Daily News - 20 July 2020

Industrial Insight > Daily News - 20 July 2020
20 July 2020
Compiled by AllianceDBS Research

MALAYSIAN NEWS

Prasarana chairman: LRT3 due for completion in February 2024

Construction work on the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) is due for full completion by Feb 28, 2024, said Prasarana Malaysia Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman. He said as of June 30, 33.12% of the project, which stretches 37.8km connecting people within the western corridor of the Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur, had been completed. (Bernama)

Naim Holdings selling Bintulu land for RM340m

Naim Holdings' wholly-owned subsidiary, Petrochemical Hub Sdn Bhd had entered into a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) for the proposed disposal of two parcels of vacant land with a total area of approximately 405.6 hectares in Bintulu, Sarawak for RM340m. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the company said the lands located at Kidurong Industrial area comprised of two adjoining parcels of land between Bintulu Onshore Receiving Facility, South China Sea, along the road leading to Kem PLKN Similajau and The Petronas Gas Pipeline. The disposal of the subject lands to SEDC, a state agency, would enable the state to spearhead the development of a petrochemical hub in the region and consequently, would spur and enhance the state’s economy as well as create job opportunities to the people, said the company. The company said, as the proposed disposal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020 with a net estimated pro-forma gain of RM115.8m. (Bernama)

Willowglen bags RM16m system solutions contract

Willowglen MSC's unit has been awarded a contract worth about RM16.3m by Sapura Rail Systems Sdn Bhd to provide supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Willowglen said the contract was awarded to its wholly-owned Willowglen (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. The job involves the design, manufacture, supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the system solution. The contract commenced on July 15 and will be completed on Nov 30, 2023. (The Edge Markets)

PDZ, Sanichi to jointly develop e-commerce logistics hub in Johor

PDZ Holdings and precision mould maker Sanichi Technology Bhd will jointly design, develop and manage a regional e-commerce logistics hub on 94.7 hectares (ha) of land in Desaru, Johor. The two listed companies said they had concluded a collaboration agreement that would lead to the formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to carry out the project. In the collaboration, PDZ will provide its technical expertise in logistics management to design and implement an automated digital platform alongside world-class information and communication technology infrastructure to facilitate the operation of the e-commerce logistics hub. Sanichi will be responsible for securing the site and permits with the relevant government agencies, coupled with designing, developing and construction of the entire 94.7ha site. (Bernama)

GLOBAL NEWS

US: Depleted Trump economic team faces major test over extending coronavirus relief efforts

The White House’s freewheeling approach to policy-making faces a key test next week as negotiations begin with Congress over extending emergency economic relief measures during the coronavirus pandemic. The stakes are high. Economists say the next aid package will be critical in shaping the pace of recovery from the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Trump administration hasn’t publicly detailed its proposals. It has offered competing visions in recent months, at first over whether an additional package would be needed at all, and more recently over whether it should tilt more toward tax cuts and hiring incentives or toward providing more direct spending. President Trump has voiced support for both, but the administration has yet to reconcile how to do this while satisfying many congressional Republicans who want to hold down the cost of another bill. Moreover, the administration has seen heavy turnover since Congress passed an USD2.2trn economic relief bill in March, further complicating efforts to forge consensus or provide leadership to congressional Republicans. (Wall Street Journal)

US home construction jumps 17.3% in June

Construction of US homes jumped 17.3% in June as some states reopened, but the pace still lags last year after this spring’s massive slowdown in building activity due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commerce Department reported July 17 that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,186,000 in June after a modest recovery in May followed steep declines in April and March. Even after a second straight month of increases, construction activity remains 4% below last year’s pace. Applications for building permits, a good indication of future activity, rose 2.1% to 1.24m units. Home builders had been hopeful that housing would recover as the nation reopens, spurred by the lowest mortgage rates in 50 years. However its unclear whether the rebound is sustainable as infections have spiked, especially in the South, where business have reopened and people have been increasingly venturing outside of their homes. (CNBC)

UK asks Japan for Huawei alternatives in 5G networks – Nikkei

The British government asked Japan to help build its 5G wireless networks without Huawei Technologies, the Nikkei said on July 19, a further step in a global technology and security war between the United States and China. British officials met with their counterparts in Tokyo on July 16, two days after Britain ordered Huawei equipment purged from its 5G networks by the end of 2027, the Nikkei said. As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, fears over the security of Huawei have forced Prime Minister Johnson to choose between the United States and China, weighing a critical alliance against billions in investment. The Nikkei said the latest move reflects Britain’s effort to bring in new equipment suppliers to foster competition and help reduce costs for the country’s wireless carriers. The British embassy in Tokyo and Fujitsu did not immediately respond to email or text inquiries on July 19. Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat and NEC did not answer calls. (Reuters)

Singapore's non-oil exports jump 16.1%, reversing fall in May

US consumer prices increased by the most in nearly eight years in June as businesses reopened, but the underlying trend suggested inflation would remain muted and allow the Federal Reserve to keep injecting money into the ailing economy. The Labor Department said on 14 July its consumer price index increased 0.6% last month, the biggest gain since August 2012, after easing 0.1% in May. The increase, which ended three straight months of declines, was driven by rises in the prices of gasoline and food. In the 12 months through June, the CPI climbed 0.6% after gaining 0.1% in May, which was the smallest y-o-y rise since September 2015. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI increasing 0.5% in June and advancing 0.6% y-o-y. Businesses have reopened after shuttering in mid-March to slow the spread of Covid- 19. But new cases of the respiratory illness have surged in large parts of the country, prompting some states to dial back or pause reopenings. (Straits Times)