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Published by pbulibrary3, 2022-03-28 22:10:37

The Edge 29 Mac 2022 (Selasa)

Koleksi The Edge

BIDEN PITCHES US$5.8 TRIL PLAN WITH RECORD TAX HIKE p18

TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2022 w w w. t h e e d g e m a r k e t s. c o m

ISSUE 354/2022

CEOMorningBrief
HOME: RPTs within family groups and long-serving independent directors may
require closer monitoring, says SC p4

Plan to dispose of healthcare biz still in early stage – Sime Darby p9
Ex-FGV manager: I was told to be careful with issues involving ‘higher office’ p15
WORLD: Shanghai locks down half of city to fight growing Covid-19 outbreak p20

A world that’s more expensive is starting to destroy demand p26

THE EDGE FILE PHOTO

Khairy: Govt will opt
for another vendor

if MySejahtera
deal not fair

Report on Page 2.

Refinitiv Lipper Fund
Awards 2022

tuesday march 29, 2022 2 TheEdge CEO morning brief

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Khairy: Govt will opt for another vendor
if MySejahtera deal not fair

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Health by Ahmad Naqib Idris Covid-19 cases and vaccination
Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said the theedgemarkets.com progress in Malaysia
government will opt for another vendor if
it cannot get a fair deal with MySejahtera es concerns about whether the Malaysian On March 27, 2022 24,254
licence holder MySJ Sdn Bhd, as the data government could control and ensure the 16,814
collected by the application is still owned personal data of millions of Malaysians and Daily vaccine doses administered 97.5 (%)
by the government. businesses in MySejahtera is not accessed by
third parties,” said MUDA executive com- Daily booster administered 66.4 (%)
Bernama quoted the minister as say- mittee member LimWei Jiet.
ing that the government is still negotiating % of adult population received
with MySJ on the terms and subscription Lim also said that it would be reasona- two-dose vaccination
of the application. ble to assume that there is a high probabili-
ty that the data would be used for commer- % of adult population received
“We have not concluded the negotia- cial purposes, given the RM338.6 million booster shots
tions [with MySJ].We are still in negotia- contract.
tions and once the negotiations are done, On March 27, 2022
we will inform what the basis of the con- “It is unlikely that a private company
tract... is but we have to regularise the ser- will pay another private company RM338.6 Number of new cases 16,863
vices that they provide. million if there is no plan to use the appli-
cation [and the personal data collected] Local cases 16,625
“I can tell you for the fact that the for profit generation,” he said.
amount that we are negotiating with MySJ Imported cases 238
is much, much lower than RM300 mil- EMIR Research said that data priva-
lion... far lower,” he was quoted as saying. cy concerns aside, the sequence of events Category 1 8,652
surrounding MySejahtera appears to be “a
Khairy was referring to the alleged form of CSR trap”, which the think tank (no symptoms) (51.31%)
RM338.6 million deal reported by news thinks could be a prelude to a lucrative
portal CodeBlue, which — citing court contract without competition. Category 2 8,111
documents — reported that there was (mild symptoms) (48.1%)
an October 2020 licence agreement be- “Making matters worse, MySJ owner-
tween Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd (for- ship has been reported to involve compa- Category 3 48
merly known as KPISoft Malaysia) and nies with potential political links or indi-
MySJ, which saw the former transfer My- viduals that may require further scrutiny,” (with pnemonia) (0.28%)
Sejahtera intellectual property and grant said EMIR Research.
the app’s software licence to MySJ for Category 4 29
RM338.6 million. It noted MoH’s statement that the gov- (with pneumonia requiring oxygen therapy) (0.17%)
ernment had “decided” that it owned the
The contract was said to be a five-year, MySejahtera application, and that the min- Category 5 23
three-month deal until end-2025. istry had been appointed as the primary or (critical and requiring assisted ventilation) (0.14%)
main owner of the application, although
In a statement, Malaysian United Dem- it pointed out that the ministry did not Number of new recoveries 26,171
ocratic Alliance (MUDA) said that the gov- elaborate on the details.
ernment must guarantee that the data col- Active cases 233,142
lected by MySejahtera will not be used for “The MoH statement does not elab-
commercial purposes without the consent orate on other owners of this data, nor Daily Covid-19 deaths 43
of its users. does it clarify what they meant by ‘decid-
ed’ or how the government came to the Hospital bed utilisation (%) 60.6%
MUDA said the report saying the soft- decision that it owns MySejahtera with-
ware is being licensed until 2025 contradicts out any payments ever being made,” said Source: Ministry of Health
with the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) state- the think tank.
ment saying the government owns the app. ing agreement took place on Oct 6, 2020.
“Even if we take the MoH’s statement Notwithstanding the nature of licensing
“The fact that Entomo Malaysia has the at face value, the question arises on data agreement, can data before these periods
right to license the software of MySejahtera handling and ownership from the time be- be guaranteed to not have fallen into the
clearly shows that it is the owner of the app, fore March 24, 2022, or before the licens- hands of third parties?” it added.
and not the Malaysian government.This rais-
Read also:
Covid-19: New cases drop to below
20,000 mark on March 27, says Health
DG Click here

Covid-19 vaccination: Over 1.3 million
Malaysian children given first jab as of
March 27 Click here

TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022 3 THEEDGE CEO MORNING BRIEF

TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022 4 THEEDGE CEO MORNING BRIEF

HOME

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28):The Securi- RPTs within family of material non-public information should
ties Commission Malaysia (SC) said Monday groups and long- cover RPTs that are likely to have a mate-
its assessment on several large related-party rial price impact.
transactions (RPTs) (ranging from RM250 serving independent
million to more than RM3 billion) suggested directors may “As part of the SC’s ongoing regulatory
that such transactions involving public listed require closer work, it vigilantly monitors emerging and po-
companies (PLCs) within family groups and tential harms to investors, and shall take the
those with long-serving independent directors monitoring, says SC necessary steps to protect investors,” it said.
may require closer monitoring to ensure that
these deals are not detrimental to minority BY TAN SIEW MUNG Based on an analysis of 5,500 transaction
shareholders. theedgemarkets.com announcements between 2016 and 2020,
the commission found that 494 PLCs, or
There were also instances where issues Malaysian PLCs, it said boards of PLCs, around half of all listed companies, made at
and concerns related to RPTs — which particularly the independent directors and least one RPT announcement during that
generally refer to transactions entered into audit committee, must establish effective period, which indicated that such transac-
by PLCs involving the interest of directors, processes and controls to prevent detrimen- tions were considerably prevalent among
major shareholders, or persons connected tal RPTs, and ensure that decisions made Malaysian publicly-traded firms.
with such directors or major shareholders on these transactions are in the best interest
— were uncovered by auditors of financial- of the PLCs and its shareholders. Among them, 206 PLCs made only RPT
ly-distressed companies, said SC in its 2021 announcements; 148 PLCs made both RPT
annual report. Furthermore, it said PLCs should en- announcements and recurrent RPT an-
sure that RPT disclosures and disclosures nouncements; while 140 PLCs made only
“Investors should also pay particular at- of other dealings between related parties are recurrent RPT announcements.
tention to general announcement in relation timely, complete, and accurate.
to transaction between related parties who “One of the desired outcomes of this as-
are only connected by common director- Given the potential share price impact of sessment is to measure the price impact of
ships, and memorandum of understand- RPT announcements, it said PLCs’ internal RPT announcements.The analysis revealed
ing or heads of agreement between related policies on the handling and safeguarding there was a significant effect on share price
parties.This is because such transaction or movement on the day after RPT announce-
dealing may still carry the risk of erosion of ments were made.
minority shareholders protection,” said the
commission. “The SC also observed above-average
price movements on the day leading up to
Given the prevalence of RPTs among the RPT announcements indicating that
there could be some leakages of price-sen-
sitive information,” it said.

Shareholder activism ‘inadequate’ as new issuance faces very low dissent — SC

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28):The Se- BY SULHI KHALID The SC said its 2021 policy evaluation
curities Commission Malaysia (SC) said theedgemarkets.com also revealed that the Malaysian adviso-
the level of shareholder dissent in 2020 ry market for GMPPs was concentrated
was “very low” against the increase in the tor activism in corporate proposals by PLCs among four PAs in 2020.
general mandate for the issue of new secu- in Malaysia, according to the SC.
rities from 10% to not more than 20% of “These four PAs accounted for 71%
the total number of issued shares by pub- According to the SC, PLCs and inves- of all GMPPs announced in 2020 and
lic listed companies (PLCs) in Malaysia. tors have specific roles to collectively deliver 52% (RM2.6 billion) of the total value
robust protection for investors. announced,” the SC said.
According to the SC’s 2021 annual
report which was published on Monday To promote market transparency, the in- In 2020, 126 PLCs in Malaysia an-
(March 28), while this could indicate dustry and PLCs should take their cue from nounced 133 GMPPs involving a new
overwhelming support for such corporate international best practices to provide ade- securities placement value of RM5 billion,
proposals, it could also imply low levels quate and meaningful general mandate private according to the SC.
of investor activism among minority and placements (GMPP) disclosures to investors,
institutional shareholders. and ensure proper utilisation of the proceeds The SC, however, did not specify the
raised, according to the SC. names of the four PAs besides the 2021
“Generally, the SC observed that the GMPP-related figures in Malaysia.
level of dissent was very low; the proportion “Investors should also exercise vigilance Read also:
of dissenting votes was only 0.4% on aver- when reading the GMPP proposal documents SC: Regulatory certainty can help nascent
age and 17 out of 48 resolutions received and raise concerns, if any, during general markets like digital assets grow Click here
no dissent at all. meetings. PAs (principal advisers) advising SC involved in three judicial reviews
on GMPPs and the intermediaries involved against regulator’s enforcement Click here
“The shareholder bases of these PLCs must put in place robust processes, controls Click here for more stories from the
were also relatively small, with only an av- and resources to ensure the highest quality of SC Annual Report 2021
erage of 33 shareholders needed to pass due diligence and compliance,” the SC said.
the resolution,” the SC said.
The SC cited practices among listed
A further review of the implied low companies in the UK where the pre-emp-
levels of investor activism among minor- tion group, an industry body comprising
ity and institutional shareholders may be listed companies, investors and intermedi-
carried out to understand the underlying aries, exists to promote best practices in the
shareholder dynamics and heighten inves- observation of investors’ pre-emption rights.

TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022 5 THEEDGE CEO MORNING BRIEF

HOME

A snapshot of Malaysia’s capital market in 2021

The domestic capital market continued to grow, despite the nation going through its first
full-year impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021. Here is a snapshot of Malaysia’s

capital market, according to the SC’s 2021 annual report.

Total capital market size Capital market size, 2014-2021

4.0 Debt securities outstanding RM1.8 bil
Equity market capitalisation raised through equity
3.5 crowdfunding and
peer-to-peer platforms since
3.0 Equity: 4.0 As at end 2021: 1.5 1.6 1.7
RM3.5 trillion start of MCO in 2020
2.5 RM1.8
RM trillion 2.0 trillion 3.0 RM21 bil
Equity: RM trillion in overall digital assets
RM1.2 trading volume
1.5 Bonds and trillion 2.0 Four principal advisers
accounted for
1.0 Sukuk: Sukuk: 1.8 71%
RM1.7 RM1.1 1.7 1.8 of all general mandate
0.5 trillion trillion 1.0 private placements in 2020

0.0 Total capital Islamic 0.0 29 new
listings
market capital market 2014 in 2021
2015
2016 - 6 on the Main Market
2017 - 11 on the ACE Market
2018 - 12 on the LEAP Market
2019
2020 SOURCE: SECURITIES COMMISSION MALAYSIA
2021 ANNUAL REPORT 2021

Source: Securities Commission Source: Bursa Malaysia,
Malaysia Annual Report 2021 the SC’s calculations

Total funds raised Total asset under management

Equity market 1,000 905.5 951.1
Corporate bond market 800
600
160 Total in 2021: 16.6 400
RM130.9 billion 10.0 200
0
RM billion 120 RM billion

80 104.6

40 114.3

0 2014 2014
2015 2015
2016 2016
2017 2017
2018 2018
2019 2019
2020 2020
2021 2021

Source: Bursa Malaysia, Source: Bursa Malaysia,
the SC’s calculations the SC’s calculations

General mandate private Total bonds & sukuk
placements (GMPPs) in 2020 issuance

Inner circle: Number of GMPPs Sukuk
Outer circle: Total value announced issuances,
RM237.41 bil
RM2.1 bil 10% GMPP (62.91%) Taontadlsbuoknudks
20% GMPP issuancesa:
48 85 RM377.41 bil

RM2.9 bil

¹ ‘Total value announced’ refers to the total amount Bonds
announced by the PLC when the GMP was first issuances,
announced and may difers from the actual amount RM140.00 bil
raised. (37.09%)
Source: Securities Commission
Malaysia Annual Report 2021 Source: Securities Commission
Malaysia Annual Report 2021

TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022 6 THEEDGE CEO MORNING BRIEF

HOME

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28):The Secu- SC warns further historical low of 18.1% seen in 2002.
rities Commission Malaysia (SC) said the escalation of He also said foreign fund inflows have
sustained economic recovery seen the world
over as businesses normalise and borders Russia-Ukraine been encouraging, totalling RM5.59 billion
reopen bodes well for the domestic capital war could as at March 21, 2022.
markets going forward, as it boosts corpo-
rate earnings and sentiment, but warned upend economic On the fundraising pipeline, Syed Zaid
that external risks such as the ongoing con- recovery said that will continue to pick up as eco-
flict Russia-Ukraine conflict could upend nomic activities normalise, although it will
current recovery expectations. BY AHMAD NAQIB IDRIS also depend on continued fiscal and mone-
theedgemarkets.com tary support.The Russia-Ukraine conflict
“As we have witnessed, the impacts are could also have an impact on the capital
already felt in various market segments tors still being vested in the long term pros- markets, he said.
worldwide, especially in commodities.The pects of domestic public-listed companies.
possibility of a more severe impact still re- In 2021, despite the challenging environ-
mains, given the potential for further es- In fact, foreign shareholdings year- ment, he noted that fundraising was very
calation and the lack of a clear resolution. to-date have increased slightly to encouraging as the initial public offerings
20.47%, which he said is higher than the (IPOs) were still seen as a good way to raise
“For the moment, the direct impact to funds for expansion.
Malaysia is still manageable, given our min-
imal exposure to Ukraine and Russia,” said “We expect a healthy pipeline of IPOs
SC executive chairman Datuk Syed Zaid this year, of around 35. We have also re-
Albar during a press briefing held in con- ceived enquiries and statements of interest
junction with the release of the regulator’s in SPACs (special purpose acquisition com-
Annual Report 2021. panies), but it is still too early to tell whether
any SPACs will be listed in 2022,” he added.
Among other key risks he highlighted
were global supply chain disruptions amid re-
cent Covid-19-related developments and the
pace of global monetary policy tightening.

“As such, we expect market volatility
to remain, especially so in the near term,”
added Syed Zaid.

Commenting on foreign investors’ inter-
est in Malaysia, he said foreign sharehold-
ings in the equities market, by value, have
consistently remained above 20% over the
years, which is an indication of foreign inves-

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Global Global energy Bruch said that even if investments into
energy security “is under threat” at a time security ‘under the renewable energy transition are dou-
when the Russia-Ukraine conflict raises bled now, the transition may not be ac-
the spectre of a ban on Russian oil and gas, threat’ — celerated without fundamental changes
according to Siemens Energy AG chief ex- Siemens to the energy system.
ecutive officer Dr Christian Bruch.
BY SEAH EU HEN The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been
“The first phase at the moment is to theedgemarkets.com closely watched after Russia attacked
ensure energy security — which is under Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022.
threat — so you will have short-term re-
liance on certain infrastructures such as It was reported that Russian Deputy
floating-energy platforms and coal-fired Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on
power plants. March 7, 2022 (Monday) in an address
on state television: “It is absolutely clear
“But in the medium term, we will see that a rejection of Russian oil would lead
further push for renewable energy systems. to catastrophic consequences for the glob-
However, we have to be aware that Ger- al market.”
many or Europe already had a relatively
ambitious (renewable energy) plan before Bruch: The first phase at the moment is to
the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” Bruch said. ensure energy security — which is under
threat — so you will have short-term
He was speaking on Monday (March reliance on certain infrastructures such as
28) at the two-day virtual Asia Pacific En- floating-energy platforms and coal-fired
ergy Week 2022 conference. power plants.

The event ends onTuesday (March 29). Read also: Speed of decarbonisation
According to Bruch, the global tran- progress should be focus, instead of
sition towards renewable energy will not scorecards — Keppel Infrastructure
be possible if the fundamental underlying CEO Click here
energy systems are not changed despite
plans by governments around the world
to accelerate the transition.

TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022 7 THEEDGE CEO MORNING BRIEF

Propelling Smart Industries in 2022

Faced by the rapidly evolving world of Industry One of the main components of this plan was the
4.0 (IR4.0), forward thinking business leaders in enhancement of customer experience (CX)
the manufacturing, production, warehousing, through the revamp of its website and an
and associated industries have pushed enhanced mobile application, which has seen
digitalisation to the top of their agenda. more than 1.3 million downloads with an average
In the quest to achieve greater efficiency, safety of 200,000 monthly users from January to July
and quality, the business leaders have started 2020. This ongoing adoption of digital
their IR4.0 journey by investing in emerging technologies is helping the country's more than
technologies such as robotics, artificial 200 year-old traditional postal service expand
intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), into digital era opportunities such as providing
machine-to-machine (M2M), and of course financial services and supply chain solutions.
automation.
At the heart of this journey is smart automation, “There are countless use cases for smart Accelerating the Data Driven Journey
which addresses one of the most common services across all verticals, and its proven that By definition, digitalised companies are on
challenges faced by manufacturing – downtime. these investments have brought positive returns data-driven journeys. To help fast track
According to IDC’s Asia Pacific Insights Annual for businesses. The critical success factor is in a progress, TM ONE continues to develop smart
Survey 2019, 24% of manufacturing costs were good execution plan," commented Mohamad solutions and tools such as Overall Equipment
attributed to downtime, with 90% of Rejab Sulaiman, Head of Products & Innovation, Effectiveness (OEE) — which helps
maintenance work categorised as ‘crisis work’ to TM ONE. "Unfortunately, many organisations fail manufacturers address efficiency and
fix the downtimes. to extract value from smart services due productivity gaps without human intervention.
Transitioning to Smart Ecosystems haphazard implementation, the root cause of Outcomes from OEE adoption include the
To ensure the best results, an effective which is the lack of experience. reduction of common causes of equipment
transformational journey must envision more “When the solutions involve different types of failure, maximising workforce effectiveness, and
than the automation of the manufacturing technologies, implementation complexities and opening up the capacity to visualise overall
process. The entire operating ecosystem - operational expertise, you need to have performance more seamlessly.
comprising customers, suppliers and trading well-experienced strategic digital solutions OEE integrates real-time data for endpoints –
partners, applications, data service providers partner such as TM ONE (the enterprise and production machines, for example – including
and associated technologies - should be public sector arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad availability, effectiveness and scheduling. This
strategically digitalised. Interoperability is the (TM), who has the know-how and a proven track helps supervisory staff monitor individual
key attribute that has propelled the adoption of record to unlock the potential of smart services performance as well as maintain overall visibility
smart manufacturing ecosystems. for businesses.” of the production line. Data from OEE is made
In July 2020, manufacturing leaders across available through the cloud platform, enabling
three regions participated in a survey conducted monitoring capabilities remotely at any time.
by Deloitte and the Manufacturers Alliance for Soon, 5G connectivity with its real-time
Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). One capabilities will further enhance data security
significant takeaway is that, manufacturers and deliver higher throughput for the assembly
believe that an ecosystem approach could help lines communications.
them unlock value and benefits. Eighty-five Technology is one of the complementing
percent (85%) of the respondents agree that element required to propel your business into
ecosystems are growing in importance, while IR4.0. Experienced forward thinking leaders take
87% believe broad ecosystems can help them advantage of a successful co-innovation
stay competitive. partnership, which offers attributes such as
In Malaysia, the government has reaffirmed the professional services and service capabilities.
urgency of driving digitalisation across Oracle research found, for example, that “IT
industries. Under the National Fourth Industrial decision-makers don’t just want a productised
Revolution (4IR) Policy, various initiatives were solution, they also want the solution provider to
recommended, including the Malaysian incorporate and manage connectivity for them.
International Trade and Industry ministry’s Three-quarters of the respondents would prefer
(MITI’s) Industry4wrd policy, containing three that connectivity be bundled into their solution
core elements and eight core thrusts to create a of choice”.
pathway for enhanced productivity, job creation,
and growing a highly-skilled talent pool in the One successful implementation of TM ONE is The next few years, will be the most crucial ones
manufacturing sector. being involved with Pos Malaysia Group's for Malaysia's manufacturing, production,
Unlocking the Power of Smart Services evolving digital transformation journey. The POS warehousing and associated industries.
In addition to aligning with the national digital Malaysia Group embarked on its three-year Choosing the right partner will determine their
agenda, leaders in Malaysia have a timely modernisation and transformation plan to digital transformational success and carve a
opportunity to accelerate their digital plans by remain relevant, competitive and profitable. path towards sustainable growth and value in
utilising smart services. When used as a part of the local and global arena.
the core of their strategic digital implementation,
smart services will help secure targeted Over the years, TM ONE's carefully-designed and executed solutions have enabled the positive Telekom Malaysia Berhad (128740-P)
outcomes. This can include efficient integrated disruption and continuous innovation of many businesses and public sector areas, such as:
production in real-time manufacturing with • TM ONE Mobile Field Workforce (FORCE), an all-in-one system that helps operational
predictive analytics - which can transform their
ecosystem radically by improving the quality of teams and management to manage field workers’ schedules, assign work orders and
experience and performance for employees, as receive constant and immediate updates on the status and progress of jobs done
well as enhance the quality of products and on-site.
services for customers and other stakeholders. • TM ONE Fleet Management System (FMS), all company-owned vehicles can be satel
lite-tracked and their real-time location can be viewed through a web portal or mobile
app. The fleet operations team can track and monitor the vehicle’s activities and drivers’
driving patterns.
• The state-of-the-art Twin Core Data Centre that is a carrier-neutral green data centre
designed to provide high-value managed services to the ASEAN region.

Learn More
tmone.com.my

TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022 8 THEEDGE CEO MORNING BRIEF

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PATRICK GOH/THE EDGE actual services will all depend on whether High Court
the operators are ready,” he said in a state- dismisses
All public ment on Monday (March 28). MAHB unit’s
transport vehicles bid to strike out
to Singapore can Wee said the public can obtain further RM480 mil suit
details of the services from the operators. by AirAsia, AAX
operate from
April 1, saysWee He also reminded all cross-border transport BY SULHI KHALID
operators to comply with all existing stand- theedgemarkets.com
Bernama ard operating procedures (SOPs), including
preparing QR codes in all operating vehicles. KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): The
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28):All classes Kuala Lumpur High Court has dis-
of public transport vehicles plying between He said operators must also ensure that the missed the Malaysia Airports (Sepang)
Malaysia and Singapore will be allowed to op- QR code is scanned by passengers for tracking Sdn Bhd (MASSB)’s application to strike
erate from April 1 in line with the reopening purposes (contact tracing). However, in line out AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd’s
of land borders between the two countries. with current regulations, operators need not (AAX) claim for the sum of RM479.78
check the vaccination status of passengers. million last Friday (March 25).
Transport Minister Datuk Seri DrWee
Ka Siong said all public transport oper- Wee said operators or drivers of public The two Capital A Bhd subsidiar-
ators in the country can now make early transport vehicles can refuse to provide ies are suing MASSB, a wholly-owned
preparations to renew their Road Trans- services to any traveller who does not com- unit of Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd
port Department (JPJ) and Land Public ply with current health SOPs such as the (MAHB), for loss and damages from
Transport Agency permits or licences or compulsory wearing of face masks. 2014 to 2018 due to negligence on the
with the Singaporean authorities. part of MASSB, owing to disruptions
He said it is the responsibility of travellers and poor conditions at klia2.
“However, preparations or the start of to ensure they have a valid MySejahtera app
in their smartphones and meet all the stipu- MASSB is responsible for managing and
lated travel conditions, adding that failure to operating KLIA's main terminal and klia2.
do so could result in them being subject to
compounds or penalties under existing laws. AirAsia and AAX filed the suit in
Oct 2019, claiming the amount from
Wee said travellers who use private cars MASSB, "being loss and damage caused
to Malaysia are reminded to register and by negligence on the part of MASSB, its
obtain a foreign vehicle entry permit (VEP) servants or agents in the management,
via https://vep.jpj.gov.my/. operation, maintenance and provision of
Click here to read the full story airport services and facilities at klia2".

Read also: Seven-day road charge The claim by the two airliners includes
exemption for Singapore-registered RM371 million for loss of customers,
private vehicles from April 1 Click here RM99.6 million for runway closures,
RM5.6 million for consequential failure
DOHA (March 28): Prime Minister Da- PM receives to provide services, RM1 million for dam-
tuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Monday letter of age to aircraft and internet outage, and
(March 28) received a letter of commit- RM2.5 million for operations disruptions.
ment for an investment of US$360 million commitment
from Agrico Qatar. for US$360 mil Capital A announced the court de-
investment from cision in a company filing on Monday
The letter was personally delivered by Qatar’s Agrico (March 28). The Kuala Lumpur High
Agrico Qatar chairman Ahmed Hussain Al- Court has fixed the next case manage-
Khalaf in a brief ceremony in conjunction BY NOR HASLIZA ABDULLAH ment for April 4, 2022, it added.
with his visit to Agrico’s organic vegetable, Bernama
mushroom and shrimp farm in Al Khor, Separately on March 3 this year, the
about 50km north of here. The Prime Minister and the Malay- Court of Appeal has dismissed three
sian delegation were also taken on a tour striking out appeals by AirAsia and AAX
Also present were Senior Minister of In- of Baladna’s state-of-the-art production of against the original suit by MASSB re-
ternational Trade and Industry Datuk Seri quality milk from Holstein cows using the lating to outstanding passenger service
Mohamed Azmin Ali, Rural Development most advanced rotary milking parlor. charges (PSCs).
Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Deputy
Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup Also present was Qatar’s Minister of En- MASSB's claim against AirAsia and
and Felda chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. vironment and Climate Change Sheikh Dr AAX is for unpaid PSCs at the rate set
Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmad Al-Thani. by the Malaysian Aviation Commission
Earlier, the Prime Minister and the Ma- (Mavcom), which was raised to RM73 per
laysian delegation visited the Baladna Farm The Prime Minister is currently on a passenger in 2018,from RM50 prior to that.
owned by Baladna Food Industries. three-day visit to Qatar.
Shares in Capital A ended 1.5 sen or
He was welcomed upon arrival by Balad- 2.24% lower to 65.5 sen on Monday,
na Food Industries Group chairman Mout- valuing the group at RM2.73 billion.
az Al-Khayyat and its managing director
Ramez Al-Khayyat.

Ismail Sabri was also briefed on the
company by its independent board mem-
ber Aidan Tynan.

TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022 9 THEEDGE CEO MORNING BRIEF

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LOW YEN YEING/THE EDGE

Plan to dispose
of healthcare

biz still in
early stage —
Sime Darby

BY SYAFIQAH SALIM Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson
theedgemarkets.com
Sime Darby, the automotive value chain in Malaysia, but
KULIM (March 28):The proposal Porsche roll also creates a pipeline of jobs to empower
to sell Ramsay Sime Darby Health- out first locally the local community,” he said.
care Sdn Bhd (RSDH) to IHH assembled
Healthcare Bhd for RM5.67 billion Cayenne in Albrecht Reimold, a member of the ex-
is still at a preliminary stage, said ecutive board for production and logistics
Sime Darby Bhd chief executive of- Kulim at Porsche, said the new assembly site in
ficer Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson. Malaysia meets specific market needs and
BY SYAFIQAH SALIM operates alongside Porsche’s established
“We have received the offer from theedgemarkets.com network of production sites in Europe.
IHH and we are going through a dil-
igence process.That is what we are KULIM (March 28): Sime Darby Bhd and “In particular, it meets comprehensive
doing at the moment. Beyond that, Porsche on Monday (March 28) unveiled quality standards set forth by Porsche
I cannot say anything. the first locally assembled Cayenne for the when assembling Porsche sports cars.
domestic market. Therefore, the new assembly facility is
“No agreement has been reached not only a benchmark in efficiency and
yet. It’s too early,” he told The Edge The launch was held during the inau- quality, but also sustainability,” Reimold
after the launch of the assembly fa- guration of the first assembly plant for said.
cility for Porsche vehicles in Kulim, Porsche vehicles outside Europe at Sime
Kedah on Monday (March 28). Darby’s vehicle production and assembly At the moment, there are no plans to
facility in Kulim, Kedah. develop or assemble electric vehicles at the
On March 22, IHH submitted a plant or export them to other countries
confidential and non-binding offer to The local assembly facility underscores in the region as the focus is currently on
acquire 100% of RSDH on a cash- Porsche’s commitment to Malaysia as well Malaysia, according to Sime Darby Mo-
free and debt-free basis. RSDH, an as the ASEAN region, and demonstrates tors managing director Andrew Basham.
Asian joint venture equally owned by Sime Darby’s dedication to expanding
Australia’s Ramsay Health Care and its high value assembly capabilities as a The locally assembled right-hand-drive
Sime Darby Holdings Bhd, has agreed critical element of growth for its motors’ Cayenne comes with an elevated and en-
to a four-week exclusivity period to business, according to the companies’ joint hanced standard equipment range speci-
allow IHH to conduct due diligence statement. fied exclusively for the Malaysian market,
and negotiate a purchase agreement. with a specially-curated Porsche Exclusive
Sime Darby Bhd chief executive officer Manufaktur option package and a special
Jeffri said if Sime Darby were to ac- Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson said the group Porsche Design timepiece available for fur-
cept IHH’s offer, the group would not is honoured by Porsche’s continued confi- ther personalisation.
proceed with its proposed initial pub- dence in Sime Darby as it delivers a prod-
lic offer (IPO) for its healthcare unit. uct that meets Porsche’s highest stand- Porsche Malaysia, represented by Sime
ards of quality, performance and driving Darby Auto Performance Sdn Bhd, in col-
“If we accepted the offer, we would experience. laboration with Shell and Porsche Asia Pa-
not carry out the planned IPO,” he said. cific, recently launched the first high-per-
“The facility, which is 100% staffed by formance charging point at ShellTangkak.
The group was previously report- highly skilled Malaysians, not only sup- This is the first of six locations between
ed to be seeking a US$300 million ports the growth of our businesses across Johor and Penang that will form a high
(RM1.25 billion) listing of its health- performance charging network that will
care division on the Main Market of be fully operational in the second quarter
Bursa Malaysia. of this year.

In October 2020, Sime Darby said it In addition, a new Porsche Centre is
was considering RSDH’s listing in 2021. scheduled to open in Johor Bahru this year,
that will complement the marque’s existing
Last month, however, Jeffri said facilities in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
the IPO was put on hold and Sime
Darby was looking at other options
to expand its healthcare business.

Shares of Sime Darby closed down
five sen or 1.97% at RM2.49 on Mon-
day, giving it a market capitalisation
of RM16.96 billion.The counter saw
13.31 million shares traded.

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Malaysia MPOC sees will likely be traded at the RM4,500 to
and Indonesia will be the focus of inter- CPO prices at RM5,500 per tonne level,” she shared.
national oils and fats trade this year, sup- RM5,700 and
ported by the projection of a 4% world RM6,300 till May Palm oil prices have been steadily ris-
economic growth and higher demand for amid Russia- ing since the third quarter of 2021 due to
vegetable oils, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Ukraine conflict lower-than-expected production in both
Council (MPOC). Malaysia and Indonesia.
Bernama
Chief executive officerWan AishahWan The conflict between Russia and Ukraine
Hamid said demand for vegetable oils is crude palm oil (CPO) production to be has resulted in a demand surge for palm oil
growing in tandem with the economic re- at 18.9 million tonnes this year, up from as it is the most abundantly available.
covery but supply disruption had caused 18.1 million tonnes last year.
vegetable oil prices to record high levels, As a result, palm oil prices increased by
especially over the past few months. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s CPO produc- 21% to US$1,990 (about RM8,384.86)
tion is poised to derive at 47.1 million per tonne on March 2, 2022 from the
“Palm oil prices skyrocketed in Febru- tonnes from last year’s 45.2 million tonnes. US$1,640 per tonne level registered on
ary 2022 and established new record highs, Feb 25, 2022.
supported by current low stocks and lower On price forecasts over the medium
production in the two major palm oil-pro- term, she said the Russia-Ukraine con- Palm oil, which is usually traded at a
ducing countries, Indonesia and Malay- flict remains the single biggest factor in discount to soybean oil, has seen the price
sia,” she said in her presentation during price direction. gap narrowing and eventually trading at a
the Palm Oil Internet Seminar (Pointers) premium to soybean oil from Feb 28 until
on Monday (March 28). CPO prices will likely remain between March 7, 2022.
RM5,700 and RM6,300 per tonne until May
Themed “Assessing 2022: Managing Op- this year if the conflict drags on, she said. Sunflower oil prices increased abrupt-
portunities and Risks”, the seminar features ly to US$3,000 per tonne from March 8
six presentations covering topics such as sup- As for the long-term price outlook,Wan until March 10, 2022.
ply and demand of oils and fats, prices and Aishah said lower-than-expected supplies,
the market outlook, opportunities for palm higher demand, volatility in Brent crude As for export destinations for palm oil
oil in Central Asia and the Middle East and oil prices and geopolitical tensions remain for January to February 2022, exports to
North Africa markets, among others. key factors in determining price direction. India rose 32.56% to 409,465 tonnes, ex-
ports to China slipped 17.43% to 163,148
The seminar runs from March 28 un- “It is forecast that there will be a price tonnes, and exports to Turkey jumped
til April 1. correction for all vegetable oils but only 125.96% to 160,104 tonnes.
in the third quarter of 2022, but palm oil
Wan Aishah noted that Indonesia and Meanwhile, exports to the Netherlands
Malaysia contribute up to 85% of global eased 4.7% to 120,619 tonnes and for
palm oil production. Kenya (the fifth top highest export des-
tination of Malaysian palm oil) it soared
Among other vegetable oils globally, 132.45% to 112,902 tonnes.
30% of oils and fats production comes
from Indonesia and Malaysia as well. Exports of Malaysian palm oil to 10
countries for the first two months of 2022
She said the MPOC forecast Malaysia’s improved to 2.26 million tonnes from 1.85
million tonnes in 2021, up by 22.16%.

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28):The ex- Palm-based successfully adapted to the new norms de-
port revenue of palm oil and other palm- products’ export spite experiencing various hurdles domes-
based products is expected to improve revenue to rise to tically and globally.
by 1.4% to RM110 billion this year from RM110 bil in 2022
RM108.52 billion in 2021, the Malaysian He said he assured the Ministry of Plan-
Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said. — MPOB tation Industries and Commodities that
MPOB and other related agencies would
Director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Bernama continue to work closely with the industry
Parveez Ghulam Kadir said the higher players in facing the ongoing challenges for
revenue is expected to derive mainly from tween Russia and Ukraine has resulted in the sustenance of the local palm oil industry.
higher palm oil exports of 9.2% to 17 mil- a surge of demand for palm oil, as it is the
lion tonnes this year, amid the shortage of most abundantly available vegetable oil. Meanwhile, Palm Oil Analytics own-
global vegetable oils. er and co-founder Dr Sathia Varqa, in his
He said Russia and Ukraine produced presentation said CPO is expected to trade
“The year 2022 is expected to bring a sunflower oil, the world's third-most trad- lower between RM5,300 and RM5,600
brighter prospect for the Malaysian palm ed vegetable oil after palm oil and soybean per tonne in April and reduced further
oil industry with all the key indicators of oil, and accounted for 77% of the glob- to between RM5,000 and RM5,500 per
the industry are projected to show a bet- al exports of sunflower oil in 2020-2021. tonne in May.
ter performance,” he said at the Palm Oil
Internet Seminar (Pointers) on Monday He added that the increase in the In- Themed “Assessing 2022: Managing
(March 28). donesian crude palm oil export levy has Opportunities and Risks”, the seminar fea-
also benefitted Malaysian palm oil export. tures six presentations covering topics such
He said MPOB anticipated crude palm as supply and demand of oils and fats, price
oil (CPO) production to improve by 4.9% Ahmad Parveez said the industry has and market outlook and opportunities for
to 19 million tonnes this year, from 18.12 palm oil in Central Asia and the Middle
million tonnes in 2021, resulting in palm East and North Africa (MENA) markets,
oil stocks to increase 21.1% to 1.95 million among others.
tonnes, from 1.61 million tonnes in 2021.
The seminar runs from March 28 un-
Ahmad Parveez said the conflict be- til April 1.

T U E S D A Y M A R C H 2 9 , 2 0 2 2 11 T H E E D G E C E O M O R N I N G B R I E F

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SHAHRIN YAHYA/THE EDGE

Lim: In addition,
LSH Capital is
also involved
in construction
and property
development

projects amounting
to RM2.7 billion via
the BEST Framework

collaboration.

LSH Capital expands into property,
construction biz

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): LEAP BY SHAZNI ONG financial year ended Sept 30, 2021 (FY21)
Market-listed Lim Seong Hai Capital Bhd theedgemarkets.com and dividends of RM2.34 million, to meet
(LSH Capital) has announced a series of the 30% benchmark set by the group.
corporate proposals that will pave the way la Lumpur, Kajang and Johor Baru for a
for its proposed expansion into the prop- consideration of RM8.14 million. “The latest exercise puts the group on the
erty and construction segments. right track towards strengthening its presence
LSH Capital will also settle approxi- in the local construction and property devel-
In a bourse filing, LSH Capital said it mately RM54 million owed to directors opment sectors and to become a billion-ring-
will have an enlarged secured construction of LSH Venture. git company in the long run,” he said.
orderbook amounting to RM1.1 billion
in aggregate, with an overall outstanding Upon completion, LSH Capital will own Lim explained that LSH Capital’s ex-
orderbook of RM782 million, upon com- 99% in LSHVentures and will have 93.75% pansion of its property development ven-
pletion of the deals. effective interest in Astana Setia & Euro Saga ture also allows it to better synergise the
Sdn Bhd, an entity which will launch the up- operations currently undertaken by Lim
In addition, it will also carry out a prop- coming flagship project “Lake Side Homes” Seong Hai Lighting Sdn Bhd and Knight
erty development project with a gross de- on an 11.85-acre land in Sungai Besi with an Auto Sdn Bhd, subsidiaries of LSH Cap-
velopment value (GDV) of RM1.59 billion estimated GDV of RM1.19 billion. ital, with a continuous emphasis on the
which is expected to provide earnings vis- BEST Framework, which was introduced
ibility until 2026. “In addition, LSH Capital is also involved in 2021 to improve its project execution
in construction and property development and business proposition.
According to LSH Capital, the corpo- projects amounting to RM2.7 billion via the
rate proposals entail a combined acquisition BEST Framework collaboration. This, he said, will further expand the con-
value of RM157.6 million via the execution struction business together with the inclusion
of share sale agreement to acquire 100% in “This collaboration will enable our of property development and property in-
Astana Setia Sdn Bhd for RM95 million, group to earn a certain portion in fees for vestment, and will allow the group to achieve
assets exchange agreement and debt settle- various value creation efforts,” said LSH significant involvement in the supply chains
ment cum share subscription agreement with Capital non-executive chairman Tan Sri in the construction industry.
LSH Ventures Sdn Bhd for a total value of Lim Keng Cheng at a media briefing after
approximately RM62 million. the company’s first annual general meeting. Trading in LSH Capital shares was
earlier halted from 9am to 5pm for the
The transactions will be fully satisfied Lim added that LSH Capital will also day, pending the release of the material
via the issuance of new LSH Capital shares seek shareholder approval to expand its announcement.
at 45 sen apiece, which presents a premium core businesses to include property and
of 7.14% to 9.20% over the closing market construction-related business as these new LSH Capital closed unchanged at 42
price on March 25 and volume-weighted integrated upstream businesses are expect- sen on Friday (March 25), valuing the
average price of six months. ed to contribute more than 25% of the construction-related products and ser-
group’s net profit moving forward. vices provider at RM149 million.
LSH Capital noted the proposed trans- Read also: LSH Capital to abide by new
action with LSH Ventures involves the “Since its LEAP Market listing in July minimum wage Click here
acquisition of four parcels of lands and 2021, LSH Capital has ramped up its growth
buildings on-site in locations across Kua- efforts, while rewarding shareholders with
strong earnings performance in the latest

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AirAsia says
over 90% of
passenger
refunds settled

(From top middle to bottom right) Capital A Bhd chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Bernama
Fernandes, president (aviation) Bo Lingam, head of SUPER+ Sean Ter and airasia Super App CEO
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28):
Amanda Woo at the launch of the airasia Super App's brand-new SUPER+. AirAsia has settled over 90% of pas-
senger refunds thus far, despite the
Capital A across ASEAN have announced the reo- financial difficulties faced by the air-
combines flights pening of their borders. line industry battered by the Cov-
and deliveries in id-19 pandemic, and the company is
first subscription- Besides SUPER+,Woo said the group not expected to face a big hurdle to
based offer under had extended the group’s preceding AirA- settle more in a few months, Capital
sia ASEAN Unlimited Pass for a further A Bhd (formerly known as AirAsia
Super App three months until June 2022 to allow pass Group Bhd) chief executive officer
holders who could not travel previously (CEO)Tan SriTony Fernandes said.
BY IZZUL IKRAM due to Covid-19 lockdowns to utilise their
theedgemarkets.com passes to travel around the ASEAN region. He said this is considered a remark-
able achievement because it was done
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Capital SUPER+ offerings without any financial support from the
A Bhd’s airasia Super App has launched According to a statement released in con- government and the huge amount in-
its SUPER+ subscription plan, which en- junction with the virtual press conference, volved compared to other airlines as
ables subscribers to enjoy unlimited flight SUPER+ subscribers will be able to fly AirAsia was flying about 90 million
redemption, free delivery of airasia food with unlimited flight redemption across all people during the pre-Covid-19 period.
and Covid-19 pre-departure insurance AirAsia airlines (flight codes AK, FD, QZ
coverage for a year. and Z2) across the ASEAN region for both “I clearly have to define between
domestic and international destinations. AirAsia X and AirAsia. AirAsia
During a virtual press conference held had handled over 90% of refunds
on Monday (March 28), Capital A chief “SUPER+ subscribers will be able to and it was not an issue as we had
executive officer (CEO)Tan SriTony Fer- redeem their flights from March 28, 2022 been transparent. Our guests un-
nandes said Super App users will be able until March 27, 2023 and travel through- derstood that we have been sup-
to subscribe to SUPER+ for RM639 from out April 11, 2022 to April 10, 2023,” it portive although there had been
Monday to April 2. read. some noise and press making an
issue out of it,” he told reporters at
“SUPER+ is our Amazon Prime, our In addition, the group said subscribers the virtual launch of airasia Super
Netflix subscription, our all-you-can-eat. will also be able to utilise unlimited free App’s new Super+ plan on Mon-
While others have movies or deliveries, we delivery for airasia food orders across Ma- day (March 28).
are the first to combine flights and deliv- laysia,Thailand and Indonesia.
eries,” he said. He said the airline is seeing strong
During the press conference, airasia backing whereby it has performed
Fernandes noted that SUPER+ will SUPER+ head Sean Ter said the Philip- beyond expectations in most domes-
only be limited to 200,000 subscribers pines is to be added into this pool around tic markets.
for the time being, adding that the group June and July as soon as the Super App’s
will extend SUPER+’s subscriber capacity food delivery service is launched in the “Refunds will be coming as the
if the product is successful. country. flights resume. In Malaysia, proba-
bly within [a] couple of months and
“We only issued a very small amount The SUPER+ subscription plan also the Philippines within six months,”
as if you think, basically with 70 planes, provides Covid-19 pre-departure insur- he said.
we are selling about 65,000 seats a day, ance coverage, which enables subscribers
so 200,000 in effect is about three days to claim insurance benefits in the event He said AirAsia X’s guests would
of our sales,” Fernandes said. they contract Covid-19 within seven days also be getting vouchers when the
before their scheduled departure. airline starts flying as a gesture of
airasia Super App CEO Amanda Woo fairness to the low-cost, long haul
said the launch of the SUPER+ pass is “Subscribers can look forward to more carrier.
very timely as it comes in line with a strong benefits from across the whole airasia eco-
rebound in air travel as various countries system that will be subsequently added On the Super+ plan, Fernandes
as part of this subscription, including said it is the first pass that combined
discounts on airasia ride, airasia xpress, flights and food delivery for a year in
SNAP, hotels and more,” the group added. a single package, which he described
as their equivalent to Amazon Prime
At last close, Capital A shares were and Netflix, and superseded all un-
down 1.5 sen or 2.24% at 65.5 sen, giv- limited passes that were introduced
ing the group a market capitalisation of earlier.
RM2.71 billion.

T U E S D A Y M A R C H 2 9 , 2 0 2 2 13 T H E E D G E C E O M O R N I N G B R I E F

18 MALAYSIA MArch 28, 2022

In the past few years, the online Moving with
marketplace has experienced tre- the tiMes
mendous growth, expanding and
evolving extensively as a direct result How Lalamove is revolutionising logistics and
of rapid consumer behaviour shifts. deliveries in a fast-evolving digitally driven
With the rise of e-commerce, both business landscape
small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
as well as micro-businesses have had Businesses have much tion and formed partnerships with ma- ders in its platform.
to pivot towards catering for this fast to gain by collaborating jor e-commerce players such as Shopify, Lalamove has also made it a point
and competitive marketplace. WooCommerce and EasyStore to allow
Deliveries and logistics were sud- with a reliable plugins for easy integration. to actively engage with businesses
denly the primary areas that business- delivery provider” to understand their model and pain
es had to rely on as part of the online Lalamove also set out to understand points so that they can provide logis-
buying experience. The importance — Jane Teh customers’ pain points when it came to tics solutions. “For example, getting
of timely and reliable deliveries was delivery logistics. Its pay-per-use model a lorry driver to assist in stock dis-
further emphasised when the pan- Lalamove Malaysia played a significant role for SMEs and tribution on the same day seemed
demic hit. Managing Director businesses during the MCO, as they elim- impossible 10 years ago,” Teh says.
With steps such as social distanc- Lalamove went into overdrive to meet inated the need to commit to a monthly “Now, with Lalamove, you can do so
ing and mobility restrictions taken to the needs of its partners and customers. fixed operation cost. This allowed oper- with just a few clicks.”
curb the spread of Covid-19, delivery The Movement Control Order (MCO) saw ators to have a better cash flow to stay Looking ahead
services transformed into a vital lifeline the company actively recruiting delivery afloat during tough times. Lalamove’s foresight and expertise
for both businesses and consumers. partners to join the platform. have allowed it to become one of the
Lalamove was one of the earliest to “We had to ensure that we had a suf- In addition, Lalamove offered not only biggest delivery and logistics providers
respond effectively to this fast-evolv- ficient and abundant supply of drivers same-day delivery but also instant deliv- in the country today. Teh says, how-
ing landscape by providing customers in the market to meet the increasing ery, paving the way for goods to be deliv- ever, that the company is not resting
with a flexible, reliable, highly custo- demand,” Teh says. “Today, we have ered within hours, regardless of small or on its laurels. “Customers have higher
misable and cost-effective on-demand 42,000 delivery partners to serve the big items. “Our ‘pay-per-delivery’ mode expectations towards delivery servic-
logistics platform to leverage. growing market.” allowed businesses to use us as the alter- es. They demand and expect better
digitaL evoLution Lalamove has also expanded its vari- nate fleet during peak season,” says Teh. delivery service, delivery time, speed
The pandemic undoubtedly acceler- ety of delivery vehicle options from mo- of matching order, variety of vehicle
ated digital transformation for busi- torcycles, cars and 4x4 pickups to vans “This on-demand service provided options and more.”
nesses, resulting in the exponential and lorries. It also began expanding its the flexibility for businesses to scale up
rise in logistic services, specifically service offerings and its reach to serve and down when needed. It helped with The company currently serves as
on-demand delivery services where more customers. cost-efficiency, especially during slow a trusted delivery partner for around
consumers and businesses can enjoy In the last two years, the company seasons when deliveries are more than 250,000 businesses comprising both
more flexibility and scalability. Accord- expanded its business service areas to manageable.” MNCs and SMEs across many indus-
ing to Lalamove Malaysia Managing serve the Northern and Southern Cor- upscaLing operations tries, including F&B, wholesale, e-com-
Director Jane Teh, the logistics mar- ridors in Penang and Johor. Lalamove To meet the growing and diversified de- merce, auto parts and medical. To
ket transformed from a traditional also launched its Long Haul delivery op- mands of the industry, Lalamove expand- cope with this evolving and expanding
industry into a tech-enabled industry ed its delivery fleet. Today, it boasts a marketplace, Lalamove will continue
practically overnight. wide range of delivery vehicles to support to scale up its fleet to facilitate faster
“We immediately knew it was key various industries and especially opera- and more efficient deliveries.
for both customers and businesses tors with a diversified business model.
to have multiple vehicle options just “As it was proven during the pan-
a click of a button away,” Teh says. “Our fleet can easily cater for their demic and even now in the post-pan-
“As such, we focused our attention various business needs, either for B2C demic world, it is essential for busi-
on enhancing our service offerings deliveries that mostly require smaller nesses to assume a partnership with
and to provide our customers with a vehicles like cars or motorcycles; or B2B trusted delivery companies,” says Teh.
better experience.” deliveries that require larger vehicle types “After all, service providers, on-de-
The areas that Lalamove contin- like vans and lorries,” explains Teh. “The mand delivery platforms and tech-driv-
ued to focus on included adding a main plus point is that businesses are not en logistic companies like us need to
wide variety of vehicle options to its required to spend a single cent in setting cope with the spike in demand, espe-
service and constantly improving or- up the fleet. With just a few clicks on the cially in the digital space.
der-matching time, along with other Lalamove app, they can access all these
solutions such as Long Haul delivery delivery vehicles at their fingertips.” “We are proud that Lalamove has
and digital tracking. Teh explains that, been part of the force that helped
with businesses rapidly embracing Lalamove’s newly introduced Long drive this transformation. Today, we are
digitalisation, the need for reliable Haul delivery service also allows busi- seeing more players — both big and
logistics partners with tech capabil- nesses to extend their reach to other small — as well as traditional logistics
ities immediately came to the fore. states and areas besides Penang, Johor players pivoting their model to suit
“We saw that the e-commerce mar- and the Klang Valley. With 4x4s, vans and the current market demand.”
ket was growing faster than ever. With lorries at its disposal, Lalamove can help
online shopping becoming a norm, businesses reinforce their supply chain She sees businesses being more
there was a need for reliable logistic across state borders. open to outsourcing part of their sup-
partners to support the orders from ply chain, such as mid-mile distribution
all these digital channels. As such, the The company also relies heavily on from warehouse to outlets. “With this
demand for last-mile delivery imme- technology to optimise its operational weight taken off of their shoulders,
diately spiked.” efficiency and make the Lalamove expe- business owners can focus on grow-
expanded offerings rience more seamless. At present, it has ing their business and even explore
As the world went into lockdown to incorporated tech-driven features such expansion plans, which will help boost
help curb the spread of Covid-19, as e-commerce integration, real-time the local economy.”
GPS delivery tracking and API support
for quick and efficient processing of or-

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Jho Low and dad apply to set aside
1MDB Mareva injunction

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Lawyers BY HAFIZ YATIM details in writing through an affidavit.
appearing for fugitive businessman Low theedgemarkets.com Besides this, Jho Low and Hock Peng
Taek Jho and his fatherTan Sri Larry Low
Hock Peng had on Monday (March 28) graph of 1MDB’s affidavit in support of are required by the High Court to fur-
filed an application to set aside the ex-par- the Mareva injunction application. nish by March 30 the details of the assets
te Mareva injunction imposed on them of the said amount of US$1.0305 billion
by the High Court on March 16 which Hearing scheduled for Tuesday and US$401.5 million respectively to the
bars them from removing or disposing of Tuesday (March 29) has been fixed for an court, whether they are held locally or
US$1.432 billion worth of assets that al- inter-partes hearing of the Mareva injunc- abroad.
legedly belong to 1Malaysia Development tion before Justice Hayatul Akmal Abdul
Bhd (1MDB) and its subsidiaries. Aziz in the afternoon. Besides this, both Jho Low and Hock
Peng are only allowed to withdraw
The lawyers from Messrs Valen & Oh When the Mareva injunction was giv- RM20,000 per month from their accounts
and Partners representing the pair had en, it was given following an ex-parte or a for their expenses.
informed 1MDB’s lawyers from Messrs single party application in court proceed-
Skrine of their intention. ings, while inter-partes hearing would see In its application, 1MDB and its sub-
both sides’ matters be heard. sidiaries claim the sum was traceable to
Counsel M Puravalen for Jho Low both Jho Low and his father, who are al-
and Hock Peng, when contacted by On March 15, 1MDB and its four sub- leged to have knowingly received, or been
theedgemarkets.com, confirmed that the sidiaries 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd, involved in fraudulent misappropriation,
documents had been served on Skrine 1MDB Energy Ltd, Global Diversified unjust enrichment, constructive trust and
this afternoon. Investment Co Ltd (previously known conspiracy of the companies’ assets.
as 1MDB Global Investments Ltd) and
The application to set aside the Mareva 1MDB Energy (Langat) Ltd obtained the “Based on the complicated, sophisti-
injunction sighted by theedgemarkets.com Mareva injunction. cated (intricate) and illegal transactions
following a file search revealed that Jho that Jho Low and Hock Peng had jointly
Low and Hock Peng argued that 1MDB The companies sought to prohibit a participated in to achieve their deceptive
and its subsidiaries failed to present an sum of US$1.0305 billion from being intentions of hiding the assets, this court
arguable case, disclose material and per- transferred by Jho Low and to bar an- should hence prevent them from dispos-
tinent facts, and the claim of dissipation other sum of US$401.5 million from be- ing of and concealing their current assets
amounts to unsupported speculation, and ing transferred by Hock Peng or by their globally.
is filed in mala fide (bad intention) and is agents or nominees of assets held in Ma-
an abuse of the court process. laysia and anywhere in the world. “Furthermore, given the global scale
of fraud and dishonesty performed by Jho
An affidavit in reply to the Mareva in- In addition, the duo were required by Low and his father where their wherea-
junction was affirmed by US lawyer Robin Justice Hayatul Akmal to also disclose to bouts are unknown, and information is
Rathmell of Kobre and Kim LLP, who is the court and 1MDB’s solicitors their cur- limited on assets belonging to Hock Peng
also representing the father-son duo.The rent residential addresses, precise where- in Malaysia, which may not be sufficient
counsel had denied each and every para- abouts, email addresses and their contact to satisfy the judgment against him, and
the assets [held by] Jho Low [are] also
BLOOMBERG unknown, there is an urgent need to pre-
vent them from taking action to dispose
[of] the assets through the Mareva in-
junction,” the fund said in the ex-parte
application.

Jho Low and Hock Peng are among
the five people named in the 1MDB and
the four subsidiaries suit, with the others
being Jho Low’s mother Puan Sri Goh
Gaik Ewe, his siblings May Lin and Taek
Szen, along with his associate Eric Tan
Kim Loong.

They are seeking US$3.5 million
allegedly received by May Lin and
US$27.5 million allegedly received by
Taek Szen, in addition to US$1.695 mil-
lion worth of jewellery from Goh in the
legal action.

Read also: Shafee’s RM9.5 mil money
laundering trial postponed for the day as
witness is sick Click here

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Ex-FGV manager: I was told to be careful
with issues involving ‘higher office’

BY TARANI PALANI
theedgemarkets.com

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): A wit- Hoi: [You] were asked if you raised Emir’s counsel Manjit Singh Dillon.
ness in FGV Holdings Bhd’s suit against objections, you said [you did so] verbally Most noteworthy was when Manjit
its former chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa [and indicated] that two other quotations
Abdul Samad and former group CEO should be obtained. had raised the issue of recusing the JC
Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah due to his previous work experience as a
said he had raised caution over the Roslim: I did remind him (Abdul partner in a law firm. Manjit contended
process of selecting the vendor for the Razak) of the procedures. He did men- that the firm was the principal firm that
renovation of two units of The Troika tion to me that I have to be very care- had done work with FGV.
luxury condominium. ful [with] issues involving [the] higher
office. [You can’t] simply give advice... Mohd Arief responded by saying that
Mohd Roslim Rahman, 60, who had he reminded me to be very careful when he had been instructed by the Chief
served as FGV’s senior manager for pro- giving advice. Judge of Malaya (Tan Sri Azahar Mo-
curement, said he was however told to hamed) to hear the case and that the
be “careful” about issuing advice. When asked by Hoi who he meant counsel should make a formal applica-
by the higher ups or the higher officer, tion on the matter.The JC also affirmed
Testifying in the High Court on Mon- Roslim answered that it was in reference during the proceedings that he knew no
day (May 28), Roslim said Amy Karya to the chairman’s office. one on the witness list.
House of Style was chosen to undertake
the “interior redecoration works” by his Roslim was the senior manager at the Mohd Arief took over the case as JC
superior Datuk Abdul Razak Yunus. procurement department from 2008 to Quay Chew Soon has been transferred
2014 before becoming general manager to Penang.
The selection was based on three fac- of procurement, where he was respon-
tors, namely that discussions have been sible for tracking payments, tender of FGV filed the suit against Mohd Isa
carried out with the company and that documents and overseeing proposals. and Mohd Emir in November 2018.The
it fulfils the requirements to carry out group is claiming RM5.134 million from
negotiations, and also that the company Prior to joining FGV, he was the com- the duo for the purchase of the condo-
is registered with FGV as per company pany secretary of Malaysian International miniums, and another RM3.283 million
procurement policies and procedures. Shipping Corporation Bhd. from Mohd Emir for alleged misuse of
five company cars and petrol benefits.
However, as per company procedures, The recommendation for Amy Karya’s
quotations from at least three registered appointment was made in August 2015 by In its statement of claim, FGV alleged
suppliers were required, said Roslim, the facilities management unit at the procure- that Mohd Isa and Mohd Emir had tak-
who retired as vice president for pro- ment department. It had stated that there en steps to cause the acquisition of the
curement in 2019. was an urgent need for interior redecoration two units of luxury condominiums which
works for Mohd Isa’s use of one of the units was earlier meant to provide accommo-
In this case, only two invoices were in Block A, and that the quotation was ob- dation for FGV’s business associates or
obtained for the redecoration works, tained through the then chairman’s office. guests during their business trips to Kua-
both from Amy Karya, he said. la Lumpur.
Monday’s proceedings were pep-
One was for the purchase of furniture pered with several heated exchanges However, upon the purchase, the units
for the living room, bedroom and kitchen between Judicial Commissioner (JC) were renovated, furnished, and main-
totalling RM189,260, and the other was Datuk Mohd Arief Emran Arifin, who tained for the use of Mohd Isa and Mohd
for the purchase of electrical appliances presided over the matter, and Mohd Emir and their family members.
and kitchenware totalling RM92,470.
Hearing continues on Tuesday.
When asked by Mohd Isa’s lawyer,
Lavinia Kumaraendran, if he had raised
the matter on the need for two other
vendors as per company policy, Roslim
said: “Yes, verbally.”

Lavinia: Were you asked to procure
other quotations?

Roslim: No.

Be careful when giving advice to
“higher office”
Later during re-examination by FGV’s
counsel, Hoi Jack S’ng, Roslim said he
had raised the issue with Abdul Razak
but was told by to be careful “when giv-
ing advice” concerning issues involving
the “higher office”.

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Sar- Court dismisses Gerakbudaya Enterprise publisher Chong
awak Report editor Clare Rewcas- Rewcastle- Ton Sin and printer Vinlin Press Sdn Bhd
tle-Brown has failed in her bid to stay as the first to the third defendants.
the hearing of a suit filed by the Sul- Brown’s bid to
tanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur stay hearing of Sultanah Nur Zahirah claimed that the
Zahirah, over an allegedly defamato- Sultanah Nur said statement, among others, meant that
ry statement in the book, “The Sar- Zahirah’s suit she was involved in corruption and interfer-
awak Report — The Inside Story of the ing in the administration of the Terengganu
1MDB Expose”. Bernama government, besides using her status to in-
fluence the establishment of theTerengganu
Lawyer Datuk Mohd Haaziq Pillay, Based on the notice of application Investment Authority (TIA), later known
who is representing Sultanah Nur Zahi- filed through MessrsTommyThomas on as 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
rah, said Judicial Commissioner of High Dec 13, 2021, Rewcastle-Brown applied
Court Dr John Lee Kien How @ Mohd for an order to stay the hearing of the Sultanah Nur Zahirah contended that
Johan Lee dismissed Rewcastle-Brown’s suit, pending the disposal of a criminal the statement meant that she had helped
application with cost of RM5,000. case faced by her in the Kuala Tereng- fugitive businessman Jho Low or Low Taek
ganu Magistrate’s Court. Jho become a TIA adviser.
“The court set April 4 for next case
management to fix trial dates,” the law- She filed the application on grounds The Sultanah is claiming general damag-
yer said when contacted by reporters that there were similarities in the issues es of RM100 million from each defendant
after Monday’s proceedings via Zoom. and facts regarding the two cases as and is also seeking an order for the pub-
these were related to the publication lisher to withdraw the book containing the
Meanwhile, Rewcastle-Brown’s coun- of the book “The Sarawak Report — defamatory statement and for the printer
sel Mervyn Lai said the court rejected The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”. to stop printing the book.
his client’s application after finding the
application would deprive the plaintiff Sultanah Nur Zahirah filed the suit on In their defence statements, the three de-
(Sultanah Nur Zahirah) of having her Nov 21, 2018, naming Rewcastle-Brown, fendants denied making allegations that the
case heard and decided. plaintiff was involved in corrupt practices.

According to the lawyer, the court Rewcastle-Brown also claimed that Sar-
also held that there were no special cir- awak Report had never suggested that the
cumstances justifying a stay and a key plaintiff was involved in a conspiracy involv-
issue was that the criminal matter was ing Jho Low and had also never suggested
still at the commencement stage and it that the plaintiff was involved in the gov-
was not known how long it would take. ernment’s administration related to 1MDB
affairs.

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28):The po- Police clear of the police report when contacted by theedge-
lice and the Attorney-General’s Cham- ex-Bar Council markets.com.
bers (AGC) have classified a police report president with
lodged by a special officer to Chief Jus- case classified as “I confirm that we received from the police
ticeTunTengku MaimunTuan Mat over no further action their letter stating that the judiciary’s police
messages allegedly bringing the judiciary report has been classified as NFA.
into disrepute as no further action (NFA). by Hafiz Yatim
theedgemarkets.com “PDRM (the police) have confirmed that
This comes after investigation papers my client Datuk Lim Chee Wee was not in-
were returned from the AGC. The investigation was classified under volved in any way in the allegations in the
Sections 500 and 504 of the Penal Code police report,” Ragunath, who is also a for-
The police and the AGC have also and Section 233 of the Communications mer Malaysian Bar Council president, said.
cleared senior lawyer Datuk Lim Chee and Multimedia Act (CMA).
Wee, whose name appeared in the afore- Two local news portals on June 15 last year
mentioned messages. Sections 500 and 504 of the Penal Code reported that a Tengku Maimun’s special of-
refer to punishment for defamation and ficer lodged a police report on June 7 against
“The investigation [on Lim] has been intentional insult with intent to provoke a a lawyer for purportedly bringing the judiciary
referred to the prosecution division of the breach of the peace respectively, while Sec- into disrepute andWan Kamarul was quoted as
AGC and a directive has been obtained tion 233 of the CMA refers to the offence saying the police were probing into the matter.
from them, namely that the matter is clas- of improper use of facilities or networks.
sified as NFA,” said Sepang district police The Sarawak Report portal had uploaded the
Meanwhile, Ragunath Kesavan, who purported text messages that mentioned Lim,
chief Assistant Commis- represented Lim, confirmed the outcome and identified the company as Aker Solutions,
sioner Wan Kamarul a Norwegian company involved in oil services
Azran Wan Yusof in a Lim himself on June 20 last year lodged with several subsidiaries in Malaysia.
letter dated March 22 a police report over text messages that
that was sighted by th- mentioned his name in connection with a The company had told the publication that it
eedgemarkets.com. court matter involving an unnamed company. denied the allegations implicating it, and added
that the “screenshots of alleged mobile phone
Mohd Izwan text messages ... appear to be fabricated”.
Mohd Nazam/The Edge
Lim himself on June 20 last year lodged
a police report over the alleged text messag-
es, and said they “contain fabrications and
baseless allegations” as he never made such
statements and that the company named in
the messages was no longer his client since he
left his former firm Skrine & Co in June 2020.

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news In brief

Gov’t in midst of reviewing TV reuters Uzma partners Petronas to
station censorship authority, commercialise non-metallic pipeline
says Zahidi their image and all broadcast stations must technology
be responsible in ensuring similar incident
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): The Film does not recur,” he said when winding up KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Uzma Bhd
Censorship Board (LPF) and the Home the debate on the motion of thanks on has signed a commercialisation agreement
Ministry are in the midst of reviewing the Royal Address for his ministry at the with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas)
the possibility of reducing television Dewan Negara on Monday (March 28). — for the installation of non-metallic pipeline
(TV) stations’ censorship authority for Bernama (NMP) technology — a solution that shifts
the approval process to broadcast a film pipelines from metal-based to non-metallic
or drama. Deputy Communications and materials to minimise corrosion. Petronas
Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd (PTVSB),
Abidin said the move was to ensure it was Petronas’ technology commercialisation
under control and heavier penalties could arm, has granted Uzma’s subsidiary Uzma
be imposed if any violations occurred. Engineering Sdn Bhd (UESB) a licence for the
“All TV stations applying broadcast purpose of commercialising the installation
censorship process must take action of NMP. This will allow UESB to market and
against any party that disseminates video use the installation method developed by
clips without permission that can tarnish Petronas and its affiliates to install the pipes
and use data and information in relation to
The ATR 72 MP of Italy’s qualified NMP as supplied by PTVSB and its
Leonardo SPA, one of the affiliates. The commercialisation agreement
participants of the Defence will be in force for a period of three years
from the commencement date with the
Services Asia. option to renew for another two years,
Uzma said. — by Shazni Ong
Home ministry, Mindef hold biennial Defence Services Asia after four-year hiatus
Hextar Global to acquire 99.91%
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence stake in Indonesian agrochemical
(MINDEF) are jointly holding the defence and national biennial Defence Services Asia company for RM10.2m
security event from March 28 to March 31. Displaying the most advanced technologies in
the defence industry, the conference is back after a four-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Hextar
pandemic. The conference is themed “Advancing into a New Era of Defence and Security” Global Bhd has proposed to acquire
and the organisers are expecting more than 5,000 trade visitors from more than 50 109,900 shares or a 99.91% equity interest
countries and regions. — by Surin Murugiah in Indonesia-based agrochemical company
PT Agro Sentosa Raya (PTASR) for RM10.2
Sapura Energy appoints million. PTASR has been involved in the
restructuring specialist Borrelli chemical business in Indonesia for over 15
to its board years with its principal business including
formulation, mixing and repacking of
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Cash- chemical speciality applications. “PTASR
strapped oil and gas service provider has recorded growth in its revenue for the
Sapura Energy Bhd has appointed past three consecutive financial years from
restructuring specialist Cosimo Borrelli 82.6 billion rupiah in financial year ended
as its non-independent and non-executive Dec 31, 2019, to 102.7 billion rupiah for
director effective last Friday (March the financial year ended 2021 despite the
25). In a Bursa Malaysia filing last Friday, economic slowdown due to the pandemic,”
the group said the Australian specialist Hextar Global said. The group noted that
is currently the leader of the Asia- PTASR is deemed a related company as it
Pacific and the Caribbean restructuring is controlled by Hextar Holdings Sdn Bhd,
practice of Kroll. He is also a well-known of which Hextar Global executive director
restructuring and insolvency practitioner Datuk Eddie Ong Choo Meng is a director
in Asia having worked exclusively in this and substantial shareholder. — by Izzul Ikram
area since 1990, Sapura said. “Cosimo
Borrelli is also well regarded for his work companies internationally, especially those
as an independent director to listed undergoing or targeting turnarounds,
mergers and acquisitions, divestments and
special situations. “Borrelli’s assignments
often have a cross-border focus, including
work in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India,
Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, the US, the
UK, Europe, Bermuda, the British Virgin
Islands, the Cayman Islands and Africa,” it
elaborated. — by Sulhi Khalid

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WORLD

Biden pitches US$5.8 trillion plan
with record tax hike

(March 28): President Joe Biden unveiled a BY JUSTIN SINK & ERIK WASSON, Corp’s B-21 bomber and the new Colum-
US$5.8 trillion budget request designed to KATIA DMITRIEVA, ROXANA TIRON bia-class submarine, built by General Dy-
appease moderate Democrats on Monday, namics Corp and Huntington Ingalls In-
with a proposal that emphasized deficit re- & JENNIFER A. DLOUHY dustries Inc, are high-profile programmes
duction, additional funding for police and Bloomberg to boost the nuclear triad.
veterans, and flexibility to negotiate new so-
cial spending programmes. to private-sector inflation and growth projec- Under the White House’s blueprint, de-
tions.White House officials said higher con- fence spending is projected to grow from
Congress historically sets presidential budg- sumer-price increases shouldn’t have a big US$813 billion in fiscal 2023 to US$843 bil-
ets aside but they do form a key messaging impact on the deficit expectations, however, lion in fiscal 2024 and US$851 billion by 2025.
device.TheWhite House included measures given that revenues would also be higher. Energy policy
that would add up to the biggest tax increase in A host of tax breaks cherished by oil and
history in dollar terms, helping stabilize deficits Tax programmes gas drillers would be repealed — even as the
relative to the size of the economy. Biden is calling for more than US$2.5 trillion Biden administration prods the industry to
in tax hikes on wealthy and large corporations produce more domestically to lower prices
The 2023 budget calls for US$1.598 tril- over a decade, on top of the nearly US$1.5 and help wean allies from Russian fossil fuel.
lion in so-called discretionary spending — trillion of increases included in the House’s
areas that aren’t linked with mandatory pro- version of the “Build Back Better” plan. Tax breaks worth some US$43.6 billion
grams like Social Security — with US$813 over a decade would end, a step unlikely to
billion for defense-related programmes and The proposal adds a 20% minimum tax pass Congress. Among them is a deduction
US$769 billion for domestic spending. on the unrealized capital gains for house- of intangible drilling costs, which allows oil
holds worth at least US$100 million, a po- and gas companies to immediately deduct
That marks a 5.7% increase from the litical win for progressives who have been some expenses, such as labour, site prepara-
omnibus spending bill for the 2022 fiscal pushing Biden to target the mega-wealthy. tion and repairs.Also ending: a deduction for
year that was signed by Biden earlier this The plan omitted a controversial bank-re- oil and gas production from marginal wells
month. The budget would reduce deficit porting proposal from last year that would and a percentage depletion deduction that
spending by US$1 trillion over the coming allow financial institutions to share account mineral rights owners can claim for a por-
decade, buoyed by the elimination of pan- information with the IRS. tion of the value of the oil and gas reserves
demic assistance programmes. removed from their property.
If enacted fully,this year’s plan would be the
“We spent less money than the last admin- largest tax hike in history, but it includes several TheWhite House proposes a new US$200
istration and got better results: strong eco- major increases that have already been rejected million “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” to
nomic growth, which has increased revenues by some Democrats in Congress. Biden again create a domestic solar manufacturing sector
and allowed us to responsibly scale back emer- called to raise the corporate rate to 28% from that is “capable of meeting the administra-
gency spending,” Biden said in a statement. 21%, and hoist rates on the highest-earning tion’s solar deployment goals without relying
“My budget will continue that progress, fur- Americans to 39.6% — changes Sinema has on imported goods manufactured using un-
ther reducing the deficit by continuing to sup- said she won’t support. House Democrats also acceptable labour practices.”
port the economic growth that has increased declined to include a version of the billionaires Climate initiatives
revenues and ensuring that billionaires and tax in last year’s social-spending bill. Biden is asking Congress to dedicate US$11
large corporations pay their fair share.” billion in taxpayer dollars to helping other
The budget also omitted a proposal to ex- nations deploy clean energy and weather the
The president also sidestepped fragile pand the federal deduction for state and local growing consequences of climate change —
negotiations over the remnants of his “Build taxes,or SALT.Several House Democrats have more than 10 times the amount lawmakers
Back Better” agenda, putting only place- said that raising the US$10,000 cap on the doled to the effort in fiscal 2022. It would
holder figures in the document in what valuable tax break is crucial for securing their mark a massive shift for the US, following
White House officials acknowledged was an vote on any legislation that alters the tax code. years of unfulfilled promises of climate fund-
effort to give lawmakers space to negotiate. ing for developing and vulnerable nations.
Defence programmes
The hope in the White House is that Biden is calling for US$813 billion in to- Overall, Biden is seeking some US$50
Monday’s document can offer momentum tal defence spending for the coming year, billion for programmes to address climate
to negotiations with lawmakers like Senators with the bulk of the funds — US$773 billion change, including US$18 billion to build
Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten — going to the Pentagon in what theWhite the US government’s resilience to a warm-
Sinema of Arizona, who have raised concern House describes as “one of the largest invest- ing world and at least US$20 million for a
over historic spending levels and inflation. ments in our national security in history”. new Civilian Climate Corps championed
in Congress as a way to put Americans to
Here are some key takeaways: The request backs a 4.6% pay raise for work preventing wildfires, restoring wetlands
US troops, a significant increase from previ- and making homes more energy efficient.
Economic assumptions ous years.The pay raise for this fiscal year is
Biden’s budget forecasts were prepared in 2.7%.The administration is also requesting Read also: US envoy not confident Iran
November, before the latest surge in infla- a 4.6% pay raise for government civilians. nuclear deal is imminent Click here
tion. Economic growth is pegged at 3.8%
this year, slowing toward 2% over the next Funding is included for US nuclear triad
decade. It assumes consumer prices to rise and modernization programmes, including
4.7% this year, with inflation down to 2.3% the nuclear command-and-control and com-
in 2023 as supply chain disruptions ease. munications network. Northrop Grumman

The forecasts appear unrealistic relative

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world

BERLIN (March 28): Energy ministers G7 rejects Putin Separately, Scholz reiterated on Mon-
from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial- demand for ruble day that gas contracts must be honored
ised nations have unanimously rejected Rus- in the currency in which they are origi-
sian PresidentVladimir Putin’s demand that payments for nally agreed.
natural-gas contracts be paid in rubles. Russian gas
“As I have already said, the contracts
The order represents a “one-sided and by Birgit Jennen that we are aware of are overwhelmingly
clear breach of contracts”, German Econo- Bloomberg in euros and the companies will pay them
my Minister Robert Habeck said on Mon- accordingly,” Scholz told reporters after
day after chairing G7 talks. “That means prom executives have been able to shed light talks with his Swedish counterpart in Ber-
that a payment in rubles is not acceptable on how the surprise order will be implemented. lin. “We have a situation in which, to put
and we urge the relevant companies not to it very simply, contracts must be fulfilled.”
comply with Putin’s demand”. European Union leaders last week also Read also:
forcefully rejected Russia’s attempt to require Ukraine talks to resume; Kremlin calls
The order to have “hostile states” make payments be made in rubles.“It’s a contract Biden remarks ‘alarming’ Click here
natural-gas payments in rubles would es- violation, and contracts will be considered China says sanctions causing ‘unnecessary’
sentially force European companies to di- violated if Russia implements this condition,” harm to Russia trade Click here
rectly prop up the currency after it was Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told Azerbaijan-Armenia tensions surge with
sent into free fall by sanctions placed on reporters in Brussels on March 24. Russia distracted by war Click here
the Russian economy following Moscow’s North Korea signals it’s preparing for a
invasion of Ukraine. Putin ordered his gov- Europe gets about 40% of its gas from nuclear test, exploiting US-Russia rift
ernment, Gazprom, and the central bank Russia and is already grappling with fallout Click here
to prepare all the necessary documents to from record prices this winter.
switch to ruble payments by March 31.
“Putin’s effort to drive a wedge between
Germany currently holds the presidency us is obvious but you can see that we won’t
of the G7 club of developed economies and allow ourselves to be divided and the an-
Habeck is also responsible for energy in swer from the G7 is clear: The contracts
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition. will be honoured,” Habeck said.

Payment confusion
Even as the March deadline looms, neither
officials in the Russian government nor Gaz-

(March 29): OPEC and its allies signaled OPEC+ still sees itary aggression or its market consequenc-
that they still see no need to adapt their no need to change es, hurrying the meeting to conclude after
oil-supply plans even as the Russia-Ukraine just 13 minutes.
conflict threatens the biggest market dis- plan despite
ruption in decades. Russia crisis The Prince’s discretion is easy to under-
stand. The relationship with Moscow has
“We won’t add resources if the market is by Verity Ratcliffe, Grant Smith been significant both economically and po-
balanced, and the resources are in the mar- & Anthony Di Paola litically for the two Persian Gulf exporters,
ket,” United Arab Emirates Energy Minis- Bloomberg bolstering their control over world crude
ter Suhail Al-Mazrouei said Monday at a markets and allowing them to lessen their
conference in Dubai. OPEC+ isn’t focused that decision may cause markets to tight- reliance on Washington.
on whether the specific loss of Russian ship- en further -- exacerbating the inflationary
ments is causing an imbalance, he added. pressure hitting the world economy. That’s been particularly critical for Ri-
Russian Alliance yadh as Biden sought to sideline Crown
A number of delegates said privately The UAE said the partnership with Russia, Prince Mohammad bin Salman following
they expect the Organization of Petrole- the largest crude producer in OPEC+ after the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
um Exporting Countries and its partners Saudi Arabia, remains solid. It’s a stance
to stick to their longstanding plan and ratify that may disappoint the administration of The wider oil market has seen a divided
another modest supply increase when they U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders response to Moscow’s attack on its neigh-
meet on Thursday. seeking to isolate PresidentVladimir Putin. bor. Major oil companies like TotalEner-
gies SE and Shell Plc are winding down
The 23-nation coalition led by Saudi “Russia is an important member” of oil purchases from Russia amid widespread
Arabia has so far rebuffed pressure to fill OPEC+ and is likely to remain in the condemnation of the invasion.
in for Russian supplies, which have been group, Al-Mazrouei said. “This is an al-
shunned by some buyers over the invasion liance to stay; this is an alliance we need.” However, China’s oil refiners are dis-
of Ukraine. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are keen creetly purchasing cheap Russian crude as
to preserve ties with Moscow, indicating When OPEC+ last met, at the start of the nation’s supply continues to seep into
that they see no shortage even as Russian this month, Saudi Energy Minister Prince the market. India has also been picking
exports slump by a quarter and prices hold Abdulaziz bin Salman made a studious ef- up volumes.
near US$100 a barrel. fort to skirt any discussion of Russian mil-
Even as buyers are divided, the shock-
If no alterations are made, OPEC+ will waves of the invasion have been universally
ratify the increase of 430,000 barrels a day felt. Brent futures briefly surged to a 13-
scheduled for May. With many members year peak near US$139 a barrel earlier this
struggling to fulfill their planned increases month, fanning the inflationary surge that’s
over the past few months and global de- inflicting a cost-of-living crisis on millions.
mand bouncing back from the pandemic, If OPEC+ opts once again for a minimal
response, that pain may only worsen.

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world

(March 28): Shanghai will lock down the Shanghai locks cerns about demand in the top commod-
city in two phases to conduct a mass testing down half of ities consumer.
blitz for Covid-19 as authorities scramble city to fight
to staunch a spiralling outbreak that’s chal- The Shanghai move comes after author-
lenging China’s zero-tolerance approach to growing Covid-19 ities locked down the tech hub of Shen-
the virus like never before. outbreak zhen in the south earlier this month, the
most economically strategic city to come
At 5am on Monday (March 28), the city Bloomberg under such restrictions since the pandemic
of 25 million people locked down areas east started. More than 3,200km to the north,
of the Huangpu River, which includes its China had recently pivoted to a more Jilin, which borders Russia, saw its capi-
financial district and industrial parks, for targeted approach to dealing with flare- tal city shuttered on March 11 and days
four days.The lockdown then shifts to the ups as part of President Xi Jinping’s dual later the entire province sealed off. The
other half of the city, in the west, for anoth- goals of seeking to eliminate the virus region, a hub for auto-making, remains
er four days, according to a statement on while minimising the economic and so- locked down.
Sunday from the local government. cial impacts of the Covid zero strategy.
But the rapid rise in cases in Shanghai Infections in Shanghai, home to the
Residents will be barred from leav- underscores the limitations of such meas- Chinese headquarters of many interna-
ing their homes, while public transport ures in the face of the highly transmissi- tional companies and the country’s largest
and car-hailing services will be suspend- ble Omicron strain. port, have climbed in recent days despite
ed. Private cars will not be allowed on repeated and expanded testing.The finan-
the roads unless necessary. Tesla Inc is “The failure of targeted lockdown cial hub reported about 3,500 new infec-
extending the production pause at its model is a big setback as Shanghai has tions on Sunday, according to a CCTV
Shanghai plant to Thursday, people fa- been the testbed for China to explore report, overtaking Jilin as the nation’s big-
miliar with the matter said. Some finan- alternative model to minimise the social gest Covid-19 hotspot.
cial companies rushed to call staff into costs,” Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Click here to read the full story
offices before the lockdown and told (OCBC) analysts Tommy Xie and Her- Read also:
workers to prepare to sleep there. bert Wong wrote in a report. “This may China’s economy faces new blow from
delay China’s plan to ease its dynamic Shanghai lockdown Click here
The sweeping restrictions come as Chi- zero Covid policy.” Shanghai factories isolate staff to keep
na experiences its worst Covid-19 spread operating in lockdown Click here
since the emergence of the virus inWuhan, The CSI 300 Index fell 0.9%. Crude
with more than 6,000 locally-acquired cas- oil declined and copper retreated on con-
es reported nationwide on Sunday. The
outbreak is testing the country’s virus strat-
egy, which is proving tougher to prosecute
amid more contagious variants and is drag-
ging on the world’s second-largest econ-
omy as the rest of the globe normalises.

LONDON/SYDNEY (March 28):The Global bond rout Sundstrom, a portfolio manager at Pacif-
steepest global bond rout of the mod- deepens on fear ic Investment Management Co. “What
ern era is extending as investors dump rate hikes will central banks are doing, sadly, can only
fixed-income assets on concern that stoke recession work with demand destruction, because
aggressive central bank policy tighten- the supply shock due to the war, due to
ing will push the global economy into by Anchalee Worrachate & Covid-19 resurgence in China, cannot be
a recession. Garfield Reynolds dealt with with rate hikes.”
Bloomberg
Treasuries slid on Monday and a key In Japan, 10-year yields briefly broke
portion of the US curve inverted for the tors anticipate an economic downturn and through 0.25%, despite the move by the
first time since 2006. The sell-off is a re- perhaps even a recession. country’s central bank to step into the mar-
action to expectations the US Federal Re- ket. It announced two unlimited buying
serve (Fed) will lead a wave of interest-rate The focus on central bank tightening operations in one day to keep them below
hikes as Russia’s war in Ukraine drives in- is not just confined to the US.Traders are that level — the top of its allowed range.
flation — already at the fastest since the also betting on faster rate hikes in the euro Click here to read the full story
1980s — even higher. area as inflation surges. Money markets Read also:
now price in four quarter-point rate hikes A recession warning sign? Part of US
That focus on getting price growth back by the European Central Bank by March yield curve inverts for first time since
under control spells trouble for the global next year. 2006 Click here
economy, which is already under pressure BOJ makes rare second offer to buy
from the impact on commodities and trade “All the central banks doing the same unlimited bonds as yields test policy
from sanctions on Russia, as well as lock- thing at the same time, plus prices going limits Click here
downs in China. higher inevitably could lead to first a big
slowdown in growth, but the potential for
Yields on two-year Treasuries surged a recession is growing,” said Geraldine
as much as 14 basis points to 2.41% to
lead increases across the curve, as traders
priced in two full percentage points of Fed
increases over the remainder of this year.
Yields on five-year notes rose above those
on 30-year bonds, suggesting some inves-

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BEIJING (March 27): China Petroleum & China’s Sinopec Brent oil prices have gained 52% so far
Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, plans its this year and hit as high as $139 a barrel
is planning its highest capital investment in early March, stoked by fears of supply
in history for 2022 after recording its best biggest capital disruption in the wake of Russia’s invasion
profit in a decade, echoing Beijing’s call expenditure in of Ukraine.
for energy companies to raise production.
history Sinopec recorded its biggest profit in a
Sinopec expects to spend 198 billion decade in 2021 on the back of recovering
yuan ($31.10 billion) in 2022, up 18% by Muyu Xu & Chen Aizhu energy demand and oil price increases in
from a year ago, beating the previous re- Reuters the post-COVID era, with net earnings
cord of 181.7 billion yuan set in 2013, reaching 71.21 billion yuan.
according to a company statement filed to reuters
the Shanghai Stocks Exchange on Sunday. It plans to produce 281.2 million barrels
of crude oil and 12,567 billion cubic feet
It plans to invest 81.5 billion yuan in of natural gas in 2022, up from its output
upstream exploitation, especially the crude of 279.76 million barrels and 1,199 billion
oil bases in Shunbei and Tahe fields, and cubic feet in 2021.
natural gas fields in Sichuan province and
the Inner Mongolia region. Beijing seeks to ensure energy safety in
the country amid intensifying geopolitical
“Looking ahead in 2022, the market risks. It wants to keep annual crude oil
demand for refined oil will continued to output at 200 million tonnes and crank
recover, and demand for natural gas and up natural gas production to more than
petrochemical products will keep growing,” 230 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2025
Sinopec said in the statement. from 205 bcm in 2021.

It also warned of potential impacts of Crude throughput and production of
geopolitical challenges and volatile oil pric- refined oil products at Sinopec are expect-
es on the investment and operation at over- ed to stay around the same level in 2022
seas businesses. But the firm did not name from a year ago, at 258 million tonnes and
any specific project. 147 million tonnes, respectively.

Reuters reported that Sinopec Group But demand for gasoline and diesel are
had suspended talks for a major petro- dented in China as more than 2,000 of
chemical investment and a gas marketing daily COVID cases have triggered local
venture in Russia, heeding a government authorities to impose stringent travel re-
call for caution as sanctions mount over strictions while manufacturers suspended
the invasion of Ukraine. operations amid supply chain clogs.

(March 28): Hong Kong’s property ty- Hong Kong’s HK$50 billion (US$6.4 billion) to invest
coons are swooping in on a rare opportu- tycoons spend in mainland China over the next decade.
nity to cherry-pick prime land and projects
in mainland China as their counterparts billions on Hang Lung Properties Ltd.’sVice Chair
there battle a credit crisis. Chinese property Adriel Chan said in January that “the sky
is the limit” for the firm’s scale of potential
The financial hub’s real estate developers bargains acquisitions in mainland China.There are
are stepping up investments in the mainland, more opportunities in the Chinese mar-
where a government squeeze on leverage and Bloomberg ket for lowly geared companies like Hang
credit-market turmoil have triggered a re- Lung, said Chan, who is the grandson of
cord wave of defaults, limiting the ability of New World Development Co., one of the company’s founder.
local builders to buy new land. Struggling the city’s leading developers, is betting big
developers such as China Evergrande Group on the Greater Bay Area comprising Hong Ramping up mainland investments gives
and Shimao Group Holdings Ltd. are also Kong and Guangdong province. China’s Hong Kong developers another avenue of
being forced to put treasured assets on sale implementation of the so-called three red growth as their own market gets saturated
to alleviate their liquidity squeeze. lines — metrics introduced to curb bor- and the authorities pay greater attention
rowing among its developers — has pre- to affordability, allocating more land to
The push underscores the relative finan- sented an opportunity, Chief Executive build public housing.
cial strength of Hong Kong’s developers and Officer Adrian Cheng said.
marks a reversal of earlier dynamics that saw In China, the retreat of cash-strapped
mainland firms expand into Hong Kong. “NewWorld can acquire very cheap land developers from government auctions, a
Little more than a year ago, Kaisa Group and land with high margins in a crisis,” the traditional way for builders to acquire new
Holdings Ltd. was seen as an up-and-com- property heir, whose billionaire family runs plots, is suppressing land values. Average
ing player in the city’s property market. By the company, said in a post-earnings call late prices in February declined to the lowest
December the Chinese property developer February.“This is what we call a quick win.” since 2019, at 1,905 yuan (US$300) per
was a desperate seller and in default. square meter, according to China Real Es-
Others are mulling acquisitions too. tate Information Corp., a local research
“Hong Kong developers are seizing a Swire Properties Ltd. plans to set aside provider.
downturn in China’s property market, but
are also cautious in picking the high-quality Some Chinese cities are now effectively
projects with long-term potential,” said Mi- selling land to themselves to raise money.
chaelWu, a senior equity analyst at Morn- Click here to read the full story
ingstar Investment Service.

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Apple to respond to a Reuters request for comment. China chip
cut iPhone, The news of weaker demand mirrors startup Biren
AirPods output seeking funds
— report forecasts from analysts who have warned at US$2.7 bil
that Covid-19 lockdowns in Chinese cities
by Jahnavi Nidumolu & Nivedita Balu and a surge in inflation due to the Ukraine valuation
Reuters conflict could hurt smartphone demand
this year. Bloomberg
BENGALURU (March 28): Apple Inc is
planning to lower iPhone and AirPod pro- Apple, in particular, faces challenges (March 28): Chip designer Shang-
duction due to a demand slowdown caused from the lack of a design upgrade for the hai Biren Intelligent Technology Co
by the Ukraine crisis and rising inflation, latest SE and a US$30 increase in its price is seeking to raise fresh funds at a
the Nikkei newspaper reported on Monday, from the 2020 model, analysts have said. valuation of about 17 billion yuan
citing sources briefed on the matter. (US$2.7 billion) to fuel its growth,
Ming-Chi Kuo at TF International Se- according to people familiar with
The company plans to produce 20% curities on Monday slashed his shipment the matter.
fewer iPhone SEs — or about two million estimate for iPhone SE this year to between
to three million units — next quarter than 15 million and 20 million units, from 25 Biren wants as much as 2 billion
originally planned, the report said. It add- million to 30 million units previously. yuan and is working with advisers to
ed that Apple has also reduced 2022 orders gauge the interest of strategic and
for AirPods by more than 10 million units. “It looks very similar to the iPhone SE financial investors, the people said,
(2020), a second refurbishment of the iP- asking not to be named as the mat-
Apple, whose shares were down about 2% hone 8, and it is even less likely to arouse ter is private. Discussions are ongo-
in pre-market trading, did not immediately consumer demand,” Taiwan-based Isaiah ing and the fundraising target and
Research analyst Eddie Han said, cutting valuation could still change, they
his forecast sales for the model by five mil- said.
lion units.
“As we are in the middle of the
Apple is expected to launch a brand new fundraising, we are not able to com-
iPhone line-up later this year, but analysts ment on the specifics of the deal,”
said it was too early to forecast any impact the company said, adding it will dis-
on the upcoming range. close details publicly when it can.

Tesla jumps to the surge in cases in the city. Founded in 2019, Biren is among
on plan to seek Tesla’s board has accepted the man- a slew of upstarts that China is bet-
ting on as it tries to become a chip
approval for agement proposal, but authorizing the powerhouse and reduce its reliance
another stock dividend still requires final approval, the on US technology. The company
company said in its filing.Tesla said it will focuses on areas such as graphics
split release a definitive proxy statement later processing units, cloud computing
with details including the date and location and integrated solutions, according
Craig Trudell, Dana Hull, Divya Balji of the annual meeting. to its website.
& Tom Contiliano
Bloomberg Companies including Alphabet Inc. and Allen Lee, the former head of
Amazon.com Inc. have announced splits the Advanced Micro Devices Inc’s
(March 28) Tesla Inc said it’s planning a early this year to reduce the price of their research and development center
second stock split in roughly two years, shares, making it easier for retail investors in China, joined Biren last year as
giving a lift to shares that had been trading to afford them.Tesla soared after the com- co-chief executive officer oversee-
lower on news Covid-19 is again disrupt- pany announced a 5-for-1 split in August ing organization, management and
ing operations. 2020. The shares were added to the S&P product design.
500 index later that year.
In an oddly worded tweet early Monday, The startup raised 4.7 billion
Tesla said it will seek shareholder approval Tesla is one of just eight companies yuan in 18 months from investors
to authorize additional stock to enable a in the benchmark US stock index with a including IDG Capital, GL Ven-
split. In a follow-up regulatory filing, the four-digit share price, according to data tures, Ping An Insurance Group
company said increasing the number of its compiled by Bloomberg. All of the compa- Co, China Merchants Capital,
common shares will allow for a split by way nies have traded lower this year through CITIC Securities Investment Co
of a dividend. The ratio of the split is one last week’s close. and Bertelsmann Asia Investments
of the details that will be worked out later. Click here to read the full story AG, among other backers, its web-
Read also: site shows.
Tesla rose 4.9% to US$1,059.85 at Tesla extends Shanghai factory
9:37am in New York, erasing earlier de- suspension as city locked down In October, Biren co-led an an-
clines after Chief Executive Officer Elon Click here gel investment round into Shang-
Musk announced he again has Covid-19. Musk says he has ‘supposedly’ tested hai-basedYunSilicon, a smaller peer
Bloomberg News also reported earlier that positive for Covid-19 again Click here that designs cloud data centre net-
the company was extending the temporary work chips, according to YunSili-
shutdown of its car plant in Shanghai due con’s website.

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(March 28): Bitcoin’s stealth rally over Bitcoin’s stealth pile in, propelling the Bitcoin price higher,”
the past two weeks not only pushed it rally erases its said Antoni Trenchev, a co-founder and
past the key level of US$45,000 (about losses for the year managing partner of Nexo. “It might just
RM189,540) — it also put the world’s be time to awaken from the Bitcoin-side-
biggest cryptocurrency back in positive by Joanna Ossinger & Vildana Hajric ways slumber that’s been 2022.”
territory for the year. Bloomberg
‘Overbought’ range
The token rose as high as US$47,583 in sets, including crypto. In addition, digital For all of Bitcoin’s recent strength, its per-
early Hong Kong trading, well above the currencies came under scrutiny with spec- formance has been bested over the past
US$35,000-to-US$45,000 range where ulation swirling that they could be used few days by alternative coins like Cardano,
it’s been stuck since early January. With to skirt Russian sanctions, though many Solana, Polkadot and Dogecoin. Cardano
the fresh gains, Bitcoin is now up about analysts rebuff that claim. in particular has found favour with traders,
1.2% for the year, compared with a 4.7% jumping 30% over the past five days.Those
decline for the S&P 500. Even so, Bitcoin and other tokens like tokens remain down for 2022, however.
Ether started a steady advance this month
If Bitcoin can keep breaking through “in alongside broader increases in US stocks. Bitcoin was well above its 50-day mov-
a meaningful way”, it should gain a lot of But it took until the past day for Bitcoin to ing average, which currently sits around
upside momentum, said Matt Maley, the convincingly take out US$45,000, a lev- US$41,085.That puts it around the 80th
chief market strategist of Miller Tabak + el it had only briefly touched since early to 90th percentile and in the “overbought”
Co. Rick Bensignor, the president of Ben- January. range, according to Bespoke Investment
signor Investment Strategies, said in a note Group. But though that signals potential
on Sunday (March 27) that Bitcoin is “on “As we test the top of the 2022 trading for a downturn in price for many assets,
the verge of a 20% run higher”. range for the fifth time, this is another one with Bitcoin it’s historically been the op-
of these Bitcoin moments when the nar- posite, the firm said.
The coin has been stuck in a tight path rative could swiftly change and investors
as the US Federal Reserve and other cen- “When it has been similarly overbought
tral banks remove some of the stimulus in its past (over the last five years), it has
measures they put in place in response averaged significant gains going out one
to the pandemic downturn. That means to 12 months,” according to the Bespoke
there’s less cash to go towards riskier as- report.

When Bitcoin has been in the ninth
decile of its spread versus its 50-day aver-
age, it’s historically risen 16% in the next
month, is up 100% six months later and
has gained 274% after a year, according
to data compiled by Bespoke.

“This isn’t normally what you see for
the typical stock or exchange traded fund,
but because Bitcoin has mostly traded
higher over the years and really has a lot of
momentum trading behind it, overbought
levels have yet to become a headwind for
this particular space,” Bespoke wrote.

Bitcon’s gains since mid-March — even
as Russia’s war in Ukraine dragged on —
also bolstered it versus gold, its tradition-
al safe-haven rival, which traded sideways
during the period.

LONDON (March 28): British bank Bar- Barclays hit by £450 million, cutting its core capital ra-
clays disclosed on Monday an estimated US$590 million tio down to the middle of its 13%-14%
£450 million (US$592 million) loss on loss on product target range.The loss estimate did not in-
mishandled structured product sales and sales blunder clude tax.
said this meant it would now delay a share
buy-back. by Iain Withers Barclays said it would delay a planned
Reuters £1 billion pound share buy-back until the
The lender said it offered and sold near- second quarter, adding that it had com-
ly twice as many affected securities over a told Reuters.The bank suspended sales and missioned an independent review of the
period of about a year as it was registered issuance of the notes this month. matter.
to sell in the United States, overshooting its
US$20.8 billion limit by US$15.2 billion. The bank said its “best estimate at this Regulators were also conducting in-
time” was that the loss would amount to quiries and requesting information, the
The securities would now have to be bank said.
bought back at their original purchase
price, the bank said. Shares in the bank were down 3% in
early trading.
The products were two exchange-trad- Click here to read the full story
ed notes linked to crude oil and market
volatility, a source familiar with the matter

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news In brief

bloomberg Indonesians urged against fried food as cooking oil prices rise

Sea e-commerce unit Shopee to shut (March 28): The party backing President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is urging Indonesians to
India operations start boiling, steaming and roasting food instead of frying them as edible oil prices surge.
SINGAPORE (March 28): E-commerce “The food today must showcase the cook’s creativity, use local ingredients and can’t
and gaming firm Sea Ltd said on Monday use any cooking oil,” said Wiryanti Sukamdani, an official of the Indonesian Democratic
it is withdrawing from India’s retail market Party of Struggle, or PDIP, at a Monday (March 28) food fair to showcase cooking
just months after starting operations methods without oil. The PDIP is the largest party in Parliament. Party leader Megawati
there, the second pullback this month in Sukarnoputri was met with public backlash earlier this month when she questioned
an overseas expansion drive, as the loss- why Indonesians were queuing for oil and whether all they did was fry their food all day.
making firm faces a weak growth outlook. Indonesia has announced 7.28 trillion rupiah (US$507 million or about RM2.14 billion)
The withdrawal, effective beginning March of subsidies and raised export levy for palm oil to safeguard local supply and stabilise
29, comes weeks after its e-commerce arm cooking oil prices. Food costs are becoming a key political issue as the country that’s
Shopee said it was pulling out of France and home to the world’s largest Muslim population heads into the fasting month of Ramadan,
after India banned Sea’s popular gaming when people break their daily fast with feasts and celebration. — Bloomberg
app “Free Fire”. After the ban, the market
value of New York-listed Sea dropped by TSMC, Samsung urge US to allow them Business class, five-star back as
US$16 billion in a single day, leading some into US$52 bil chip plan Indians splurge post Covid
investors to cut holdings in the Singapore- NEW DELHI (March 28): Indians are
headquartered company. Shopee said in (March 28): Taiwan Semiconductor holidaying lavishly now, spending more on
a statement its withdrawal came “in view Manufacturing Co and Samsung Electronics five-star hotels and booking business-class
of global market uncertainties” and that Co urged the US to allow foreign companies seats as the country emerges from the
the company would make “the process as to participate in a US$52 billion federal coronavirus pandemic that restricted travel
smooth as possible”. Sea earlier this month programme aimed at boosting chip for two years, according to the South Asian
said revenue growth of its e-commerce production on American soil. The world’s top nation’s second-biggest online travel agency.
business was expected to halve to around two contract chipmakers are already both “People are living their lives and splurging
76% this year from a blistering 157% in planning to spend billions of dollars to build on travel,” Prashant Pitti, a co-founder
2021, amid fewer online purchases and new cutting-edge plants in the US. The Biden of EaseMyTrip, said in an interview with
engagements as more countries emerged administration has made it a priority to bulk Bloomberg Television on Monday. “It’s a shift
from the pandemic. — Reuters up domestic manufacturing capacity, aiming which is happening for good, for long term.”
to ensure supply after chronic shortages of More and more Indians are taking to the
Click here to read the full story semiconductors over the past two years. skies as travel curbs ease and the country
Intel Corp at one point suggested that US opens up international travel, with pent-
HP to buy audio products maker Poly taxpayers’ money should only go to domestic demand driving travel needs for millions
for US$1.7 bil companies, though Chief Executive Officer stuck at home. India, the world’s fastest-
BENGALURU (March 28): HP Inc said Pat Gelsinger has refrained from repeating growing major aviation market before the
on Monday it would buy audio and video the point in his more recent remarks. Intel’s pandemic, expects local traffic to exceed
device maker Poly for US$1.7 billion in technology is at least one generation behind pre-pandemic levels of 415,000 daily fliers
cash as it looks to capitalise on the hybrid that of its Taiwanese and South Korean rivals. within a year. Indian airlines are also adding
work led boom in demand for electronic — Bloomberg capacity to capture the revival in demand as
products. Shares in HP, which expects the international flights resumed from Sunday.
deal will position it for long-term growth, Click here to read the full story — Bloomberg
fell 1.4% in pre-market trade. The company
has offered US$40 for each share of Poly, Click here to read the full story
formerly known as Plantronics, which
represents a premium of about 53% to the Read also: Laos to start administering 4th
stock’s last closing price. Including debt, Covid-19 vaccine dose Click here
the deal is valued at US$3.3 billion. Poly,
whose shares rose 49% in pre-market Australia-to-Singapore solar power project clears another hurdle
trade, said it would be required to pay a fee
of US$66 million if the deal is terminated. (March 28): The Sun Cable project to export solar power from Australia’s Outback to
The transaction is expected to close by the Singapore has won new government backing that’ll help accelerate approvals. Legislation
end of 2022. — Reuters being introduced by the Northern Territory government will streamline some processes and
help developers to secure project financing, according to the region’s Chief Minister Michael
Gunner. The A$30 billion (US$22.6 billion) project “will be a major economic driver, and it
will put the Territory on the international map when it comes to renewables,” Gunner said
Monday in a statement. “The legislation provides certainty for the project.” Atlassian Corp co-
founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest are among backers of
the plan to use a 4,200-kilometre (2,600-mile) high-voltage cable to export power from a giant
solar and battery complex in northern Australia. The project is aimed at supplying enough
electricity to meet 15% of Singapore’s demand and targeting a 2026 start date. — Bloomberg

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China’s green bonds are cheaper
than almost everywhere else

(March 28): Compared to the rest of the Bloomberg er for investors to distinguish green from
world, China’s green bonds are on sale. regular debt.
reuters
Demand hasn’t kept pace with a tor- “Green bonds don’t necessarily have
rent of issuance, leaving borrowers una- credit quality than on making green invest- green attributes, but those with green at-
ble to command the price premium — or ments, the firm found. As such, they aren’t tributes are not necessarily green bonds,”
“greenium” — that companies elsewhere willing to accept the lower yield normally said Lv Xiulei, the credit research director
in the world enjoy as a reward for environ- seen on such debt. of Bosera Asset Management Co.
mentally friendly initiatives.
Green bonds have also suffered in the Investors may also be wary of the rules
But investors may not have the upper global debt rout as central banks raise in- for use of debt-sale proceeds. Companies
hand for long, said Martin Dropkin, the terest rates to stem inflation.The Bloomb- issuing green bonds in China can allot up
head of Asian fixed income at Fidelity In- erg MSCI Global Green Bond Index has to half of the money for loans or working
ternational. “We think the greenium-free plunged 9.3% this year, more than the capital.The international norm set by the
days are numbered,” he wrote in a research 7.1% decline in a global benchmark for Climate Bonds Initiative is that all pro-
note. “It pays to be early in China’s green corporate and government debt. ceeds be devoted to green projects. About
debt space.” half of Chinese green securities meet glob-
ESG factors al standards for what counts as green, Xie
China is rapidly developing one of the Disclosures and ratings are less robust in Wenhong, the head of the initiative’s China
world’s largest green-bond markets even China’s green-bond market compared to programme estimated last year.
though its definitions of “green” don’t equities, with environmental, social and
necessarily match other countries. Chi- governance (ESG) investment strategies “This leaves loopholes for possible mis-
nese firms have issued the equivalent of still in early stages, said Zhang Chi, the use of funds in the Chinese market,” said
US$21 billion (about RM88.56 billion) head of credit research at China Asset Fidelity International analysts.
in onshore green bonds this year, more Management Co.
than any other nation, according to data For example, proceeds from a 500 mil-
compiled by Bloomberg. Last year, US$59 “If we want to practice ESG investment lion yuan note issued last year by Sichuan
billion of green bonds were issued onshore, in the mainland market, green bonds are a Province Airport Group Co were used for
a nearly sixfold increase from 2020. Is- target that we couldn’t avoid,” Zhang said. a terminal and runway at a new airport.
suance has now topped 100 billion yuan The CrossBorder Environment Concern
(US$15.7 billion or about RM66.24 bil- Many green bond standards are focused Association, a non-profit organisation
lion) for the third-straight quarter. on climate change alone, but China’s rules based in Guangzhou, has argued that us-
are broader.They cover pollution, conser- ing money for airports is questionable for
Without enough buyers to sop up the vation and biodiversity, making it hard- a carbon-neutral bond.
supply, state entities that dominate the
market like Industrial & Commercial Bank China is taking steps to harmonise its
of China Ltd don’t benefit from any green rules with foreign markets, which could re-
discount, according to Fidelity Interna- assure investors. Unifying rules among the
tional’s research. It found that borrowers three domestic regulators that govern the
elsewhere typically save five to 15 basis market would also help, said Xuan Sheng
points when they sell green bonds relative OuYang, an analyst at BNP Paribas Asset
to plain-vanilla notes. Management.

Greeniums have been “practically “That is just sort of a natural part of
non-existent” in China, according to the the journey any country, any regulator or
money manager, which analysed thousands any sort of market will be going on as it
of domestic bond issues over four years. matures,” said Fidelity’s Dropkin. “I am
Part of the reason is that private funds in actually quite optimistic about the direc-
China are more focused on returns and tion of green bonds and sustainability with-
in China.”

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A world that’s more expensive
is starting to destroy demand

by David R Baker, Allison Smith
& Sheela Tobben
Bloomberg

(March 28): Prices for some of the world’s 4.4% previously anticipated, Georgieva in cars. Battery makers in China paying
most pivotal products — foods, fuels, plas- said in an interview with Foreign Policy five times more for the metal than a year
tics, metals — are spiking beyond what magazine. ago have to pass some of that cost on to
many buyers can afford. That’s forcing car companies, potentially slowing EV
consumers to cut back and, if the trend Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sales.
grows, may tip economies already buffeted said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is aggra-
by pandemic and war back into recession. vating inflation pressures by boosting pric- “The pressure is on the automakers,”
es on food, energy and other commodities said Maria Ma, an analyst at Shang-
The phenomenon is happening in ways “at a time of already too high inflation.” hai Metals Market. “What worries the
large and small. Soaring natural gas pric- Curbing high inflation is a top priority, market now is that the EV sales in the
es in China force ceramic factories burn- and the central bank is prepared to raise next couple months may stay flat or may
ing the fuel to halve their operations. A interest rates by a half percentage-point not perform very well after the price
Missouri trucking company debates sus- at its next meeting if needed, he said. adjustments.”
pending operations because it can’t fully
recoup rising diesel costs from customers. The danger is more acute in Europe, Fertilizer makers, who use natural gas
European steel mills using electric arc where energy bills are soaring due to a as a raw material, started scaling back
furnaces scale back production as power reliance on Russian supplies. Natural gas operations last year. Italy, Germany and
costs soar, making the metal even more prices on the continent are six times high- the U.K. are exploring whether to burn
expensive. er than a year ago, and electricity costs more coal next winter to ease the need for
almost five times more. gas in power generation.This would free
Global food prices set a record last up more of the fuel for industries, such
month, according to the United Nations, Those prices may fuse with the con- as glassmakers and large steel mills, that
as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted flict raging on the European Union’s can’t easily replace it.
shipments from the countries that, togeth- doorstep to make businesses and house-
er, supply one-quarter of the world’s grain holds averse to all kinds of spending.The But that still may not be enough, and
and much of its cooking oil. More-expen- U.K. downgraded its economic forecast there are contingency plans to limit some
sive food may be frustrating to the middle to 3.8% from 6% as consumers face the demand. Brick makers in the U.K. have
class, but it’s devastating to communities worst squeeze on living standards in at been asked by the government to pre-
trying to claw their way out of poverty. least six decades. pare for production slowdowns if the war
For some, “demand destruction” will be chokes energy supplies, the industry’s lob-
a bloodless way to say “hunger.” “There’s little doubt that inflation’s by group said.
going to stay higher for longer as a result
In the developed world, the squeeze of the war in Ukraine,” said James Smith, Higher fuel costs already are having a
between higher energy and food costs a London-based economist for developed dramatic effect in Asia. Foshan, a city in
could force households to cut discretion- markets at ING. “A renewed spike in gas southern Guangdong province, started
ary spending — evenings out, vacations, prices would see demand destruction be- rationing gas deliveries to industrial us-
the latest iPhone or PlayStation. China’s come more widespread.” ers, and half of the province’s ceramics
decision to put its top steelmaking hub production lines stopped running.
under Covid-19 lockdown could limit The dynamic is playing out in products Click here to read the full story
supply and push up prices for big-tick- as ubiquitous as oil and as specialized as
et items like home appliances and cars. lithium, a key ingredient in advanced bat-
Electric vehicles fromTesla Inc.,Volkswa- teries for consumer electronics and plug-
gen AG and General Motors Co. may be
the future of transportation, except the
lithium in their batteries is almost 500%
more expensive than a year ago.

“Altogether, it signals what could turn
into a recession,” said Kenneth Medlock
III, senior director of the Center for En-
ergy Studies at Rice University’s Baker
Institute for Public Policy.

The International Monetary Fund is
poised to cut its global growth forecast
because of the war, and it sees recession
risks in an increasing number of countries,
Managing Director Kristalina Georgie-
va said.The world economy is still set to
expand this year, though by less than the

t u e s d a y m a r c h 2 9 , 2 0 2 2 27 T h e E d g e C E O m o r n i n g b r i e f

MARKETS

CPO RM 6,049.00 22.00 OIL US$ 116.52 -4.13 RM/USD 4.2160 RM/SGD 3.0988 RM/AUD 3.1713 RM/GBP 5.5511 RM/EUR 4.6312

Top 20 active stocks

NAME VOLUME CHANGE CLOSE YTD MARKET
(MIL) (RM) CHANGE CAP
(%) (RM MIL)

BSL Corp Bhd 70.0 -0.015 0.185 -81.90 51.2

Tanco Holdings Bhd 53.5 0.080 0.32 33.30 556.6

Hextar Industries Bhd 53.2 0.025 0.32 100 367.1

Dagang NeXchange Bhd 50.9 -0.040 1.02 34.2 3218.8

Prolexus BHD 47.9 -0.020 0.69 70.4 184.3

Dataprep Holdings BHD 39.6 -0.030 0.28 -65.4 188.4

Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd 38.5 -0.005 0.15 -30.2 110.7

Widad Group Bhd 37.6 0.005 0.36 -1.4 990.9

PUC BHD 36.4 -0.005 0.135 -6.9 199.3 World equity indices

NWP Holdings Bhd 33.5 0.015 0.245 0 129

Fitters Diversified Bhd 29.4 -0.015 0.14 -57.1 82.1 CLOSE CHANGE CHANGE CLOSE CHANGE CHANGE

Velesto Energy Bhd 29.0 -0.005 0.105 -12.5 862.6 (%) (%)
DOW JONES 34,861.24 153.30 0.44 INDONESIA 7,049.60 47.07 0.67
Pertama Digital BHD 26.0 -0.005 0.86 48.30 372.7

CME Group BHD 23.8 0.005 0.06 -8.3 53.3 S&P 500 4,543.06 22.90 0.51 JAPAN 27,943.89 -205.95 -0.73

CAPITAL A BHD 23.6 -0.015 0.66 -17.1 2726 NASDAQ 100 14,754.31 -11.38 -0.08 KOREA 2,729.56 -0.42 -0.02

AHB Holdings Bhd 22.2 -0.005 0.16 23.10 59.9 FTSE 100 7,515.14 31.79 0.42 PHILIPPINES 7,134.36 9.52 0.13

TWL Holdings Bhd 20.3 0.005 0.06 20 160.1 AUSTRALIA 7,412.42 6.17 0.08 SINGAPORE 3,431.32 17.63 0.52

Bumi Armada Bhd 19.7 0 0.425 -9.6 2510.5 CHINA 3,214.50 2.26 0.07 TAIWAN 17,520.01 -156.94 -0.89

Sapura Energy Bhd 19.5 0.005 0.04 -30 559.3 HONG KONG 21,684.97 280.09 1.31 THAILAND 1,684.30 7.50 0.45

My EG Services Bhd 19.2 0.005 0.99 -7.9 7274.7 INDIA 57,593.43 231.29 0.40 VIETNAM 1,483.18 -15.32 -1.02

Data as compiled on Mar 28, 2022 Source: Bloomberg Data as compiled on Mar 28, 2022 Source: Bloomberg

Top gainers (ranked by %) Top losers (ranked by %)

NAME CLOSE CHANGE VOLUME YTD MARKET NAME CLOSE CHANGE VOLUME YTD MARKET
(%) (‘000) CHANGE CAP (%) (‘000) CHANGE CAP
(%) (RM MIL) (%) (RM MIL)

XOX BHD 0.025 66.7 5855.2 -16.7 122.4 Vsolar Group Bhd 0.01 -33.30 4,411 -33.3 48.3

EA Holdings Bhd 0.015 50 456.1 -25 96.8 Metronic Global Bhd 0.015 -25.00 140.3 -25 32.5

Tanco Holdings Bhd 0.32 33.3 53546.5 33.3 556.6 Sanichi Technology Bhd 0.03 -16.70 1,113.0 0 35.1

Eduspec Holdings Bhd 0.02 33.3 2999 33.3 60.9 JOE HOLDING BHD 0.025 -16.70 200.0 -28.6 76.5

China Automobile Parts HLDGS Ltd 0.02 33.3 2150.9 NA 27.2 Focus Dynamics Group Bhd 0.030 -14.30 3,360.6 -25 191.2

Jerasia Capital BHD 0.045 28.6 4902.8 -71.9 3.7 Bina Puri Holdings BHD 0.040 -11.10 1,909.9 -11.1 63.9

DGB Asia Bhd 0.025 25 10949 -16.7 40.5 Aldrich Resources Bhd 0.04 -11.10 50.0 0 44.5

Top Builders Capital Bhd 0.025 25 6990 -28.6 17.6 Fitters Diversified Bhd 0.135 -10.00 29,369.6 -57.1 82.1

Green Ocean Corp Bhd 0.025 25 10 -16.7 52.8 Dataprep Holdings BHD 0.28 -9.70 39,612.5 -65.4 188.4

Borneo Oil Bhd 0.03 20 1057.8 0 224 Nylex Malaysia BHD 0.420 -9.70 8,757.4 -70.8 75.3

Sapura Energy Bhd 0.035 16.7 19511.4 -30 559.3 Saudee Group Bhd 0.05 -9.1 1,900 -9.1 49.6

HeiTech Padu Bhd 1.19 16.7 2216 -5.6 120.5 Ancom Logistics Bhd 0.205 -8.9 2,793.3 20.6 97

Titijaya Land Bhd 0.31 14.8 15313.8 17 395.7 Green Packet Bhd 0.11 -8.70 10,409.2 31.3 146.5

Minetech Resources Bhd 0.08 14.3 161.8 -20 93.2 GIIB HOLDINGS Bhd 0.105 -8.7 154.3 -19.2 62.1

Hwa Tai Industries BHD 0.63 12.5 2592.3 -10.6 47.1 IQ Group Holdings Bhd 0.77 -8.40 44.3 -29.2 67.3

BIG Industries Bhd 0.745 11.2 2450.6 -14.4 47.3 SC Estate Builder Bhd 0.055 -8.30 1,229.9 -26.7 59.1

Malaysia Pacific Corp Bhd 0.105 10.5 1.2 5 30.2 Dolphin International Bhd 0.055 -8.30 633.2 -21.4 58.0

CME Group BHD 0.055 10 23769.4 -8.3 53.3 Kim Hin Industry Bhd 0.690 -8.00 4.0 -20.7 96.8

Diversified Gateway Solutions 0.11 10 915.1 29.4 82 BSL Corp Bhd 0.19 -7.50 70,009.9 -81.9 51.2

Kamdar Group M Bhd 0.22 10 90.5 18.9 43.6 Revenue Group Bhd 1.62 -7.40 9,232.3 4.5 755.3

Data as compiled on Mar 28, 2022 Source: Bloomberg Data as compiled on Mar 28, 2022 Source: Bloomberg

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

NAME CLOSE CHANGE VOLUME YTD MARKET NAME CLOSE CHANGE VOLUME YTD MARKET
(RM) (‘000) CHANGE CAP (RM) (‘000) CHANGE CAP
(%) (RM MIL) (%) (RM MIL)

BLD Plantation Bhd 9.41 0.31 124.1 4.40 879.8 Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd 37.48 -1.42 330.2 -24.10 7454.6

Complete Logistic Services Bhd 3.45 0.18 28.4 37.5 443.8 Petronas Dagangan Bhd 21.36 -0.64 251.60 3.7 21220.2

Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd 9.78 0.18 13151.3 9.6 78240 Nestle Malaysia Bhd 136.00 -0.60 50.0 1.30 31892.0

HeiTech Padu Bhd 1.19 0.17 2,216.0 -5.60 120.5 PMB Technology Bhd 17.26 -0.52 53.1 40.60 4039.7

Oriental Holdings BHD 6.13 0.14 47.3 16.80 3802.8 Carlsberg Brewery M Bhd 21.64 -0.44 62.1 7.80 6616.4

Analabs Resources BHD 1.45 0.13 349.5 16.90 158 Heineken Malaysia Bhd 22.20 -0.42 69.4 6.50 6706.6

Batu Kawan Bhd 26.12 0.12 10.4 15.10 10285.2 Kesm Industries Bhd 8.50 -0.35 35.8 -30.80 365.6

Scientex BHD 4.15 0.10 802.6 -13.40 6436.6 Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd 21.30 -0.30 148.1 -13.9 7812.4

Harrisons Holdings M Bhd 4.98 0.09 0.2 3.70 341.0 Pentamaster Corp Bhd 3.71 -0.22 3108.4 -33.20 2639.0

Tanco Holdings Bhd 0.32 0.08 53546.5 33.30 556.6 Kobay Technology BHD 4.31 -0.22 2799.9 -28.50 1397.2

AFFIN Bank Bhd 1.95 0.08 4403.7 12.7 4141.9 ViTrox Corp Bhd 7.85 -0.22 679 -21.2 7414.8

BIG Industries Bhd 0.75 0.08 2450.6 -14.4 47.3 D&O Green Technologies Bhd 4.55 -0.20 3559.2 -22.9 5629

Hwa Tai Industries BHD 0.63 0.07 2592.3 -10.60 47.1 British American Tobacco M Bhd 12.28 -0.20 138.1 -12.2 3506.3

UMS-Neiken Group Bhd 1.09 0.07 115.2 -5.20 85.8 Riverview Rubber Estates BHD 3.48 -0.18 0.1 9.80 225.7

MCE Holdings Bhd 1.18 0.07 6.5 -10.6 66.3 Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd 25.32 -0.18 1212.8 16.3 27298.9

Chin Hin Group Bhd 2.67 0.07 2496 2.3 2362.2 Dufu Technology Corp Bhd 2.9 -0.17 1979.2 -32.4 1534.2

Quality Concrete Holdings Bhd 1.07 0.06 2.2 -20.10 62.0 Press Metal Aluminium HLDGS Bhd 6.09 -0.16 9515.6 5.40 49184.2

Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd 1.88 0.060 801.0 -1.10 2522.8 UWC BHD 3.98 -0.15 961.6 -35.9 4383.4

SHL Consolidated Bhd 1.95 0.06 388.8 -1.50 472.1 Revenue Group Bhd 1.62 -0.13 9232.3 4.5 755.3

UMS Holdings BHD 1.97 0.06 11.7 -1.50 80.2 Frontken Corp Bhd 3.05 -0.13 4994.1 -23.80 4795.9

Data as compiled on Mar 28, 2022 Source: Bloomberg Data as compiled on Mar 28, 2022 Source: Bloomberg

wealthMALAYSIA| MARCH 28,2022

2022

Presented by

Frotmo trioglhletrrocopeaswtearlkride

W2 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

Foreword management industry experience in navigating uncertainties.
This is reflected in the outperformance of the winners of this year’s
Investors were expecting 2021 to be a year of recovery, but as it
turned out, it was fraught with unexpected events that caught Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards,an industry performance benchmark.
many off guard. In this special issue of Wealth, we showcase the 15 winning funds
These included the appointment of the country’s third prime and speak to their fund managers about the secret of their success.
minister in three years and the announcement of the prosperity
tax during the tabling of Budget 2022 in November.The year ended For the fourth consecutive year, Public Mutual emerged the big-
with the most severe floods in the country in decades.And the Cov- gest winner, taking home 32 awards.
id-19 pandemic continued to rage, despite the pick-up in the pace
of vaccinations across the world. With market cycles getting shorter and geopolitical tensions on
Indeed,while 2020 was described by some fund managers as the year the rise, fund managers are bracing themselves for another rough
of multiple black swan events,2021 was almost as eventful. ride.They will need to draw on their experience once again to stay
The pandemic, which broke out two years ago, and the var- on top of the markets.
ious economic crises that occurred earlier have given the fund
To all the winners this year,we say congratulations. — Kuek Ser
Kwang Zhe

Winners list

GROUP AWARD WINNERS Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Malaysia) Public Emerging Opportunities

DURATION: 3 YEARS Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Islamic) Public Islamic Opportunities

GROUP AWARD COMPANY Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Provident) Kenanga OA Inv-Kenanga Growth

Best Bond Group (Provident) AmFunds Management Bhd Opportunities
Best Equity Group (Malaysia) Public Mutual Bhd
Best Equity Group (Islamic) Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd Equity Malaysia Diversified (Provident) Hong Leong Growth
Best Equity Group (Provident) Hong Leong Asset Management Bhd
Best Mixed Assets Group (Islamic) Public Mutual Bhd Equity Asia Pacific (Malaysia) KAF Jade
Best Mixed Assets Group (Provident) Kenanga Investors Bhd
Equity Asia Pacific (Provident) PB Islamic Asia Strategic Sector

Equity Asia Pacific ex Japan (Malaysia) Pheim Asia Ex-Japan

Equity Asia Pacific ex Japan (Islamic) Principal Islamic Asia Pacific Dynamic

Equity

Equity Asia Pacific ex Japan (Provident) Hong Leong Asia-Pacific Dividend

EDITORIAL FUND AWARD WINNERS Equity Global (Malaysia) PB Global Equity

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DURATION: 3 YEARS Equity Malaysia Income (Islamic) Public Islamic Savings
KATHY FONG
MANAGING EDITOR AWARD FUND Equity Malaysia Income (Provident) Hong Leong Dividend
ANNA TAING
EDITOR Bond MYR (Malaysia) AmanahRaya Unit Trust Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia
KUEK SER KWANG ZHE
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Bond MYR (Islamic) AmanahRaya Syariah Trust (Malaysia) Public Growth Balanced
PATHMA SUBRAMANIAM
SENIOR WRITER Bond MYR (Provident) AmDynamic Bond Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia (Islamic) Hong Leong Dana Maa'rof
TAN ZHAI YUN
WRITERS Equity Malaysia (Malaysia) Areca equityTrust Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia
VANESSA GOMES, KIRAN JACOB,
MALEEN BALQISH SALLEH Equity Malaysia (Islamic) Hong Leong Dana Makmur (Provident) Hong Leong Dana Maa'rof
INTERN
YAP HUI ERN Equity Malaysia(Provident) Hong Leong Dana Makmur Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Global (Malaysia) Public Strategic Balanced
CHIEF COPY EDITORS
ELAINE LIM, MAH PIN PIN Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Malaysia) Public Emerging Opportunities Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Global (Provident) Affin Hwang Select Balanced
ASSISTANT CHIEF COPY EDITORS
EVELYN TUNG, Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Islamic) PB Islamic Smallcap Mixed Asset MYR Conservative (Islamic) Public Ehsan Mixed Asset Conservative
KENNETH FRANCIS MARTINUS
SENIOR COPY EDITORS Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Provident) KAF Vision Mixed Asset MYR Conservative (Provident) Public Ehsan Mixed Asset Conservative
CHEW RU JU, LEE MEI GEOK, Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Malaysia) PB Dynamic Allocation
SHANTHI MURUGIAH Equity Malaysia Diversified (Provident) Kenanga Malaysian Inc Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Islamic) Public Islamic Asia Tactical Allocation
ART DIRECTOR Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Provident) Public Islamic Asia Tactical Allocation
SHARON KHOH Equity ASEAN (Malaysia) United ASEAN Discovery
ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR
LEE WAN YEE Equity ASEAN (Islamic) Public Islamic ASEAN Growth
DESIGN TEAM
RAJITA SIVAN, Equity Asia Pacific (Malaysia) KAF Jade FUND AWARD WINNERS
TAN SIEW CHING, ONG XIAOHU
Equity Asia Pacific (Provident) PB Islamic Asia Strategic Sector DURATION: 10 YEARS
ADVERTISING & MARKETING
Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan (Malaysia) Pheim Asia Ex-Japan
CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
SHARON TEH (012) 313 9056 Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan (Islamic) Principal Islamic Asia Pacific Dynamic Equity AWARD FUND
GENERAL MANAGER
FONG LAI KUAN (012) 386 2831 Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan (Provident) Hong Leong Asia-Pacific Dividend Bond MYR (Malaysia) AmanahRaya Unit Trust
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER Bond MYR (Islamic) AmanahRaya Syariah Trust
GREGORY THU (012) 376 0614 Equity Global (Malaysia) Public Lifestyle & Technology Bond MYR (Provident) AmDynamic Bond
SENIOR MANAGERS Equity Malaysia (Malaysia) Areca equityTrust
GEETHA PERUMAL (016) 250 8640 Equity Global (Islamic) Public Islamic Global Equity Equity Malaysia (Islamic) Hong Leong Dana Makmur
SHANNON LEONG (012) 677 5345 Equity Malaysia (Provident) Kenanga Growth
SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGERS Equity Malaysia Income (Islamic) PMB Dana Mutiara Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Islamic) Public Islamic Opportunities
CECILIA TOO (012) 319 7666 Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Caps (Provident) Eastspring Investments Small-cap
EVON SEAH (016) 973 8699 Equity Malaysia Income (Provident) Hong Leong Dividend Equity Malaysia Income (Islamic) Public Islamic Savings
KENNY LIM (014) 334 2733
SHAFINA SYAHRIR (017) 281 4787 Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia Public Growth Balanced
ACCOUNT MANAGERS (Malaysia)
BRYAN ANG (012) 317 8473
NICHOLAS HONG (012) 768 0881 Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia (Islamic) Hong Leong Dana Maa'rof
YVETTE ERIN (016) 273 0856
HEAD OF AD-TRAFFIC Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia Hong Leong Dana Maa'rof Equity Malaysia Income (Provident) Hong Leong Dividend
LORRAINE CHAN (Provident) Equity Malaysia Diversified (Provident) Manulife Investment Shariah Progress
MANAGER, AD-TRAFFIC
NORMA JASMA Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Global (Malaysia) United Bond & Equity Strategic Trust
EMAIL [email protected]
MARKETING SUPPORT Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Global (Provident) Affin Hwang Select Balanced Equity Asia Pacific (Malaysia) PB China Pacific Equity
MADELINE TAN
Mixed Asset MYR Conservative (Islamic) Public Ehsan Mixed Asset Conservative Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan (Malaysia) Public Far-East Dividend
CORPORATE Equity Asia Pacific ex -Japan (Islamic)
Mixed Asset MYR Conservative (Provident) Public Ehsan Mixed Asset Conservative Principal Islamic Asia Pacific
PUBLISHER & GROUP CEO Dynamic Equity
HO KAY TAT Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Malaysia) Public e-Flexi Allocation
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
LIM SHIEW YUIN Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Islamic) InterPac Dana Safi

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS, Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Provident) Public Islamic Asia Tactical Allocation Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan (Provident) Principal Asia Titans
LETTERS AND CRITICISM.
PHONE (03) 7721 8000 FUND AWARD WINNERS Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia Dana Makmur Pheim
EMAIL [email protected] (Islamic)
DURATION: 5 YEARS
PSEUDONYMS ARE ALLOWED BUT FUND Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia Dana Makmur Pheim
PLEASE STATE YOUR FULL NAME, AWARD (Provident)
ADDRESS AND CONTACT NUMBER AmanahRaya Unit Trust
(TEL/FAX) FOR US TO VERIFY. Bond MYR (Malaysia) AmanahRaya Syariah Trust Mixed Asset MYR Conservative (Provident) Public Enhanced Bond
Bond MYR (Islamic) AmDynamic Bond
Bond MYR (Provident) Areca equityTrust Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Malaysia) Public Tactical Allocation
Equity Malaysia (Malaysia) Hong Leong Dana Makmur
Equity Malaysia (Islamic) Hong Leong Dana Makmur Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Islamic) Public Islamic Asia Tactical Allocation
Equity Malaysia (Provident)
Mixed Asset MYR Flexible (Provident) Kenanga OA Inv-Kenanga Diversified

Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Global (Malaysia) EastspringInvestmentsAsiaSelectIncome

W3MARCH 28, 2022

SEPT 29
2009

W4 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

Net inflows into global funds
rose 80% y-o-y in 2021

DB Y KUEK SER KWANG ZHE Average returns of winning funds based on award universe (2021) TABLES BY REFINITIV
espite it being another challeng-
ing year,winners of the Refinitiv CATEGORY AVERAGE RETURNS OF WINNERS (%) 10 years
Lipper Fund Awards 2022 consist- 152.88
ently delivered attractive returns Malaysia 3 years 5 years 155.04
to investors in the medium to Malaysia Islamic funds 165.60
long term,according to Xav Feng, Malaysia provident funds 71.72 71.68
director of Lipper Asia Pacific Research,
Refinitiv. 81.44 76.87
As at end-2021, winners of the awards
had generated an average return of 77.1% in 78.04 82.37
the past three years. In the five- and 10-year
categories, average returns were 77.36% and Sectors that received the largest net inflows Total net flows by
158.77% respectively. — global country/region
Locally, the leading sectors that enjoyed
the largest net inflows were equity global LIPPER GLOBAL CLASSIFICATION ESTIMATED NET FLOWS (US$ BIL) COUNTRY/REGION NET FLOWS
(US$1.83 billion),bonds and others (US$1.56 (US$ BIL)
billion) and absolute return and others Money market USD 420.9 US
(US$960 million). Equity global 298.1 Europe 1,270.3
Sectors that suffered from the largest net Bond RMB 226.3 Asia ex-Japan 853.7
outflows last year were money market RM Bond USD medium term 179.8 Japan 551.2
(US$4.4 billion), bond RM (US$570 million) Money market RMB 169.8 Middle East 88.8
and mixed asset RM balanced — global Bond USD inflation-linked 79.5 Latin America 1.6
(US$200 million). Equity sector IT 78.8 -76.4
On asset classes, equity enjoyed the larg- Equity US 76.4
est net inflows of US$6.53 billion, followed Equity emerging markets global 72.6 Estimated total net flows by
by real estate (US$990 million) and mixed Equity global ex-US asset class — global
assets (US$850 million). 61.1
Asset classes that suffered from the larg-
est net outflows were money market RM REFINITIV ASSET TYPE NET FLOWS
(US$4.44 billion),other (US$50 million) and (US$ BIL)
alternative (US$30 million). Bond
“The Malaysian market received total Equities 1,148.25
net inflows of US$4.6 billion last year, low- Money market 985.58
er than US$9.2 billion in the previous year,” Mixed assets
says Feng. Commodities 549.4
On the global front,investors put in much Other 126.33
more money in markets via various chan- Alternatives
nels in 2021 than the previous year. This is Real estate 6.22
evidenced by the total net inflows of US$2.78 5.93
trillion enjoyed by the global fund markets 3.05
in 2021, a growth of nearly 80% year on year. -43.99
In terms of sectors, the biggest winners
globally last year were money market USD Estimated total net flows by
(US$420.9 billion), equity global (US$298.1 asset class — local
billion) and bond RMB (US$226.3 billion).
Sectors that experienced the largest net ASSET TYPE NET FLOWS
outflows were alternative (US$80.5 billion), (US$ BIL)
mixed asset RMB aggressive (US$50.5 billion) Equities
and real estate (US$43.2 billion). Real estate 6.53
From an asset class perspective, the key Mixed assets 0.99
beneficiaries last year were bond (US$1.15 Bond 0.85
trillion), equity (US$985.58 billion) and Commodities 0.72
money market (US$549.4 billion). Real es- Alternatives -0.01
tate suffered, however, from net outflows Other -0.03
of US$43.99 billion. Money market -0.05
The US market was the most favoured last -4.44
year,receiving net inflows of US$1.27 trillion;
it was followed by Europe (US$853.7 billion) neighbouring countries [of Ukraine and
and Asia ex-Japan (US$551.2 billion). Latin Russia] will also grapple with disruption
America was the loser with net outflows of in trade, supply chains, remittance and a
US$76.4 billion. historic surge in refugee flows.
Feng says 2021 was challenging, as the “The conflict will cause lower business
pandemic continued to haunt global econ- confidence and market uncertainty that will
omies and markets. Adding to that was a weigh on asset prices. Coupled with tighter
surge in inflation worldwide and supply In the longer term, the war [between Ukraine monetary policies, this could spur capital
chain disruptions, causing the supply of and Russia] may fundamentally alter the outflows from emerging markets.
various goods such as microchips to face global economy and geopolitical order, should “In the longer term, the war may funda-
challenges in meeting demand. energy trade shift, supply chains reconfigure, mentally alter the global economy and geo-
The supply bottleneck seemed to have payment networks fragment and countries political order, should energy trade shift,
eased at the start of this year, but the con- rethink their reserve currency holdings.” supply chains reconfigure, payment net-
flict between Ukraine and Russia has put works fragment and countries rethink their
the issue back in focus. > Feng reserve currency holdings.”
Feng says: “Higher prices of commod- E
ities such as food and energy will push
up inflation further, erode the value of in-
comes and weigh on demand. In particular,

W5MARCH 28, 2022

SEPT 29
2009

Visit our branches or call us at 03-2081 8600
or log on to www.hlam.com.my
or scan the QR code for further information
about the Funds

DISCLAIMER: This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Securities Commission. Investors are advised to read and understand the contents of the Hong Leong Master Prospectus
dated 23 August 2019, its First, Second and Third Supplementary dated 18 November 2019, 27 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 respectively (collectively known as the “HLAM
Prospectus”) and the Product Highlight Sheet (“PHS”) before investing. The HLAM Prospectus has been registered and PHS lodged with the Securities Commission Malaysia who takes
no responsibility for the contents. A copy of the Prospectus and PHS can be obtained from any of Hong Leong Asset Management Bhd (“HLAM”) offices, agents or authorised distributors
and investors have the right to request for it. Investors should also consider the fees and charges involved before investing. Prices of units and distributions payable, if any, may go down
or up and that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Investors shall be aware of the risks associated with each fund before investing. The funds may not be suitable
for all and if in doubt, investors shall seek independent advice.

[email protected] Hong Leong Asset Management Bhd [199401033034 (318717-M)]

W6 Presented by

MARCH 28 Our domestic equity
2022 funds locked in profits
from selected healthcare
stocks whose prices
looked to have peaked
post the initial Covid-19
outbreak. We then
focused on selected
technology companies,
which are expected
to benefit from the
long-term structural
digitalisation trend.”

>Yeoh

Public Mutual defends PUBLIC MUTUAL BHD PB China Pacific
top position with 32 awards FUND
Equity Fund
AWARD
Equity Asia Pacific
FUND SIZE
FUND MANAGER (Malaysia) (10 years)
RETURNS FOR PERIODS
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM221.88 million

Public Mutual Bhd

1 year NA

3 years 45.43

OBY KUEK SER KWANG ZHE unwavering support and trust,” says of movement restrictions,” she adds. 5 years 60.55
nce again, Public Mutual Public Mutual CEO Yeoh Kim Hong. On the regional funds,the firm was
Bhd dominated the Refin- 10 years 201.74
itiv Lipper Fund Awards, She attributes the wins to the fun- affected by regulatory changes imple-
this time by bagging 32 damental research and analysis that mented by the Chinese government FUND PB Dynamic
awards — Best Equity form the core of the firm’s investment last year. Specific sectors such as the
Group (Malaysia), Best philosophy. Its investment strategy, internet, technology, education and AWARD Allocation Fund
Mixed Assets Group (Islamic) and which takes a long-term view on in- real estate were at the forefront of
30 fund awards. It extended its win- vesting and focuses on companies the Chinese government’s regulato- FUND SIZE Mixed Asset MYR Flexible
ning streak to four years in a row by with sustained earnings, strong fi- ry crackdown.The pent-up consumer FUND MANAGER
outperforming its peers in various nancial positions and a proven track demand in the country and supply RETURNS FOR PERIODS (Malaysia) (5 years)
categories. record, is another key to its outper- chain issues across various sectors, ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
The firm’s 11 award-winning equity formance. particularly the semiconductor space, RM391.12 million
funds are Public Emerging Opportu- also posed challenges to the firm.
nities,Public Islamic Opportunities, “We were also cognisant of the Public Mutual Bhd
PB Islamic SmallCap, Public Islamic changing trends in the respective “However,we remained vigilant in
Savings,Public IslamicASEAN Growth, markets, sectors and industries that monitoring these risks.That helped us 1 year NA
PB China Pacific Equity,Public Far East we invested in. We rebalanced our to identify companies that were bene-
Dividend,Public Lifestyle & Technol- portfolios accordingly to navigate ficiaries of the resulting price hikes for 3 years 59.04
ogy, PB Islamic Asia Strategic Sector, the challenging market conditions certain basic materials that were still
PB Global Equity and Public Islamic in 2021.” high in demand. Investing in those 5 years 69.45
Global Equity. companies allowed us to mitigate the
Meanwhile, its eight award-win- The healthcare and technology sec- impact from companies whose prices 10 years NA
ning mixed-asset funds are PB Dy- tors were the two main contributors were adversely affected by the regu-
namic Allocation, Public e-Flexi Al- to the performance of Public Mutual’s latory crackdown,” says Yeoh. FUND PB Global Equity
location, Public Ehsan Mixed Asset funds last year.“Our domestic equity AWARD
Conservative,Public Enhanced Bond, funds locked in profits from select- Globally,the firm faced challenges Equity Global (Malaysia)
Public Growth Balanced, Public Is- ed healthcare stocks whose prices in making investment decisions due FUND SIZE (5 years)
lamic Asia Tactical Allocation,Public looked to have peaked post the initial to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases FUND MANAGER
Strategic Balanced and Public Tactical Covid-19 outbreak. We then focused and the emergence of new variants RETURNS FOR PERIODS RM130.29 million
Allocation. on selected technology companies, of the virus. Its fund managers were ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
“We are deeply honoured to have which are expected to benefit from uncertain whether the global econ- Public Mutual Bhd
been conferred [the most awards at] the long-term structural digitalisa- omy would remain open or face an-
the Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards this tion trend,” says Yeoh. other lockdown. 1 year NA
year.We want to attribute this win to
our unitholders, as well as our unit Its domestic fund managers also “Still,we focused our investments 3 years 48.73
trust consultants for giving us their increased the exposure to companies on companies with strong balance
poised to benefit from the reopening of sheets that are capable of weathering 5 years 53.42
the local economy.“These companies the volatile economic conditions,”
stood to benefit from the recovery in says Yeoh, adding that the firm also 10 years NA
economic activities amid the progres- rebalanced its global portfolio into
sive rollout of vaccinations and lifting FUND PB Islamic Asia
CONTINUES ON PAGE 8 Strategic Sector
AWARD
Equity Asia Pacific
FUND SIZE (Provident) (3 and 5 years)
FUND MANAGER
RETURNS FOR PERIODS RM112.70 million
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
Public Mutual Bhd FRO

1 year NA

3 years 59.54

5 years 72.80
10 years 157.51

W7MARCH 28, 2022

SEPT 29
2009

W8 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

FUND PB Islamic Smallcap FUND Public Enhanced Bond FUND Public Islamic Asia Tactical
AWARD AWARD AWARD
Equity Malaysia Small & Mid Mixed Asset MYR Allocation Fund
FUND SIZE Caps (Islamic) (3 years) FUND SIZE Conservative (Provident) FUND SIZE
FUND MANAGER FUND MANAGER (10 years) FUND MANAGER Mixed Asset MYR Flexible
RETURNS FOR PERIODS RETURNS FOR PERIODS RETURNS FOR PERIODS
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM145.38 million ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) (Islamic) (5 and 10 years);

Public Mutual Bhd RM370.55 million Mixed Asset MYR Flexible

1 year NA Public Mutual Bhd (Provident) (3 and 5 years)

3 years 138.63 1 year NA RM2,735.48 million

5 years NA 3 years 16.24 Public Mutual Bhd
10 years NA
5 years 25.15 1 year NA

10 years 54.04 3 years 71.04

FUND Public e-Flexi FUND Public Far-East Dividend 5 years 80.21
Allocation Fund AWARD 10 years 169.59
AWARD
Mixed Asset MYR Flexible FUND SIZE Equity Asia Pacific ex- FUND Public Islamic Global Equity
FUND SIZE FUND MANAGER AWARD
FUND MANAGER (Malaysia) (3 years) RETURNS FOR PERIODS Japan (Malaysia) (10 years) Equity Global (Islamic)
RETURNS FOR PERIODS ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) FUND SIZE (3 years)
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM69.30 million RM214.71 million FUND MANAGER
RETURNS FOR PERIODS
Public Mutual Bhd Public Mutual Bhd ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM559.95 million

1 year NA 1 year NA Public Mutual Bhd

3 years 86.28 3 years 17.16 1 year NA

5 years NA 5 years 26.67 3 years 93.36
10 years NA 10 years 86.27
5 years NA

FUND Public Ehsan Mixed Asset FUND Public Growth Balanced 10 years NA
AWARD Conservative AWARD
Mixed Asset MYR Balanced FUND Public Islamic Opportunities
FUND SIZE FUND SIZE AWARD
FUND MANAGER Mixed Asset MYR FUND MANAGER (Malaysia) (3 and 5 years) Equity Malaysia Small
RETURNS FOR PERIODS RETURNS FOR PERIODS FUND SIZE & Mid Caps (Islamic)
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) Conservative (Islamic) ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM24.49 million (5 and 10 years)

(3 and 5 years); Public Mutual Bhd RM1,196.50 million

Mixed Asset MYR 1 year NA

Conservative (Provident) 3 years 52.36

(3 and 5 years) 5 years 66.23 FUND MANAGER Public Mutual Bhd
10 years NA RETURNS FOR PERIODS
RM448.89 million ENDED DEC 31, 2021(%) 1 year NA

Public Mutual Bhd 3 years 107.96

1 year NA FUND Public Islamic ASEAN 5 years 95.63
Growth 10 years 234.28
3 years 38.32 AWARD
Equity ASEAN (Islamic)
5 years 54.78 FUND SIZE (3 years) FUND Public Islamic Savings
10 years NA FUND MANAGER AWARD
RETURNS FOR PERIODS RM56.24 million
FUND Public Emerging ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) FUND SIZE Equity Malaysia Income
Opportunities Public Mutual Bhd FUND MANAGER (Islamic) (5 and 10 years)
AWARD RETURNS FOR PERIODS
Equity Malaysia Small 1 year NA ENDED DEC 31, 2021(%) RM344.53 million
FUND SIZE & Mid Caps (Malaysia)
FUND MANAGER (3 and 5 years) 3 years 36.99 Public Mutual Bhd
RETURNS FOR PERIODS
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) 5 years NA 1 year NA
3 years 40.74
RM184.95 million 10 years NA

Public Mutual Bhd 5 years 41.82
10 years 85.18
1 year NA

3 years 102.13

5 years 106.85 FUND Public Lifestyle &
10 years NA
AWARD Technology

FUND SIZE Equity Global (Malaysia)
FUND MANAGER
Equity market outlook likely to remain challenging RETURNS FOR PERIODS (3 years)
ENDED DEC 31, 2021,(%)
RM656.30 million

Public Mutual Bhd

1 year NA

FROM PAGE 6 pandemic restrictions. We will also and infrastructure sectors,” she says. 3 years 102.92
look at selectively investing in tech- Key risks this year include the on-
sectors that stand to benefit from an nology and semiconductor stocks that 5 years NA
economic upcycle, including finan- are poised to benefit from the digital- going pandemic and high inflation 10 years NA
cial and energy. isation trends,” says Yeoh. exacerbated by the conflict between
Ukraine and Russia, says Yeoh. FUND Public Strategic Balanced
On the local front, the signifi- “Companies in the electric vehicle AWARD
cant rise in local bond yields last and renewable energy sectors can “While symptoms of the Omicron Mixed Asset MYR Balanced
year was a critical challenge to the benefit from the increased focus on variant are less severe than that of FUND SIZE - Global (Malaysia)
firm’s fixed-income team.That was clean energy solutions worldwide.” Alpha and Delta,the healthcare sys- FUND MANAGER (5 years)
happening as investors globally ex- tems of several countries continue RETURNS FOR PERIODS
pected major central banks to nor- However,the outlook for the equity to be overwhelmed by patients who ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM35.98 million
malise interest rates on the back of market is likely to remain challenging require treatment in hospitals.
an improved global growth outlook this year, given the increased valua- Public Mutual Bhd
and rising inflationary pressure. tion in various stock markets and the “The number of people infected
“As a result, we adopted a shorter tightening monetary policy observed by the virus has begun to decline,but 1 year NA
portfolio duration and focused on around the world. Stock and sector it is still hard to tell whether a new
high-quality bonds with attractive selection will determine the success variant will emerge. We can’t know 3 years 38.98
yields,” she says. of investors in 2022, says Yeoh. how close we are to the end of the
pandemic.” 5 years 45.37
Moving forward, Public Mutual On fixed income, the firm be-
expects a broader economic recovery, lieves that the global bond market Meanwhile,high inflation world- 10 years NA
barring any unforeseen circumstanc- has moved ahead to price in mon- wide could persist longer than the
es.The reopening of economies,sup- etary policy normalisation. As local market expects, prompting central FUND Public Tactical
ported by higher vaccination cover- bond yields inched higher to reach banks to hike interest rates to rela- Allocation Fund
age,should benefit financial,energy, attractive levels,foreign and domes- tively high levels.A sharp increase in AWARD
commodity,discretionary consumer tic institutional investors could start interest rates could weigh on global Mixed Asset MYR Flexible
and leisure stocks. to turn their attention towards the economic growth and markets. FUND SIZE (Malaysia) (10 years)
Malaysian bond market. FUND MANAGER
“Our equity fund will continue “It is unlikely that the world is en- RETURNS FOR PERIODS RM677.94 million
to focus on selected recovery plays “Therefore, our fixed-income tering a new inflationary paradigm, ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
within the financial, services and portfolios will continue to focus on but it remains debatable how much Public Mutual Bhd
consumer sectors,which are expected high-quality corporate bonds,primari- longer the supply chain bottleneck
to benefit from the gradual lifting of ly in the banking,telecommunications and higher energy and commodity 1 year NA
prices will persist,” says Yeoh. E
3 years 44.43

5 years 55.10

10 years 146.35

W9MARCH 28, 2022

SEPT 29
2009

Helping clients achieve their
financial goals is the best reward.

Receiving top accolades
is a great honour.

Our customers have always been, and will always be, Principal Islamic Asia Pacific Principal Asia Titans Fund
at the centre of everything we do. Dynamic Equity Fund
Malaysia Pension Funds Awards –
We are committed to helping them build, protect and Malaysia Islamic Funds Awards – Best Equity Asia Pacific ex
advance their financial well-being through resilient Best Equity Asia Pacific ex Japan Japan fund over 10 years
opportunities. Guided by sustainability and responsible
investing, and backed by our global investment & fund over 3,5 and 10 years
retirement expertise in Shariah-compliant and
conventional solutions, we’ve made it possible for our
customers to achieve their financial goals.

We thank our customers for the trust they place in us.

140+ Global Leader 45.5+

years of global inductry in Investment Management, Total Retirement million customers worldwide
expertise in financial services. Solution & Global Islamic Investment (June 2021).
Management and Solutions.

US$990+ 206th 436th

billion Asset Under Management on FORTUNE 500® (2021) on Forbes Global 2000 list (May 2020)
worldwide (June 2021).

www.principal.com.my www.facebook.com/PrincipalAssetMY @principalassetmanagement_my

Disclaimer: We recommend investors read and understand the contents of the funds' Prospectus and PHS available on Principal's website www.principal.com.my which has been duly registered with
the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and understand the risks involved in investing in the fund. We suggest that you consider the fees, charges and costs involved, carefully prior to making an
investment. Investors should rely on their own evaluation to assess the risks involved, and seek professional advice, where necessary. The registration of the Prospectus with the SC does not amount to
nor indicate that the SC recommends or endorses the fund, and the SC does not review advertisements produced by Principal. Unit prices and income distributions, if any, may fall or rise. Past
performance is not reflective of future performance and income distributions are not guaranteed. The grantors of these awards are not related to Principal Asset Management Berhad.

W10 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

HLAM wins big with 15 fund awards
and a group award

HB Y VANESSA GOMES HLAM FUND Hong Leong Asia-Pacific
ong Leong Asset Management Bhd
(HLAM) continued itswinning streak We actively AWARD Dividend
by taking home 15 fund awards and manage
one group award at the Refinitiv Lip- our funds FUND SIZE Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan
per Fund Awards 2022. It won the and are not FUND MANAGER
award for Best Equity Group (Prov- constrained by RETURNS FOR PERIODS (Provident) (3 and 5 years)
ident) for the third year running. the benchmark ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
Hong Leong Dana Makmur won awards for weights in the RM130.96 million
Best Equity Malaysia (Islamic) in the three-,five- index when
and 10-year categories and Best Equity Malaysia selecting NA
(Provident) in the three- and five-year categories. stocks for our
Hong Leong Asia-Pacific Dividend Fund funds. Stocks 1 year 13.12
bagged awards for Best EquityAsia Pacific ex-Ja- are included
pan (Provident) in the three- and five-year cat- in our funds 3 years 113.00
egories.Hong Leong Growth grabbed the award purely on a
for Best Equity Malaysia Diversified (Provident) company- 5 years 120.08
in the five-year category while Hong Leong specific and
Dividend won awards for Best Equity Malay- fundamental 10 years 158.95
sia Income (Provident) in the three-,five- and basis.” > Hoo
10-year categories. FUND Hong Leong Dana Maa'rof
While most of the funds were repeat win- AWARD
ners,Hong Leong Dana Maa’rof was a first-time Mixed Asset MYR
winner,scooping up Best MixedAsset MYR Bal- FUND SIZE
anced — Malaysia (Islamic) in the three- and FUND MANAGER Balanced - Malaysia
five-year categories and Best Mixed Asset MYR RETURNS FOR PERIODS
Balanced — Malaysia (Provident) in the three- ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) (Islamic) (3 and 5 years);
and five-year categories.
CEO Hoo See Kheng attributes the firm’s Mixed Asset MYR Balanced
success to its bottom-up stock-picking strategy
in driving long-term and sustainable outper- - Malaysia (Provident)
formance,particularly in the local market.He
says the firm gains a sufficient level of under- (3 and 5 years)
standing of a company, including the main
drivers of its profitability and business outlook, RM35.54 million
before initiating a stock position.
“This strategy is particularly useful in an NA
economic environment with very little-known
precedence,such as the global pandemic period 1 year 19.81
that we are in now.It is also exceptionally effec-
tive during periods of global shocks, whereby 3 years 81.42
the economic fallout that follows might lead
to a huge divergence in the future prospects of 5 years 82.35
and business outlook across various industries.”
In a year with multiple unforeseen macro 10 years 124.10
events,the firm found it helpful not to be myopic
and be swayed by short-term shocks but instead, FUND Hong Leong Dana Makmur
maintained focus on the long-term prospects AWARD
and fundamentals of companies,says Hoo. Equity Malaysia (Islamic)
“We actively manage our funds and are not FUND SIZE
constrained by the benchmark weights in the FUND MANAGER (3, 5 and 10 years);
indexwhen selecting stocks for our funds.Stocks RETURNS FOR PERIODS
are included in our funds purely on a company ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) Equity Malaysia (Provident)
specific and fundamental basis.”
Last year was undoubtedly one of the most (3 and 5 years)
challenging years for Malaysia, he says, as the
countrywent through multiple lockdowns amid RM81.58 million
escalating Covid-19 cases while facing the issue
of vaccine shortage,particularly in the first half NA
of 2021. Apart from the obvious responsibility
of ensuring the health and safety of employees, 1 year 33.98
corporates in Malaysia also had to confront other
pandemic-related global issues such as supply 3 years 154.61
chain snarls and the disorderly rise in inflation.
“These various operational issues and chal- 5 years 150.12
lenges threw up various unprecedented uncer-
tainties and affected corporate earningsvisibility 10 years 227.84
and foreseeability, providing another layer of
complexityto our investment process,” says Hoo. FUND Hong Leong Dividend
“In such a ‘perfect storm’,it was important to AWARD
remain focused on companies with sustainable Equity Malaysia Income
competitive superiority, quality management FUND SIZE
and enduring business models that will benefit FUND MANAGER (Provident)
from certain long-term secular trends.As the RETURNS FOR PERIODS
macro environmentwas extremelydynamic,we ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) (3, 5 and 10 years)
increased our efforts to evaluate the impact of
the macro changes on the business outlook and RM180.70 million
intrinsic valuation of the individual companies.
“We hardly made any tactical changes in NA

1 year 30.80

3 years 88.87

5 years 118.72

terms of asset allocation as we remained focused 10 years 216.79
on making long-term decisions.The funds were
well invested throughout the year and we would FUND Hong Leong Growth
initiate new stock positions or add to existing AWARD
positions should the opportunity arise during Equity Malaysia Diversified
a market correction.” FUND SIZE
FUND MANAGER (Provident) (5 years)
Looking ahead at 2022, Hoo says notwith- RETURNS FOR PERIODS
standing the uncertain economic outlook,HLAM ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM218.64 million
is confident that adhering to its time-tested
bottom-up stock-picking strategywill continue NA
to deliver sustainable fund returns.
1 year 9.95
“We continue to actively manage the funds
and deploy fundamental and company-specific 3 years 69.64
research to identify companies that have the
potential to deliver superior long-term growth.” 5 years 83.68

Despite a very shaky start to 2022, he says 10 years 139.93
he is positive about the outlook for the local
market.Due to the relatively high vaccination “Global growth is expected to expand, al-
rate and low probability of another full-scale though at a slower pace.Global monetary policy
lockdown,the local economy is expected to be is expected to be less accommodative and the
on a stronger footing than last year. generous fiscal policies in previous years will
be gradually pulled back this year. Although
“We prefer domestic-centric sectors that may inflation appears to be high at the moment,
benefit from the reopening of the local econo- we are confident the central banks have the
my such as the consumer sector.We also prefer necessary monetary tools that can be deployed
the export sector as external demand remains to bring down inflation to a more benign level.
buoyant,” says Hoo. “We expect inflation to remain at an elevat-
ed level in the near term as the supply chain
He adds that the firm expects multiple head- is still under a lot of stress and global mobility
winds to confront equity markets this year. If has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. We
there is a word to describe 2022, it would be do not expect inflation to derail the economic
“normalisation”,he says. recovery and in fact,we view it positively,as it
is a result of a growing economy.”
E

W11MARCH 28, 2022

SEPT 29
2009

W12 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

Kenanga Investors wins multiple awards

KB Y PATHMA SUBRAMANIAM “We decided on a relatively low cash position
enanga Investors Bhd’s emphasis on at the beginning of last year, and stuck with it
sustainability in performance and long- for the most part of the year,given our reading
termvalue generation has been pivotal of the market conditions. Generally, the cash
to the firm’s continued success at the level was held at 5% to 10% for most funds,with
Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards 2022. We believe no material changes.
Keeping up its stellar tradition,the that consistent “Instead, rebalancing was mainly driven by
fund house clinched the group award for Best outperformance sector selection,where we overweighted exter-
Mixed Asset (Provident) and four individual over an nally driven sectors such as exporters,manufac-
fund awards. economic turing and tech and underweighted domestic
Under the individual awards — where all the cycle of three demand-driven sectors given the various lock-
winning fundswere in the Provident universe — to five years downs,” he says.
it clinched the Best Equity Malaysia Diversified is repeatable Asvolatilityin the global and domestic finan-
for the three-year category, Best Equity Malay- by applying cial markets is likely to persist,DeAlwis says the
sia Small & Mid Caps for the five-year category bottom-up firm’s fund managers will continue with their
as well as Best Equity Malaysia and Best Mixed stock-picking bottom-up investment process and philosophy.
Asset MYR Flexible in the 10-year category. strategies to “Domestically,we tilt our portfolios slightlyto
“As a bottom-up stock picker,our investment identify quality reduce overweight in tech and increase weight-
philosophy reflects our belief that fundamental stocks.” ing to ‘reopening themes’,including consumer
research combined with a relative-value ap- staple and discretionary, as well as energy and
proach can create consistent, superior risk-ad- > De Alwis commodities in view of the robust prices.
justed returns. “On the foreign side,we expect higher vola-
“We believe that consistent outperformance A key tility this year as developed markets approach
over an economic cycle of three to five years is contrarian call late-cycle dynamics while their central banks
repeatable by applying bottom-up stock-picking we made was embark on a tightening phase. Hence, we are
strategies to identify quality stocks.These stocks to minimise our adopting a more defensive stance in terms of
are generally undervalued relative to their in- exposure to the asset allocation.
trinsic value,or are undervalued relative to their glove sector “Nonetheless,we are still bullish on emerging
peers and the overall market valuation,” says from late 2020 markets such as Asia and Asean (including Malay-
Ismitz Matthew De Alwis,Kenanga’s executive as we expected sia),as these regions are still relativelyearlyin the
director and CEO. the industry recoverycyclewhile reopening trades continue to
The fund house’s approach involves a com- to experience gather pace asvaccination rates reach acceptable
prehensive research process from understanding an oversupply levels.For China,the government has pivoted to
industry dynamics to the individual company’s issue in 2021.” an easing stance after a growth slowdown and
business model and factors that drive return on policy crackdown last year,” he says.
equity,he explains. > Lee E
“In formulating a company’s investment
thesis,we usuallyrun channel checks on its com- FUND Kenanga Growth
petitive advantages and also attempt to model AWARD
out the growth drivers. Equity Malaysia
“Some of the key areas we look at are man- FUND SIZE
agement quality, sustainable business model, FUND MANAGER (Provident) (10 years)
industry dynamics and balance sheet strength. RETURNS FOR PERIODS
By consistently applying this strategy,our funds ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM1.39 billion
have continuously achieved outperforming re-
turns throughout the last three,five and 10years,” Lee Sook Yee
he says.
Despite its well-honed strategies, Kenanga 1 year 14.37
too was not spared the onslaught of challenges
brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 3 years 41.32
“2021 proved to be a trickyyear to navigate in
large part due to the persistence and escalation 5 years 45.67
of Covid-19,rather than the gradual diminishing
path some had expected,” says chief investment 10 years 177.35
officer Lee Sook Yee.
It was akin to walking a tightrope,she notes. FUND Kenanga Malaysian Inc
“While there was progress to be made step by step, AWARD
the journeywas fraughtwithvarious event-driv- Equity Malaysia Diversified
en risks,such as lockdowns,fiscal controls and FUND SIZE
threats posed by ESG [environmental,social and FUND MANAGER (Provident) (3 years)
governance] considerations.” RETURNS FOR PERIODS
Apart from the reimposition of the Movement ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM303.98 million
Control Order (MCO) following the spread of
deadlier strains of the coronavirus,the firm also 2020 as we expected the industry to experience Lee Sook Yee
had to contend with challenges posed by new an oversupply issue in 2021.This was in contrast
tax measures announced,such as the prosperi- to most research analysts,who carried forward 1 year 10.02
ty tax and higher stamp duty for trading as well their optimism over the sector into 1H2021,”
as sporadic allegations of forced labour practices shares Lee. 3 years 66.73
against domestic corporates,says Lee.
Despite the ordeals,Kenanga’s funds managed DeAlwis concurs,adding that one of the big- 5 years 74.81
to weather the volatile year well with strong re- gest challenges was having to grapple with the
turns,thanks to the firm’s bottom-up stock-pick- lingering impact of the pandemic,as persistent 10 years 157.13
ing strategy,she says. waves of Covid-19 resurgence triggered inter-
“Through our careful stock selection process, mittent lockdowns and containment measures, FUND Kenanga OA Inv-Kenanga
we identified and invested in stocks with strong which pulled the markets down with them.
fundamentals and superior earnings growth AWARD Diversified
prospects over the longer term.This strategy has “Although such corrections became less in-
served uswell as the share pricewould ultimately tense as vaccination gathered pace,new sources of FUND SIZE Mixed Asset MYR Flexible
be dictated by earnings despite the short-term fear took shape in the form of worries over rising FUND MANAGER
volatilities. inflationarypressure,attributed to severe supply RETURNS FOR PERIODS (Provident) (10 years)
“A key contrarian call we made was to mini- chain disruption,talent and component short- ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
mise our exposure to the glove sector from late age, and power rationing, which impacted our RM83.69 mil
investments to varying degrees,” says De Alwis.
Lee Sook Yee
The firm navigated these speed bumps by
constantly reviewing its investment theses to 1 year 5.98
make sure they stayed relevant and identifying
the “relative winners” from sectors that were 3 years 56.07
deemed resilient,consistently growing and rea-
sonably priced. 5 years 73.86

“The tech sectorwas one keysector that ticked 10 years 139.82
most boxes and contributed immensely to our
outperformance last year,” DeAlwis says,adding FUND Kenanga OA Inv-Kenanga
that Kenanga’s fund managers make it a point
to discuss and review asset allocation decisions AWARD Growth Opportunities
on a quarterly basis.
FUND SIZE Equity Malaysia Small & Mid
FUND MANAGER
RETURNS FOR PERIODS Caps (Provident) (5 years)
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
RM350.39 mil

Lee Sook Yee

1 year 3.07

3 years 106.83

5 years 67.01

10 years 143.37

W13MARCH 28, 2022

SEPT 29
2009

W14 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

IB Y THE WEALTH TEAM COVER STORY
f fund managers found themselves riding a
roller coaster twoyears ago after the pandemic TIGCHORRTAOIWFDRSLREOATLOTLEEPMOKRRE
struck, 2021 was akin to walking a tightrope.
The market was calmer than in the previous The market expected to benefit from the long-term digitali- ESG takes centre stage
year, giving it more time to think and react, did not react sation trend.Several other award-winning fund Taking centre stage in the fund management
but it had to stay vigilant at all times. commensurately houses,including Kenanga,echoed this view. industry in 2021 was the fast-growing impor-
“We would describe last year’s investing jour- with the tance of ESG criteria when valuing a company.
ney as walking a tightrope. It was a tricky year market catalyst “During times of extreme volatility, it is im- Companies with good fundamentals and at-
to navigate,in large part due to the persistence and positive perative to filter out market noise and focus on tractive valuations might not see their share
and escalation of the pandemic rather than the developments. assessing the long-term fundamental prospects, price increase over time if they have high ex-
gradual diminishing path some had expected. Sound balance sheet strengths and valuations of the posure to ESG-related risks. Worse still, their
“There was progress to be made step by step. investment investee companies,” says Yeoh. share price could be battered when ESG issues
But the journey was fraught with event-driv- decisions based are uncovered.
en risks such as lockdowns, fiscal controls and on fundamentals Being flexible and agilewere two other essen-
threats posed by ESG (environmental,social and were not tial traits that contributed to outperformance. Eastspring Investments Bhd,known bysome
governance) considerations,” says Lee Sook Yee, properly For instance,Pheim adjusted quickly to the new investors for the attractive returns on its East-
chief investment officer of Kenanga Investors Bhd. rewarded. This reality of the China market as early as the end of spring Small Cap Fund,was one of the fund houses
In some aspects,2021 was more challenging really tested the 2020 when the Chinese government’s regulatory that faced challenges on the ESG front last year.
than two years ago as the local market was on a resolve of our crackdown had just started.The exposure of the Some of its investee companies in the manufac-
gradual downward trend with less trading activity. team.” > Chue Pheim Asia ex-Japan Pacific Fund to the Hong turing sector were hit hard by unresolved labour
Even more frustrating for some fund managers Kong/China market was cut by about half in the issues, which prompted the firm to put more
was how the market’s “irrationality” persisted following nine months,a bold move that raised emphasis on ESG factors in its research process.
longer than expected,spelling bad news forvalue the eyebrows of some of its clients. Head of investment Doreen Choo says the firm
investors.They could not bargain hunt as prices encourages its team to have more engagement
of overvalued stocks remained high.It was also “Many investors questioned our decisions with companies on ESG-related issues.
hard to take profit as prices of undervalued stocks to cut exposure in the market as they were still
stayed stubbornly low. bullish on China.However,it was thanks to our Electronic manufacturing service provider
For instance, a significant correction in the sound investment decision that the fund man- ATAIMS Bhdwas embroiled in ESG-related issues
share price of glove stocks was expected in late aged to avoid the worst decline in the market recently.Its main client,Dyson,was reported to
2020 or early2021,when a major downward trend last year,” says Tan. have terminated its contracts with the company
was observed in the average selling price of rubber last November owing to alleged labour problems,
gloves.But that did not materialise as quickly as causing ATA IMS’s share price to go into free
some fund managers had expected,says Wong fall.As at March 14, the company’s share price
Yew Joe,CIO of AmFunds Management Bhd. had collapsed about 85% to a low of 38 sen from
“Thatwas because analysts did not sufficient- RM2.51 last November.
ly revise their earnings forecast on glove com-
panies while investors were hopeful that their KAF’s Chue shares the view on the impor-
share price would rebound. We learnt that the tance of ESG, saying value investors must look
market is always right,even if valuations seem
to disagree sometimes.” We would describe last year’s
Chue Kwok Yan, chief investment officer of investing journey as walking
KAF Investment Funds Bhd,concurs.“The mar- a tightrope. It was a tricky
ket did not react commensuratelywith the mar- year to navigate, in large part
ket catalyst and positive developments. Sound due to the persistence and
investment decisions based on fundamentals escalation of the pandemic
were not properly rewarded.This really tested rather than the gradual
the resolve of our team.” diminishing path some had
Challenges abounded not onlyin the local eq- expected.” > Lee
uity market last year,but also the bond market.
In fact,equityinvestors mayhave overlooked the
fact that the domestic bond market recorded a
negative return lastyear,for the first time in over
a decade,says Roszali Ramlee,CEO of Amanah-
Raya Investment Management Sdn Bhd (ARIM).
Last year was also one of the most challenging
years for bond funds since the Asian financial
crisis,he adds.
“At the same time,the equity market was in
negative territory,which meant that diversifica-
tion via strategic asset allocation did not work
well to mitigate the depreciation in our overall
investment values.”
Investors were increasingly diverting their
money overseas in 2021 because of the lacklus-
tre performance of the local equity market.But
many who put their bets on the China market
were not spared from market volatility and un-
expected events. For instance, the regulatory
crackdown by the Chinese government that
impacted its technology sector caught many
investors wrong-footed.
David Loh, deputy head of equity at Affin
Hwang Asset Management Bhd, found it ex-
tremely hard to read the Chinese market and
had to diversify some of its funds to other mar-
ketswith more robust fundamentals.Challenges
in the China market were also highlighted by
DrTan Chong Koay,founder and chief strategist
of PheimAsset Management Bhd,and Yeoh Kim
Hong,CEO of Public Mutual Bhd.
As such,outperformance in last year’s mar-
ket largely depended on fund managers’ disci-
pline in profit-taking and stock-picking ability.
For instance, a key reason for Public Mutual’s
outperformance was its profit-taking exercise
on glove companies when their prices peaked.
Its fund manager then invested more heavily
in selected semiconductor companies that were

Presented by W15

MARCH 28
2022

Political sentiment will always be There are concerns
the central theme for our local over the government’s
market. Without its political ability to increase its
aspect, the Malaysian stock revenue or broaden its
market is like curry chicken tax base sufficiently.
without curry. ” The Cukai Makmur may
be repeated, albeit with
> Nazri a different name.” > Choo

not only at financial numbers and ratios of inflation.“However,we do not see this
but also include ESG criteria in their as a repeat of theveryhigh inflation seen
investment decision-making process. in the 1970s,” she adds.
The market will also be looking at
“The fundamental assessment of whether the one-off prosperity tax in-
an investor could be correct,but share troduced in Budget 2022 will be repeat-
price movement is another function af- ed. Eastspring’s Choo notes:
fected by, among other factors, liquidity “There are concerns over the
and new evaluation requirements such government’s ability to in-
as ESG criteria.Markets can overshoot or crease its revenue or broad-
undershoot because of them,” he adds. en its tax base sufficiently.
The Cukai Makmur may be
ESG-related issues,especiallyon corpo- for us,” says Tan. After a decade repeated,albeit with a differ-
rate governance,have much wider implica- The lesson he learnt from this or more of low ent name.”
tions on investors than some might think. inflation, it looks
For instance, investors who have done was that fund managers have to like it could be New government with
thorough research could still be caught pay more attention to the details in a higher than strong majority is
off guard and suffer massive losses if a company’s accounts and checkwith expected in the market positive
company’s corporate governance is weak. its competitors regarding the char- medium term. We The 15th General Election
A company whose corporate governance acter of its top management and see evidence of (GE15), which is likely to be
came under scrutiny was Serba Dinamik standard of corporate governance. held in the second half of the
Holdings Bhd. Inflation and GE15 in focus temporary issues year,is another critical event
Fund managers are not expecting and also potential that will be overshadowed by
PMB Investment Bhd,which won the the ride ahead to be smoother.At structural global developments. “It is
Best Equity Malaysia Income (Islamic) the time of writing,the less deadly issues.” > Lim almost a consensus view [in
award, was unfortunately caught in the strain of the Covid-19 virus con- the industry] that GE15 is like-
Serba Dinamik storm. Its CEO Mahani tinued to spread while the conflict ly to take place in 2H2022 as
Ibrahim says some of PMB’s funds had between Russia and Ukraine had entered the incumbent parties in the
exposure to Serba Dinamik and its related its fourth week with no end in sight.In- inflationwill likelymoderate or reverse in government try to strengthen their polit-
companies,such as Kumpulan Powernet flation is rising around the globe, exac- the latter part of the year,as pressure on ical position,” says Kenanga’s Lee.
Bhd and Sarawak Consolidated Industries erbated by the war as commodity prices, the global supply chain eases.“The pres- “We think GE15 is likely to be less of
Bhd,last year. especiallyfor grains and sources of energy, sure on the mismatch between market a headwind compared with GE14, and a
rise to record levels. supplyand demand [is expected] to reduce peaceful conclusion of the election should
“Their stock prices tanked after the au- as demand shifts back from manufactured remove the overhang for our market.We
ditor highlighted several audit discrepan- A current topic of debate is whether goods towards services as more econom- will be more positive on the market if a
cies in Serba Dinamik’s accounts.Having inflation will be transitory or last longer ic activities resume their operations,” he new government with a strong majority
the same substantial shareholder resulted than the market previously thought.Per- says,adding that the Federal Reserve could is formed after the election.
in Kumpulan Powernet and Sarawak Con- sistent high inflation would leave central hike the interest rate six times this year. “Most fiscal reform measures are now
solidated Industries experiencing selling banks with no choice but to raise interest Datuk Dr Nazri Khan, CEO of Inter- stalled and efforts to strengthen the fed-
pressure.Fortunately,we managed to dis- rates,which could hurt economic growth Pacific Asset Management Sdn Bhd eral government’s finances are expected
pose of all our holdings in those three com- globallyand the profitabilityof companies (InterPac),believes that high inflationwill to happen only after the election. Mega
panies rather early,but the losses incurred if not carefully done. remain transitory. “Inflation has indeed projects are expected to receive approval
[for us] were quite substantial. risen to levels not seen since 1982.Yet,the only after the election, which should be
Kenanga’s Lee believes that the rising market is far from overheating.The global positive for the construction sector and
“We can’t saythat itwas a mistake that inflation is transitory,which means high economy has barely reached its full po- the country’s economy,” Lee states.
we made. Rather, it was an unfortunate year-on-year increases will not occur in tential in terms of its level of output and PMB’s Mahani points out that the fed-
event that occurred to us.We opine that the medium to long term. employment. eral government and the Pakatan Harapan
auditors should play their role effectively “Webelievethesupplychainconstraint coalition had signed a memorandum of
to flag anywrongdoings by companies to “It is undeniable that the recent pace will clear in time, along with inflation. understanding (MoU) on transformation
ensure their financial data is accurate and and intensity of inflation has surprised Global growth should remain resilient, andpoliticalstability.Oneoftheconditions
reliable,” she says. central banks and markets.It is reasona- with heightened volatility observed dur- in the MoU is that parliament will not be
ble and even necessarythat the US Federal ing the initial periods of the rate hike.” dissolved before July 31,2022.
Pheim’s Tan had an almost similar Reserve and other central banks utilise Others, however, are less confident “After the MoU lapses, there is a pos-
experience with a Singapore Exchange rate hikes as a tool to help tackle soaring about the inflation outlook for this year. sibility of an early general election [in
(SGX)-listed Chinese companyin 2007.Tan absolute price levels, besides waiting for ARIM’sRoszali,forone,expectsinflationto 2H2022].We believe the marketwill closely
and his investment team visited its CEO supply-side constraints to ease. be more persistent than transitorymoving monitor local political developments.Un-
and concluded that its products had good forward,and global growth to be weaker certainty on the political front,especially
market potential and enormous demand. “That said,we do view high inflation than some expect on the back of high in the second half of the year,will affect
The company’s gearing level was accept- as still, in essence, transitory. Continued commodity prices. our market performance,” she explains.
able and its share price was undervalued. [technological] innovation,expansion of Lim Suet Leng,CEO of UOBAsset Man- Foreign funds are also expected to stay
Pheim then invested in the company in productive capacity and capital mobil- agement (M) Bhd, shares Roszali’s view, on the sidelines until the dust settles on
late 2007 and 2008 after conducting fur- ity to more efficient geographies are all saying that inflation could trend higher GE15,addsGohWeePeng,CEOofAmFunds.
ther due diligence. factors that remain as structural checks than many expect in the medium term. Regardless, local fund managers are
to long-term price levels.Short-term vol- “After a decade or more of low inflation,it no strangers to local politics, including
For a while,there was no sign that the atility aside, there remain plenty of op- looks like it could be higher than expect- general elections,even though it will cer-
companywas not doing well.However,in portunities for growth over the long-term ed in the medium term.We see evidence tainly rock the market to various degrees.
early 2009,the company’s board of directors horizon,” she says. of temporary issues and also potential “Political sentiment will always be the
announced it had difficulty finalising the structural issues.” central theme for our local market.The
audit of the group’s trade receivables and Hoo See Kheng, CEO of Hong Leong According to Lim, the temporary in- Malaysian stock market is like currychick-
cash balance for the financial year ended Asset Management Bhd (HLAM),is confi- crease in inflation owing to supply con- en without curry, without its political
December 2008. dent that central banks have the monetary straints is expected to disappear when aspect. We expect more news headlines
tools that can be deployed to bring inflation the pandemic is over.Yet,rising rents and coming out by the end of 2022 as well,
“An external investigator was ap- down to a more benign level.At the same wages are still not reflected in the recent when the Umno election is expected to
pointed in February 2009 to carry out time,global growth is expected to slow as inflation numbers,and could be structur- take place.Morevolatilitywill follow,” says
an independent assessment and found monetary and fiscal policies by central allyhigher and become a long-term driver InterPac’s Nazri.
numerous financial accounting irregu- banks and governments are tightened. E
larities and an unauthorised change in
the group’s corporate structure.The com- Christopher Liew, CEO and chief in-
pany had violated SGX’s listing rules by vestment officer of Principal Asset Man-
failing to disclose Chinese bank loans on agement Singapore,is of the opinion that
its balance sheets.Trading in the shares
was suspended that same month.Even
though our exposure to the company
was very small,it was a salutary lesson

W16 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

AmFunds navigates challenging
bond market to win group award

LB Y TAN ZHAI YUN The impact of such an event
ast year was not an easy one for bond [the Russia-Ukraine conflict]
fund managers to navigate,given the is global as it has resulted in
rising interest rate environment.How- higher crude oil prices and supply
ever, AmFunds Management Bhd’s chain disruptions, and further
(AmFunds) fund managers managed aggravates global inflation.”
to find opportunities, leading to the
firm winning the Best Bond Group (Provident) > Goh
award and three other awards at the Refinitiv
Lipper Fund Awards 2022. The lower trading volume in the
This is the third consecutive year that market last year resulted in fewer
AmFunds has clinched the group award.Am- trading opportunities, hence, we
Dynamic Bond won the awards for Best Bond had to focus more on generating
MYR (Provident) in the three-, five- and 10- income from bond coupons.”
year categories.
“We are proud to be able to win an award > Wong
in the midst of the rising risk environment
brought on by the challenging bond markets FUND AmDynamic Bond
in 2021. This achievement reflects very well AWARD
on the investment team’s strategy over the Bond MYR (Provident)
review period,” says Wong Yew Joe, chief in- FUND SIZE
vestment officer of AmFunds Management. FUND MANAGER (3, 5 & 10 years)
The biggest challenge that the team faced RETURNS FOR PERIODS
last year was to manage the risk level of the ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM114 million
portfolio as yields rose quickly in bond mar-
kets, especially in the first half of 2021. Ris- Wong Yew Joe
ing yields have a direct adverse impact on
bond returns. 1 year -0.13
“Malaysian government bond yields rose
up to 100 basis points (bps) in 2021. We had 3 years 17.11
to trim our portfolio duration and switch our
exposure from government bonds to more 5 years 30.54 “The impact of such an event is global as
corporate bonds,” says Wong.
The team diversified its portfolio into more 10 years 63.82 it has resulted in higher crude oil prices and
local and regional corporate bonds.
Other risks were also present in the market overnight policy rate (OPR) in 2022, provid- supply chain disruptions,further aggravating
last year,including the spread of the more se- ed that the macroeconomic data continues global inflation,” says Goh Wee Peng, CEO of
vere Delta variant of Covid-19 across the world. to improve to a level consistent with Bank AmFunds Management.
In the face of greater market volatility and Negara Malaysia’s 5.5% to 6.5% GDP growth Therefore,2022 is potentially another year
potential fund redemptions,the investment outlook for the year,” he adds. of volatility, especially in the first half of
team generally maintained a range of 5% to the year. “The market is pricing in the risks
15% of its net asset value in cash. “The front end of the Malaysia Government mentioned earlier,but it may not be done yet.
“The key strategy was to stay defensive Securities or Government Investment Issues Barring any unforeseen circumstances,when
but still keep invested enough to generate yield curve has already priced in a sufficient the dust settles, we may see risk assets like
sufficient income,” says Wong. “The lower policy rate normalisation buffer and should equities having better upside than lower-risk
trading volume in the market last year re- be relatively stable compared with long-end assets such as bonds,” she adds.
sulted in fewer trading opportunities,hence, yields, which will still be influenced by the In terms of products,AmFunds launched
we had to focus more on generating income trajectory of global rates.” three funds with exposure to global equities
from bond coupons.” last year,namely the Sustainable Series – Posi-
AmDynamic Bond is a mid- to long-term Given his team’s assumption of a gradual tive Change Fund,Sustainable Series – Climate
bond fund with potentially higher levels of economic recovery, Wong expects corporate Tech Fund and Hong Kong Tech Index Fund.
income and risk,according to its product high- bonds to outperform government securities. The first two funds are part of its Sustainable
light sheet. It invests primarily in bonds by “For the fund, we are likely to maintain the Series funds that focus on ESG (environmen-
active portfolio trading.The fund’s investment fund’s strategy around a belly duration and tal, social and corporate governance) factors
philosophy comprises a combination of top- [on] more corporate bonds,” he says. and sustainable and responsible investing.
down and bottom-up approaches,says Wong. “In line with industry trends and grow-
“We deploy high conviction structural and Overall, the risks of inflation, a potential ing investor interest, these two funds invest
tactical strategies when managing the fund. general election and the pandemic,driven by in companies that adopt positive social im-
We believe our asset allocation and active Omicron and the possibility of new variants, pact and climate technology respectively,”
yield curve positioning have contributed to will remain in 2022. Geopolitical tensions says Goh.
the funds’ good returns, and our robust bot- such as the Russian-Ukraine war have also E
tom-up security selection mitigates exposure added uncertainty to the financial markets.
to weak credits.”
The outlook for bonds this year will con-
tinue to be heavily influenced by the interest
rate decisions of central banks, especially
those in developed markets. Wong believes
there is now a move away from the transi-
tory inflation narrative. In fact, US Federal
Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has ob-
served that inflation will likely continue to
rise this year.
The market appears to have priced in mul-
tiple rate hikes by the Fed, Bank of England
and European Central Bank, says Wong. As
for Malaysia, he believes that the policy rate
decision will largely depend on the speed of
the country’s economic recovery.
“We expect a 25bps to 50bps hike in the



W18 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

Affin Hwang wins group award
and two fund awards

AB Y KUEK SER KWANG ZHE FUND Affin Hwang
ffin Hwang Asset Management AWARD
Bhd (AHAM) won the group award Select Balanced
for Best Equity Malaysia (Islam- FUND SIZE
ic) while Affin Hwang Select FUND MANAGERS Mixed Asset MYR
Balanced took home the awards
for Best Mixed Asset MYR By not being RETURNS FOR PERIODS Balanced - Global
Global (Provident) in the three- and five- bound by any ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
year categories. benchmark, (Provident) (3 and 5 years)
our investment
Akmal Hassan — managing director of approach has RM337.90 million
AIIMAN Asset Management Sdn Bhd,which allowed us
manages the equity funds that won the group to raise cash David Loh (Equity),
award — attributes its success to the firm’s during periods
investment philosophy,which is underpinned of volatility and Ahmad Raziq Abdul
by an absolute return mindset and empha- focus on capital
sis on the quality of growth of its underly- preservation Rahman (Fixed income)
ing assets.This philosophy is overlaid with when the macro
macro awareness to help the firm determine environment 1 year NA
its investment risk tolerance. turns challenging.”
> Akmal 3 years 33.70
“By not being bound by any benchmark, An advantage
our investment approach has allowed us of ours is the 5 years 45.80
to raise cash during periods of volatility ability to leverage
and focus on capital preservation when the the diverse skill 10 years 101.00
macro environment turns challenging. Our sets of our team
overall investment philosophy also helps us members, thereby was predominantly a trading market, the
to know when to take some money off the allowing us to ability to shift positions quickly with con-
table and when to deploy more cash into adapt to changing viction contributed to the fund’s outper-
the market when the risk-reward is in our market conditions formance,” he says.
favour,” he says. quickly.” To Loh, the biggest challenge last year
> Loh was the fund’s exposure to China.The fund
Just when the market is expecting a year We decided to took a hit when the Chinese government
of recovery, 2021 turned out to be another shift to a more embarked on a huge socialist,common pros-
volatile one, due to the ongoing pandemic defensive position perity agenda that posed a significant threat
and political uncertainties. However, the to help buffer to corporate earnings.
firm managed to sail through despite the the impact of “Various sectors tumbled one by one and
strong winds and storms, guided by its in- the resulting we found it extremely hard to read the mar-
vestment philosophy. volatility. We were ket. We diversified our investments into
also overweight other markets with stronger fundamentals
Akmal and his team had a higher level of repriced corporate as a result,” he says.
cash at the beginning of last year, after lock- bonds that He adds that there weren’t many changes
ing in gains from stocks in the healthcare were trading at last year in terms of asset allocation, with
sector.They then progressively deployed cash attractive levels, cash levels hovering around 8% to 10%. “On
throughout the year — particularly during and invested the equity side, we adopted a more tactical
periods of wild swings in the market — when in more liquid trading position, given how short the mar-
bargain hunting. corporate bond ket cycle was,with plenty of rotational play
names to allow for emerging among the different sectors.There
“We wanted to capitalise on opportuni- more flexibility to was a constant tug of war between value and
ties as quality names were being sold down trade the market.” growth trades.”
indiscriminately on the back of monetary > Ahmad Raziq For Ahmad Raziq Abdul Rahman,associ-
tightening and inflation fears,” he says. ate director of AHAM’s fixed-income team,
the critical challenge last year was the rising
On average, the cash level of the firm’s yield environment coupled with concerns
various shariah funds ranged between 10% about higher government bond supply.
and 20%. “We decided to shift to a more defensive
position to help buffer the impact of the
Entering 2022,Akmal expects markets to resulting volatility.We were also overweight
enter a transition period as economic growth repriced corporate bonds that were trading
rates normalise globally while central banks at attractive levels, and invested in more
embark on their tightening cycle, partly to liquid corporate bond names to allow for
rein in excess stimulus released during the more flexibility to trade the market,” he says.
pre-pandemic period. “The key this year is For 2022, Loh favours the banking sector,
for investors, including fund managers, to which is expected to benefit from the ris-
remain agile and quick in adjusting to new ing interest rate cycle. “As we transition to
market realities when these shifts happen,” the endemic phase,we see opportunities in
he says. sectors that are starting to reopen and could
benefit from strong pent-up demand in the
“Broadly,we continue to maintain a bar- market. We are also revisiting the technol-
bell approach,with significant positions in ogy sector as valuations have become more
defensive companies to anchor our portfo- attractive after the recent selldown,” he says.
lio.This is balanced by positions in what we On the fixed-income side, Ahmad Raziq
deem as quality growth stocks with structural expects this year to be better than the last
growth potential, strong business moat and due to more attractive valuations and the
healthy balance sheet.” expectations of better liquidity in the local
bond market. “We continue to favour corpo-
David Loh,AHAM’s deputy head of equi- rate bonds with three- to seven-year tenures
ty and a member of the team that manages that provide a regular source of interest in-
Affin Hwang Select Balanced, attributes the come to our portfolio,” he adds.
fund’s success to a team-based decision-mak- “We also remain selective in our credit
ing process. selection through our rigorous investment
process, and will be on the lookout for op-
“An advantage of ours is the ability to portunities to trade government bonds for
leverage the diverse skill sets of our team potential capital gains.”
members, thereby allowing us to adapt to E
changing market conditions quickly.As 2021

W19MARCH 28, 2022

SEPT 29
2009

W20 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

AmanahRaya has a smashing year FUND AmanahRaya Syariah Trust
AWARD
Bond MYR (Islamic)
FUND SIZE
FUND MANAGER (3, 5 and 10 years)

AB Y TAN ZHAI YUN high-quality corporate credits,” says Roszali. RETURNS FOR PERIODS RM1.14 billion
manahRayaInvestmentManagement The firm was able to mitigate the downside ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
Sdn Bhd (ARIM) broke its record by Ivan Koo Von Siong,
winning six awards at the Refinitiv through this strategy.Capital preservation was key
Lipper Fund Awards 2022.Amanah- to navigating the tough market conditions,he adds. Syakirah Karim
Raya Syariah Trust won Best Bond
MYR (Islamic) awards in the three-, The funds’ rebalancing and asset allocation 1 year 2.37
five- and 10-year categories whileAmanahRaya were mainly driven by the interest rate outlook.
Unit Trust won the awards for Best Bond MYR Their asset allocation remained overweight on 3 years 23.68
(Malaysia) in the same categories. sukuk,with more than 90% invested in quality
We are extremely corporate bonds.A minimum cash level of 5% 5 years 36.47
The funds won these awards in the three- honoured to to 10% was kept throughout the year.
and five-year categories in the 2021 awards. receive such 10 years 106.44
prestigious “Given the consensus view that interest
“We are extremely honoured to receive such awards, more so rates are likely to rise over the next 12 months, FUND AmanahRaya Unit Trust
prestigious awards, more so because last year because last year we shortened the portfolio duration by buying AWARD
was one of the toughest for bond funds since was one of the into shorter duration assets,which are less sen- Bond MYR (Malaysia) (3, 5
theAsian financial crisis.It was not an easyyear toughest for bond sitive to interest rate hike risks,” says Roszali. FUND SIZE
to begin with,yet our discipline,perseverance funds since the FUND MANAGER and 10 years)
and trust in the process helped us overcome Asian financial AmanahRaya SyariahTrust Fund aims to pro-
the many challenges we had during the year,” crisis.” vide regular income and capital growth over the RETURNS FOR PERIODS RM114 million
says ARIM CEO Roszali Ramlee. > Roszali mid to long term through investments mainly ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
in sukuk,Islamic money market instruments Ivan Koo Von Siong,
The macro landscape in 2021 was not sup- and trust accounts. AmanahRaya Unit Trust
portive of fixed-income investing, especially Fund has the same aim except that it invests Syakirah Karim
when central banks began to turn hawkish. in debt securities,money market instruments
Amid the gradual reopening of economies,rising and trust accounts. 1 year 2.49
inflation led the central banks to change their
strategy from promoting supportive policies to ARIM’s investment philosophy is based on 3 years 22.39
tightening liquidity conditions. the inefficient market hypothesis,says Roszali.
Market inefficiencies create opportunities for 5 years 33.02
“In addition,there was an oversupply of
credit paper in the market,diverting some investors when there is a mispricing of se- 10 years 58.48
of the liquidity from the secondary market. curities.The firm’s fund managers and
We navigated the market quite well last credit analysts look out for underval- “We recognise how market dynamics have
year.Reading into the changing mac- ued securities to earn a return when been changing quite rapidly these days. Some
ro narratives, we unloaded some the market price of these securities of these factor dynamics are shorter than oth-
government paper rather early, is closer to its intrinsic value. ers, such as the Covid-19 threat that is fading
while only holding on to ARIM will continue to trust its away as vaccination and immunity rates im-
process and philosophy going prove. Other factors, such as inflation, may
forward while continuing to stay longer and have a greater impact on our
improve itself,says Roszali. investments,” he adds.
Risks will never go away and can only be
mitigated, says Roszali. The current geopolit-
ical crisis, for instance, is a tail-risk event to
many,but he believes that it too will pass.“Our
message to investors is to keep invested,during
good or bad times,and adjust your [asset] allo-
cation [according] to your comfort levels and
risk-return profile.”
E

Principal Asset Management wins FUND Principal Islamic Asia Pacific
four awards in regional categories
AWARD Dynamic Equity

FUND SIZE Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan
FUND MANAGER
RETURNS FOR PERIODS (Islamic) (3, 5 and 10 years)
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
RM3.57 billion

James Gan

1 year 9.21

PB Y MALEEN BALQISH SALLEH across the globe.Internally,the firm has spent 3 years 67.85
rincipal Asset Management Bhd the bulk of its time since last March responding
clinched four awards in the Asia Pa- to the effects of the pandemic on its workforce 5 years 73.60
cific ex-Japan categoryin the Refinitiv and business operations.
Lipper Fund Awards 2022. 10 years 166.95
Principal Asia Titan Fund won “One of the challenges we faced was to op-
the Best Equity Asia ex-Japan (Prov- We were able erate both safely and economically, which we FUND Principal Asia Titans
ident) award in the 10-year category while to [operate were able to do through technology and the
Principal Asia Pacific Dynamic Equity won both safely and digital platform.At the same time,we contin- AWARD Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan
the same award in the Islamic universe in the economically] ued to ensure that our clients were hand-held (Provident) (10 years)
three-,five- and 10-year categories. through through educational materials,online webinars, FUND SIZE
CEO and chief investment officer of technology relationship calls and social media.” FUND MANAGER RM106 million
Principal Asset Management Singapore Chris- and the digital RETURNS FOR PERIODS
topher Liew says it is the demonstration of platform.“ As the firm responded successfully to the ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) Jeffrey Chong
thought leadership in the firm that contributed > Liew challenges posed by the pandemic,its busi-
to its success. “We believe consistent alpha is 1 year 5.94
generated when we achieve thought leadership ness operation is recovering from the dis-
through the earlyidentification of the long-term ruption last year and focusing on ways 3 years 60.76
growth prospects of companies.” to emerge stronger in the future of an
The firm’s investment philosophy that fo- increasingly digitalised world. 5 years 72.37
cuses on identifying fundamental changes in
economies, markets and companies has also Liew says Principal’s award-winning 10 years 220.29
been working well when investing in the re- funds that invest inAsia-Pacificwere fully
gional markets. invested at all times throughout last year’s two funds across various businesses to improve
“This focus drives us to do primary research, portfolio’s resilience.“We will maintain our fo-
think independently and position our invest- volatile market.This was because the cus on quality companies that are long-term
ments ahead of the market.Over time,this phi- teamwas able to find stock ideas winners. They are expected to benefit from
losophy allows the funds to deliver consistent, amid market swings.They structural changes in their respective indus-
low-risk and high-return performance.” are also long-term inves- tries through gaining market share.
For Liew, last year’s biggest challenge was tors who do not trade the “We prefer companies with pricing pow-
still very much about the development of the market frequently. er to overcome cost pressure and those with
Covid-19 pandemic,which continued to cause “We avoid making good earnings visibility. Growth companies
widespread concern and economic hardship high-frequency chang- are also under our radar.These companies tend
for consumers, businesses and communities es unless there are bet- to be less vulnerable to sudden changes in
ter opportunities on macroeconomic conditions,” he says.
a structural basis to Liew also expects the Malaysian economy to
reduce the risk of the improve this year,following the normalisation
portfolio,” he says. of economic activities. “We deem the market
Liew plans to diver- to be attractive and we remain steadfast in our
sify the holdings of the strategy to overweight cyclical themes,includ-
ing companies in the consumer discretionary
and commodity sectors.”
E

Presented by W21

MARCH 28
2022

A triple win by KAF Investment FUND KAF Jade
AWARD
Equity Asia Pacific
FUND SIZE
FUND MANAGER (Malaysia) (3 and 5 years)
RETURNS FOR PERIODS
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM 19.08 million

KB Y MALEEN BALQISH SALLEH Last year’s market was less volatile than two Tan Gan Leong
AF Investment Funds Bhd (KAF) bagged years ago, but it was still another challenging
three awards at the Refinitiv Lipper year as various events did not turn out accord- 1 year -5.75
Fund Awards 2022 through two of its ing to fund managers’ expectations.
award-winning funds, KAF Jade and 3 years 65.52
KAF Vision. “For instance,advancements in vaccine de-
KAF Vision won Best Equity Ma- velopment towards the end of 2020 raised hopes 5 years 61.90
laysia Small and Mid-Caps (Provident) for the of an economic reopening in early2021.However,
three-year category while KAF Jade won Equity Our people are delays in vaccination alongside rising Covid-19 10 years 121.67
Asia Pacific (Malaysia) for the three- and five- our key strength cases negated the optimism.Then,the pendu-
year categories. and the biggest FUND KAF Vision
Chief investment officer Chue Kwok Yan determinant lum of events started to swing again, with AWARD
says the company is honoured and humbled contributing good progress in vaccination programmes, Equity Malaysia Small & Mid
to have won the awards.“Although we won last to our but only to be neutralised by another Move- FUND SIZE
year, every year is different and we never take win.” ment Control Order.The tug of war of op- FUND MANAGER Caps (Provident) (3 years)
the win for granted.The recognition of our ef- > Chue posing forces is akin to taking two steps RETURNS FOR PERIODS
fort in consistently delivering superior returns forward,then two steps back. ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM 76.16 million
will definitely inspire us to strive for excellence
in the years ahead.” “Amid all these oscillating events, mar- Tan Gan Leong
The key factor that contributes to the firm’s kets continued to drift lower.Empowering
win is its people, says Chue, followed by its in- 1 year 13.10
vestment philosophy that focuses on a compa- our people to act in the best interest of
ny’s fundamentals. our clients carried the day.” 3 years 134.06
“Our people are our key strength and the However, the firm did not make
biggest determinant contributing to our win. major asset allocation moves last 5 years 79.06
Our fundamentals-driven investment philos- year as clearer market trends came
ophy and investment strategy that adopt a dis- into play, says Chue. “The market 10 years 273.34
ciplined approach in investment evaluation was less volatile in 2021 than in
and sticking to our key areas of competency 2020,and therewere clearer oppos- were around 10% throughout the year.
are two other factors that contributed to our ing trends in play.We did not carry Chue expects 2022 to be another challenging
outperformance,” he says. out a significant rebalancing ex- year on the back of geopolitical risk and hawkish
ercise,but did a more iterative ex- central bank policies.“Having said that,Malaysia
ercise of increasing or trimming is a beneficiary of commodity inflation.While
our weightage in certain sectors.” there are risks,they also represent an opportu-
He adds that the cash levels nity to generate alpha.We will navigate the risks
for KAF’s award-winning funds while capitalising on the opportunitieswithvery
active management of our funds.”
Active and nimble are two keywords moving
forward.“Staying ahead of the curve to minimise
risk and being nimble will be our approach,even
though it will be very taxing for fund manag-
ers as they need to be constantly attuned to the
markets,” he says.
E

Pheim wins mixed-asset awards FUND Pheim Asia Ex-Japan Fund
for seven consecutive years AWARD
Equity Asia Pacific ex-Japan
FUND SIZE
FUND MANAGER (Malaysia) (3 and 5 years)

RETURNS FOR PERIODS RM 10.39 million
ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
Pheim Asset Management

Sdn Bhd

1 year 1.82

BB Y MALEEN BALQISH SALLEH “Many investors questioned our decision to 3 years 45.36
y staying true to its investment phi- cut exposure in the Hong Kong/China markets
losophy of never being fully invested as they were still bullish on China. However, 5 years 47.47
at all times,PheimAsset Management thanks to our sound investment decision, the
Sdn Bhd bagged four awards at the fund managed to avoid the worst decline in the 10 years 84.46
Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards 2022. market last year.”
Dana Makmur Pheim took home We look for FUND Dana Makmur Pheim
the awards for Mixed Asset MYR Balanced fundamentally There is no denying that last year was a very AWARD
(Islamic and Provident) in the 10-year category healthy companies uncertain one due to the ongoing Covid-19 pan- Mixed Asset MYR Balanced
for the seventh consecutive year,while Pheim with a low valuation, demic and extreme measures bygovernments to FUND SIZE - Malaysia (Islamic)
Asia ex-Japan (PAXJ) bagged the Equity Asia low leverage, high control the spread of the virus.All this adversely FUND MANAGER (10 years),
Pacific ex-Japan awards in the three-year and growth, robust impacted the valuation of Pheim’s funds and RETURNS FOR PERIODS
five-year categories for the second year running. management and triggered investor redemptions. ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) Mixed Asset MYR Balanced
A 45-year veteran in the fund management strong track record.
industry,Pheim founder and chief strategist Dr And we seek to trim The solution was, first, investor education - Malaysia (Provident)
Tan Chong Koay attributes the firm’s success equity exposure and communication,says Tan.“It is about hav-
to the fine-tuning of its investment strategy. near market ing investors who understand and subscribe to (10 years)
“We look for fundamentally healthy com- peaks to preserve Pheim’s investment strategy and philosophy,so
panies with a low valuation,low leverage,high capital and be RM264.24 million
growth,robust management and strong track more fully that they are able and willing to take a long-
record.And we seek to trim equity exposure near invested termviewof their investments in our fund. Pheim Asset Management
market peaks to preserve capital and be more near “Second, it is the continuous train-
fully invested near market troughs.” market ing provided to our investment team. Sdn Bhd
Two other significant factors that contributed troughs.” This is done through enhancing their
to the success of PAXJ are the firm’s decision to > Tan ability to identify significant triggering 1 year -0.38
underweight the Hong Kong/China markets last factors that cause stock prices to rise or
year and its solid stock picks from 2019 to 2021. fall,as well as practising our investment 3 years 38.03
Tan points out that 2021 was a painful year philosophy of never being fully invested
for investors who put money in China’s stock at all times.” 5 years 50.85
markets due to the regulatory crackdown by In 2022,Tan believes inves-
the Chinese government that impacted various tors need to be more cautious 10 years 138.09
industries, including education, technology, on the back of the ongoing
gaming and internet platforms. pandemic,the resurfacing of Tan. “With valuations in Greater China and
“As early as late 2020 until the third quarter the US-China trade war and Asean being selectively more attractive,Pheim
of 2021, we reduced PAXJ’s equity exposure in escalating geopolitical ten- will begin to place more focus on these two re-
Hong Kong/China. The exposure was reduced sions between Russia and gions.This is in line with our investment strat-
from 41.27% on Nov 30, 2020, to 22.87% on Sept Ukraine,as well as concerns egy of increasing investment exposure when
30,2021,” he says. about inflation and interest the market is low.
rate hikes. “We are intensifying our in-house research
However, there are still and plan to continue seeking out relative-
value stocks trading below ly cheap stocks, with expectation that their
their intrinsic value, says prices will rise at some point to more accurate-
ly reflect their true worth.We seek companies
that have focused management, low gearing
and enjoy high margins and earnings growth.
We also favour those with shares trading at low
price-earnings or price-to-book ratios.
“At times, we may apply a combination of
value and growth strategies, or put a greater
focus on growth stocks to take advantage of
market and business cycles.”
E

W22 Presented by

MARCH 28
2022

Areca wins Best Equity Malaysia awards
five years in a row

AB Y KUEK SER KWANG ZHE Being agile led to more asset allocation ac- FUND Areca equityTrust
reca Capital Sdn Bhd took home three tivities last year.As a result,the fund’s cash lev- AWARD
awards at the Refinitiv Lipper Fund el fluctuated from time to time and was only Equity Malaysia (Malaysia)
Awards 2022.It was the fifth year in deployed more aggressively into the market in FUND SIZE
a row that Areca equityTrust won the second half of the year,he says. FUND MANAGER (3, 5 and 10 years)
the award for Best Equity Malaysia RETURNS FOR PERIODS
(Malaysia) in the three-, five- and “We started the year being quite optimistic ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM310.41 million
10-year categories. about a rebound in economic activities.However,
Cash is an the idea was turned on its head when infection Danny Wong
CEO Danny Wong attributes the fund’s out- essential tool, not
performance to its active investment strategy just to manage cases related to the Deltavariant peaked.Adding 1 year NA
that emphasises an appropriate asset allocation risk but also to to that was the political uncertainty and
based on changing market conditions and cy- take advantage subsequent change in government that 3 years 104.98
cles over the mid and long term. of market further dampened market sentiment.
conditions “We deployed our cash into the 5 years 161.39
“The fund is managed with a top-down ap- at the right market when opportunities emerged
proach,which means focusing on identifying time.” in the later part of the year, with our 10 years 334.62
the appropriate levels of equity and cash in > Wong cash level falling from more than 20%
our portfolio.Cash is an essential tool,not just to 5%.And we started to take profit from ply the same investing formula moving forward
to manage risk but also to take advantage of our investments and raised cash levels as it has worked well in the past 15 years since
market conditions at the right time,” he says. slightly after that. Then, the pros- its inception. “We have gone through quite a
perity tax hit the market and few market turbulence and crises, including
“We then complement such a strategy with fears of rising inflation in the the global financial crisis, EU sovereign debt
a bottom-up approach, so that we do not miss US came into focus. crisis, US taper tantrum, China’s slowdown
out on any stocks with good fundamentals that “This series of events shock,1MDB-related issues,Brexit and the un-
are not in our preferred sectors.” shows that we have to be predictable Donald Trump, to name a few.Yet,
ready to act fast at all we have done well.”
The ability of a fund manager to respond times.We are not just Moving forward, the firm will focus more
quickly to various events was the main chal- responding to chang- on bonds with shorter durations and be more
lenge last year.As economic and market cycles ing market condi- selective in the fixed-income space. On the
get shorter, it is increasingly important that tions,but anticipat- equity side, it will remain cautious while bar-
investors remain agile and flexible,says Wong. ing them as well.” gain-hunting.
Wong says the “Certain investment themes that had been
“We really had to have our eyes peeled and fund will continue to ap- investor favourites seem to have been upend-
ears close to the ground.We had to remain very ed. However, we like to think that the glass is
agile in managing our asset allocation.” half-full instead of half-empty. Volatility in
some of these themes can be opportunities
for long-term investors to accumulate more
shares,” says Wong.
E

Eastspring bags two awards with
research-driven investment style

FUND Eastspring Investments

EBY KUEK SER KWANG ZHE lenge last year was the environmental, so- AWARD Asia Select Income
astspring Investments Bhd bagged cial and governance (ESG) issues at some
two awards at the Refinitiv Lipper companies that adversely impacted their FUND SIZE Mixed Asset MYR Balanced
Fund Awards 2022. Eastspring In- share prices.This prompted the firm to em- FUND MANAGER - Global (Malaysia)
vestment Asia Select Income won phasise ESG factors in its research process. RETURNS FOR PERIODS
the award for Best Mixed Asset MYR “We also encourage our team to have more ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) (10 years)
Global (Malaysia) in the 10-year cat- engagement with companies’ management
egory, while Eastspring Investments Small We have a bias on ESG-related issues,” says Choo. RM 51.20 million
Cap won the award for Best Equity Malaysia for quality
Small and Mid-Caps (Provident) in the 10- companies Fear of rising inflation and interest rate Tung Yin Wai
year category. with a strong hikes also posed a challenge to the firm’s
Head of investment Doreen Choo attrib- balance sheet, fixed-income team. As bond yields across 1 year NA
utes the wins to the firm’s valuation method, good earnings the curve rose, the performance of its bond
research-driven style and discipline to fol- visibility funds was impacted, she adds. “As such,we 3 years 19.61
low through on its investment process.“We and sound
derive intrinsic value based on valuation, management.” closely managed our exposure to duration 5 years 31.89
growth and cash flow analysis.And we have > Choo and took active positions across the
a bias for quality companies with a strong different tenures of the yield curve.” 10 years 89.83
balance sheet, good earnings visibility and Choo is optimistic about the out-
sound management.” look for small-cap stocks as the Malay- FUND Eastspring Investments
Prices of good stocks can dive when inves- sian economy is expected to emerge
tors are fearful due to certain market events, from the pandemic that dealt a blow AWARD Small-Cap
which have been happening more frequent- to markets globally. On top of this,
ly in recent years. It is at such times that companies that were able to gain FUND SIZE Equity Malaysia Small
Choo and her team start deploying cash into market share despite the vari- FUND MANAGER
the market.“Security mispricing,driven by ous challenges of the past two RETURNS FOR PERIODS & Mid-Caps (Provident)
greed and fear,is an enduring phenomenon years were favoured. “The ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
that can be successfully exploited through pandemic helped us to test (10 years)
our long-term investment approach. Value the business model of these
is seen in the market when there are cycli- small-cap companies vigor- RM879.00 million
cal extremities in interest rates and credit ously.Andwe continue to in-
markets,or there is a shift in investors’ risk vest in companies with good Tung Yin Wai
perception,” she says. management,a solid balance
On the equity side,the firm’s biggest chal- sheet and high ESG rating.” 1 year NA
After a tumultuous year,
Chinese equities and corporate 3 years 53.31
bonds are coming under focus
5 years 51.22

10 years 305.90

this year as some companies have shown re-
silience amid challenging times,says Choo.
“For our mixed-asset fund, we are positive
on corporate issuers that have demonstrat-
ed resilience throughout the pandemic and
are now able to benefit from the expected
recovery in 2022.
“For equities, there is a preference for
China over India. The former is expect-
ed to rebound after its underperformance
last year.”
E

Presented by W23

MARCH 28
2022

UOB Asset Management bags two awards
with bottom-up approach

UB Y PATHMA SUBRAMANIAM companies benefited from economic reopening FUND United Asean Discovery
OBAsset Management (M) Bhd once eventually and a reduction in risk premium when AWARD
again landed a winning spot at the there was greater clarity on politics,” says Lim. Equity Asean (Malaysia)
Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards 2022, FUND SIZE
with two fund awards this year. Despite the turbulence, the firm made no FUND MANAGER (3 years)
The firm’s UnitedAsean Discovery significant rebalancing in asset allocations.“As RETURNS FOR PERIODS
Fund won the Best Equity Asean we are still in the early phases of the recovery ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%) RM69 million
(Malaysia) award in the three-year category and cycle and supported by favourable government
the United Bond & Equity Strategic Trust Fund Security policies, we were well invested during the pe- Francis Eng Tuck Meng
bagged the Best Mixed Asset MYR Balanced — selection has riod,” she says.
Global (Malaysia) award in the five-year category. been a significant 1 year 4.10
CEO Lim Suet Ling attributes this success to contributor to Lim hopes policymakers will continue the
the fund house’s bottom-up approach,focusing outperformance supportive policies to enable fund managers 3 years 89.68
on fundamental analysis of businesses,which historically.“
has helped it navigatevolatile market conditions. > Lim to navigate the persisting volatility. “We 5 years 76.65
“In cases in which we have uncovered insights believe the bigger issue for asset returns
through our research,this would be expressed in 2022 will be government policy rather 10 years NA
with high active shares in portfolios. Security
selection has been a significant contributor to than economic growth.” FUND United Bond & Equity
outperformance historicallyandwas a keyfactor Apart from that,Lim says geopolitics
in the awards for the funds managed,” says Lim. AWARD Strategic Trust
She says UOB Asset Management is style- might affect returns in the near term,fol-
agnostic in its investment strategies, which lowing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. FUND SIZE Mixed Asset MYR Balanced
accords the team the flexibility to pick an opti- In the longer term, she anticipates the FUND MANAGER
mal style to achieve its investment objectives. gradual tightening of monetary policies RETURNS FOR PERIODS - Global (Malaysia) (3 years)
The twowins did not comewithout challeng- globallyto result in headwinds to returns. ENDED DEC 31, 2021 (%)
es,though.Lim says the biggest one came in the RM9.27 million
form of uneven economic recovery,as the country She says: “As economies have recov-
was transitioning from the after-effects of the ered and inflation remains high, we Francis Eng Tuck Meng
coronavirus pandemic and political upheavals. expect many central banks to tighten
But the firm was able to use it to its advantage. monetary policy,and this could pro- 1 year 4.68
“We saw the uneven economic recovery and
political flux as transient issues.The lacklustre vide some headwind to asset returns. 3 years 45.63
market conditions presented us with a buying “Historical evidence suggests that
opportunity. The investments paid off, as the 5 years 40.99
US equities have positive returns on
average during tightening cycles, 10 years NA
albeit lower than returns during
periods of loose monetary policy. stimuli is reduced.”
Against a backdrop of rising rates,however,
“In 2020 and 2021, the global UOBAsset Management expects sectors such as
equity market posted double-digit financials to outperform while sectors such as
returns supported by government utilities lag,considering the past performance
stimulus.In 2022,we expect returns of these sectors.
to be more modest as some of the “As for fixed income,we would be slightly be-
low duration neutral.We prefer Malaysian ring-
git-denominated debt to US dollar ones, given
the more modest rate hike expectations for the
former.We prefer corporates over government
issues for yield pickup and better credit metrics
with improving macro,” Lim says.
E

Inter-Pacific Asset Management
wins Best Mixed Asset Award

IB Y VANESSA GOMES As we are actively trading our portfolios, we FUND InterPac Dana Safi
nter-Pacific Asset Management Sdn Bhd’s usually hold the minimal amount of cash in order AWARD
(InterPac) InterPac Dana Safi Fund won the to take part in these trades and to keep as a Mixed Asset MYR Flexible
award for Best Mixed Asset MYR Flexible precautionary measure if the market presents FUND SIZE
(Islamic) in the three-year category,after an opportunity out of nowhere.“ > Nazri FUND MANAGER (Islamic) (3 years)
seeing returns of 126.2%. RETURNS FOR PERIODS
Its CEO,Datuk Dr Nazri Khan,says he is ment via the lens of technical analysis.Here, ENDED DEC 31, 2020 (%) RM30.26 million
ecstatic over the fund’s win as it proves that we see the movement of the stocks and assess
the firm has been progressing in the right momentum. This combination of technical Datuk Dr Nazri Khan
direction. and fundamental analyses has been the key
He adds that InterPac advocates the tech- enabler for us to achieve outsized gains in 1 year 18.23
nology sector,with a specific focus on compa- the market.”
nies with strong fundamental poten- 3 years 126.20
tial growth over the long term. Nazri adds that the firm runs an active port-
The technological landscape folio as it trades relatively more frequently 5 years 141.51
has drastically improved over
the last few years, says Nazri, compared with other asset management 10 years 178.74
who believes this augurs well houses.As a result, it was able to gar-
for the firm’s preference for ner a higher-than-industry-average dition,backed by wide experience as a team,
companies that can survive he says they were able to identify the right
over the long term. portfolio turnover. momentum to ride for a greater return.
“We first look into the “As we are actively trading our He believes 2022 will be a continuation
fundamental aspects of a of 2021, further supported by robust forward
company to assess its earn- portfolios,we usuallyhold the min- earnings.“We maintain a barbell strategy by
ings track record and the imal amount of cash in order to balancing secular growth and value recovery
likelihood of staying profita- in sectors that were previously affected by
ble in years to come.We want a take part in these trades and to the pandemic.However,we also adjusted our
companythatwill continue growing keep as a precautionarymeasure expectations of normalised earnings and, as
strong in the future,” he explains. if the market presents an oppor- such,expect the same for market performance
“We then do a secondary assess- tunity out of nowhere,” he says. as well,” he says.
“Looking at the Covid-19 pandemic land-
Looking ahead,Nazri believes scape, our take is that trying to predict the
that setting the right expectations progress,or even the end of the pandemic,is
is crucial in managing InterPac’s a futile attempt. We believe that we should
funds as well as staying adaptive to the stay exposed to resilient stocks in attractive
turbulent economic environment.In ad- markets that are capable of weathering any
uncertainties.”
E


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