANUFACTURING 30.560 -0.340 38.0 -0.78 1856.4

KLUANG RUBBER CO MALAYA BHD 4.5 0.49 193.3 32.35 281.8 GENETEC TECHNOLOGY BHD 31.46 -0.3 129 1718.5 1615.7

WESTPORTS HOLDINGS BHD 4.74 0.39 839.4 10.23 16163.4 KHIND HOLDINGS BHD 4.820 -0.300 854.8 64.51 193.1

UWC BHD 5.74 0.34 6598 17.14 6317.6 SAM ENGINEERING & EQUIPMENT 15.040 -0.240 292.8 104.07 2035.7

MISC BHD 7.3 0.3 1289.6 6.26 32585.3 CARLSBERG BREWERY MALAYSIA 22.300 -0.240 63.1 -4.04 6818.2

PETRONAS GAS BHD 17.1 0.3 977.7 -0.15 33836.3 HARTALEGA HOLDINGS BHD 6.68 -0.23 12349.2 -44.98 22828.6

HONG LEONG FINANCIAL GROUP 18.52 0.24 239 2.55 21209.9 HEINEKEN MALAYSIA BHD 22.680 -0.220 51.0 -1.48 6851.6

RIVERVIEW RUBBER ESTATES BHD 3.36 0.21 9.1 10.84 217.9 DUTCH LADY MILK INDUSTRIES BHD 33.740 -0.220 12.0 -10.03 2159.4

NESTLE MALAYSIA BHD 134.9 0.2 74.3 -2.88 31634.1 ALLIANZ MALAYSIA BHD 12.840 -0.160 73.2 -13.13 2279.2

BP PLASTICS HOLDING BHD 2.43 0.19 2582.2 68.67 456 PETRONAS DAGANGAN BHD 19.800 -0.160 251.8 -7.48 19670.4

FRONTKEN CORP BHD 3.7 0.18 11166 56.34 5817.9 DKSH HOLDINGS MALAYSIA BHD 4.380 -0.150 459.6 29.20 690.5

FRASER & NEAVE HOLDINGS BHD 27.44 0.18 245.9 -14.46 10064.4 UNISEM M BHD 8.490 -0.140 750.7 37.38 6847.5

PRESS METAL ALUMINIUM HOLDINGS 5.97 0.17 11825.6 42.31 48215 AJINOMOTO MALAYSIA BHD 16.400 -0.140 9.0 2.37 997.1

MAXIS BHD 4.78 0.16 4103.5 -5.14 37409.6 BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO M’SIA 14.160 -0.120 809.0 0.57 4043.1

CI HOLDINGS BHD 4.28 0.16 389.7 125.26 693.4 BINTULU PORT HOLDINGS BHD 4.500 -0.110 62.1 17.49 2070.0

PPB GROUP BHD 18.48 0.16 1445.4 0.65 26289.6 TRANSOCEAN HOLDINGS BHD 3.860 -0.110 40.1 388.61 174.1

CAN-ONE BHD 4.05 0.15 1453.1 45.16 778.2 PENTAMASTER CORP BHD 5.180 -0.100 1563.9 2.57 3689.8

CHIN TECK PLANTATIONS BHD 7.4 0.15 14.3 12.38 676.1 SARAWAK PLANTATION BHD 2.530 -0.100 184.0 12.44 706.0

KUCHAI DEVELOPMENT BHD 1.87 0.15 2238.6 24.67 231.4 TOP GLOVE CORP BHD 3.58 -0.090 37305.3 -40.81 28664.9

Data as compiled on Sep 8, 2021 Source: Bloomberg Data as compiled on Sep 8, 2021 Source: Bloomberg

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