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theSun

| WEDNESDAY MAY 20 2009

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KLCI STI Hang Seng SCI 1,023.49 2,260.36 17,544.03 2,676.00 11.48 83.38 521.12 23.90 Nikkei TSEC KOSPI S&P/ASX200 9,290.29 6,655.59 1,428.21 3,817.30 251.60 77.78 41.53 81.70

business

KL market summary
MAY 19, 2009 INDICES FBMEMAS COMPOSITE INDUSTRIAL CONSUMER PRODUCT INDUSTRIAL PRODUCT CONSTRUCTION TRADING SERVICES FINANCE PROPERTIES PLANTATIONS MINING FBMSHA FBM2BRD TECHNOLOGY TURNOVER 108.772bil CHANGE 6,824.22 1,023.49 2,271.78 303.44 79.32 198.41 136.24 8,058.98 669.10 5,136.59 283.70 7,144.70 4,504.98 14.36 +95.24 +11.48 +14.52 -0.25 +1.45 +2.90 +1.79 +102.96 +10.43 +95.08 +8.10 +109.41 +34.33 +0.18

KL shares end higher
KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia ended higher yesterday following an overnight rally on Wall Street and a rise in the crude oil price which gave plantation related stocks a boost, dealers said. At 5pm, the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index ended 11.48 points higher at 1,023.49, after opening 7.03 points firmer at 1,023.36 in the morning. The CI recorded an intra-day high of 1,027.38 and a low of 1,017.53. Jupiter Securities’ head of research, Pong Teng Siew said that by noon buying activities had spread to other stocks such as banking, glove makers, oil and gas, and construction. “However, I think we will see some selling tomorrow. The trend for the past two weeks has been alternate days of bargain hunting and profit taking,” he said. Gainers led losers by 544 to 157, while 155 counters were unchanged, 404 untraded and 58 others suspended. Volume increased to 1.754 billion shares worth RM1.599 billion from 1.697 billion shares worth RM1.319 billion on Monday. Among the active stocks, TA-WB slipped one sen to six sen, KNM gained seven sen to 81 sen, SAAG went up three sen to 36.5 sen, and Scomi rose 7.5 sen to 72 sen. Top gainers for the day included Concrete Engineering Products which increased 60 sen to RM3.30, TopGlove which went up 35 sen to RM6.10 and Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia which gained 30 sen to RM11.20. – Bernama

EXCHANGE RATES
Foreign currency

MAY 19, 2009

Bank sell Bank buy Bank buy

VALUE RM38.522bil

China lets HSBC, BEA issue yuan bonds in HK
BEIJING: China has given the green light for Bank of East Asia and HSBC to issue yuan bonds in Hongkong, state media said yesterday, the first time foreign-invested lenders have been allowed to sell such debt. It would also give Beijing the opportunity to make the currency more prevalent as the government looks to expand its influence. The Chinese arms of London-based HSBC and Hongkong’s BEA received permission from the State Council, or cabinet, according to the Financial News, which is run by the central bank. The announcement came amid growing indications that China wishes to create conditions for a more powerful yuan on the global scene, reflected in a series of swap agreements with foreign governments. The Chinese central bank governor earlier this year also created waves by suggesting in an essay that a replacement of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency was a possibility. The bonds will give the banks a broader range of options when it comes to accessing yuan capital and support financial market development in the city, the report cited an unnamed central bank official as saying. It is the first time foreigninvested commercial banks have won approval to sell yuan-denominated bonds, according to May Yan, an analyst with Nomura International in Hongkong. “For the Chinese government, there may be some considerations such as (the ability) to expand the use of the yuan outside China,” she said. Meanwhile, “yuan funding is quite important to foreign-invested banks, whose ability to absorb yuan deposits is constrained due to their limited (number of)

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outlets on the mainland,” she said. Previously only the Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corporation had been allowed to sell yuan bonds, and only in China. The two development organisations issued a total of 2.1 billion yuan (RM1.1 million) in debt in the Chinese interbank market in 2005. Bank of China and four other Chinese lenders have also issued yuan-denominated bonds in Hongkong since 2007, the Financial News said. – AFP

1 US DOLLAR 1 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR 1 BRUNEI DOLLAR 1 CANADIAN DOLLAR 1 EURO 1 NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR 1 PAPUA N GUINEA KINA 1 SINGAPORE DOLLAR 1 STERLING POUND 1 SWISS FRANC 100 ARAB EMIRATES DIRHAM 100 BANGLADESH TAKA 100 CHINESE RENMINBI 100 DANISH KRONE 100 HONGKONG DOLLAR 100 INDIAN RUPEE 100 INDONESIAN RUPIAH 100 JAPANESE YEN 100 NEW TAIWAN DOLLAR 100 NORWEGIAN KRONE 100 PAKISTAN RUPEE 100 PHILIPPINE PESO 100 QATAR RIYAL 100 SAUDI RIYAL 100 SOUTH AFRICAN RAND 100 SRI LANKA RUPEE 100 SWEDISH KRONA 100 THAI BAHT

TT/OD 3.5730 2.7670 2.4490 3.0780 4.8530 2.1550 1.4210 2.4485 5.4900 3.2140 99.0700 5.5200 N/A 67.1100 46.9100 7.7800 0.0359 3.7160 N/A 56.9400 4.5400 7.7000 99.7000 96.7700 43.2700 3.2100 48.1000 11.1100

TT 3.5080 2.6460 2.3860 3.0030 4.7360 2.0600 1.1990 2.3860 5.3580 3.1340 93.8300 5.2000 N/A 61.6800 44.4300 7.1500 0.0310 3.6270 N/A 52.3200 4.2500 7.2300 94.8300 92.0500 39.8100 2.9400 43.7400 9.4100

OD 3.4980 2.6300 2.3780 2.9910 4.7160 2.0440 1.1830 2.3780 5.3380 3.1190 93.6300 5.0000 N/A 61.4800 44.2300 6.9500 0.0260 3.6170 N/A 52.1200 4.0500 7.0300 94.6300 91.8500 39.6100 2.7400 43.5400 9.0100

Source: Malayan Banking Bhd/Bernama

M&S profits slump, slashes dividend
LONDON: Prestigious British retailer Marks & Spencer said yesterday that its annual net profit slumped nearly 40% and cut its dividend by a third due to an “uncertain economic outlook”. M&S, an icon of the high street, said its net profit tumbled 38% to £508 million (RM2.8 billion) in its year to March 2009. Pre-tax profits dived 37% from the previous year to £706 million (RM3.9 billion) while group sales grew by just 0.4% to £9.1 billion (RM50 billion). The clothes-to-food chain also cut its annual shareholder dividend to 9.5 pence per share, the first dividend cut since 2000. “During the year we acted decisively to meet the challenges of the economic downturn, responding quickly to the changing needs of our customers, managing costs tightly and protecting our balance sheet,” chairman Stuart Rose said. “We sharpened our values without compromising on quality. We believe this, together with our investment programme, is creating stronger foundations for long-term growth. “Given an uncertain economic outlook and in order to provide a stronger foundation for moving forward, the board has taken the decision to rebase the group’s dividend payment.” – AFP

AmEx to cut 4,000 jobs in global restructuring
NEW YORK: US credit card giant American Express announced Monday that it was to shed some 4,000 jobs as part of a US$800 million (RM2.9 billion) restructuring of its global operations. The job cuts would lead to the elimination of about 6% of the company’s current worldwide workforce, and it also planned to scale back investments and slash operating costs. The move comes after AmEx last month reported a 56% drop in quarterly earnings from a year ago to US$443 million (RM1.6 billion), or 31 cents per share, amid rising write-offs of credit card debt. Amex said the job cuts, which will go into effect this year, would allow it to shave US$175 million (RM630 million) off its budget, while reducing investments on marketing and business development would save another US$500 million (RM1.8 billion). The rest of the savings would come from cutting US$125 million (RM450 million) of operational costs, chairman and chief executive Kenneth Chenualt said. “While we have remained solidly profitable at a time when some parts of the card industry were incurring substantial losses, we continue to be cautious about the economic outlook,” he said in a statement. “We believe these efforts will put us in a better position to remain profitable and free up some additional resources that will be reinvested in the business to make sure we can take competitive advantage of opportunities as the economy begins to rebound.” – AFP

Coke steps up China juice campaign
SHANGHAI: Coca-Cola launched a juice marketing offensive in China yesterday, making good on a vow to put more power behind its brands after Beijing shot down its purchase of a local juice maker. Hongkong pop star Eason Chan performed live in the city of Guangzhou, kicking off a new campaign that the beverage giant is hoping will raise the profile of its Minute Maid brand in the nation of 1.3 billion people. The campaign is Coca-Cola’s first major move in China since the government, citing competition concerns, blocked its US$2.4 billion (RM8.6 billion) bid for Huiyuan Juice in March. It would have been the largest ever takeover of a Chinese company by a foreign firm, and the rejection triggered fears that China was raising barriers to overseas companies. Coca-Cola president and CEO Muhtar Kent responded at the time by saying the company would “focus all our energies and expertise on growing our existing brands”. Coca-Cola has big ambitions for China and is planning to invest US$2 billion (RM7.2 billion) in the country over the next three years – compared with just US$1.6 billion (RM5.8 billion) spent since 1979. The campaign yesterday launched a new grape and aloe vera drink, one of the first products to come out of Coca-Cola’s new research and development centre in Shanghai. Analysts predict China’s beverage market, including sparkling drinks, teas and juices, is expected to continue growing at more than 16% annually. Minute Maid sales have seen “strong double digit growth” year-on-year since its line of pulp juice drinks was introduced in 2004, Coca-Cola said, without providing detailed figures. – AFP