Jumaat, 7 September 2012

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Eye on Stock: WCT Bhd

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 04:47 PM PDT

WCT Bhd's shares had fallen slightly in tandem with the sharp two-day slump on the local bourse recently, but recovered to close 9 sen higher to RM2.63 yesterday.

On Thursday, the construction and property development group had proposed a bonus issue on the basis of three bonus shares for every 20 existing 50-sen shares, and one warrant D for every five shares held on the entitlement date. Many research analysts were positive about the corporate proposals, and maintained their "buy" calls on the stock.

HwangDBS Vickers Research points out that this is not an exercise to raise capital but more to increase trading liquidity and reward shareholders.

The research house says it does not expect any significant earnings dilution given the long tenure of the warrants but based on an extreme scenario of full conversion of the warrants, there may be a 20% dilution to financial year 2013 forecast earnings. "In terms of our sum-of-the-parts, assuming the exercise price is fixed at RM2.25/share, the dilution is around 8%."

Meanwhile, OSK Research deems the corporate proposals as a move that may boost trading sentiment on WCT's shares over the immediate term. It notes that WCT has a order book of RM3.7bil with more contracts likely to be awarded before year-end. "There are potential growth catalysts from the KLIA2 Integrated Complex, which is scheduled to commence operations by March next year."

HwangDBS Vickers's target price for WCT's stock is RM3.75 while OSK Research's fair value for it is RM3.36 or RM2.92 ex-bonus issue.

The comments above do not represent a recommendation to buy or sell.

WCT : [Stock Watch] [News]

Local bourse likely to be firmer next week

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 04:43 PM PDT

REVIEW: Over the week, the FBM KLCI saw strong selling pressure which resulted in a sharp 36-point slump over a two-day period, after Tuesday's market performance when the local bourse had an all-time high close of 1,654.11 points.

Yesterday, the local bourse staged a slight recovery to close at 1,624.55 points.

In explaining the sharp two-day decline on the FBM KLCI compared with other regional markets, Hwang Investment Management Bhd equities head Gan Eng Peng says there was strong selling pressure from foreign funds while local institutional fund activities were unusually quiet.

"Traditionally, our market tends to see a lot more government fund participation, which would have tempered the market decline for the week," Gan told StarBizWeek.

He points out that evidence of participation by local institutional funds should have been seen nearer to market closing in the latter part of the week, where buying activities tend to be the strongest, but this is not apparent this week.

Gan adds that the market was dragged down by a Standard and Poor's (S&P) report on Wednesday that said the ratings agency may lower Malaysia's sovereign credit rating if the Government cannot deliver reform measures to reduce fiscal deficits and increase the country's growth prospects.

"While the points are valid in the longer term, we think foreign funds are overreacting to the noise in the near term as

sovereign rating changes tend to have small impact on our market as a lot of the issues are already well known," says Gan.

Inter-Pacific Research head Pong Teng Siew said the local bourse has been on the verge of a pullback after hitting new highs, "as our technical indicators showed we are right in the midst of a confluence of toppish conditions in the market".

OUTLOOK: Next week, the local bourse is likely to be firmer as investors digest the S&P rating issue properly, coupled with the potential return of government fund activity, says Gan.

"For the longer term, we believe KLCI's performance will not veer too far from around 5% on both the upside and downside for the rest of the year since as it has been faring well year-to-date and it has gone up a fair bit," he adds.

The local bourse's limited downside is due to the support from the local institutional investors' funds, while its upside is capped by the fact that the top liners have mostly rallied and there is not much catalyst to propel it in a big way in the next three months.

"We see more opportunities for stock picking play in the second liners and mid and small-caps stocks as they are playing catch up with the blue chip stocks' performance," says Gan.

He also points out that Malaysia is seen as a defensive market, and any selling pressure will likely be limited and the downside will be around 5% between now to end of the year due to the buying support from local institutional investors.

"They have been raising their cash levels by selling their positions in the recent months. That gives them ample ammunition, which can readily be deployed to support the market when there is a selling pressure."

Meanwhile, concerning external environment factors, Pong points out that markets will be reacting to the decision of the German Constitutional Court on Sept 12, when it is due to rule on legal disputes about the planned 500-billion-euro European Stability Mechanism bailout fund.

"That will be the big hurdle for the eurozone next week," says Pong.

However, Gan says the eurozone crisis was beginning to have a benign effect on the local bourse, and even globally, as markets are an effective pricing mechanism.

"Old news are priced in and they move on to new catalysts. Only new risks and surprises can drive markets down and up."

Gan adds. He notes that external factors such as the eurozone crisis, economic softness in the United States and growth slowdown in China do affect the local bourse, although "their impact on us would not be as severe compared with our regional peers".

According to Gan, the outcome of the country's anticipated general election will not have much impact the local bourse much, as the election risk is a known and well-absorbed risk.

"Even the upcoming Budget 2013 announcement will have a muted effect, as the local bourse has already rallied."

However, Gan says a sustained deterioration in Malaysia's budget deficit without concrete measures to address it can result in a gradual outflow of foreign funds from the country's bond market, which may create a vicious cycle of the ringgit weakening and affect the local bourse's performance.

"This is the key new risk we are monitoring," he says.

Reaching out to boost PR industry

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 04:42 PM PDT

THE Public Relations Consultants Association of Malaysia (PRCA) is on a membership drive to strengthen the industry and to address the talent crunch issue.

"We want to see exponential growth in members, for sure. We would like to see even students becoming our members," acting president Joycelyn Lee tells StarBizWeek.

PRCA, formed in 1999, has 88 individual members and about 20 corporate members, made up of international and local agencies.

At present, it does not have any student members and its corporate members are all PR agencies.

It wants to diversify its membership base, attracting students and companies which are "not strictly" PR firms.

"We definitely have to open it up because there are students who want to know what PR is all about," she says, adding that PRCA is looking at reaching out to more institutions of higher learning to give students "a practitioner's perspective" before they enter working life.

The PRCA executive committee members have worked closely with IACT College in Petaling Jaya. She says the association is now talking with "one or two" other private institutions of higher learning to have programmes where students get the benefits of learning about the PR industry from practitioners.

She says that if universities want to talk to PRCA about things like syllabus, it is "more than happy to do so."

She also notes that students can send their internship applications to PR agencies via the PRCA website (prcamalaysia.org).

Lee says while PRCA hopes to attract more talent into the industry, it wants to see people who are passionate about communications, not people who just took mass communications in universities because they thought it was easy.

"And we also don't want people to think that the industry is limited just to mass comm graduates. As long as you have the facility for language and are passionate about the idea of communicating, the creative and PR industries should be something to look at," she says.

PRCA wants to attract more corporate members which are not strictly PR agencies, but Lee says it has never had any application from them.

The association wants to offer the in-house PR practitioners an opportunity to engage with external ones.

Currently, the percentage of members who are in-house PR practitioners is "not very high", she says. "It goes back to us not raising our profile enough, but we would like to see more members from in-house and corporates."

PRCA plans to roll out several programmes, including one-day workshops for new practitioners (practising under one year).

"Some of them are not from communications background. And while others have studied communications, real life is different from theory," she says, adding that their teachers will be veteran practitioners.

The first of these twice-a-year workshops will be in early December.

PRCA has also just reintroduced its members' night this week after a lapse of more than seven years.

The members' night allows members to exchange views and insights.

"I hope this (the members' night on Wednesday) will be the first of a number of members' nights," she says.

"Profile-wise, we have been relatively low. Now it's time for us to step up our profile. We hope agencies will come and talk to us about their challenges, and two, if we raise our profile, we will get more talent who are interested in joining the PR industry."

Lee hopes that raising PRCA's profile would lead to more people at the AGM early next year who want to do something for the industry.

"We are mostly consultants with a day job, so we hope to have more volunteers among the industry practitioners to pass on learnings."

PRCA, which organises an annual PR awards night (Malaysia Public Relations Awards), also plans to hold half-day pre-submission workshops so agencies can learn how best to highlight their submissions.

This year it had its first Malaysian PR Summit in March where regional heads of agencies such as Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller. It attracted more participants than expected, she says.

"We hope to do this once every two years," she says.

She says PRCA likes to see more cooperation and collaboration.

"These things that we're rolling out will hopefully help us add more punch to the industry in terms of growth," she says.

On whether it is possible to partner the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM), Lee says if IPRM wanted to collaborate with PRCA, the latter would be "happy" to come to the table to discuss it.

To the question of whether the PR practitioners should be accredited to ensure that they have a certain level of skills, she replies: "I think the industry should be self-regulating. In Malaysia, in some ways PR is still very much a growth industry. Eventually some level of accreditation by an association should be looked at, but at this point, who will set the ground rules?

"We do not want to set up barriers to entry. If someone is accredited, is he practically licensed to practise? And who gives the accreditation? It is an area that the PRCA is willing to discuss further; we are very open to discussing any idea that will strengthen the PR industry. What we are not willing to do is to have barriers to entry amid the talent crunch. While we want to have good talent, we don't want to set up such barriers."

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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Shin maintains LPGA lead

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 06:38 PM PDT

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia: South Korea's Jiyai Shin followed up a tournament-record 62 with a 68 on Friday for a one-shot lead in the US LPGA Tour Kingsmill Championship.

Shin was among the players who completed her first round on Thursday despite a lengthy rain delay.

Her sizzling first-round effort held up, but Shin, a former world number one who won the last of her eight LPGA titles in November of 2010, admitted she was watching the scoreboard.

"I have to know my position, and I keep changing my plan each hole after I check the positions," said Shin, who had four birdies and a bogey en route to a 36-hole total of 12-under 130 on the Kingsmill River Course.

"I saw a lot of players play good today, so I think it will make for fun competition the next two days," added Shin, who was delighted to find herself in the title hunt going into the weekend.

"I'm used to the competition, I'm used to the pressure and nerves, too, and also I really like that feeling," she said.

"So I can't wait for the play for the weekend."

Shin birdied the par-five third and picked up another shot at the par-five seventh.

She followed up with birdies at 10 and 12, but she settled for par at the par-five 15th and gave back a shot with a bogey at 16.

"The greens were a little bit slower, so I missed a few chances with my putting," she said.

"I still feel good so I just look forward to the weekend."

Kang, winner of the US Women's Amateur in 2010 and 2011, missed the cut in her last two tournaments.

"I started off the day thinking just take it shot by shot. I've been approaching shots differently this whole week," Kang said.

"I just am trying to see what works, and my brother taught me how to putt."

Dewi Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands and Paula Creamer were tied at 10-under 132. Schreefel carded a 66 and Creamer a 67.

Schreefel was among the 33 players who had to complete the first round on Friday morning.

With just two holes to play se was promptly penalized for a rules infraction at the first, but kept her poise to stay in the hunt for the weekend.

Michelle Wie was among those missing the cut, following up a first-round 75 with a 71. The one-time prodigy has missed nine cuts this season and posted just one top-10 finish. - AFP

Storm takes halfway lead at KLM Open

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 06:26 PM PDT

HILVERSUM, Netherlands: Graeme Storm took a three-shot lead at the halfway stage of the European Tour's KLM Open at Hilversum on Friday, following up his opening round of 63 with a 66.

The Englishman ended the day at 11 under, three clear of Scott Jamieson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Peter Hanson.

Hanson was one of three European Ryder Cup players in the field and in contention. Nicolas Colsaerts shot 65 to reach five under, while Martin Kaymer - the winner here in 2010 - is a shot further back.

Although he is eager to secure a second European Tour title, Storm admits his primary focus remains securing a top-115 finish in The Race to Dubai after a disappointing season so far.

He currently lies 114th, with the closing stages of the season fast approaching.

"It is a big struggle missing so many cuts," he said of his poor run of form.

"I played nicely last week (en route to a share of 41st place in the European Masters) and I was hoping to bring it here. At the moment I am and I just hope it continues.

"It makes a change to have all red on my card. Hopefully I used all the bogeys up last week in Crans.

"The goal for me still is to keep my card, even though I am leading. If someone comes through then so be it, I just need my card for next year."

Together with Belgium's Colsaerts, Spain's Fernandez-Castano was the pick of the morning starters, carding four birdies and an eagle either side of a solitary dropped shot.

"I think I could have hit the ball better but my scoring was very good thanks to my short game," he said.

"Overall I am very happy with eight under after two rounds. This is one of my favourite courses of the year. It gets the best out of my game."

Swede Hanson made solid progress in a second successive 66, mixing 15 pars with two birdies and an eagle at the par-five 12th.

Jamieson, who started at the tenth, roared into contention after picking up six shots in the first 10 holes of his round, but lost his outright hold on second with a bogey at the sixth.

Pablo Larrazabal of Spain and India's Shiv Kapur shared fifth, two behind the second placed trio, while Ireland's Simon Thornton finished with an eagle to match Jamieson's 64 and move into the group at five under. - AFP

US golfer shot after ball smashes window

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 06:18 PM PDT

RENO, Nevada: A Nevada golfer was shot and wounded after his stray ball struck a home, smashing a window and angering the resident inside.

Police arrested a man in connection with the shooting which allegedly took place on the 16th hole of the Reno area golf club.

Jeff Fleming, 53, is charged with battery and assault with a deadly weapon in the incident at the Lakeridge Golf course.

Police said a man exited his home on Thursday after one of his windows was broken and approached two golfers with a shotgun before the alleged shooting took place.

The other was not injured.

The injured golfer was treated and released from hospital.

Law enforcement officials also evacuated the golf course after the shooting.

Fleming, who turned himself in, was released on bail. A entrenched gun culture and lax firearm laws have contributed to a series of mass shootings in America over the past few years.

A Bill Clinton-era federal ban on assault weapons was also allowed to expire in 2004.

On July 20, 12 people were killed and 58 injured when a gunman opened fire at a Colorado movie theatre during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises".

In 2004, there were 29,500 people killed by guns in the United States of which 40 percent (11,600) were homicides.

About 150 people are killed on average annually by handguns in Canada and less then 40 in Japan. - AFP

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The Star Online: Nation

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Bodies of Malaysian students killed in Russia crash arrive home

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 08:55 AM PDT

PUTRAJAYA: The bodies of the two Malaysian students, who were killed in a car crash in Russia on Sunday, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport near here late Friday.

One of the victims, Public Service Department (PSD) scholar Adzreen Dimyati, 22, was laid to rest at the Precinct 20 Muslim Cemetery in Putrajaya later in the night.

Meanwhile, the body of Mara scholar Hanisah Muhd Shah, 22, is expected to arrive in Dungun, Terengganu at 5.30am Saturday.

The two were travelling from Moscow Airport with five other medical scholars when their mini-bus collided with another, about 120km south of Moscow.

The undergraduates had just returned from Malaysia where they celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

All seven are Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy fifth-year medical students.

Related Stories:
In shock over Moscow deaths
Two Malaysian students die in Russian road crash

Night closure of right lanes of Jalan Cheras from Monday

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 07:25 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The right lanes of both the Kajang-bound and Kuala Lumpur-bound directions of Jalan Cheras between Leisure Mall and Plaza Phoenix will be closed nightly from Sept 10 to Oct 31.

In a statement Friday, MRT Corp said the 52-day closure was to facilitate construction work for the Mass Rapid Transit project.

The closure would be from 11pm to 5.30am daily, except Saturdays and public holidays, to enable utility piloting work and related pre-construction work to be carried out.

The company said a traffic management plan would be implemented to ensure minimum inconvenience to road users and pedestrians. - Bernama

Baby girl found abandoned near shop

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 07:22 AM PDT

KUANTAN: A baby girl, believed to be a day-old, was found abandoned near a shop in Chendor, Cherating Friday morning.

Kuantan police chief ACP Mohd Jasmani Yusoff said passers-by who found the 2.2kg infant about 7.30am, alerted the police who sent her to the Kemaman Hospital in Terengganu.

He said the baby, who was reported to be in the pink of health, was handed over to the Kuantan Social Welfare Department. - Bernama

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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Set aside as forest reserves

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 05:07 AM PDT

MALACCA: Some 246ha of Malacca Government's green land bank is set to be gazetted as permanent forest reserves.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the latest area unit will complement 4,843ha of land that have been set aside as forest reserves in the state as stipulated under National Forestry Act 1984 (amended 1993).

"The state government felt such area should be extended as green lungs as it benefits the eco-system and also in line with the Malacca's status as green technology city," he told StarMetro recently.

Mohd Ali said the state government also felt that the forest reserve is salient for the state for a long-term sustainability of the environment.

"We want to witness an ecological transformation that would attract more tourism to the state," he said.

Mohd Ali also reminded relevant agencies to abide by the National Forestry Act on matters pertaining to logging, issuance of licences to lumberjacks and extracting jungle products from the state.

He said anyone who is found involved in illegal logging could face punitive charges under Section 15 and 40 of National Forestry Act.

"Those who found to have violated this act could face a fine of RM500,000 and jailed a maximum 20 years upon conviction," he said.

Hence, Mohd Ali said the state government hopes that officers from the Forestry Department here execute their responsibilities diligently to avoid the state's natural resources from being plundered by unscrupulous parties.

He added the state Forestry Department should also intensify its patrols to keep vigil on illegal logging at forest reserves in Malacca.

Sowing seeds for growth

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 04:01 AM PDT

JOHOR BARU: Some just jot down their daily sales in buku tiga lima note books without keeping proper accounts or just use their savings account for their business transactions and even doing business without renewing their business registration.

These are some of the pitfalls that the special secretariat for empowerment of Indian entrepreneurs (SEED) under Prime Minister's department has detected that is affecting Indian businesses in the country.

The secretariat's director Dr A.T Kumararajah said some of the businesses were profitable with monthly takings of between RM20,000 and RM30,000.

"But without proper profit and loss statements, bank accounts and or balance sheets, these businesses will find it hard to get funding from the banks to expand their business," he added.

He said since Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri G. Palanivel announced that local companies could now get financing from the RM180mil special government allocation early last month, SEED has received 3,865 enquiries.

"Most of the enquiries comes from Indian businesses involved in retail, logistics and services," he said after attending a three-hour briefing organised by Johor MIC for local Indian businessmen here.

He added that most of those who wanted SEED's help had problems with regards to their accounts and accounting documents.

Kumararajah added that SEED was not an approving authority for loans but merely a one-stop agency, which would help provide tips for Indian businesses to improve on their business profiles to be able to get loans from banks.

"All this is free of charge as the government wants Indians to be able to gain access to funding especially the RM180mil. Besides that SEED can also give technical advice for 63 government schemes available for businessmen through various government ministries.

"This may not just be on loans but other types of matching grants as well," he said, adding that under the five schemes under the RM180mil programme, people could get funding of between RM500 and RM5mil.

Kumararajah urged Indian businesses to take advantage of all the government schemes, which were catered towards helping to improve the community economic strength.

He also urged Indian businesses not to be worried that they would no longer be able to get funding once the RM180mil was given out as the Government had a huge pool of over RM2.43bil available to help businesses nationwide.

Among the questions raised at the briefing include on eligibility and criteria of funding, which banks to apply to, funding for research and development, approval time and funding for those blacklisted.

Those with enquiries could contact SEED at 03-27756205 or via email at info@seed.org.my or visit their website at www.seed.org.my

Deposit refund for unfinished works on kitchen

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 04:01 AM PDT

JOHOR BARU: A drafts persons hopes of getting his dream house for his family turned into a nightmare after his contractor failed to finish the renovation works for his home.

Not only that, Mohamad Shah Abas, 31, told the Consumer Claims Tribunal that he even rented his car to the contractor in hope of getting the works for his kitchen to be completed in time.

He said he had just bought a house in Taman Saujana in Kota Tinggi earlier this year and wanted to renovate the kitchen.

"I bought the house in April and there was a number of contractors that came and see me to give their quotations.

"This contractor however, gave me the most reasonable and cheapest price among the rest of them and told me that he would complete the work within a month," he said adding that he wanted a tabletop as well as built-in cabinets for his kitchen.

Mohamed Shah said the contractor charged him about RM10,700 for the work and he had paid RM6,700 as a deposit and made an agreement that the work must be completed by June.

"He only did about 30% of the work and would always give excuses to why his work was late," he said adding that a common excuse was that he did not have a car as his family was using it.

The contractor did not attend the hearing and tribunal president Maznah Haron then ordered the contractor to refund back RM3,686 to Mohamad Shah within 14 days.

Meanwhile, in another case, an electronic retail company was ordered to refund RM2,699 to a despatch rider for selling a shoddy air purifier to him.

Mohd Fauzi Rahim, 29, said he bought the device from Fricotech Retail Sdn Bhd in December, last year but within four months the machine went bust.

He added that he then informed the company about the broken air purifier but there was no response.

"The company gave me a three-year warranty with a money back guarantee and I do not want the air purifier again as it is broken," he said adding that the company also gave him a water filter for free.

Meanwhile, the company representative claimed that the company did provide any such warranty to Mohd Fauzi.

Maznah then interrupted and asked Mohd Fauzi if he had any proof and Mohd Fauzi then produced an invoice with the company's stamp and the words three years warranty on it.

She then ordered the company to refund the amount to Mohd Fauzi within 14 days and also issued another order where Mohd Fauzi must also return back the items to the company within the same period.

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