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What's cooking in Malaysian Telco and who's the chef?

When articles appear and especially if they are speculative in nature, things start to brew.

And in today’s market environment when there is a lack of direction, certain counters will jump based on these speculations.

Such could well be the case in response to the recent ‘supposed memorandum’ from MCMC with regards to the 6% service e tax that was to be passed on to the prepaid subscribers.

The recent speculation by Hong Leong Investment Bank pointed to telcos benefitting from this supposed move by the authorities. This has been refuted by MCMC and today’s statement clarifies the matter.

Speculative reports are no strangers to the market but when it benefits certain players then perhaps its time for the Securities Commission to look into this. The HLIB report favoured Digi to benefit from this supposed move. Coincidentally, Digi has been known to expand its local shareholding too.

Could this just be a well timed investment note?

In any case, today’s statement from MCMC Chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi that discussions are still ongoing to find the best possible solution to ensure that consumers get the most affordable communication services should put a stop to any further speculation. - TnT


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GDP forecast in line with market consensus

Pix and story from The Star, 23 Mar 2012

PETALING JAYA: Economists contacted agree with Bank Negara's gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast of between 4% and 5%, with the domestic economy providing the impetus, while global growth will continue to be challenged by the eurozone debt crisis.

Although some encouraging signs are emerging from the advanced economies, Bank Negara trimmed growth estimate for 2012 from the 5% to 6% projected by the Treasury during Budget 2012 in October 2011.

“This is higher than our estimate of 3.8% but in line with market consensus of 4%. Given the loss of momentum for the export engine, the policymakers are pinning their hopes on domestic demand to sustain economic growt

Pix and story from The Star


NADZMI LEAVES PROTON

Star Business, 17 Mar 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has resigned as Proton chairman and director effective immediately due to the change in shareholdings in Proton Holdings Bhd.

According to a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Nadzmi’s resignation was part of the terms that had been agreed upon when DRB-Hicom Bhd signed the conditional share sale and purchase agreement with Khazanah Nasional Bhd to sell the latter’s 42.74% stake to the former on Jan 16.

This was because Nadzmi was also a director who had been nominated by Khazanah to Proton’s board.



MAS offers attractive business class deals

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is offering attractive business-class travel promotional deals for both domestic and international flights effective today till Feb 27.

The offers for domestic sectors and to Asean destinations are valid for travel with immediate effect till Aug 31, while the deals for the US, North Asia, Europe, South Asia, China/Hong Kong and Australia are valid until June 30.

For customers' convenience, fares offered are inclusive of airfares, fuel surcharges and airport taxes, said MAS Regional Senior Vice-President for Malaysia and Asean Muzammil Mohamad.

He said: "At Malaysia Airlines, we are continuously upgrading our products and services for customers to enjoy more at value deals.

"The deals are made possible due to the new fuel-efficient aircraft that are regularly joining our fleet. These aircraft also have improved inflight facilities that also allow us to enhance our service offerings to customers."

Star Business - MAS offers attractive business class deals



Axiata waits for next move in India

As the fallout of the Indian Telco scandal emerge clearer, the Indian Supreme court has ruled that the licenses obtained during the alleged period (2008) should be cancelled, effectively causing major upheaval in the telco industry there.

In turn, Malaysian Telcos that have placed stakes in the local industry there might see more than loses if further action should be taken.

Other multinational companies that are affected by this ruling include Norway's Telenor.

However, Maxis majority owned Aircel Ltd, which saw the Indian authorities making announcements and filing court applications against senior officials will emerge unscathed, reports indicate.

All said, it is still early days yet, but this scenario in India does not augur well for the Manmohan Administration, itself plagued with massive corruption allegations in the 2010 Commonwealth games. And with rulings such as this, foreign companies might yet shudder before entering into any deals in India. - TnT commentary

Star Business - M'sians watching Indian courts



Read all about Malaysia's corporate movers and shakers on TnT's Malaysia Incorporated here
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M’sia in top 3 on survey on economic impact of Internet

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has come in among the top three in a study conducted by McKinsey & Co on the economic impact of the Internet on the gross domestic product (GDP) of nine aspiring countries, namely Taiwan, Malaysia, Hungary, Argentina, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Vietnam and Nigeria.

According to the report, Malaysia has surpassed other developed and developing economies such as France, Germany, China, India and even the United States on McKinsey's internal index.

The report cites: “The total contribution of the Internet to GDP in some aspiring countries, notably Taiwan and Malaysia, is similar to those levels observed in developed countries. While consumption is high, these aspiring countries benefit from being net exporters of ICT goods and services.”

The report includes its survey finding in which Malaysia is placed third among the aforementioned aspiring countries in productivity increase for small and medium enterprises due to web technologies.

“We view this positively for Malaysia in view of the collaborative efforts undertaken by the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the communications and multimedia industry towards connecting all Malaysians. It clearly shows the benefits of the Internet on the economy and makes a case for prioritising this aspiration even further,” said MCMC chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi.

He added: “We will continue our joint efforts to implement various initiatives to ensure more Malaysians are connected to the Internet.”

The Internet penetration rate surpassed the targeted rate of 50% to stand at 55.6% at the end of 2010 - Bernama


Singapore Firm buys into Khazanah's IHHSB

PETALING JAYA: London-listed private equity investor Symphony International Holdings Ltd could end up with a minority stake in Khazanah Nasional Bhd's healthcare unit, Integrated Healthcare Holdings Sdn Bhd (IHH), when the latter goes for listing later this year.

Singapore-based Symphony said in a statement yesterday that its wholly owned subsidiary would invest US$50mil to buy a non-controlling stake in Integrated Healthcare Hastaneler Turkey Sdn Bhd (IHT), which is a unit of IHH. It also has an option to convert its investment in IHT into a minority stake in IHH.

“Symphony has identified a growing healthcare group and invested in it before the initial public offering. They are co-investing to swap their shares in IHT for IHH.





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